DAWSONVILLE, Georgia — Chase Elliott’s record in the ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour has seen highs and lows. With strong runs against many experienced drivers, including three top-10’s, the 13-year-old Dawsonville, Ga., native also suffered his only career DNF in the competitive series, and his run Saturday night at Montgomery (Ala.) Motor Speedway encompassed the high and the low. After moving the No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine into the lead on lap 81 of the Gateway 100, Elliott looked to be on his way to his third career win with one of the strongest cars in the field. Unfortunately, that run was cut short when another competitor took him out and handed Elliott his second career DNF.
“It was a weekend of learning at Montgomery,” Elliott said as he reflected on the race. “Not only about racing and saving your equipment for the end, but also realizing who you are racing around. It was disappointing, but we will go back better prepared with the knowledge we gained.”
After qualifying sixth in a field of 28, including series hotshots TJ Reaid, Jason Hogan and Jeff Choquette and MMS veteran Augie Grill, Elliott drew a “three” to move him up to third for the start of the ASA SAT Gateway 100.
As the green flag waved, Elliott opted to set his own pace to save his tires for the end of the 100-lap race, dropping him to fifth, where he stayed until the No. 92 of Hogan got around him on lap 11. After dropping back to ninth on the first restart on lap 14, Elliott moved his way back up to seventh by lap 27.
On lap 34, Elliott reported that one of the cars in front of him was leaking fluid, covering his windshield as Elliott worked the Aaron’s Dream Machine around the half-mile oval. Even with the obstructed view, Elliott still managed to get around John Bolen on lap 55 to take over sixth place. The yellow flag flew on the next lap, and officials determined that the No. 6 was indeed leaking fluid and directed him to pit road, moving Elliott into fifth for the restart.
Two laps into the green flag run, Elliott picked up fourth from Clay Alexander and then made his way around Grill to move into third on lap 58. After picking up two positions in three laps and still running with a dirty windshield, Elliott reported on lap 66 to his crew simply, “The car isn’t too bad.”
Elliott backed up that report on the next lap as he pressured No. X2 Dennis Reno for second just as the caution waved. Under the yellow, ASA SAT officials allowed the field to clean their windshields from the fluid leaked by the No. 6 earlier in the race.
After restarting third, Elliott rode around in third behind Hogan and Reno until the next caution on lap 80. On the restart, Reno made a pass on Hogan for the lead, and Elliott followed into second, bumping Hogan back to third.
On lap 81, Elliott – who appeared to have the strongest car in the 28-car field – cleared Reno for the lead. Reno, who spun his tires on the restart, drove hard into the corner and sent Elliott spinning, ending his night early. ASA SAT officials cited Reno for rough driving and moved him to the back of the line; Reno was then parked by series officials for the remainder of the race for an incident in the pits, not directly related to the on-track incident.
The penalty, of course, did little to ease the disappointment of running up front in the final laps as Elliott searched for his first win in the competitive ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour – only to come up short of the checkers. Ultimately, Elliott was credited with a 13th-place finish in the Gateway 100 at Montgomery Motor Speedway.
The Gateway 100 is one of several televised ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour races in 2009. Stay tuned to www.ChaseElliott.com and www.ASASoutheastAsphaltTour.com for more information on the television schedule.
Elliott and the No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine team will head to their home track, Lanier National Speedway (Braselton, Ga.), this Saturday, August 1, looking to put this race behind them as they return to the location of their first Late Model win. Elliott, who has two Georgia Asphalt Series wins – one at Lanier and one at Watermelon Capital Speedway (Cordele, Ga.) – currently leads the season championship standings.
For more information about Chase Elliott, including his Late Model schedule and personal race blog, please visit the newly launched www.ChaseElliott.com.
