Considering his sponsor and his successes, Chase Elliott’s year of racing on the short tracks of the Gulf Coast region might be best described as an “Aaron’s Dream Season.”
On Friday at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., Elliott wrapped up the track’s Blizzard Series in fitting fashion by defeating the always-tough Augie Grill to win the series-ending race. Then on Saturday at Mobile International Speedway, his eighth-place finish, while not up to his usual standards, was good enough to secure that track’s Miller Lite Series title and give him the Sunoco Gulf Coast Championship that goes to the driver who performs best in the series of races at Five Flags and Mobile. He became the first, and at 14 the youngest driver, to sweep the three titles.
“First off I just want to say that none of this would have been possible without Aaron’s and the 110-percent effort that my team puts in to these cars,” Elliott said. “I am truly grateful for everyone’s support.”
Elliott started his weekend by putting the Aaron’s Dream Machine on the pole at Five Flags, the first pole of his career at that track. And to do it he had to beat two tough rivals – Bubba Pollard and Augie Grill.
Elliott rolled a six for the invert making the starting lineup T.J. Reaid, Donnie Wilson, Eddie Mercer, Grill, Pollard and Elliott.
Once the quest for the championships was under way, Elliott began to work on Pollard for the fifth position. He took that spot on lap 18 and steadily worked his way to Mercer, passing him for fourth on lap 32. He took third from Grill on lap 38.
At the end of the race’s first 50-lap segment, Elliott rbought the Aaron’s Dream machine to the attention of his crew for no adjustments and two right side tires.
Three laps after the restart, Elliott passed Wilson for the second position then nine laps later drove by Reaid to take the lead.
Meanwhile, Grill was on the move with a hard charge from his sixth place starting position in the second segment. He moved into the second position and was reeling Elliott in for what was setting up to be another duel between the two competitors, but Grill’s car gave up late in the run and Elliott secured his second win at Five Flags Speedway along with his first title in a Super Late Model series.