Chase Elliott dominated the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night, leading 85 of the races’ 200 laps en route to his third career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory. Elliott beat runner up Trevor Bayne by two seconds.
Finishing in the third position was Kyle Larson with Kasey Kahne coming home fourth and Ty Dillon coming home fifth. Finishing in the sixth spot was Brian Scott. Scott was the highest finishing driver in the Dash4Cash at Chicagoland Speedway, meaning Scott and his team won $100,000. Finishing in the seventh position was Erik Jones in his first career Nationwide Series start. Chris Buescher came home eighth. Ryan Blaney ninth and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top ten.
Scott sat on the pole for the EnjoyIllinois.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway and Scott flew out to the lead. On lap nine, Sam Hornish Jr’s engine would expire causing the races first caution flag. Hornish was driving the #54 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing and the blown engine relegated them to a 36th place finish.
The race would restart on lap 14 with Scott leading the field to green. On lap 21 Chase Elliott passed Scott for the lead and showed that he was going to be a force to deal with all night long. Elliott and Scott would fight hard for the lead the next few laps but Elliott would eventually pull away and lead by 1.677 seconds on lap 30.
Elliott’s lead continued to grow and on lap 51 Chase Elliott would pit, leading the round of green flag pit stops. After the stops cycled around Elliott continued to lead on lap 67. On lap 69 the races’ second caution flag flew when Richard Harriman smacked the wall. Harriman finished 32nd.
On lap 74 the race would restart with Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott on the front row. Blaney would pull away from the field and would lead, driving the #22 Ford for Team Penske. Blaney would continue to lead through the halfway point and wouldn’t give up the lead until lap 108 when Kyle Larson passed Blaney for the lead.
Green flag pit stops would begin on lap 109 and just as pit stops cycled around on lap 123 caution flew for debris in turn four causing the races’ third caution flag.
Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott found themselves in the lead on lap 127 as Blaney led early in the run. However, Kyle Larson got the lead on lap 128 and he led until lap 143 when Larson got loose and Chase Elliott pushed himself back into the lead. Elliott would lead until he would have to pit on lap 158 and Larson was back in front.
Meanwhile Trevor Bayne inherited the lead on the stops as he and crew chief Chad Norris played the strategy game to get in front and would try and use fresh tires at the end of the race to chase down the dominate Chase Elliott. Bayne stayed out front until lap 176 when he pitted, giving the lead back to Elliott.
Over the next 20 laps Bayne would cut down significantly on Elliott’s four second lead but Bayne ran out of laps as Elliott cruised to his third career NASCAR Nationwide Series victory.
Other notables in the field included the last lead lap car in the form of Brendan Gaughan in 11th. Cale Conley was 12th, Ryan Reed in 15th, Regan Smith in 16th, Dylan Kwasniewski in 17th, and James Buescher 23rd.
Chase Elliott leads the points standings by seven points over teammate Regan Smith. Elliott Sadler is eight points back in third. Fourth in the standings is Ty Dillon who is 30 points behind with Brian Scott fifth in the standings 47 points behind. Sixth in the standings is Trevor Bayne with Brendan Gaughan seventh, Chris Buescher in eighth, James Buescher in ninth and Ryan Reed in tenth.
Qualifying for next weekend's Dash4Cash were Brian Scott, Chase Elliott, Trevor Bayne, and Ty Dillon. The next race on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule is the Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 26th.
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Tags: Chase Elliott, Chicagoland Speedway, Motorsports, NASCAR, NASCAR Nationwide Series, Trevor Bayne