GAS Race Results
Montgomery Motor Speedway
July 25, 2009
1. TJ Reaid
2. Jason Hogan
3. Paul Kelley
4. John Bolen
5. Augie Grill
6. Tyler Miles
7. Tim Russell
8. Stephen Nasse
9. Justin Caton
10. Parker Hammons
11. Jeff Choquette
12. Jerrod Foley
13. Chase Elliott
14. Dennis Reno
15. Shanky Smith
16. Clay Alexander
17. Blake Ferguson
18. Tyler Caton
19. Chance Atkins
20. David Elliott
21. Wayne Anderson
22. Hunter Robbins
23. Tyler Millwood
24. Allen Gordan
25. Max Gresham
26. Chase Knox
27. Terry Horak
28. Bobby Knox
About Aaron’s: Aaron's Sales & Lease Ownership stores offer customers access to high-quality furniture, appliances, electronics and computers for sale or as a lease-ownership arrangement. Customers have the option of buying their merchandise for an attractive cash price or opting to lease their merchandise for even greater flexibility. With a lease option, customers make modest monthly payments and have the immediate use of the items they need without waiting for credit checks or other delays. Plus, Aaron's will take care of delivery, setup, repairs, and more for the duration of a customer's lease.
The Aaron's concept has proven to be successful for half a century; in fact, the very first Aaron's location opened in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1955. Aaron's is a leader in the sale and lease ownership of residential furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances, with more than 1,500 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada. The Company also manufactures an exclusive line of furniture, bedding and accessories at 10 facilities in four states.
For more information, please visit shopaarons.com.
About Bill Elliott Racing: In 2008, NASCAR legend Bill Elliott launched a Driver Development program as an extension of Bill Elliott Racing. Based on the principles of teamwork, strong work ethic and positive attitudes, the program aims to guide young drivers through the highs and lows of life in auto racing and to make them leaders on and off the track.
Drivers will climb through the ranks of asphalt racing, starting in the Legends Racing Series and move up to Pro Late Model stock cars – including the Georgia Asphalt Series (GAS) and ASA Racing – and onto Super Late Models in series such as the Champion Racing Association (CRA) Super Series. From there they will progress to the ARCA RE/MAX and other series that are age and talent specific. To encourage strong communication and clear feedback, drivers will also intermittently run dirt Late Models that reinforce car control and a thorough understanding of the feel of the car.
Please visit www.BillElliott.com for more information on the Bill Elliott Racing team and sponsors.
2009 RACE-BY-RACE RESULTS
Date Venue Series Qual Start Finish
3/28 South Georgia Motorsports Park ASA/LMSS 7 7 6
4/4 Watermelon Capital Speedway GAS 4 4 7
4/11 Lanier National Speedway ASA/SAT 16 16 6
4/17 Anderson Motor Speedway GAS 4 2 3
4/18 Montgomery Motor Speedway SPLMS 4 4 2
4/25 Dillon Motor Speedway ASA/SAT 6 5 9
5/9 Lanier National Speedway GAS, SUPER 6 2 2 1
5/30 Lanier National Speedway GAS, SUPER 6 2 4 6
6/6 Watermelon Capital Speedway ASA/SAT 23 23 22 (DNF)
6/13 South Alabama Speedway VIPER 5 2 3
6/27 Lanier National Speedway ASA/SAT 5 5 6
7/3 Lanier National Speedway GAS, SUPER 6 6 6 7
7/11 Orange County Speedway ASA/SAT 5 4 Rain Out
7/18 Watermelon Capital Speedway GAS 1 6 1
7/25 Montgomery Motor Speedway ASA/SAT 6 3 13 (DNF)
7/25 Lanier National Speedway GAS, SUPER 6
8/8 Anderson Motor Speedway ASA/SAT
8/15 Lanier National Speedway GAS, SUPER 6
8/22 South Georgia Motorsports Park GAS
8/29 Watermelon Capital Speedway ASA/LMSS
9/5 Lanier National Speedway GAS, SUPER 6
9/19 Watermelon Capital Speedway GAS
9/26 Hickory Motor Speedway ASA/SAT
10/31-11/1 * Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway GAS
11/13-15 ** Gresham Motorsports Park World Crown
12/2-6 *** Five Flags Speedway Snowball Derby
ASA/LMSS = ASA Late Model Series South
GAS = Georgia Asphalt Series
ASA/SAT = ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour
SPLMS = Southern Pro Late Model Series
SUPER 6 = Lanier National Speedway Super Six Series
VIPER = South Alabama Speedway PLM Viper Series