Talladega Superspeedway

Chase Elliott sports shoes honoring father’s historic 1987 qualifying run at Talladega

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Talladega Superspeedway is big part of the Elliott family’s history and this weekend marks the anniversary of one of its most iconic moments.

Thirty years ago, Bill Elliott set the NASCAR record for fastest qualifying average with a speed of 212.809 mph qualifying for the Winston 500. It’s a mark that stands today.

The top qualifying speed in the last two Cup races at Talladega were 193.423 mph and 192.661 mph.

Elliott’s son, Chase Elliott, showed up to the 2.66-mile track Friday with a special set of shoes to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the event.

The shoes resemble the Coors Light paint scheme Bill Elliott drove during his time with Melling Racing in the 1980s. The pair has the car’s No. 9 on it as well the slogan “World’s Fastest Car.”

30 years ago this weekend the ole 9 ran 212 here at Talladega, these kicks have me fired up! Pretty damn cool.

A post shared by Chase Elliott (@chaseelliott24) on

“I’m really excited about them,” Chase Elliott said Friday. “I would take them off and show you but it would take me a minute to get them off. … That car, he still has a few of his Coors cars in the shop and I always think it’s cool to look at them and see how they were built, what they put into them and just how simple everything was.”

Bill Elliott won at Talladega twice in 1985 and 1987 while also claiming six straight poles. His first win in 1985 was the biggest come from behind victory in NASCAR history.

His Talladega record came three months after he set the record at Daytona with a speed of 210.364 mph.

“At Talladega you don’t feel the speed like you do at Daytona because of the transitions and tightness of the corners,” the NASCAR Hall of Famer said in a release from Ford. “Talladega was built for those speeds and the transitions were so much easier. You picked up the bank before you got to the corner at Talladega while Daytona was totally the opposite, you kind of ran in the corner before you picked up all of the banking.”

The 1988 Cup champion said one of the keys to make his No. 9 Ford – or any other car – a rocket ship was in how the rear spoiler was handled.

“You still had to do everything you could to make the car really uncomfortable to run fast,” Bill Elliott said. “There were guys over there before qualifying taking the rear spoilers off, but you couldn’t drive them. You had to have a little bit of downforce or you couldn’t drive them, so you just had to get to that point where you took as much off as you could and still be able to make it around the race track.”

“Awesome Bill” said his qualifying mark put an “exclamation point” on his families’ legacy in the sport.

“We came out of nothing,” Elliott said. “We came out of a little town in Dawsonville, Georgia that wasn’t even on the map. We were kind of like David and Goliath with what we did and what we accomplished.”

The record remains in place in part to NASCAR’s restrictor plates that rob engines of horsepower.

But would Chase Elliott, who has three poles – all at restrictor plate tracks, including one at Talladega – be willing to drive his father’s record-setting car for a few hot laps?

“I don’t know that I can handle it,” the 2016 Cup Rookie of the Year said. “I would definitely try, I would love to give it a shot. But I don’t know I have what it takes to hold it wide open. That’s not easy, back then. They laid the spoiler back and I remember dad telling me stories. They’d basically keep leaning it back until he couldn’t take it anymore. That’s how they figured out when to stop. Kept pushing the limit until he couldn’t drive it, which is pretty cool, really.”

The car Bill Elliott set the record with was donated to the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn, Michigan, by team owner Harry Melling. Like the record in the history books, that’s where it remains today.

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NASCAR on NBC podcast, Ep. 90: Roger Slack

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Eldora Speedway general manager Roger Slack joined the NASCAR on NBC podcast to discuss his track’s past, present and possible future with NASCAR.

Slack detailed the run-up to the initial “secret” test with Tony Stewart and Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon that led to scheduling a Camping World Truck Series race that recently completed its fifth edition.

Slack also discussed the storied history of Eldora, which opened in 1954 and was bought by Stewart 50 years later.

You can listen to the podcast by clicking on the AudioBoom embed below or download and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts by clicking here. The free subscription will provide automatic downloads of new episodes to your smartphone.

It also is available on Stitcher by clicking here and also can be found on Google Play, Spotify and a host of other smartphone apps.

NASCAR America: How Daniel Suarez found out he was replacing Carl Edwards (video)

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On Wednesday’s edition of NASCAR America, Daniel Suarez recalled the moment he got the call that he was being promoted to replace Carl Edwards in the NASCAR Cup Series at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Suarez was at dinner back home in Mexico with family and friends when JGR officials called and him to be ready for a teleconference in a few moments.

Suarez stepped away, telling his dinner partners he’d be back shortly — which ultimately lasted 40 minutes.

When he returned to the dinner table, he couldn’t tell anything about the phone call — JGR officials swore him to secrecy — but he eventually revealed that he had been promoted to the NASCAR Cup Series to replace Edwards, who had decided to take a hiatus from his racing career.

Check out the video above.



NASCAR America: What Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other (video)

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Daniel Suarez appeared on Wednesday’s live broadcast of NASCAR America from the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina,

One of the funniest segments of Suarez’s visit was a video and verbal collage of how much he and his fellow Joe Gibbs Racing teammates really think of each other — all in good humor, of course.

Check out the video above where Suarez, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch answer the “tough questions” about themselves, as well as how they feel about their fellow teammates.

NASCAR America: Daniel Suarez’s journey from Mexico and VW Beetles to NASCAR champion (video)

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In winning last year’s Xfinity Series championship, Mexican native Daniel Suarez became NASCAR’s first international champion.

It was the culmination of a journey that began with his father and, interestingly enough, Volkswagen Beetles.

Check out Suarez’s story and the thoughts about his success and prowess by our NASCAR America analysts in the video above.

Speaking of VW Beetles, Suarez’s father sold his restoration shop to fund his son’s racing dream. Years later, Daniel repaid his father by purchasing a new restoration shop for him. See the video below.