The horn in Dawsonville will be screaming for the second week in a row.
In dramatic fashion, Chase Elliott toyed with Elliott Sadler to secure his second win in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The win came after the two battled and roughed each other up on the final lap, and it was the perfect ending for an event at Darlington Raceway.
Elliott became the first rookie to win the NNS race at Darlington, making an already-impressive win more astounding. In addition to running with veteran Sadler, the driver of the No. 9 also fending off the likes of Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Kevin Harvick.
In the post-race conference, Sadler wasn’t sure if he could’ve held the rookie off. “I got really lose, but he didn’t touch me.” Despite the loss, the veteran’s spirit remained intact.
The duo was set up by a caution with seven laps to go. Sadler gambled, taking two tires on the final stop. By the time the field went green, two laps remained, and the stakes were high.
At eighteen-years-old, Elliott has become the youngest driver in NNS history to win two races. The record was previously held by Joey Logano. This victory comes in his first start at Darlington, and it propels him to the top of the points. He holds court in the NNS standings, thirteen points above Regan Smith.
Kenseth, who finished third, was happy for the young winner. He talked about watching him grow up and likened the feeling to watching the success of his own son, racer Ross Kenseth.
It’s obvious that fans are not the only ones who are impressed. Even owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. was shocked, but in a great way.
“[The No. 9 team] are well put together. [Chase Elliott] came into [Darlington Raceway] unassuming, and he took what he got….Everything he’s doing makes sense.”
The boss also commented on his driver’s progression, saying with a laugh, “We like to think we’re going to keep him, but it looks like he’s ahead of schedule.”
When it came to the race winner himself, things were simple: “I’m not really sure how I did that. [Elliott Sadler] got loose in two, and I got pretty close to him.”
“I haven’t thought about [moving into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series] at all. I’m focused on what I’m doing now,” he stated, showing his levelheadedness about his position in the sport of racing itself.
Under the lights at Darlington Raceway, Chase Elliott won for the second week in a row, bringing the total to two wins in seven NASCAR Nationwide Series starts. As the horn screamed in Dawsonville, it served as a reminder that the eighteen-year-old is a force to be reckoned with, especially if The Lady in Black is on his side.
Point Standings after the 32nd Annual VFW Sport Clips Help a Hero 200
1. Chase Elliott (–)
2. Regan Smith (-13)
3. Elliott Sadler (-20)
4. Ty Dillon (-23)
5. Trevor Bayne (-30)
6. Brian Scott (-46)
7. Brendan Gaughan (-56)
8. Dylan Kwasniewski (-71)
9. James Buescher (-76)
10. Ryan Reed (-99)
11. Mike Bliss (-106)
12. Dakoda Armstrong (-111)