CONCORD, N.C. – Sunday at Watkins Glen International, Chase Elliott finally captured his elusive first NASCAR Cup Series win. It’s only fitting that his father was in attendance.
NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott famously earned eight second-place finishes before capturing his first career Cup Series victory at the road course of Riverside International Raceway in 1983.
Like father, like son: the younger Elliott also amassed eight runner-up results before his first win, which also happened to come at a road course.
“Sometimes, certain things line up and you can’t ask why or what or why things worked in that particular way,” the elder Elliott said.
Serving as an extra spotter for the No. 9 team at the 2.45-mile road course, Bill helped guide his son through the thrilling final laps of the win.
Chase said having his father in his ear for the entire ride made the moment all the more special.
“Just glad to have him here,” he said after the race. “He was pretty encouraging those last couple laps, which was certainly helpful. And I was able to get it done.”
Piecing together a clean race at “The Glen” is no easy task either, the elder Elliott observed.
“This is probably one of the toughest road courses that I’ve seen,” Bill said. “A lot of things have to go your way. It’s a very fast, demanding place, and the team did an awesome job.”
By Lap 27, the No. 9 team took its first lead of the day and held the lead to pick up a Stage 2 win.
Elliott lost his lead early in the final segment, but the driver raced back to the front out of a caution on Lap 57. He never looked back, holding the lead for the final 32 laps on the way to Victory Lane.
Though he joked that it wasn’t easy, Bill kept his cool on the radio as he helped guide his son to the checkered flag.
“I tried not to get any emotion at all there the last 20 laps or so,” he said. “Just try to watch cars and see what people were doing.”
The elder Elliott has enjoyed watching his son and the No. 9 team make continuous gains throughout the season. Though they had their struggles earlier in the season, Elliott sees things headed in the right direction for his son, the No. 9 team and Hendrick Motorsports as a whole.
“I’m proud of him, proud of the team,” Bill said. “They’ve worked really hard the last two-and-a-half years to put this together. (Hendrick Motorsports owner) Mr. (Rick) Hendrick has done a lot for this organization and done a lot for racing, and I’m proud to see him get back.”