Even though Chase Elliott will soon graduate full-time to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he still plans to maintain a presence within the grassroots racing scene that shaped him into the driver that he has become today.
Long before his Truck Series debut or XFINITY Series championship, Elliott cut his teeth in the family owned No. 9 Super Late Model. In five years of competition, Elliott has won all four crown jewels including the Snowball Derby, Winchester 400, All-American 400 and World Crown 300.
And while his chances to drive the family car will dramatically decrease once he slides into the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet, Elliott still wants his Super Late Model to remain a fixture in the discipline.
To that end, Elliott established Chase Elliott Motorsports in January as means to keep his cars race ready and eventually find a funded development driver to follow in his footsteps. On Tuesday night, Elliott says the plan is still intact but he isn’t rushing the process to find that development driver because he wants to remain in the car for as long as he’s able during his NASCAR downtime.
“I’m just focused on doing the races I planned on doing for now,” Elliott said after the battle at Berlin 250. “If the right fit comes around, then maybe, because we’re always looking to improve.
“But I want to keep racing as much as I can and do my part to make it better and I think we can do it.”
Despite only making his fifth start of the year on Tuesday night, Elliott was again a contender, leading the most laps but finishing fourth as Berlin Raceway transitioned from daytime to twilight.
Events like Berlin, the Rattler 250 and CRA Speedfest have also provided an opportunity for Elliott to stay connected to the fans that have followed him since he was a teenager. On Tuesday, Elliott participated with select fans for an autograph session and meet-and-greet.
Elliott remains passionate about short track racing and was noticeably fired up upon getting out of the car on Tuesday. He wanted a win just as much in that race as he did when he was cutting his teeth as a teenager.
With that in mind, Elliott expects to make several more starts in his Rocky Ridge No. 9 as the season progresses.
“We’re going to keep digging and do the races we have planned and see how they go first.”