Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott signs an autograph for a fan at Talladega Superspeedway on Friday.

Photo by Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

Chase Elliott got Daytona week off to a good start by winning the second of the two qualifying races Thursday night.

Elliott, 21, already is in his third season as a full-time driver in NASCAR’s top series. He finished 10th in the Cup standings in 2016 and fifth last year.

He grew up in Dawsonville, Ga., and is the son of popular former driver Bill Elliott.

On Wednesday, as Elliott prepared for today’s Daytona 500, he took the phone for a few minutes to help give us five fast facts about himself.

1. Braves fan

He grew up an Atlanta Braves fan, and his all-time favorite Brave is Chipper Jones, who is entering baseball’s Hall of Fame.

“He’s a heck of a ballplayer, and he was a lot of fun to watch,” Elliott said.

2. Them ‘Dawgs

His favorite college football team is Georgia, and he said he appreciated the Bulldogs’ great season, which included a Southeastern Conference title and a spot in the national title game.

“It was a great year overall, and there were a lot of great moments,” he said. “There were a lot of highs, and what I want to remember about it is the excitement. I hope that can carry over to the future.”

3. Fly boy

Elliott has his pilot license, and sometimes flies to races.

“My dad is a pilot,” he said. “I enjoy doing that. I was fortunate to be able to go up. I enjoy flying to races.”

4. Tony fan

Elliott said his favorite racer while growing up (who wasn’t his dad) was Tony Stewart, the 2002, 2005 and 2011 Cup Series champion.

“I always looked up to him,” Elliott said. “He always took time out of his day to talk to me, and I appreciated that.”

5. Cereal head

Of all the foods in all the world, Elliott has no trouble identifying one that sticks out above all else. He said this is the one food he’ll never get tired of.

“I really enjoy a good bowl of cereal,” he said. “It’s hard to beat that.”

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.