Chase Elliott waves to a hometown crowd as he deplanes from his flight from Watkins Glen, N.Y. Elliott led a race-high 52 laps of the 90-lap event at Watkins Glen International race track.
Dawson’s Chase Elliott captures first win in # 9 car
Photos by Ben Hendren
When the number 9 car crossed the finish line under a checkered flag Sunday, Aug 5 it was, for some, a moment of déjà vu.
It has been a while since a number 9 car, driven by an Elliott, crossed the finish line first, but on Chase Elliott, 22, ended that streak Sunday. He beat last year’s winner Martin Truex, Jr. by 7.560 seconds at Watkins Glen International race track, in New York. It was Elliott’s 99th Cup Series start.
The blare of the siren from the Dawsonville Pool Room announced the highly anticipated win. Quickly the words on the Pool Room sign changed to “Chase Elliott Starts 3 Wins Watkins Glen”. If people hadn’t witnessed the thrilling victory on television, they quickly knew about it through tweets, Instagram posts, SnapChat messages, and Facebook posts as social media blew up with the news.
A plan to greet Dawsonville’s newly crowned king of racing went into effect.
“It was Calvin Byrd’s idea,” said Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Haynes Moore. “We just helped get the word out. We wanted Chase to know how much his hometown loves and supports him.”
Under the darkness of the night, a crowd gathered anxiously for Elliott’s arrival, and like any royal, he was met with cheers from family, friends, and fans, including local dignitaries.
Stepping out of the Citation CJ1, piloted by his father, “Awesome” Bill Elliott, the newly crowned was deeply touched.
"I don't think I know this many people,” Chase said. “I've come home pretty disappointed over the past couple years. Great to come home tonight and have one to enjoy."
At 62, Bill Elliott was reflective about the attention.
“Nothing prepares you to receive that support through thick and thin,” he said. “It makes you feel good. You can’t find that kind of loyalty.”
And as for the number 9 win?
“Seeing 9 win felt really great,” he said. “It gets you a little emotional. It’d been awhile since number 9 was in Victory Lane.”
Members of the Dawson County Fire Department pose with hometown hero Chase Elliott whose 99th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) start, resulted in his first career win. Firefighters created an arc of water to welcome the Elliott’s plane as it taxied toward the awaiting crowd.
Dawson Chamber of Commerce President Christie Haynes Moore poses with Chase Elliott, who won the checkered flag earlier. It was Elliott’s first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) career victory.