Chase Elliott celebrates Georgia’s success at College Football Hall of Fame

NASCAR driver Chase Elliott takes a lap around Truist Park's field before the Braves played the Nationals in an MLB game on Sept. 7, 2021, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

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NASCAR driver Chase Elliott takes a lap around Truist Park's field before the Braves played the Nationals in an MLB game on Sept. 7, 2021, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Chase Elliott is a NASCAR Cup Series champion and one of the premier drivers in the sport. But he’s also a huge fan of sports in Georgia.

Elliott, a Dawsonville native, received a tour of the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday afternoon. Shortly after, he participated in a Q&A session with fans on the indoor field at the museum. The Braves’ World Series trophy, his 2020 Cup Series trophy and the Georgia Bulldogs’ College Football Playoff championship trophy were displayed on the indoor field, with Elliott and fans taking photos to celebrate the state’s recent success.

While it wasn’t Elliott’s first time at the College Football Hall of Fame, he hadn’t experienced such a detailed tour. He spoke with reporters before his photo session.

“This is a great facility,” said Elliott, 26. “I know Atlanta is very proud of it. It’s in a great location, great opportunity for people coming to the SEC Championship game. I’m sure this place is busy. I think they’ve done a great job with it.”

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NASCAR driver Chase Elliott of Dawsonville took a tour of the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday in Atlanta. Here he stands with the trophies (from left) from the Georgia Bulldogs' 2021 College Football Playoff championship, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series title won by Elliott and the 2021 World Series trophy, won by the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Gabriel Burns/AJC)

Credit: Gabriel Burns/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

NASCAR driver Chase Elliott of Dawsonville took a tour of the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday in Atlanta. Here he stands with the trophies (from left) from the Georgia Bulldogs' 2021 College Football Playoff championship, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series title won by Elliott and the 2021 World Series trophy, won by the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Gabriel Burns/AJC)

Credit: Gabriel Burns/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Combined ShapeCaption
NASCAR driver Chase Elliott of Dawsonville took a tour of the College Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday in Atlanta. Here he stands with the trophies (from left) from the Georgia Bulldogs' 2021 College Football Playoff championship, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series title won by Elliott and the 2021 World Series trophy, won by the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Gabriel Burns/AJC)

Credit: Gabriel Burns/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Credit: Gabriel Burns/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Elliott is a known passionate Georgia sports fan, and this is about the best time to be one. In November, the Braves stunned the sports world with an unforeseen postseason run, ousting the Astros in six games to win the World Series.

A couple of months later, the Bulldogs – who’ve experienced even more heartbreak than the Braves in the past decades – finally got over the hump, defeating Alabama for their first title in 41 years. It continued a nice run for Elliott, who won the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020.

Elliott first saw the World Series trophy at the race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March, the first time he’d seen a World Series trophy in person. He’d never seen the national-championship trophy in person before Wednesday.

“I appreciate the state and the people in it, our fellow sports teams that have always considered me part of the family,” Elliott said. “I think that says a lot about them and the people here who support those teams. Excited to have a very small part of that. These are teams that I’m a fan of, too. I’m no different than anybody else. I’m just a guy who loves seeing the Braves do well and loves seeing Georgia win, too.”

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A Clemson fan and a Georgia fan take in the NASCAR stock car of Chase Elliott decorated at the College Gameday Tail Gate for the top-5 matchup between No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Georgia in the Duke’s Mayo Classic on Sept. 3, 2021, in Charlotte. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

A Clemson fan and a Georgia fan take in the NASCAR stock car of Chase Elliott decorated at the College Gameday Tail Gate for the top-5 matchup between No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Georgia in the Duke’s Mayo Classic on Sept. 3, 2021, in Charlotte. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Combined ShapeCaption
A Clemson fan and a Georgia fan take in the NASCAR stock car of Chase Elliott decorated at the College Gameday Tail Gate for the top-5 matchup between No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Georgia in the Duke’s Mayo Classic on Sept. 3, 2021, in Charlotte. (Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@ajc.com)

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Credit: Curtis Compton / Curtis.Compton@

Elliott hasn’t followed Georgia’s offseason too closely, but he praised coach Kirby Smart and the program’s recruiting. For the Braves, Elliott said: “The potential is there. I feel like when they’re hot, they can beat anybody. It’s just a matter of getting hot at the right time. We saw that last year.”

NASCAR’s season is halfway complete. Elliott claimed his second victory over the weekend in Nashville. Elliott, who has four top-five finishes, currently tops the NASCAR Cup standings with 586 points.

Atlanta Motor Speedway will host its second race this season with the Quaker State 400 on July 10. It will be the second race on the revamped track.

“These are teams that I'm a fan of, too. I'm no different than anybody else. I'm just a guy who loves seeing the Braves do well and loves seeing Georgia win, too."

- NASCAR driver Chase Elliott

“It’s different,” Elliott said, recalling his impressions of the new-look track in March. “But I think from a fan’s perspective, everybody really enjoyed it. It was an entertaining event. Speedway racing isn’t something I’m always a huge proponent of, but I feel like for what we had in Atlanta, to go from that to the kind of event we had in March, I haven’t heard one fan who was at the race or someone watching on TV say they didn’t have fun watching or attending. That, to me, tells the story.

“For us driving, we don’t make the rules, and we don’t redesign the tracks. We’re in the performance business to try to make the most of whatever is in front of you. I think it’ll be exciting again, and teams will be better prepared. We were just getting our season started, everybody was short on cars, so now everything is a bit more caught up, and we’d like to think we’re more knowledgeable on the setup side of things. I’m sure everyone will be better and have a better understanding of how that race played out and how to be successful.”