This time last year, Chase Elliot had no plans for the 2014 season after his primary sponsor, Aaron’s, had left. 2013 was Elliot’s introductory season into the premier series of NASCAR, running a handful of Camping World Truck Series races and even collecting a win.
In late December 2013, NAPA teamed up with JR Motorsports and Chase Elliot as the driver to run the No.9 fulltime in the Nationwide series for 2014. Many were excited to watch the talented Elliot take on some of NASCAR’s best, but few expected him to be a true contender. Early on Elliot showed his maturity and talent with strong solid finishes, and a statement victory at Texas. No one thought that the week after his first victory that Elliott would be in victory lane again at a track such as Darlington.
Elliot was proving that he was going to be a contender for the Championship, and he didn’t disappoint. He took over the points lead after Chicagoland and never went back. The team never pushed the edge to be in victory lane each week. Elliott used his talents and maturity to do exactly what he needed to do: stay ahead and finish strong. Chase Elliot entered this previous Saturday’s race at Phoenix only needing to finish ahead of teammate Regan Smith to become the youngest champion in series history. He was able to lock in the championship by doing just that. At a mere eighteen years old, Elliot became a champion, when a year ago he didn’t even have plans for 2014.