Cory Eliason is one of sprint car racing's fastest rising stars. (Frank Smith Photo)
Cory Eliason is one of sprint car racing's fastest rising stars. (Frank Smith Photo)

Cory Eliason — Working Man

It’s 3 a.m. on a Sunday and All Star Circuit of Champions racer Cory Eliason has just returned home from his primary job, chasing checkered flags behind the wheel of Kevin Rudeen’s familiar No. 26 sprint car.

Eliason, who grew up in Visalia, Calif., but now lives outside of Indianapolis, will catch a few hours of sleep and then head to his second job.

“The big thing people don’t know about me is that I’m a fabricator,” Eliason told SPEED SPORT. “I’ve been a fabricator for 10-plus years now. I started working at Driven Performance in California, building micro chassis, and I created a love for welding, because I believe it’s an art and not everyone can do it.

“Now, I live in Indy and I have my own shop. I have a fabrication and powder-coating business that I run,” added Eliason, who celebrated his 30th birthday early last month. “I work full time when I’m home and still run the business when I’m gone.

“I just have one part-time guy right now. The fabrication side is basically all me and I try to have an employee to do the powder-coating. That side is a little bit easier. It’s not easy to find someone who can weld titanium or wants to do it; especially, when you get into exotic metals or specialty pieces.”

Eliason believes his work ethic was passed down from his parents, Dave and Lisa.

“Ever since I was young, my parents have always had good work ethics. My dad has had an auto shop ever since I was little. He was always leaving between 5 and 6 in the morning to go there and get things up and running,” Eliason recalled. “My mom would leave by 7:15, basically, every morning to get there. They’d both be home between 5 and 6. I believe that I have a good work ethic that I learned from them.

“If we get home Saturday night, I’ll work Sunday. When I get out there in the shop, I’ll work as many hours as needed to finish whatever needs to be done. I really don’t have set hours and every day that I’m home, I’m working.”

Eliason also inherited his passion for racing from his father.

“My dad’s step-dad was involved in racing at San Jose Speedway. He ran the hard-tops with Al Pombo and Marshall Sargent, so that’s where the racing started,” Eliason said. “I got a go-kart for my sixth birthday. I raced it up and down the street a little bit and we moved to empty parking lots when the stores were closed on Sundays.

“From there, my dad realized it was going to be more than just a hobby so we bought a junior sprint. I got that for Christmas in 1999. I started racing it in 2000 and it progressed from there.

“We ran micros a lot and I eventually started to travel with those. I ran for a chassis company that I ended up working for, which was Driven Performance, D1 Chassis,” Eliason continued. “But before that, KB Chassis was where it started. I ran for them and won a bunch of races, then Driven Performance bought KB Chassis and that’s how I made a name for myself.

“We got our first sprint car when I was 18 and it was a family-run deal until I was about 20. Then, if I wanted to keep doing it, I had to help pay for it, so it was either college or go racing. I ended up going racing.”

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