Both were hard at work Tuesday during a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series test session at Martinsville Speedway, in advance of the Kroger 250 on April 6.
Asked if being the son of the legendary “Awesome” Bill Elliott will create any pressure in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut on April 6, 17-year old Chase Elliott responded, “Nope, not at all. He’s my dad and I’m me, and I’m trying to make a name for myself. I’m going to try to do my best no matter what.”
Burton agreed, saying, “Chase and I are trying to make a name for ourselves. It’s good to have our fathers in the sport and help us as much as they can, but once we get into the race car, it’s our own destiny.
“My dad has raised me to be respectful of people. He tries to help me on the race track as much as he can and sometimes that is a battle between us. I’m sure Chase has been through the same thing. (My father) wants the best for me, though, and I know Chase’s dad does for him."
Both fathers had amazing NASCAR
careers. Bill Elliott was the 1988 Cup Series champion and had 55 Cup wins in
his career. Ward Burton recorded five Cup wins over 17 years, including the
1992 Daytona 500 and the 1991 Southern 500. Ironically, neither of the two ever
fared well on Martinsville’s difficult half-mile oval.
This season will be the younger Elliott’s first foray into NASCAR’S top three national divisions. He has nine NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races scheduled, including both events at Martinsville. A year ago, he raced in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, where he picked up a win and finished fourth in the championship standings. In February of 2011 he signed a developmental contract with Hendrick Motorsports, and is driving for that organization this year.
The 20-year-old Burton is running the entire Camping World Truck Series schedule this season, and came out of the gates strong three weeks ago with a fifth-place finish in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. He grew up in South Boston, Va. -- an hour east of Martinsville Speedway -- and cut his racing teeth at nearby South Boston Speedway, making the Kroger 250 more than just another race for him.
“Coming here to my hometown track, with a bunch of family and fans here, it’s going to be short-track racing and that’s what I was brought up on,” he said. “We need to get out of here with another Top-5 finish and keep our momentum.”
Elliott and Burton were among five drivers testing at Martinsville today, along with Miquel Paludo, defending series champion James Buescher and Caleb Holman. All five will return tomorrow for a second day of testing, joined by Bryan Silas and Scott Riggs. The test is open to the public, free of charge.
Tickets for the STP Gas Booster 500 on Sunday, April 7, the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, April 6 and NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series practice and qualifying on Friday, April 5 are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com. Tickets for youth 12 and under are just $10 in the Clay Earles Tower, rows 15-52. Teen tickets (ages 13-17) in the same area are $25. Youth and teen ticket prices are good with the purchase of an adult ticket.