The Lady in Black was no adversary for Chase Elliott who dominated the race track nicknamed “Too Tough to Tame”. It was his first crack at getting a handle on the intricacies of the turns and her personality and it didn’t take too long for Elliott to speak wheel his way to a win. He did it in his first try and he gathered his second win in a row in his rookie season.
Elliott wasted no time in moving toward the front of the pack as he was challenging for the third position by lap 26 in Friday night’s race at Darlington Raceway. He took the lead for the first time on lap 34. He would lose the lead after a caution on lap 88. A poor pit stop caused him to lose five spots. Kyle Busch came up with the lead and that’s where he stayed until the last round of pit stops with seven laps to go.
It was on the last round of pit stops when Elliott Sadler took two tires and took over the race lead. Kyle Larson’s car also had two fresh Goodyear Eagles and the pair went to battle when the green flag dropped with two laps left in the contest. Sadler was able to go to the point, but Chase Elliott got a big run and took over second place. As Chase Elliott was coming behind Elliott Sadler, Sadler got sideways-loose and Chase Elliott was able to sneak by for the first position by the time the white flag flew.
Chase Elliott was able to cruise into Victory Lane. With this win, he became the youngest driver to win two Nationwide Series races in his rookie season.
Kyle Larson certainly had quite the race. He started in dead last after his team had to do extensive repairs to his car just prior to the start of the race. That didn’t bother him as he worked his way through the field. By lap 29, he was in the eighth position. He would be in the top ten for the rest of the race, but he had a handful to keep it there. He got into the wall several times putting pressure on the right rear tire. He tussled with the No. 17 of Tanner Berryhill which sent Berryhill spinning to bring out a caution, which was one of seven of the evening. Larson was able to finish sixth.
Kyle Busch led the most laps of the race with 84. He started from the pole and fought a great battle throughout the race. When they counted, his pit stops were flawless. Busch would finish in the fourth spot.
For the third straight time, Elliott Sadler finished second at Darlington Raceway. He told reporters after the race that he felt like the win slipped away from him. It literally did as he slid sideways which cost him the lead prior to the last lap.
Rookie Ty Dillon had splitter trouble in the beginning of the race, but he was able to fight back to a top ten finish.
The top ten: Chase Elliott, Elliott Sadler, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Regan Smith, Trevor Bayne, Ty Dillon.
Chase Elliott now leads the points in the NASCAR Nationwide Series followed by Regan Smith.
The next Nationwide Series race is Friday, April 25 at 7 p.m. ET at Richmond International Raceway.