Chase Elliott has time and again expressed that his interest in trying different forms of racing is not new, but has been a long-term interest. He has always been intrigued by these different forms, midget racing in particular.
However, a particular NASCAR legend and Hall of Famer played a big role in developing Elliott’s interest in the same. He is none other than Tony Stewart, with who Elliott has shared a great relationship since he was a little kid.
Recently, the newest NASCAR Cup champion threw light on Stewart’s contribution and their budding relationship for many years. Stewart had an important role to play in helping Elliott pursue various forms of racing.
“Grew up a big Tony Stewart fan. So obviously he wanted me to do all that stuff, I feel like, as a kid,” Elliott said during an interview.
“He was always joking with dad about getting me in a midget, quarter midgets, and stuff when I was little. He actually gave me a quarter midget when I was little,” Elliott added.
Chase was able to explore the NASCAR world quite early through his father, Bill, a former NASCAR Cup champion himself. That was when he interacted with Stewart a lot, who was always kind to young Chase, the now 25-year-old said.
“Tony was always just really kind to me as a kid. He was always that other driver who would take two seconds out of his grid walk to stop by and pick me up, or you know, try to tickle you, or whatever as a kid. When you’re a kid, that’s a big deal, right?” Elliott Jr expressed.
Even as a NASCAR fan, Chase looked up to Stewart a lot, who was at his peak at the time. The three-time former champion still took that extra effort to make the youngster feel comfortable.
“My dad was a star at the time. But you’re always looking outside of that, outside of him too. Tony was the guy with a lot of success, and he was really kind to me. He was really involved, I think he was kinder than most for whatever reason and I respect that,” Elliott added.
He went on to say that Stewart would even send him die-casts of sprint cars during Christmas. That was a big deal for a young fanboy, and Chase Elliott highly respects those gestures.
He will tick another one off his racing bucket list this coming week, making his debut appearance in the prestigious Chili Bowl Nationals.