Chase Elliott went for one hell of a ride, as he flipped to end his 2022 Chili Bowl Nationals bid (Video Here). In an interview in a new episode of Garage Talk with the Garage Guys, Elliott admits that his crash in Tulsa, Oklahoma a couple of weeks ago, was the first flip of his racing career.
“It was my first,” Elliott explained of the flip. “I never actually, up until then, I had never flipped any race car. That was my first time upside down. I’ve been off the ground a couple of times and things get really quiet and weird until you hit something hard the next time. But that was my first time flipping anything in a competitive event like that.”
While Elliott’s crash was spectacular in nature, as his Kyle Larson Racing midget rocketed through the air, the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion says he actually feels fortunate that the impact didn’t hurt worse.
“It was certainly not fun, I felt like it could have been a lot worse,” Elliott said. “I feel like I’ve hit things harder. Obviously, you’re not going super fast at the Chili Bowl, but those things, just kind of the way — being open wheeled — the way they’re shaped, they can take some aggressive digs into the ground and abrupt stops.
“But I think I got pretty fortunate on mine. I was thinking it was going to be a little worse than what it was. But seats and helmets and all of those things have come a long way too, which was nice.”
While the end result of the crash was a feeling of relief that it wasn’t more painful, the experience of flying through the air, a first for Elliott, led to panic as NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver weightlessly plunged toward the catchfence.
Elliott says he feared the worst when he could see the fans in the crowd from his seat as he was floating in the air.
“I will say once I hit that boy, I was like, ‘Yeah this isn’t going to be good,’ and you try to brace for impact. I opened my eyes at one point, and I saw the first row of the grandstands and I was like, ‘Oh shit, this is going to be bad.’ I think the fence kind of caught me and landed there in a fairly fortunate position,” Elliott stated.
In addition to talking at length about his first-ever flip in a race car, Elliott spoke about a lot of topics during the nearly-30-minute conversation. Elliott talks his beloved Georgia Bulldogs and Atlanta Braves winning championships, Hooters giving a teaser for his 2022 paint scheme and Elliott even gave his picks for the NFL Divisional Round Playoff Games.