DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Chase Elliott isn't really sure what he has accomplished the last two weeks in becoming the youngest Nationwide driver with multiple victories.
Elliott acknowledged he was still in shock over his first series win at Texas Motor Speedway when he doubled up at Darlington Raceway, coming from back in the pack the final two laps on Friday night for a second consecutive triumph.
"Me telling you guys that last week, I still can't believe that, I'm not lying to you," Elliott told The Associated Press on Saturday. "Last week was really a dream come true. To come out of Texas with the win was unbelievable. I'm still not sure I completely believe that, much less to come out with a win at Darlington, that's crazy. I don't know what to think."
Elliott certainly has the pedigree to succeed at NASCAR as the son of Sprint Cup great Bill Elliott. Yet, Chase was never pushed into the sport by his father, growing to love it as he watched Bill Elliott compete toward the tail end of a stellar career.
"It was never forced upon me by any means," Elliott said of his dad. "He pushed me to be the best I could be because that was my decision. He's not one of those dads that force you to do something because they want you to do it."
Apparently, the younger Elliott does that really well.
He outran Kevin Harvick last week at Texas, then moved past veterans Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler after a late restart to win at Darlington in his first time at the track. Elliott has the points lead (by 7 over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith) and can't wait to relocate from his Dawsonville, Ga., home to the team's race shop in Mooresville, N.C., once he graduates high school next month.
"I think about racing nonstop, whether I'm at school or over at the race track, it really doesn't matter," Chase Elliott said.
So while friends and classmates discuss cut days, vacations and college plans, Elliott focuses on the next race.
Watching Chase compete in late model cars, Bill Elliott thought his son had the driving ability to succeed in the sport. It's the mental makeup of handling the ups and downs that come with NASCAR Bill Elliott works to instill in Chase.