Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Elliott ends winless streak at Richmond, makes points gain

Chase Elliott- Charlotte Bray for Skirts and Scuffs
Last Friday night, Chase Elliott found his way to victory lane at Richmond International Raceway. The defending Xfinity Series champion held off Sprint Cup regular Kyle Busch for his first win of the 2015 season. Elliott was on a winless streak of 39 races. With a few close ones this year where he was on the cusp of winning, he was determined to get back in victory lane. Elliott said, "Man, we had a couple chances (to win this season) but things just didn't go our way."

After a disappointing season thus far, everything fell into place for the Virginia 529 College 250. Elliott’s qualifying time of 22.288 sconds was good enough for sixth position. Elliott said, "The pit stops were by far the best they have been all season and they just did a killer job. I cannot say enough about our pit crew tonight. They were the ones who gave us the chance to win." Calls by crew chief Ernie Cope helped the No. 9 team get to where they wanted to be at the end of the race. Cope brought Elliott down pit road during the final caution for fuel and four tires. Elliott came down pit road second and came out first for the restart. The restart also worked out in his favor. Once at the restart, it looked like Busch made contact his Elliott's bumper. As soon as Elliott pulled away Busch had no chance of catching him. The No. 9 car just had more speed.

Elliott got his first victory at the track and it was the perfect time to do so. The win marked the 400th all-time victory for Chevrolet in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. It was also the first time in 22 races that a lower series driver won the Xfinity Series race at Richmond. The legendary siren at the Dawsonville Pool Room sounded, as it does every time when an Elliott wins a race.

With only eight races left, the fight for the championship will be close. Elliott is determined to become a back-to-back champion before taking over for Jeff Gordon in 2016. Going into the race, Elliott was third in points behind Chris Buscher and Ty Dillon. After this win, he has moved up to second in points, only 21 points behind Buscher. The next race is at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 19, where Elliott has one win under his belt.

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Skirts and Scuffs intern Kaitlyn Kochanski lives in Shavertown, Pennsylvania, about 45 minutes away from Pocono Raceway. Her love of NASCAR has taken her to many races at Pocono and even to a couple at Atlanta Motor Speedway. She loves watching the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Kaitlyn's other interests include track and field, the New York Yankees, rock music and classic cars.

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