NASCAR champion Bill Elliott has always done things his own way, be it running the family race car in the 1980s, owning his own team in the 1990s, or shifting gears by helping re-introduce Dodge into NASCAR in the 2000s. Even now in his semi-retirement, Elliott runs the types of tracks he likes on a part-time basis with the Wood Brothers.
So it comes as no surprise that when Elliott’s son Chase wanted to start racing, Bill Elliott would take it one step further by starting the Bill Elliott Driver Development Program. In addition to Chase, Elliott’s program supports drivers Casey Roderick, John King, and Elliott’s nephew, Trey Poole.
Chase Elliott has amassed seven championships in his young career – and he’s only 13 years old. Chase started racing at age eight at northern Georgia dirt tracks, and moved to the Colorado Sprint Championship Series two years later in the MiniMax and 80cc Shifter Kart divisions; in two years in the series (2006 and 2007), Chase won both MiniMax titles and finished third and second in final standings for Karts. He has since won championships in the Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) Winter Flurry series (in both Young Guns and Semi-Pro divisions), the Georgia Winter Series (in both Young Guns and Semi-Pro divisions), and the Georgia State Legends Semi-Pro division. 2009 finds the younger Elliott in a Pro Late Model in the Georgia Asphalt Series.
Casey Roderick won his first race at age five, and became the youngest person to win a national championship in the World Karting Association (WKA) when he won the Junior Sportsman title at age seven. Roderick is a veteran of WKA and Legends Racing (Bandolero Bandits and Young Guns, and Semi-Pro), and countless other series, and won the Most Popular Driver award for the AMS Thursday Thunder Series in 2006 and 2007. For 2009, Roderick will be running Late Models in the Georgia Asphalt Series.
John King started his racing career as a pit crew member at a local dirt track; he did this for two years before his dad, who owned a Late Model, let him drive in a race. He started racing at age 18, and spent two years in the Fastrak Racing Series and StormPay.com Crate Late Model series. He ran dirt Super Late Models in 2008, as well as selected Late Model asphalt races. In 2009, King plans to run a full season in the United Auto Racing Association Southern Touring Asphalt Racing Series, as well as test a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series truck.
Trey Poole’s grandfather raced in Texas in the 1950s, so when a knee-injury sidelined Poole permanently from playing high school baseball, he turned to his family’s past-time – with a little help from his Uncle Bill. In 2006, Poole started his racing career, competing in the Colorado Sprint Championship series and finished second in the standings. He has since run in Legends Racing’s Semi-Pro and Pro Series, and won the Georgia State Championship in the Pro division in 2008. For 2009, Poole is running the Georgia Asphalt Series and the Super 6 Pro Late Model Series at Lanier National Speedway.
Sources: “Chase Elliott,” chaseelliott.com
“Casey Roderick,” billelliott.com
“John King,” billelliott.com
“Trey Poole,” billelliott.com