Call off the Chase: Elliott shouldn’t rush to Sprint Cup Series

Chase Elliott (right) celebrates in Victory Lane with team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4.

Jerry Markland/Getty Images for Texas Motor Spe

The future is bright for NASCAR with the amount of young talent we have in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series as well as those working their way up to that level. One that stands out from an already special crowd has to be Chase Elliott, son of NASCAR champion Bill Elliott.

Chase won his second consecutive NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington last week. Winning two in a row as a rookie is one thing. Winning two in a row when the second one is at Darlington is on a whole other level. Not only is Chase winning in these Nationwide races, but just take a look at the folks he is beating. He is beating the Kevin Harvicks and Kyle Buschs of the world who are used to dominating and winning these races. Don’t forget that both Kevin and Kyle are past Nationwide Series champions who Chase is beating.

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Obviously, Chase’s future is very bright in NASCAR and he will eventually move to the Sprint Cup level. Honestly, he will probably move sooner than later. He probably will be able to take NAPA Auto Parts with him as his sponsor since we already know they are a Sprint Cup Series-caliber sponsor. I just hope, collectively, they don’t bring him into the Sprint Cup Series too fast.

We all know logistically that the walk from the Nationwide garage in the infield of most tracks to the Sprint Cup garage is about five minutes. However, the leap for a driver to go from running the full Nationwide Series schedule to running the full Sprint Cup Series schedule is wider than the Grand Canyon. Sure, there are exceptions. Kyle Larson is the most recent exception. But you have to remember that the exceptions aren’€™t the rule.

Chase Elliott is only 18 years old, and I just hope they don’t push him too far too fast. Sometimes you can be guilty of moving a driver too slow. Sometimes you can be guilty of moving a driver too fast. The too slow part is hardly ever detrimental, but the too fast part definitely can be.