BRISTOL, Tenn. – Chase Elliott collected the checkered flag and soaked in the sounds of fans in the grandstands. The spectators at Bristol Motor Speedway surged to the fence, chanted “USA! USA!” and celebrated NASCAR's most popular driver.
Cue the siren at the Dawsonville Pool Room — another Elliott is an All-Star winner.
Chase Elliott joined his father, Hall of Famer “Awesome” Bill Elliott, as winner of NASCAR's annual All-Star race, earning the $1 million prize Wednesday in front of limited spectators at the Tennessee track.
“Tonight felt like an event again and I felt like we’ve been missing that piece for a couple months,” said Elliott, who won races at Charlotte in the Cup Series and Truck Series with no fans. "It felt good to have NASCAR back. NASCAR is about the fans. I felt like the vibe was back.”
Back in his Georgia hometown, the pool room marks every win by the father or son by blaring its horn no matter the time of day or night.
“I hope someone got a good video of it for me,” Elliott said. “That's such a special tradition.”
Over in victory lane, the normally reserved Elliott celebrated like never before. He accepted the track's gladiator sword trophy and waved it in the air, stabbed it toward his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet — he drives No. 9, just like his father did — and pretended to vanquish his foes with it in his celebration.
“What a special race to win. It’s extremely special to join Dad in winning this race,” Elliott said. “To me this is one of the prestigious events on the schedule. There’s a lot of hype around it. It means a lot to me .... you are racing against the very best. To beat the best is always special.”