Elite Motorsports is set to introduce a new driver to its Pro Stock stable and the team is about to having a lot more tiger flair.
Longtime crew member Chase Freeman will make his NHRA Pro Stock debut when racing resumes in June, and he’ll do it in a car that will stand out, piloting a striking, tiger-stripe Greater Wynnewood Animal Park Chevrolet Camaro.
With the sudden popularity of Tiger King on Netflix, the April 1 announcement made for perfect timing for Freeman and the team. Elite Motorsports is located next to Joe Exotic’s Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Wynnewood, Ok, giving Freeman an ideal fit for his first sponsor ahead of his Pro Stock debut.
He’ll join the likes of reigning world champion Erica Enders, five-time world champ Jeg Coughlin Jr., U.S. Nationals winner Alex Laughlin, Aaron Stanfield and rookie Marty Robertson in Elite’s impressive group of drivers.
With tiger stripes on his gloves, helmet and down the side of the car, Freeman will undoubtedly stand out as well.
“We’ve been working on this low key with my dad (Royce), and my uncle, (team owner) Richard for a while now,” Chase Freeman said. “We were going to wait until 2021 to make the debut but we had all this extra time to upgrade my license so we decided why not now.
“Plus, with the tidal wave of Tiger King it was just a no brainer. The zoo is just across the street from Elite. To share a pit with Jeg, EE, my best friend Alex, Aaron and Marty is about the coolest thing this ‘ole clutch guy/truck driver can think of.”
Enders will work closely with Freeman as he nears competition, and Freeman can also count on Elite’s impressive group of crew chiefs and team members to help him learn the ropes.
Freeman has been a valuable member of the team since 2013, handling a number of jobs, including driving Enders’ hauler to the races, maintaining her car and working on the clutch. That versatility has been beneficial to the team’s strong run of success, and now Freeman, who was also named to Drag Illustrated’s 30 Under 30 list in 2019, will add another duty to his list.
Freeman is anxious for the driving opportunity, and Enders is just as thrilled to be his mentor.
“I’m really excited for Chase to have this opportunity,” Enders said. “No one works harder or deserves the chance more than he does. He is going to be great plus he comes from a long line of successful racers.
“I am going to work with him closely and I plan on having him ready for his debut after COVID-19. You can count on Chase Freeman debuting with his claws out – yes, pun intended.”