When 2020 Champion Chase Elliott made his Hendrick Motorsports debut in 2015, it was a team full of NASCAR legends.
He had Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as his teammates. Back then, Elliott must have felt intimidated by the prospect of sharing the same team with these people. Remembering the moment that he has his first meeting with the team, Elliott shared:
“The first thing that comes to my mind is that first meeting I stepped into in 2015. I walk into this room and you got Jeff [Gordon], Jimmie [Johnson], Dale [Earnhardt Jr], and Kasey [Kahne]. I’m like, ‘I don’t belong in here’. I shouldn’t be here.
“Just to watch each of those guys step away and watch that room transition into what it’s going to look like this year, is crazy.”
Elliott has come a long way since then, developing his potential as the years passed by, leading to the 2020 Cup Series Championship win.
All his teammates has gone and Elliott is the oldest member of the team in terms of years spent there. He will begin the 2021 season with Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson and William Byron as his teammates.
Speaking about HMS and his teammates, Elliott said:
“I think HMS is an exciting place to be right now. For young drivers, for hungry drivers. Four guys who I think can compete at a really high level. Hopefully, we can all push each other to be better and get HMS to where it belongs.”
Elliott will begin his defense of the 2020 Championship at the Daytona 500.