PENSACOLA, Fla. – On the heels of his first NASCAR Cup Series championship, Chase Elliott will make his return to super late model racing during the 53rd Snowball Derby on Dec. 2-6.
Elliott, who won at Arizona’s Phoenix Raceway on Nov. 8 to secure his first Cup title, is a two-time winner of the crown jewel asphalt super late model event at Five Flags Speedway.
The Dawsonville, Ga., native took home the Tom Dawson Trophy in 2011 and 2015, which was his last time competing in the Snowball Derby.
But after a half-decade away, the desire to return to the Snowball Derby became too much for Elliott to ignore.
“I obviously still have a lot of interest and an emotional, raw connection with short track racing,” Elliott, a seven-time Snowball Derby starter, told Speed51. “The Snowball is an event that played a big part in my career and (me) having the opportunities I’ve had. It was an event I was tired of watching every December (via pay-per-view streaming), so I’m ready to give it another go.”
Elliott will compete in this year’s Derby in a car out of past NASCAR team owner James Finch’s stable, with his former crew chief – Ricky Turner – onboard the effort as well.
“I talked to [Finch] about three or four months ago, and he asked me if I’d ever do the Snowball again. I said I’d really like to, I just hadn’t found out how to make it work with my time and Ricky [Turner]’s time,” noted Elliott. “He said, well, I’ve bought a couple cars. If you want to finish one out, you can finish it, do your thing, and run it down there.
“That’s where the conversation started.”
In addition to preparing Elliott’s car, Turner will also continue in his role as crew chief for rising teenage star Jake Garcia during this year’s Snowball Derby as well.
Elliott will look to add a third Tom Dawson Trophy to a season resume that includes five NASCAR Cup Series victories, the Cup Series title, 15 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes.