NASCAR fans really took to Chase Elliott during the 2017 season, and the son of the sport’s 16-time most popular driver, Bill Elliott, unsurprisingly enjoyed the attention.
Hamlin spun Elliott out of the lead at Martinsville, prompting a No. 24 fan to confront Hamlin after the race. The support for Elliott continued the following race at Texas Motor Speedway, where a sign dubbed the 22-year-old “The People’s Champion.”
“It was crazy to see the fire from people — and it fires me up, too,” Elliott said. “And I think it fires the team up. We want to keep getting better and carry some of that fire over into next season if we can.”
Although Elliott reportedly still feels there’s no need to discuss the wreck further, he did note that the enormity of what was on the line was the biggest reason the incident bothered him.
“The stakes are high. Those three weeks leading into Homestead are huge,” Elliott told Motorsport.com. “We were in a position where we didn’t necessarily have to win to make it to Homestead, but almost, probably was going to have to win one of those three weeks.”
Elliott finished second on five occasions in 2017, though former NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon suggests the Hendrick Motorsports driver’s first win isn’t far off.
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