DAWSONVILLE, Georgia — Chase Elliott and the No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine recorded another top-three finish in Saturday’s Georgia Asphalt Series Pro Late Model race at Lanier National Speedway (Braselton, Ga.). After qualifying fourth, thirteen-year-old Elliott benefited from the random inversion to start from the pole and went on to finish third in a rain-shortened race that saw only 88 of 100 laps complete.
“We definitely had a strong car, and I think that if we would have gotten to race all 100 laps, the Aaron’s Dream Machine would have been up there racing for the win,” Elliott said. “But that’s just how it goes sometimes. This was our first race with this new chassis, and I’m really happy with how it ran. Ricky (Turner) and the guys gave me another fast car, and I can’t thank them and Aaron’s and my mom and dad and everyone who helps out enough for giving me this opportunity. I’m really excited to go down to Pensacola (Fla.) next weekend for our first Super Late Model start.”
Elliott and the No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine crew unloaded for Friday’s practice with a brand new GARC chassis, and by Saturday’s final practice round, the car picked up over three-tenths of a second to post the second fastest lap overall with a time of 14.109.
During the evening’s qualifying run, Elliott went out mid-pack in the 11-car field and laid down a 14.013-second lap, nearly a second quicker than practice and put himself fourth in the line-up. Pole-winner Chris Whorton rolled a “four” to set a four-car inversion, moving Elliott to the pole for the start of the 100-lap Pro Late Model race.
The inside isn’t necessarily the preferred line at the 3/8-mile Lanier National Speedway, and Elliott slipped back to sixth on the green flag before finding his rhythm on lap four. Elliott tucked in behind TJ Reaid in the No. 41 and the two young guns made their way around No. 38 Shane Sawyer on lap 23, moving Elliott into the top-five.
After putting some pressure on the rear bumper of the No. 41, Elliott again tucked in behind Reaid as the two ran nose-to-tail and pulled away from Sawyer as the race continued under green. By lap 78, Elliott caught Russell Fleeman’s No. 98 machine and took over fourth place.
After 80 laps of green flag racing, the first caution flew for a report of debris on the track. Elliott made his first report to the team on his new car, stating that the car had started snug and hadn’t gone away at all. Crew chief Ricky Turner gave his young driver a little boost when he told Elliott he had one of the best cars out there and to work the outside groove.
Elliott did just that on the restart as he lined up outside of Reaid on the second row. Elliott held his line on the outside and cleared the No. 41 on lap 85 to move into third with his sights set on race leader, teammate Casey Roderick.
Unfortunately, Elliott only had three more laps to make his march toward the front. As the second caution came out on lap 88 for a spin by Dwayne Buggay on the frontstretch, the skies opened and the rain poured down on Lanier National Speedway, ending the race 12 laps early.
The third place finish is Elliott’s fourth top-three in the 2009 Georgia Asphalt Series, including two wins. Elliott led the point standings heading into Saturday’s race and slipped slightly to second, just 20 points behind Bill Elliott Racing teammate Casey Roderick after seven of 13 events. The next GAS event is Saturday, August 15, at Lanier National Speedway.
Elliott and the No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine team are off to Pensacola, Florida’s Five Flags Speedway to attempt their first Super Late Model start this Friday, August 7. If all goes well, the team plans to travel north to Anderson (S.C.) Motor Speedway for Saturday’s ASA Southeast Asphalt Tour event. Stay tuned to www.ChaseElliott.com for more information about Chase Elliott, including his Late Model schedule and personal race blog.
Georgia Asphalt Series
Lanier National Speedway
88 of 100 laps complete
1. Casey Roderick
2. Chris Whorton
3. Chase Elliott
4. TJ Reaid
5. Shane Sawyer
6. Russell Fleeman
7. Michael Lance
8. Tom Schuette
9. Dwayne Buggay
10. Shane Chastain
11. Zach Rearden
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.
No. 9 Aaron’s Lucky Dog Dream Machine
Pro Late Model
Bill Elliott Racing
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)
8/1 Lanier National Speedway GAS, SUPER 6 4 1 3
8/7 Five Flags Speedway * Blizzard
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
BLIZZARD = Blizzard Series
* Super Late Model start
SCHEDULE IS TENTATIVE AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE.