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“It Kept My Head in the Game”: Chase Elliott Credited His NASCAR Championship Success to His Father’s Stringent Demands in a 2021 Interview

Published 01/16/2023, 10:30 AM EST

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Success and sacrifice always go hand-in-hand. No one knows this better than elite sportspersons. Many of them learn (or are made to learn) to give up the smaller pleasures in search of the big W right from their childhood. In that way, Chase Elliott was lucky and privileged. Not because he didn’t have to make sacrifices, but because he had someone to guide him correctly right at home.

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Bill Elliott is one of the greatest drivers NASCAR has ever produced. He did things that few others could emulate ever again—most famously, his 1984 Winston Million, which led to him being named Million Dollar Bill. His son and protege, Chase Elliott, has shown a similar level of talent and ability during his short time in NASCAR.

Learning from the best – Bill Elliott


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A YouTube video from 2021 shows Chase discussing how his father has mentored him in the Cup Series as well as racing in general. To win a Cup Series at such a young age could easily make one complacent or arrogant. But that did not happen with Chase. And though a lot of credit must go to Chase himself and his team at Hendrick Motorsports, one must also give Bill a large share of that credit.

FORT WORTH, TX – APRIL 04: Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning his parents Cindy (L) and Bill (R) the NASCAR Nationwide Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)


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He mentioned in the video, “My dad’s not a one-liner guy that says some quote that changed my life as a kid or as an adult. When I was growing up racing, he always made it clear that there’s a lot that goes into this. He made me appreciate the larger picture of how much goes into racing. It’s not a cheap thing to go do.”

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Quite possibly, Chase racked up quite a few wins during his childhood. But Bill didn’t let those wins “go to his head.”

Mentality and attitude of Chase Elliott

It’s easy to forget that actions have consequences; it’s even easier to forget actions might have consequences for people other than yourself. Bill also never failed to let Chase know how much his actions affect others.


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He clarified, “When you start racing cars, there are other people depending on these race shops and these race teams. That’s their livelihood, they have families at home. There’s a lot of people that are involved. More than anything, just respecting the bigger picture.” 

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Other habits too, like concentrating on the job, were instilled in Chase right from the start. “Even as a kid, we always tried to go to the racetrack and it was very clear—if we were at a racetrack, we were there to race. We weren’t there to chitchat, we weren’t there to be in the clique and go walk around with everybody and talk about everybody, and hang out and gossip. We were there to race,” he said in the video. 


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Watch This Story: Chase Elliott’s Humble 3-Word Response to His Success Proved That The Hendrick Motorsports Star Had Wisdom Beyond His Years in 2020

The influence of a coach on an athlete can never be understated. It’s their work of art, and Chase is one such masterpiece.



Abhay Tyagi

514 articles

Abhay Tyagi is a Formula 1 Author at EssentiallySports. Although he has completed his undergrad in Law and Management, he has always been eager to venture into the exciting field of sports journalism. With a special affinity for Engineering and Speed, Abhay has always found the world of Formula 1 quite exhilarating.

Edited By: Nischal Kandpal