Chase Elliott holds off Trevor Bayne for NASCAR Nationwide win at Chicagoland

Associated Press Published:

JOLIET, Ill. -- Chase Elliott held off Trevor Bayne to win the Nationwide Series stop at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday night.

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.

Elliott's third victory of the year, following wins at Texas and Darlington, moved him to the top of the series standings.

Kyle Larson was third, followed by Kasey 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.

Regan 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.

Stewart back racing sprint cars after wreck

Tony Stewart was back in a sprint car on Friday night, winning a race in the same series he raced in when he broke two bones in his right leg.

It was unknown if this is Stewart's first sprint car race this season because he didn't announce when he'd compete. Stewart is available because the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is off this weekend.

Stewart's runs were posted on Facebook and Twitter. Stewart posted his result on Twitter early Saturday morning.

"If you haven't heard already, I ran my sprint car tonight and won! Felt great to run it again. Was a 2nd place car but had a little luck :)," he wrote.

Dirt track star Dustin Daggett tweeted a photo of Stewart's No. 14 car at Tri-City Motor Speedway in Auburn, Michigan. Daggett also tweeted, "Raced hard in heat against Tony Stewart! But we got him, now for the Feature!"

Stewart crashed last year at Southern Iowa Speedway in Oskaloosa, where he flipped his 360 winged sprint car while leading with five laps remaining in the 30-lap feature. He missed the final 15 Cup races last year after breaking his leg in two places.

Stewart posted several pictures to his new Twitter account in May of a car he drove for a test session. He also posted that the car had safety improvements to the torque tube to prevent an injury such as the one he suffered.

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.