The son of a Hall of Famer and heir to one of the sport’s most famous rides, Chase Elliott is on the cusp of leading the sport into the future. With a country crooner’s deep voice and Georgia drawl set against dark eyes and acne-free complexion, it’s hard to imagine that he doesn’t turn 20 until after this season.
In the car, he’s deft, deliberate and determined, winning three races and the Xfinity Series title last season and anointed to drive Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 car next year. Elliott’s greatest challenge, though, might not come from Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick or Tony Stewart, but how he handles the attention as the new face of the sport amid an emerging crop of racers.
While expectations are high, Elliott understands it all comes down to performance.
“At the end of the day, you just have to sit back and realize that no matter what your last name is, who your granddad is, who is your dad is, uncle, it doesn’t matter,’’ he told NBCSports.com. “If you don’t get the job done, you’re not going to be around long.’’