DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Daytona Speedweeks are busy for everyone, as Chase Elliott can attest.
“The Daytona 500 week, even on the XFINITY side, was busy,” he said.
Multiply that by a lot when you’re actually part of the Daytona 500 as a driver.
And the ante is upped even further when you’re the pole-sitter for the Great American Race.
“It's been a lot of fun,” Elliott smiled. “It's been very busy, but that's part of this week kind of getting geared up."
With that in mind, we thought we would take a look at what life is like for the Daytona 500 pole-winner in 48 hours – give or take – after the achievement.
Without further ado, let’s start just after Elliott won the pole, at 2:38 p.m. ET on Sunday.
SUNDAY, FEB. 14
2:42 p.m. ET: Elliott begins his media responsibilities with an on-air interview with new FOX analyst Jeff Gordon, who just so happens to have won the Daytona 500 pole the year prior in the No. 24 Chevrolet SS Elliott will pilot in 2016.
2:46 p.m. ET: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick calls the rookie to congratulate him on his accomplishment. From there, Elliott moves on to several photo shoots, moving from the front stretch to the pole board and eventually Victory Lane.
3:13 p.m. ET: Elliott arrives at Victory Lane for team photos and the pole award presentation. He talks with local media before heading to the media center, when he steps to the podium to address the gathered press. He appears live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio with Claire B. Lang before moving on to a satellite media tour with local stations around the country.
“Just to enjoy it,” Elliott said of his father’s advice for his pole win. “Things go by quick. Don't try to, you know, rush through it too fast. Definitely just try to take it as it comes.”
5:15 p.m. ET: After a little more than an hour on his satellite media tour, Elliott’s daily responsibilities come to a close and he is free to head back to his motorhome. But the pole-sitter has plenty more activities ahead of him.
MONDAY, FEB. 15
9:45 a.m. ET: Elliott arrives at the NASCAR hangar for a trip to Atlanta Motor Speedway. One hour and 18 minutes later, he is at Atlanta South Regional Airport, where he hops into a car to ride to the track. From there, an autograph session, some lunch and a NASCAR social media video await all before noon.
12 p.m. ET: The media obligations begin with a Florida Times-Union interview, followed by chats with FOX Sports South, MRN, FOX Sports 1 and ultimately a full press conference for the media in attendance.
1:16 p.m. ET: With more questions from reporters following the press conference out of the way, Elliott begins meet-and-greet sessions with Atlanta Motor Speedway sponsors and ticket holders – the first 10 fans to purchase tickets for this month’s race on Sunday, Feb. 28.
1:25 p.m. ET: Pace car rides are up next, and Elliott hops behind the wheel and hits the track.
2:57 p.m. ET: After one more radio call-in, Elliott arrives back at the airport, bound once again for Daytona.
3:58 p.m. ET: Touchdown in Daytona. One more live radio interview – this one with Bleacher Report – is all that stands between Elliott and a free evening after heading back to his coach.
TUESDAY, FEB. 16
7:50 a.m. ET: Elliott leaves his motorhome and makes his way toward his very first Daytona 500 media day. After getting mic’d up, his first stop is a one-on-one interview with HendrickMotorsports.com. Another busy day awaits, but he made sure to catch up on his sleep in preparation.
"I got a good bit last night, which was good,” he smiled. “I'm good to go, ready for today. Obviously looking more forward to getting on the track and kind of getting the competition side rolling again."
8:15 a.m. ET: An appearance in the “Hollywood Hotel” for FOX Sports 1 kicks off the next string of media for the pole-sitter. From there, interviews with MRN, NASCAR.com and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio await before the rookie heads up to the third floor for some photography.
8:52 a.m. ET: Elliott tapes a handful of answers for “Jeopardy,” then poses for photo shoots with Goodyear, NASCAR digital and Getty Images before heading back downstairs for more interviews, including one with FOX Sports 1.
9:24 a.m. ET: A group interview with print media is followed by a trip to the red carpet to talk with multimedia journalists near the Daytona 500 trophy. The end of the carpet means a segment with FOX’s @TheBuzzer, then Elliott chats with NASCAR social media and poses for more photos in hats representing the No. 24 team’s partners.
10:08 a.m. ET: Some quick autograph signing leads into a NASCAR Productions shoot, then more shoots and interviews with Big Hoss, PRN, MRN, XFINITY, ISC tracks and Sprint Vision before the rookie prepares for a live appearance on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
11:28 a.m. ET: Elliott is live on “SportsCenter,” then chats with the New York Times and New York Daily News before one final shoot in a hangar with FOX Sports.
1:30 p.m. ET: The next part of Elliott’s day awaits, as he departs the FOX shoot and heads to Yelvington Jet Aviation Hangar. There, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds await. Over the next two hours, Elliott goes through flight training, medical training and his pilot briefing before walking from the hangar to the planes.
4:03 p.m. ET: After meeting with some pre-flight media – including FOX and NASCAR.com – Elliott suits up and is strapped into the plane. With pre-flight inspections underway, his once-in-a-lifetime flight is mere moments away.
4:33 p.m. ET: The planes – one carrying Elliott and one carrying his father Bill -- start rolling toward the runway.
4:41 p.m. ET: The planes take off.
5:30 p.m. ET: The planes land, and seven minutes later Elliott climbs out of the cockpit with a smile on his face.
5:39 p.m. ET: The Thunderbirds’ post-flight ceremony – including an opportunity for photography – begins. Elliott chats with NASCAR.com and FOX about the experience and then poses for family photos.
5:53 p.m. ET: One more interview – this one with Yahoo! Sports – closes out Elliott’s first Daytona 500 media day. He leaves the hangar and heads off for dinner with his family, capping off a wild 48-plus hours for the pole-winner.
“As I've said a few times, I think until we get to Sunday -- or maybe even Thursday night rolling off the grid to run an actual race in a Cup car -- I think that's when it's all going to hit me a little bit more,” he said.