“Expectations Are Very Low” – Chase Elliott Not Focused on Results but on Learning Process at Chili Bowl Nationals

Published 01/08/2021, 7:45 AM EST
AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 08: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, and his father Bill Elliott pose for a photo after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Season Finale 500 and the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott is getting ready for his maiden appearance in the Chili Bowl Nationals. He recently ran the Carolina Midget Showdown at Millbridge Speedway, as a pre-cursor to the Chili Bowl, which is an iconic dirt track event.

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For the 25-year-old superstar, it is all about learning as he sets his expectations for the big event in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He feels that he has a tough time ahead of him in a midget car next week at the Chili Bowl Nationals.

“I think I have a lot to learn, and I think next week is gonna be really, really hard,” Elliott said during an interview with Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

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While many expect the NASCAR champion to strongly come out of the blocks on the dirt tracks in Tulsa, Elliott himself is playing it safe. He does not expect great results from himself and again stressed the importance of learning as much as he can.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – OCTOBER 28: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Hooters Give a Hoot Chevrolet, enters his car to start the NASCAR Cup Series Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Chase Elliott lays down expectations for Chili Bowl debut

“My expectations are very low. But I do just want to learn, continue to do that, and make all the laps out there. Wherever we run, we run. Just try to learn the right way,” Elliott further expressed.

At the same time, Elliott is extracting as much information as he can from his run at Millbridge a few weeks ago, and adding to his knowledge base ahead of the trip to Tulsa for the Chili Bowl.


Recently, Elliott also spoke about the difference between the intensity levels required in NASCAR compared to dirt track racing, after his midget dirt race debut at Millbridge.

There is no waiting around. I think that’s the biggest difference for me, is just that the intensity level is up from the get-go and not in just the last 100 miles or so of one of our normal (NASCAR Cup Series) events,” he said.

Gaining help from Larson and Briscoe

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Ahead of the Chili Bowl event, Elliott can also lean on some words of wisdom from Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson and fellow Cup Series driver Chase Briscoe. They even helped Elliott greatly during the Millbridge event, as both drivers have a good amount of dirt racing experience.

And who better than Larson to get advice from, given that he is considered as one of the best drivers of the era on those tracks?

Elliott’s busy off-season will continue with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona race soon after the Chili Bowl Nationals.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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