Jimmy Elledge was born on the 14th of July, 1970 in Redding, California. Like so many who work in the racing industry he was brought up in the world of motor racing as his father, Terry, was a well respected NASCAR Winston Cup Series engine builder for top teams such as Richard Childress Racing and Bill Davis Racing. As a youngster Jimmy built and raced family owned go-karts and late models, taking direction from his father to hone his mechanical and technical skills. In the early 1990’s Jimmy left his home town to go to North Carolina to work briefly as a mechanic at Roush Racing before going to work with his father in the garage of Richard Childress Racing and to pursue a career of driving race cars. It was unfortunate for him that he didn’t have the money needed to make the full commitment and also it was preventing him from doing his job properly at Richard Childress Racing and he had to ask himself the question – am I going to be a race driver? and to be completely honest with himself that it wasn’t going to happen so he made up his mind to concentrate on the mechanical side of his racing.
Between the years of 1992 and 1997 Jimmy worked on the #3 Chevrolet cars of the late Dale Earnhardt and when Mike Skinner joined the team as a driver in 1997 Jimmy worked on his car. His work-load involved at-track brake and suspension duties, fabricator as well as tyre changer on race days. During this period the team enjoyed two consecutive Winston Cup championships (1993 and 1994) with fifteen victories. In early 1997 Jimmy was promoted to car chief, working beside crew chief, Larry Reynolds, he left the team at the end of the season to pursue a crew chief job with a NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National Division team. Dale Earnhardt finished the season at 5th in the final point standings. Jimmy started the new season of 1998 as crew chief for Jeff Krogh but after just six months in the position he left the Ingle Hollow based team. The team qualified in 20th at Daytona International Speedway at the season’s opening race and had a fifth place finish at Texas Motor Speedway but Jimmy was unhappy that he couldn’t get the result that he wanted. “It tore me up that I couldn’t get the results that I wanted to,” said Elledge. “But it prepared me for a lot of things that I wouldn’t have been ready for as a crew chief at Andy Petree Racing. It was an extremely valuable learning experience.” From Krogh’s team he went to Roush Racing where he worked as the shop foreman for the #6 team with driver, Mark Martin and was the front tyre changer for the team on race days.
Later in the 1998 season he was approached by Andy Petree of Andy Petree Racing, giving him the opportunity to work with his former boss at Richard Childress Racing as crew chief for Kenny Wallace and Bobby Hamilton. He had his first victory on the 22nd of April 2001 at Talladega Superspeedway with Bobby Hamilton driving the #55 car. He stayed with the team from 1998 to 2002 before leaving to work with Chip Ganassi Racing and the #41 team and during the five seasons with them he was instrumental in guiding Casey Mears in his rookie year in 2003. He was crew chief for Casey for a further two years before taking Reed Sorenson through his inaugural Sprint Cup year in 2006. For the first part of 2008 he was the crew chief for Juan Pablo Montoya before leaving to join the Red Bull Racing #84 Team to take up the position of crew chief. Jimmy worked with driver, Scott Speed at the beginning of the 2010 season, finishing the second half of the season with various drivers but was later released as crew chief when new driver, Kasey Kahne brought his own crew chief, Kenny Francis for the start of the 2011 season. Jimmy took up position as crew chief for driver, Justin Allgaier, who finished fourth in the Final point standings in the Nationwide Series for 2010, with Turner Motorsports for the 2011 Nationwide Series.
Jimmy is a keen classic car collector with a fleet which includes a 1972 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, an original 1962 Chevrolet Impala, 1962 convertible that he is rebuilding, an old style Camaro and his prized possession – a 1966 Chevrolet Nova. He was once married to the late Dale Earnhardt’s daughter, Kelly and he has two daughters, Karsyn and Kennedy.
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