ROCKINGHAM, NC - In Dawsonville, Georgia, Gordon Pirkle has blared a siren mounted atop his Dawsonville Pool Room for all of 1988 NASCAR Champion Bill Elliott's 44 cup victories.
He recently installed a new siren just for Bill's 15-year-old son, Chase. Saturday, the new siren let Dawson County residents know Chase had scored his first win in the USAR Pro Cup Series, taking the checkers in the Carolina 200 at Rockingham Speedway in North Carolina.
It was Elliott’s second win of his career at Rockingham Speedway, the track where his father made his first Sprint Cup start and where he got the most recent of his Cup victories.
Elliott and his crew are focusing on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series this season, but driver and crew decided two weeks before the race that some seat time in a similar car would be worth the effort.
After a productive day of practice on Thursday, Elliott qualified sixth for Saturday’s 150-mile run but gave up 29 positions by making a pit stop during the first caution period at Lap 12 to secure a loose hood pin.
Restarting 31st, Elliott began his march forward, with encouragement and assistance from his dad, who was atop the spotter’s stand. “Just be cautious, and I will help you get back up through the field,” Bill Elliott told his son.
By Lap 106 Elliott had moved into the fifth position behind leaders J.P. Morgan, Barryhill, Brad Rogers and Brian Silas. Elliott took fourth from Silas on Lap 111 and third from Barryhill four laps later.
After the fifth and final caution flag with 18 green laps remaining, the first- and second-place drivers, Morgan and Rogers, pitted for fresh tires. Elliott stayed out on old tires and held off a hard-charging Brad Rogers to get the win, with Morgan taking third.
Elliott told reporters in his winner’s interview “We needed to use our tires in practice on Friday getting a solid set-up and were out of tires, so pitting during the caution period wasn't an option for us,” Elliott said. “I still felt pretty confident we could hold them off.”
“I thought the tires were going to be a little bit bigger issue," Brad Rogers said. "[Elliott] was awful fast there for not coming to get tires with me and J.P. right there at the end.”
The young Elliott’s next event will be May 21st NASCAR K&N series race in Newton, Iowa.