(CBS Local)- For the final race of its inaugural season, the Camping World SRX Series has brought in a ringer well known in the motorsports world: reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott. For the 25-year-old Elliott, the series offers him an opportunity to do something that he’s only done once before, race against his father Bill.
The pair shared the track back in 2013 in the Alabama Pro 125 Late Model race at South Alabama Speedway. Now, eight years later, they’ll get to race again on a track they’re both familiar with: Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
“The whole thing is like going to your local go kart track on the biggest stage, you’re going to have some fun,” CBS SRX series pit reporter Matt Yocum said. “And that’s what it is for Chase and Bill to have that opportunity, maybe one final time, of getting a chance, two champions in NASCAR, to have that special moment of racing against each other. And I’m glad that SRX was there to provide the opportunity. What better place than one of, if not the most, historical racetracks in the country as far as short tracks go. I can’t wait to be a part of the broadcast team for it.”
Like Yocum, analyst James Hinchcliffe was thrilled when the announcement was made that Elliott would be joining the driver lineup for the final race of the season because it add just one more fun element to the broadcast.
“I was blown away. I thought it was so cool that we could get a current, active Cup driver at all nevermind one of the stars of the sport and the reigning champion,” Hinchcliffe said. “Add on to the fact that it’s only the second time him and his dad have gotten to race each other. There’s so many cool angles to that story. I was thrilled that it happened. And it hopefully opens the door for more Cup guys or at least more active, full-season guys to come do a race or two next season.”
While the father-son battle will of course have plenty of fun and lighthearted moments, the two are competitors and the action on the track is sure to be a battle. Elliott has arguably the most recent experience of any driver in the field at NFS having won the All American 400 there in 2013. For Hinchcliffe, that experience makes him one of the drivers to watch this weekend.
“The ringers have actually been very competitive every single week and it’s been fun to have that as part of the series. I think honestly, the guy that might have the most recent experience is Chase Elliott. He won a race back in 2013 so his knowledge of the track and his experience is maybe a little fresher than dad’s or Michael Waltrip’s would be. So it’s going to be interesting,” Hinchcliffe said. “He obviously doesn’t have five weeks of racing these cars under his belt but if you look at his schedule he’s doing three races in the three nights leading up to Saturday and then obviously racing in the Cup cars on Sunday so seat time has definitely not been short for young Chase so it’s going to be fun to watch him as well.”
As for the Elliotts themselves, they have different perspectives on who will have the upper hand on Saturday night.
“I certainly don’t, I look at it from the standpoint of the more experience you got, the better you are. The more you’re in a race car the better you are and for me, I’ve just run a little bit of road racing over the last few years. Running ovals and what we’re doing today, it’s a whole different level,” the elder Elliott said. “Especially, the last time he went to Nashville, he won there so I don’t expect any different.”
“I feel like these guys have the upper hand. I haven’t raced one of these cars before,” Chase said. “I’m just excited to get back to Nasvhille. There was really two pieces of the puzzle for me that made me want to do it. One, to Tony’s (Stewart) point, you don’t have the opportunity to race with your dad all the time especially on a platform like this and series like this. And number two, to support the Fairgrounds, that’s been a big topic of conversation especially in the NASCAR world the last few years.”
The final race of the Camping World SRX Series season begins at 8 p.m. Eastern Time on CBS Television Network and streaming via Paramount+.