Chase Elliott is certainly not your average 18 year-old. Most kids his age are not racing full-time, let alone winning a race at the national level. Elliott’s competing on a week-to-week basis in the Nationwide Series with some of the best drivers in NASCAR and beating them on a consistent basis. Making him one extraordinary teenager.
Elliott’s victory at Texas Motor Speedway Friday Night backed up all of the statements regarding his talent. It’s hard to call him a spoiled rich kid following the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 as he had quite the performance. He not only won the race, but held off drivers including Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick who are always contenders in the NNS events they run.
Throughout Friday Night’s race, it was a story of JR Motorsports and Kyle Busch. JRM drivers led a majority of the race and stayed up front throughout the night. Kyle Busch also had a very strong car, but he just didn’t have enough speed to catch Elliott in the final laps.
The No.9 car came alive with 65 laps remaining as that was when he took his first lead of the race. However, Elliott’s teammate and owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead 11 laps later.
When the final caution of the night came out with 32 laps to go, a solid pit stop for Elliott’s crew put him in second for the restart. Elliott now had to contend with Kevin Harvick, who in fact helped Elliott learn the track earlier in the week. “I went to him (Harvick) for a lot of advice this week and he helped me out and gave me some tips” Elliott said regarding how he was able to be so successful in his first race at the track.
Although Harvick had the strongest car, Elliott was able to pass him with 16 laps to go. From that point on, Elliott easily navigated the path to his first career Nationwide Series victory.
“I can’t believe it” Elliott said multiple times in victory lane. Coming into the season, no one would have believed that Elliott was going to win one of the first six races. Many thought he may grab a victory by the end of the season, making this an unexpected victory.
Elliott will head back to high school next week before heading to the Lady in Black where he will try and grab his second straight victory.
Results via ESPN.com
|5||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||200||4||15||0||0||0|
|34||Robert Richardson Jr.||Chevrolet||52||31||0||10||0||0|
|35||Tommy Joe Martins||76||Ford||34||22||0||9||0||0|