Despite making contact with the wall early on in the Treatmyclot.300, Nationwide Series rookie Chase Elliott was able to finish sixth for his fourth straight top 10 finish.
Elliott qualified fifth, though fell back early as he was a little too loose at the beginning of the race. With a pit stop under his belt, Elliott started to make his way back to the front when fellow rookie Dylan Kwasniewski would make contact with him, resulting in Elliott getting into the wall. While initial thoughts dealt with worry that it’d hinder their performance moving forward, it turned out to be a positive for the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts team.
“Our car ended up handling better,” Elliott said post-race. “It ended up helping us a lot, actually, and it pretty much gave me exactly what I needed – actually a little too much so we free’d it up a little. We got up to fourth there for that last caution.”
Under the last set of pit stops, a issue with the right front would result in Elliott losing some ground, though the young driver was able to make up a couple spots and finish sixth.
So far on both mile and a half tracks this year, Elliott has shown the ability to run up front as he finished fifth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this year. Elliott noted that being a positive for him early this year and seeing the success of being able to run around his teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick in those races.
While Elliott came into the year as a rookie, there is a possibility that he could put himself into championship contention as he currently sits fourth in points, five races into the season. Though before that, focus is certainly on Elliott getting his first career win.
The next Nationwide Series event is in two weeks at Texas Motor Speedway – which was the sight of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s first Nationwide Series win in 1998. Could history repeat itself? Quite possibly given Elliott’s strength so far on the intermediate tracks. However, the young driver will have to make sure to run a perfect race given the competition with many Sprint Cup Series drivers set to run that race as well.