Chase Elliott took over the lead on the 185th lap and held on to win his first race at the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
The young rookie led for 38 total laps and finished strong to earn the victory in just his sixth event. The Nationwide Series Twitter account was certainly excited for the win:
Kyle Busch finished in second place, while Kyle Larson was able to finish in third in a loaded field.
Here is a look at the top finishers in Friday's race:
|2||Kyle Busch||54||2.666 sec|
|3||Kyle Larson||42||2.799 sec|
|4||Kevin Harvick||5||3.429 sec|
|5||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||88||4.474 sec|
|6||Matt Kenseth||20||5.326 sec|
|7||Regan Smith||7||6.933 sec|
|8||Dave Blaney||22||7.850 sec|
|9||Ty Dillon||3||9.119 sec|
|10||Elliott Sadler||11||10.159 sec|
This Nationwide Series event was loaded from the start with numerous big names following pole-sitter Kevin Harvick:
Harvick was able to keep the lead for a good portion of the race at the beginning, but he was not without a challenge:
Eventually, the veteran was forced to give up the lead as Busch took over the top spot:
Busch leads Larson and Harvick on Lap 91/200.— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) April 5, 2014
These talented drivers continued to battle for a good portion of the race, but a new name moved himself into the running in the second half in Elliott. The 18-year-old driver showed that he is among the best in the competition despite his young age.
Steve O'Donnell of NASCAR.com notes how well the son of former champion Bill Elliott had been overall:
The rookie @chaseelliott not only leading the race but has taken over point lead as well-impressive!— Steve O'Donnell (@odsteve) April 5, 2014
Going forward, it became a teammate battle as Dale Earnhardt Jr. made his push to the front:
Earnhardt eventually made his way to the front, but this did not last long as a variety of drivers rallied to the front. This continued until one accident that caused a caution:
Lap 169: Jamie Dick and Chris Buescher involved in a wreck. Caution is out and pit stops likely coming up.— NASCAR Nationwide (@NASCAR_NNS) April 5, 2014
Harvick was the fourth into the pit but the first to leave, giving himself the lead that he seemed unwilling to give up. Of course, this was still underrating one particular rookie driver.
On the 185th lap, Elliott zoomed past Harvick, creating a dramatic finish that brought fans to the edge of their seats:
Despite a tough challenge from Busch, Elliott was able to hold on for the victory. This is quite a change for the young competitors from his normal activities:
His mother was quite proud of him watching along, via ESPN:
Once he was able to take in the moment, Elliott was quite excited as well:
"Unbelievable. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for any racer who wants to try to make it to the top. I can't believe it" says Chase— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) April 5, 2014
This will certainly remain a historic moment in the career of Chase Elliott. With the true talent on display in this race, it seems likely this is the first of many wins.
If he can continue to improve at this level, he will be winning Sprint Cup Series titles before too long.
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