Sons often follow in their fathers' footsteps and that has definitely been true of Chase Elliott following in his father Bill's footsteps in NASCAR racing.
Both father Bill and son Chase have had success in their racing endeavors. Awesome Bill from Dawsonville, as he is nicknamed, has made his mark as a veteran in the elite series of NASCAR while Chase is making his own way as an up-and-coming driver in many of the developmental series of the sport.
But this weekend, father and son are following divergent paths. Bill Elliott, who has three broken ribs that he suffered from a dirt bike accident earlier this week, has decided to step out of his Cup ride for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway this Labor Day weekend.
Instead of Bill Elliott in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Racing Ford, David Gilliland will step into the seat for the Pep Boys Auto 500 to be run on Sunday evening under the lights. Gilliland, replaced by Bobby Labonte earlier this week, has six starts at Atlanta, with a top finish of 15th in 2006.
Wood Brothers co-owner Eddie Wood advised, "Given the modified practice schedule where the practices and qualifying are all being done on Saturday, we didn't feel there was enough time to make changes to the seat if Bill wasn't comfortable and we needed to get another driver."
"We called David to see if he was available," continued Wood. "Thankfully, he was and agreed to help."
While Papa Elliott was stepping out of his Cup ride, at least temporarily until the Kansas race, thirteen year old son Chase was stepping instead into Victory Lane.
Chase, driving his No. 9 Aaron's Dream Machine, became the youngest winner in the history of the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) at North Carolina's Hickory Motor Speedway.
This race was also Chase's debut in the PASS racing series. After qualifying second, Elliott drove a great race, finishing with a last lap pass to take the checkered flag.
"I didn't think I was going to catch him (Jeff Choquette with whom Elliott battled for the lead)," said Elliott. "It's just an awesome win."
Elliott thanked both his mom and his dad, who were celebrating with him at the race, for their support throughout his young racing career.
With dad Bill out of the car for this race weekend, both parents were able to be with Chase when he raced again at Lanier last night. The young driver managed a second place finish in the race and remains in the points lead of the Georgia Asphalt Series (GAS).
There are just two more races remaining in the Georgia Asphalt Series and Chase will race them both for the championship. The races will be held at South Georgia Motorsports Park and Nashville.
Chase Elliott is also attemping to race in the Labor Day race at the Winchester Speedway in Indiana. This is one of the oldest speedways in the country, with some of the highest banking.
Late word just came that Chase qualified 12th, so he will race in the CRA World Stock Car Festival. Both of his parents will be close by, with Bill spotting for his young protege.
As Bill's wife and Chase's mom Cindy says, "Bill will spot for Chase because I can't get him to sit still otherwise!"
Cindy Elliott is also encouraging all of Chase's fans to vote for Chase in the Most Popular Driver Award. Fans can do so by logging onto www.chaseelliott.com.
While Bill Elliott used to carry young Chase in his arms into Victory Lane, the roles may be just reversing slightly as Chase may now be the one to carry the mantle of Bill Elliott Racing.
The footsteps of the son may now be the ones leading the path in the Elliott racing family.