Chase Elliott blogs about the World Series, sports connections
- Oct 27, 2011
- Team Hendrick
DAWSONVILLE, Ga. - We’ve sort of pumped the brakes on racing here lately. Most recently, we ran in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East last month at Dover (Del.), and since then I’ve raced some in super late models. But really, we’ve had a little bit of downtime with the way the season runs so I’ve had more time to focus on school work, gear up for my final K&N race of the season and watch baseball. This World Series has me hooked.
Now before last week, I really wouldn’t have considered myself a Rangers fan. I’ve always pulled for the Braves – first and foremost, that’s my team. But I was watching the World Series the other night, and the more I watched it, the more it seemed like the Rangers were the underdog. So I’ve been pulling for them ever since, and I figure I’ll pull for them all the way through. I don’t have a particular connection to either team, but I thought it would make for a heck of a game if they came back and won. Now we’re at Game 6, and they lead the Series 3-2, so I guess we’ll see if Texas can win its first championship.
If I had to pick a favorite baseball player, I’d go with Brian McCann, a catcher for the Braves. He’s gotta be up there on my list. The cool thing about him is he grew up a really big fan of the Braves, and he always was a huge fan of John Smoltz. He grew up, followed his dreams and sure enough, he started playing for the Braves. John Smoltz led that team a little bit ago, and now Brian has stepped up into the mix. I think that’s really cool when someone can grow up and like somebody so much and then go play on the same team as he did. It’s a cool story, and honestly, it makes me think about Denny Hamlin. He was a big Bill Elliott fan, and then he grew up to have dad’s crew chief (Mike Ford) so there’s a connection there, too.
It also makes me think a little bit about my future. I respect every driver in the (NASCAR Sprint Cup) Series, but I really admire Jimmie Johnson. Even before I signed with Hendrick Motorsports, I would have called myself a Jimmie Johnson fan. He’s the man in my eyes. It’s unreal to me what he did in his very first season, and he’s just continued to do so well. I don’t think he’s ever finished worse than fifth in the standings, and I wasn’t aware of that until just a couple of months ago, but that’s unbelievable. To me, just how fast he adapted to the Sprint Cup Series and how tough it is to succeed there; that’s pretty big for him to have dominated as much as he has. He might not have been my favorite driver when I was younger, but I certainly admire him now. And who knows, maybe that will be my connection one day. But then again, just to drive in the Sprint Cup Series would be a dream come true.
My team has several races left in the season (click here for the schedule and here to follow me on Twitter), but I’m pretty excited about competing at Phoenix International Raceway in the K&N Pro Series West on Nov. 12. Running in the K&N East this season has been a big learning experience for me. It’s ridiculous how competitive that Series is and just how much talent is out there – not only by the drivers but within each and every team. There are some really good guys that work throughout that Series. It’s extremely tough to win, but I feel like we can do it.
Note: About once a month, Chase Elliott, a Hendrick Motorsports driver, is taking time between high school classes, racing in various series and just being a teenager to let us know how he’s doing. Check out photos from Elliott’s last two K&N Pro Series East Races at Dover (Del.) International Speedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway by clicking here.