RPW Column: Exciting Times On The Horizon For Elliott Motorsports In 2023

Column By: MIKE TRAVERSE / RPW – MIDDLETOWN, NY – Throughout the history of dirt track racing in the Lower Hudson Valley, one of the names that has been active for three generations is the Elliott’s.

Don Elliott raced in the Limited Sportsman and Modifieds at area tracks for many years in the 60’s and 70’s. Don’s son, Donnie has been a long time competitor at area tracks and has scored a number of wins across different divisions.’

Donnie’s son, Aidan, had a successful run in the Slingshots at Oakland Valley in past years with wins and a championship there. He also scored a top 5 points finish at Hamlin Speedway in his final year in the slingshots in 2019.

With intentions for Aidan to race both at Orange County Fair Speedway and Accord Speedway in 2020, the pandemic derailed those plans somewhat. But when some racing resumed late in the 2020 season, the rookie driver was able to grab a Sportsman win at 5 Mile Point. It was an impressive feat for the young driver.

With a full season at Accord in 2022, Aidan was able to come away with a top 10 points finish. With the guidance of his father, Donnie, he has some great potential to do some great things in racing.

But sometimes, the plan that one’s life takes makes someone take a pause from the things and activities that one likes to do. And that can include racing.

And if his plans work out, that’s what Aidan Elliott is going to do in 2023.

After graduating high school in June, Aidan is planning on enlisting into the United States Navy.

The team has a plan to start the season with racing at both Accord and Orange County. Aidan will be doing some racing along with Donnie. And when Aidan departs, it will be Donnie back behind the wheel of the #49 Elliott Motorsports entry.

“We haven’t run two nights a week in a few years, but we plan on giving it a shot this year,” said team owner, Donnie.

It’s no secret that the future of Orange County is uncertain after 2023. If the upcoming season is the last hurrah for the historic 5/8ths oval, Elliott Motorsports wants to be a part of it.

“We have a long history there and I like the track, it’s challenging. If it’s the last season, we want to be there.”

Donnie hasn’t raced a whole lot the last few years as he has focused his attention on Aidan’s efforts. But he still has the competitive fire burning in him and from talking with him, that message comes through loud and clear.

And Donnie explains that Aidan will most likely be racing again in the future.

“His plan is to go right into the military after graduation. He has the rest of his life to race. He wants to go do this. And I think it’s great for him and we are really proud of him wanting to chase his dreams. When he came to me and talked about joining the military, I could see just how passionate he was about it. Many racers have very long careers. Guys like Steve Paine, Brett Hearn, Alan Johnson, Danny Johnson, Richie Eurich and Bill Wilson raced into their 60’s and even longer. He will have plenty of time to go racing.”

The team has not yet decided what division they are planning on racing.

“My only goal is to have fun,” Donnie said. “If we win, we win. Are we going there and being prepared to try to win? Absolutely. If it happens, wonderful. If it doesn’t happen, I’m still going to get out of the racecar, I’m going to have a beer and I’m going to work Monday morning. We will fix it up if need be and unless we have other plans, we’ll be back the next week.”

“We haven’t determined what division we are racing in yet. We have all the motors and stuff. I would prefer to run Sportsman. Aidan is used to racing Sportsman, so it would be a good fit for him when he is racing. We are doing this just to have fun. We have other plans besides racing during the summer, I’ve explained that to everyone involved with our team. It’s been a busy couple of years working with Aidan, but as I’m getting older, I realize that there’s other things that I like to do too.”

And the only goal that the team has for 2023 is to enjoy themselves.

“My only goal is to have fun,” Donnie said. “If we win, we win. Are we going there and being prepared to try to win? Absolutely. If it happens, wonderful. If it doesn’t happen, I’m still going to get out of the racecar, I’m going to have a beer and I’m going to work Monday morning. We will fix it up if need be and unless we have other plans, we’ll be back the next week.”

Sponsors for the team are Quality Heating and Air Conditioning, Scotty’s Barber Shop, Spiro & Spiro Electric, Sundae Delights and Elliott’s Automotive.

Elliott Motorsports has a loyal crew. Russell Brown, a.k.a. Duwat has been with the team for over 20 years. Jeff Brown has been with the team for a few years. Donnie’s wife, Rebecca Elliott, and Donnie’s sister. Ame Elliott, are also important members of the team.

And Donnie says that his son, Donald Elliott, is the best brake bleeder in the country.

“He’s been doing it since he was 5 or 6 years old,” Donnie said.

The Elliott Motorsports team is an awesome group of people. It’s always been enjoyable to talk with Donnie, Aidan and Rebecca about the team’s happenings. I’m going to miss seeing Aidan around the #49 pit area when he departs for his Naval service, he’s a really great young man. But it’s a great step for him and highly admirable of what he is doing. Wishing Aidan the best of luck and safe travels in his future endeavors. And wishing good luck and safe racing to the Elliott Motorsports team with their busy 2023 season.

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