Chase Elliott takes Nationwide Series race in Chicago
Rookie earns third victory of season, sits atop standings.
The Associated Press
JOLIET, Ill. — Chase Elliott is proving to be a quick study. A few questions for his teammates and a couple of practice laps, and he was ready to roll in his first race at Chicagoland Speedway.
Elliott held off Trevor Bayne to earn his third Nationwide Series win of the season Saturday night, putting the rookie on top of the standings.
“We had an awesome race going,” Elliott said. “I try to make the most of my practice laps. They gave me a good car. That gives me time to learn the track in practice.”
Elliott had a strong car all day long for JR Motorsports, qualifying third and leading a race-high 85 laps. Bayne tried to chase him down on fresh tires in the final laps, but ran out of time.
“The gap was closing,” Bayne said. “Probably 10 more laps, but we’ll never know.”
Elliott, the son of former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, also won in his first trips to Texas and Darlington this year. He leads the standings by seven points over Regan Smith.
Chase Elliott said Smith and Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw provided some important advice about the track.
“I did have some questions that I asked, and I definitely think that helped tonight,” he said. “So thankful to have a couple great teammates and good to have something to lean back on with those guys.”
Kyle Larson was third, followed by Kahne and Ty Dillon to round out the top five.
Brian Scott, who started on the pole, finished sixth and earned $100,000 in the second event of the four-race “Dash 4 Cash” bonus program.
Kahne and Larson were the lone Sprint Cup regulars in the field on an off weekend for NASCAR’s top series. Everyone comes back to Chicagoland in September on the same weekend that the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins at the 1.52-mile oval.
• IndyCar’s weekend doubleheader will be crammed into one day because Saturday’s race was called because of rain.
IndyCar was scheduled to run a second race Sunday in Toronto. The open wheel series will now run both races Sunday.
IndyCar officials originally had decided to make it a 90-minute or 65-lap race once it started. But with rain falling into the night, officials decided to call the race.
Sebastien Bourdais won his first open-wheel pole since 2007 earlier in the day.
• Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the German Grand Prix as Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton crashed out in a qualifying session and will start 15th on the grid. Rosberg completed the fastest lap on the Hockenheimring in 1 minute, 16.540 seconds in the third part of the session for what was also the weekend’s fastest time.