In another outstanding performance, 18-year old Chase Elliott made it to victory lane for the third time this season. The No. 9 team stole the show throughout the night as they proved early on they were the ones to beat at Chicagoland Speedway.
Brian Scott began the race on the pole and held the lead through the first yellow-flag of the race for Sam Hornish Jr.’s expired engine. However, he would not be able to hold off Elliott for long. The rocket-ship Elliott had first appeared out front on lap 21.
The mid-portion of the race was the only time in which Elliott did not lead. Ryan Blaney was able to get around him on the second restart. Blaney would then surrender the top spot to Kyle Larson on lap 107.
The No. 42 car remained out front until the third caution for debris. Blaney battled Larson on the ensuing restart, but Larson regained the lead.
Contact with the wall slowed Larson down as Elliott was able to maneuver around him and take the top spot once again. Larson returned to the front on lap 161.
Following the last round of green-flag pit stops, it was Elliott emerging as the leader. From that point on, it was his race to lose. Despite Trevor Bayne chasing him down on fresher tires, he kept the top spot and went on to secure the victory.
One common trait among Elliott’s three wins is that before the race weekend, he had never raced on the tracks. Just like he entered Texas Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway, he came into Chicagoland with no earlier experience and was able to leave victorious.
What’s his secret? Practice. “I try to make the most of the practice laps” he said during a victory lane interview.
The race within the race was for the $100,000 “Dash 4 Cash” incentive offered by Nationwide Insurance for the top three finishing series regulars from New Hampshire along with last week’s D4C winner Regan Smith. Brian Scott took home the prize as he proved to have the strongest car among those vying for the cash.
By winning, Scott qualified himself for a chance at an extra $100,000 next weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He will have to beat a completely different set of series regulars though as Elliott, Bayne and Ty Dillon will be eligible.
Catch the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ third annual event at the Brickyard next Saturday afternoon on ESPN.
Results via ESPN.com
|27||John Wes Townley||25||Toyota||193||23||0||0||0||0|
|36||Sam Hornish Jr.||Toyota||7||6||0||8||0||0|