Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

April 9, 2014

DE LA BASTIDE: Young Elliott is showing he's real deal

The NASCAR races over the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway were won by some of the younger drivers in the Nationwide and Sprint Cup series.

Several years ago, when Joey Logano was climbing the ladder to NASCAR’s top division, he was nicknamed “Sliced Bread” as in the best thing since. Logano climbed the ranks in racing starting in a Legends car, racing with the former American Speed Association national tour and in late models before progressing to NASCAR.

It has been less than smooth transition for the 22-year-old. Logano raced with Joe Gibbs Racing before moving to Team Penske this season. Last year, he won nine Nationwide races and his second Sprint Cup event. His win at Texas on Monday marked his third Sprint Cup series victory.

But the driver making headlines on Saturday was Chase Elliott, the 18-year-old son of Bill Elliott, who claimed his first career Nationwide Series race.

The younger Elliott signed a driver development contract with Hendrick Motorsports and is competing for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series.

Chase Elliott is well known to central Indiana racing fans. He competed in the Stoops Freightliner Red Bud 300 at Anderson Speedway, finishing 10th in 2010 and placing second in 2011 when Florida driver Steve Dorer made a last-lap pass with a power move on the outside.

What I remember most about Elliott’s two appearances at Anderson Speedway was the 2010 race. He drove aggressively and was involved in several on-track incidents, mostly spins. Following the race Elliott went and apologized to several drivers for the on-track incidents.

He swept the super late and pro late model CRA races at Lanier Speedway in Georgia and won the Speedfest super model race this year in the Peach State following a battle with Johnny Sauter.

Elliott won the 2010 running of the Winchester 400 and a year later won the Snowball Derby.

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