NASCAR: Chase Elliott Offers His Thoughts on Freddie Freeman Leaving the Atlanta Braves

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images)

NASCAR Cup champ and longtime fan Chase Elliott had to offer his thoughts about Freddie Freeman leaving the Atlanta Braves recently.

The native Georgian loved the team’s World Series run last season. Sadly, first baseman Freeman decided to go to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

But, recently, in press conference comments, Elliott said he understood both sides of the move. Of course, the press was going to ask the NASCAR driver about Atlanta with the race in Braves’ territory.

Sure, Elliott and many Braves fans weren’t happy with the move, but life will continue.

Former Atlanta Braves Star Hung Out With NASCAR Driver In Los Angeles

The NASCAR driver said he had a chance to spend time with the slugger when the season opened up with an exhibition race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

“That was the first time I ever really been around him,” Elliott said. “He’s a super guy.”

The driver said he was an even better individual, but he knew the decision could go either way. The Los Angeles Times reported that Freeman opted for a six-year, $162-million contract with the Dodgers, including $57 million of deferred money. Basically, Freeman still gets $20 million a season, with $7 million deferred for the next three years.

The Braves, however, stuck with a five-year deal that totaled $135 million.

Many, including Elliott, would have loved to see Freeman stay. But that’s the sports business. Seriously, not many players stay with their team for an entire career. Fans knew the decision was coming, and many wanted Freeman to join the ranks of longtime Braves legend Chipper Jones who stayed.

“The Dodgers certainly go a good one,” Elliott said. “I hate to see him go.”

But the 26-year-old Elliott stayed true to his Braves, saying he was excited about the upcoming season. He also said the front office was “filling their gaps well.”

“I think they’ll be just fine,” Elliott concluded. “I’ll be excited either way.”

The Braves went with Matt Olsen, a younger first baseman, and fans will look for him to deliver this upcoming season.

NASCAR Driver Believes World Series Run Is ’a Big Deal’

Elliott relished the Braves’ World Series run last season.

He called the run “super special.” The driver loved experiencing the title “first hand.”

“And then you know, being a fan of the Braves and being able to go watch – I already knew that was a big deal, right?” Elliott told NASCAR reporter last year.

The longtime fan knew his team struggled to get back to World Series greatness back then. So, this title was a big deal for him and all Braves fans.

“The Braves have been trying to get back to the World Series for a long time,” Elliott said. “And I already kinda knew that storyline. I’ve been a fan long enough to appreciate that… it is a big deal for everyone around home. And it’s super exciting.”