The future is here, and it is bright.
At Texas Motor Speedway on Friday night, Chase Elliott soared to his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win in his sixth series start. Outrunning names like Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick. and boss Dale Earnhardt Jr., the win proves what good can come from having NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers race in the lower levels.
The Sprint Cup racers were dominant all night, logging laps and filling out the top five. It was The Harvick Hour for the longest time, then it became The Busch Show. Channels flipped, but the same story was there. It was exciting to see Busch and Kyle Larson both climb from the back after both failed qualifying inspection. The racing was exciting, yet something was missing.
Something like an awakening
Things are bound to get weird in The Lonestar State, and they are usually larger-than-life. Sixteen years ago from that night, Earnhardt Jr. won his first NNS race at the track. It’s only fitting that his JR Motorsports driver repeated history.
History. Let’s talk about that.
Elliott’s last name is legendary. His father, Bill, is a NASCAR champion and on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot. Known as ‘Awesome Bill from Dawsonville,’ his is one of the sport’s iconic figures. There’s no doubt in that statement’s validity. The legacy was passed onto his son, even if it wasn’t intentional. It became noticeable that the young gun was a force to be reckoned with as pressures mounted. Aligning himself with Hendrick Motorsports and JRM was an element that elevated his flowing potential.
He was following in his father’s footsteps, yet, for the first time in his life, Elliott stepped away from what he knew. From what we all knew.
New face, same last name, but with an awakening.
Point Standings after the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300
1. Chase Elliott (–)
2. Regan Smith (-2)
3. Ty Dillon (-10)
4. Elliott Sadler (-16)
5. Trevor Bayne (-18)
6. Brendan Gaughan (-31)
7. Brian Scott (-32)
8. Dylan Kwasniewski (-45)
9. James Buescher (-48)
10. Ryan Reed (-83)
11. Chris Buescher (-85)
12. Mike Bliss (-87)
FAN REACTION: Thrilled, fans marveled at Elliott’s talent and likeliness to his father. Although it’s a compliment, they are also respecting him as his own driver, which is a great thing to see. Nothing brings hope like seeing young guns thrive in a field saturated with double-duty racers. The sport’s potential is at an all-time high and a far cry than what it use to be years ago.
He may have a famous name, but ‘Elliott’ doesn’t drive the car. Elliott does. The win is not only a power move for him but for NASCAR, and it’s propelling things further than imaginable. The future has never been so blinding, and nobody minds at all.