First career NASCAR wins for Chase, Bill Elliott bear striking similarities
When it comes to Chase and Bill Elliott’s first NASCAR wins, it truly was a case of like father, like son.
Chase got his first career win in dramatic fashion on Sunday, outdriving defending Monster Energy NASCAR Series Cup champion Martin Truex Jr. to take the Go Bowling at the The Glen on the 2.454-mile road course of Watkins Glen International.
Almost 35 years ago, on Nov. 20, 1983, Bill stood in Victory Lane at a road course, the 2.62-mile Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California, celebrating his first career victory.
The coincidences continue.
Both won driving the No. 9 car, Chase a Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports and Bill a Ford Harry Melling Racing. Bill also noted with interest that Chase drove the No. 9 car to victory in his 99th career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start. (It took Bill 115 starts to get his first win.)
Both finished second in eight races before finally getting their first win.
Both now have wins at Watkins Glen International. On June 26, 1993, Bill led 47 of 62 laps to win the Fay’s 150 Busch Series – now the Xfinity Series – race at The Glen. It was his only Busch Series win in 43 starts on the circuit over 12 years.
“Awesome” Bill will get the first chance to break that tie, however, as it was announced on Aug. 4 that the 62-year-old will drive in the Xfinity Series Johnsonville 180 coming up on Aug. 25 at the Road America course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Chase is now just 43 victories shy of tying his dad’s career Cup series mark of 44, which puts him 17th on NASCAR’s all-time list — one ahead of Kevin Harvick. Bill last raced a Cup Series car in 2012.
For Chase, who also gave car owner Rick Hendrick his 250th Cup Series victory with the win, it was a relief to finally get that first one.
“A lot of relief, a lot of emotion in general, but definitely relief would be one way to describe it,” Chase said. “I’ve left these races pretty down over the past couple of years at times. I came here with a great opportunity today, and I was able to get it done.”
Bill, who served as a spotter for his son’s winning ride, hopes it’s the first of many more victories – and many more family coincidences – to come.
“It’s just sometimes certain things line up and you can’t ask what or why things worked that particular way,” Bill said. “I think it will give him confidence to continue on where he needs to be.”
As he closed out his winner’s interview with NBC Sports on Sunday, Chase looked into the camera and said, “Let’s go get some more.”
Based on their reaction, NASCAR fans will be happy if it’s many, many more. H&A
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