CONCORD, N.C. -- Chase Elliott’s ride for the first playoff race of the year will have special patient-designed art as part of his “DESI9N TO DRIVE” initiative with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Children’s).
The Chase Elliott Foundation and NAPA AUTO PARTS teamed up during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month to have the designs, created by cancer patients at Children’s, adorn the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE for the race at Darlington Raceway in September. Along with the sketches for the car, Elliott will don a firesuit, gloves, helmet and shoes designed by the patients at Children’s.
“It is just something different,” Elliott said. “We all try to come up with unique ideas to help a good cause and for us – this was one that I felt made sense. It’s been a way to get kids involved from Children’s to linking my teammates here and make it a little bigger than just me. It was a unique way to do something different, and I feel like it has fit us fairly well.”
Like in years past when Elliott has implemented his “DESI9N TO DRIVE” campaign, Hendrick Motorsports teammates Kyle Larson, William Byron and Alex Bowman all will sports shoes that also were designed by Children’s patients.
“I appreciate my teammates being a part and being open to helping our cause,” Elliott said. “It’s been a good deal. Every year we have done it’s been successful, and people have enjoyed it. Their contribution has made it bigger, and I have always been grateful for that.”
The adapted designs were submitted by eight patients at the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s, ranging in age from 6 to 15 years old. Elliott said he’s grateful by the collaborative effort to make the drawings on the No. 9 NAPA/Children’s Chevrolet become a tangible NASCAR Cup Series scheme.
“It’s nothing crazy huge in the grand scheme of things, but for kids to be able to have the opportunity to design a car and be able to see it come to life on the racetrack, I think that is a super neat thing,” Elliott said. “I am excited to see it.”
“DESI9N TO DRIVE” has raised over $160,000 in donations to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta since the campaign started four years ago. All four sets of shoes the Hendrick Motorsports drivers will sport and Elliott’s firesuit, gloves and helmet will be auctioned off. Beginning Sept. 2 and closing Sept. 8, the NASCAR Foundation’s auction page on eBay will be live with the authenticated items. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Chase Elliott Foundation to benefit the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s.
“NAPA is not necessarily giving up one of their primary races but allowing Children’s to be a part of it,” Elliott said. “To take an event that was just a shoe design to being all the way on the car, on the suit, on the helmet; I think all of those things are extremely special. I am grateful for them being open and willing and excited about it enough to partner up and make it happen.”
Fans can see Elliott’s patient-designed scheme come to life at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, Sept. 5. The first playoff race of the 2021 season will begin at 6 p.m. on NBCSN. Click here to see the special No. 9 NAPA/Children’s Chevrolet from all angles.