Chase Elliott Remembers First NASCAR Meeting With Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon at Hendrick

Published 02/08/2021, 5:00 AM EST
LONG POND, PA – JUNE 01: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet, talk in the garage during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)


Back in 2015, Chase Elliott made his Cup Series debut with the Hendrick Motorsports team. Straightaway, he was shoved right into one of the top NASCAR teams, which is a little intimidating for a rookie. In a recent interview, Elliott cast his mind back to when he first stepped into the Hendrick Motorsports office.

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“The first thing that comes to my mind is that first meeting I stepped into in 2015. I walk into this room and you got Jeff [Gordon], Jimmie [Johnson], Dale [Earnhardt Jr], and Kasey [Kahne]. I’m like, ‘I don’t belong in here’. I shouldn’t be here.

“Just to watch each of those guys step away and watch that room transition into what it’s going to look like this year, is crazy,” he said.

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Chase Elliott is looking forward to linking up with his new teammates

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Now, Elliott is partnering a new set of drivers. Dale Jr and Kasey Kahne have long since walked away, and Jimmie Johnson was the latest one to leave the nest. Taking their places in the Hendrick Motorsports camp are Alex Bowman, William Byron, and newcomer, Kyle Larson.

Avondale, Arizona, USA; NASCAR driver Chase Elliott celebrates with the checkered flag after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking about his new teammates, Elliott insisted, “I think HMS is an exciting place to be right now. For young drivers, for hungry drivers. Four guys who I think can compete at a really high level. Hopefully, we can all push each other to be better and get HMS to where it belongs.”

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Aside from the #9 driver, Bowman, Byron, and Larson are top-class drivers. They all definitely deserve their HMS seats and will surely help the outfit to another title. However, their rivals in Joe Gibbs, Stewart-Haas, and Penske, will not make things easy for them in 2021. At the same time, it is every man for himself in the driver’s championship.

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Dhruv George

12143 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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