Chase Elliott won’t go down in history as a one-hit wonder. The son of the legendary “Awesome Bill from Dawsonville” Elliott follows his victory at Watkins Glen with an encore at Dover. Most importantly, it stamps his passport to the next round of NASCAR’s playoff series. Secondly, it establishes the 22-year old as a bona fide winner.
Don’t believe for a moment this will be Chase Elliott’s last celebration of the spoils of victory. Except for those elusive wins, Elliott has been a consistent contender. Yes, he has good equipment. So did Danica Patrick.
Yours truly is not a racer and he doesn’t play one on TV. Having said that, the view from here is that perhaps he was a little too conservative in his pursuit of victory. While that’s easier on the team owner than a an over-aggressive neophyte who wads up all the equipment, it gets frustrating to see a driver get soooo close so many teams without closing the deal. Now, the deal is done.
In what has been a relatively dark hour for Hendrick Motorsports, Chase Elliott has been a bright light. When Jimmie Johnson is struggling, when William Byron is foundering a bit, when Alex Bowman has not made the headlines the team has been used to seeing, you begin to ask some tough questions. Chase Elliott reminds you that you haven’t completely lost it.
It may be a “Captain Obvious” statement, but confidence is huge in sports. I see it as a coach. A kid who continually overthinks his every move, and therefore seems to miss the most golden opportunities figures it out. With a belief he or she can win every time, suddenly the potential has been fulfilled.
Chase Elliott has crossed over. His opponents will be keeping a keen eye on him. Certainly he has made his statement that he is building a resume to match the popularity.