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Elliott holds off Bayne for Nationwide win

By Jay Cohen, AP Sports Writer
EMAIL STORY CONTACT EDITOR PRINT
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Chase Elliott celebrates after winning Saturday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Chicagoland Speedway. It marked the third win of the year for Elliott. / Photo: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images
JOLIET, IL Chase Elliott is proving to be a quick study. A few questions for his teammates and a couple 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 provided some importance 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.

The night began with a pair of Richard Childress Racing teammates in front after Scott and Dillon had the best showing in qualifying. It was Scott's second pole of the season and No. 4 for his career. He won his first Nationwide Series pole at Chicagoland on Sept. 17, 2011.

Scott led for 20 laps before Elliott moved in front.

Erik Jones finished seventh in his Nationwide debut, driving Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 20 Toyota. The 18-year-old Jones won the Truck Series race last week at Iowa in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota he shares with Busch. Jones also won a Truck race last year in Phoenix.

Jones is expected to make two more Nationwide starts in Matt Kenseth's car this season.

"It was definitely a learning experience for me and everybody involved," he said. "I feel like I learned a lot the whole night and really picked up on some things that will help me through the next couple."

Jones got some advice from Busch in preparation for his first run in the series.

"A lot of what we talked about was working through traffic and it definitely helped out," Jones said. "It was something I was able to apply right away tonight and use to my advantage."

Smith, who led the series standings by eight points over Elliott Sadler coming into the day, started 15th after a disappointing qualifying session, and it just got worse during the race. He never got into the mix on his way to 16th place.

It was similar to last year, when Smith was on top of the series heading into the first stop at Chicagoland, and then slid into the infield on Lap 129 and finished 13th. He had the same finish in the September race at the same track.

NASCAR Nationwide Series
Chicagoland Speedway - Joliet, IL
EnjoyIllinois.com 300 - July 19, 2014


(Start position in parentheses)

1. (3) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 200 laps, 145.2 rating, 48 points, $93,675.
2. (11) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 200, 109.9, 43, $67,300.
3. (12) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 200, 122.4, 0, $38,775.
4. (5) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 200, 106.9, 0, $28,900.
5. (2) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 200, 110.9, 39, $32,600.
6. (1) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 200, 113.2, 39, $35,350.
7. (4) Erik Jones, Toyota, 200, 99.5, 0, $28,585.
8. (13) Chris Buescher, Ford, 200, 95, 37, $26,670.
9. (8) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 200, 118.7, 0, $25,150.
10. (7) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 200, 97.1, 35, $25,525.
11. (9) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 200, 86.9, 33, $24,175.
12. (10) Cale Conley, Chevrolet, 199, 87.5, 0, $23,375.
13. (21) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 199, 77.4, 31, $22,850.
14. (18) J.J. Yeley, Dodge, 199, 73.6, 30, $22,325.
15. (14) Ryan Reed, Ford, 198, 80, 29, $22,925.
16. (15) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 198, 81.4, 28, $21,850.
17. (19) Dylan Kwasniewski, Chevrolet, 198, 73.7, 27, $21,725.
18. (17) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 198, 74.6, 26, $21,600.
19. (22) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 198, 67, 25, $21,475.
20. (26) Dakoda Armstrong, Ford, 197, 62.1, 25, $22,050.
21. (24) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 197, 65.4, 23, $21,225.
22. (27) David Starr, Toyota, 197, 62.7, 22, $21,070.
23. (16) James Buescher, Toyota, 196, 74.8, 22, $20,920.
24. (29) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 196, 56.5, 20, $20,770.
25. (25) Eric McClure, Toyota, 196, 48.4, 19, $21,130.
26. (34) Jamie Dick, Chevrolet, 193, 45, 18, $20,495.
27. (23) John Wes Townley, Toyota, 193, 56.7, 0, $14,345.
28. (20) Chad Boat, Chevrolet, 192, 48.6, 16, $14,170.
29. (30) Tanner Berryhill, Dodge, 192, 43.5, 15, $14,045.
30. (35) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 190, 39.8, 14, $14,195.
31. (31) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 188, 37.6, 13, $19,765.
32. (38) Richard Harriman, Chevrolet, suspension, 112, 34.2, 12, $19,630.
33. (37) Josh Reaume, Chevrolet, vibration, 107, 36.3, 11, $19,515.
34. (28) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, brakes, 50, 45.8, 10, $19,405.
35. (36) Carl Long, Chevrolet, overheating, 15, 35.9, 9, $13,283.
36. (6) Sam Hornish Jr., Toyota, engine, 7, 39.7, 8, $19,275.
37. (40) Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, vibration, 6, 35.3, 7, $12,240.
38. (39) Mike Harmon, Dodge, fuel pump, 6, 30.8, 6, $18,186.
39. (33) Blake Koch, Toyota, vibration, 4, 30.9, 5, $12,070.
40. (32) Kevin Lepage, Dodge, electrical, 3, 29.7, 4, $12,030.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 146.779 mph.

Time of Race: 2 hours, 2 minutes, 38 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 1.773 seconds.

Caution Flags: 3 for 13 laps.

Lead Changes: 17 among 11 drivers.

Lap Leaders: B.Scott 1-20; C.Elliott 21-50; R.Blaney 51-55; E.Sadler 56; D.Armstrong 57; C.Elliott 58-72; R.Blaney 73-107; K.Larson 108-111; K.Kahne 112-114; E.Jones 115-116; C.Buescher 117; J.Buescher 118-120; R.Blaney 121-127; K.Larson 128-142; C.Elliott 143-158; K.Larson 159-162; T.Bayne 163-176; C.Elliott 177-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): C.Elliott, 4 times for 85 laps; R.Blaney, 3 times for 47 laps; K.Larson, 3 times for 23 laps; B.Scott, 1 time for 20 laps; T.Bayne, 1 time for 14 laps; K.Kahne, 1 time for 3 laps; J.Buescher, 1 time for 3 laps; E.Jones, 1 time for 2 laps; C.Buescher, 1 time for 1 lap; E.Sadler, 1 time for 1 lap; D.Armstrong, 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 10 in Points: 1. C.Elliott, 646; 2. R.Smith, 639; 3. E.Sadler, 638; 4. T.Dillon, 616; 5. B.Scott, 599; 6. T.Bayne, 596; 7. B.Gaughan, 526; 8. C.Buescher, 523; 9. J.Buescher, 492; 10. R.Reed, 485.
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