Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chase Elliott wins first NASCAR Nationwide Series race

Credit: Debbie Ross/Skirts and Scuffs
The siren sounded in Dawsonville, Georgia, Friday night after Chase Elliott took the checkered flag at Texas Motor Speedway in front of a field stacked with Cup drivers. Cup drivers that win lots of Nationwide races, including owner Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose first Busch Series win came exactly 16 years ago.

Just as Earnhardt Jr. was joined by his famous father in Victory Lane, Elliott's father was there to share his son's success. Awesome Bill from Dawsonville beamed with pride and thanked Rick Hendrick, JR Motorsports and NAPA Auto Parts for their contributions to his son's win.

On Lap 185 the 18-year-old high school senior passed Kevin Harvick with a veteran's skill. Harvick, who led a race-high 101 laps, never had another chance and wound up fourth.

Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson put on another great show, finishing second and third respectively, but neither had anything for young Elliott in the closing laps. Both Busch and Larson came from the back of the field since they were not allowed qualifying runs because of issues in tech inspection.

Elliott first led on Lap 122, and he raced Earnhardt Jr. through lap traffic for a while but after Lap 155, Earnhardt Jr. seemed to be in control of the race until a crash on Lap 168 brought out a caution. Crew chief Steve Letarte's efforts to tighten up the No. 88 just a little made the car too tight, and Earnhardt Jr. went backwards at the restart.

In just his sixth start, Elliott became the second-youngest Nationwide winner in series history. He also took the points lead from teammate Regan Smith, the only other Nationwide driver to win this season.

Monday Elliott will be back in school, catching up on homework.

For the complete finishing order, click here.


Post a Comment