The dominance for JR Motorsports continues in the Nationwide Series.
Whether it's Chase Elliott, Regan Smith or one of the full-time Sprint Cup drivers behind the wheel, a JRM car always looks strong. In Atlanta, one of the team's cars was atop the leaderboard throughout the event, leading every single lap.
Kevin Harvick and Elliott paced the field, with Harvick leading the final 159 laps to rout the field. But in terms of championship contenders, Elliott was the big winner with a fifth-place finish behind the Sprint Cup drivers.
In terms of the points standings, Elliott still leads over teammate Smith, but he has a crowded field behind him. Ty Dillon trails by just 35 points, with Elliott Sadler behind him within 50 points of the 18-year-old leader.
With the field heading to Richmond for the second time this season, here's a look a the schedule, standings and preview for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250.
Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Information
Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Georgia
When: Friday Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: WatchESPN
|Pos.||Driver||Points||Wins||Top 5||Top 10|
Not to belabor the point, but this has been a phenomenal season for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his team. At both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide level, the sport's most popular driver has enjoyed success.
Heading into Richmond, the team has eight wins between four drivers, with four of those coming from championship contenders. Despite the on-again-off-again success of the Sprint Cup drivers at the lower level, Elliott has been the brightest star for the team.
But even with a top-five finish in Atlanta, Elliott came away frustrated after a late mistake on pit road. Elliott spoke about the disappointing end to his day, per NASCAR on ESPN:
"Hopefully I can get my act together before next week. I can't be doing that," says Chase Elliott, referring to his mistake on last pit stop— NASCAR on ESPN (@ESPNNASCAR) August 31, 2014
Who will win at Richmond?
Ironically enough, the last time out in Richmond was a memorable one for JRM. With Harvick earning the win back in April, Elliott came up just short in second to earn 42 points in the standings.
But outside of the unreal performances by Junior's team, Dillon also has championship aspirations in his rookie campaign. Unfortunately, he heads to a track where he finished 14th back in April in his lone race at the Nationwide level.
Prior to his first Sprint Cup race in Atlanta, Bob Pockrass of Sporting News shared his thoughts on the young driver:
He has a lot to learn in a Cup car. Not only is he looking for more speed, but Cup cars with extra horsepower will push the tires to the brink sooner than in a Nationwide car.
... Dillon doesn't know when his next Cup race will be. He will compete in Nationwide for a second season in 2015. If his path is anything like older brother Austin's, he'll be in a Cup car in 2016.
With his brother, Austin Dillon, still in contention for a spot in the Chase at the Sprint Cup level, Ty Dillon is sitting at third in the Nationwide standings. As the season winds down, he will need to start beating out Elliott by a wide margin to close the window.
While points will be crucial for the young drivers, they will have to take down a strong contingent of Sprint Cup contenders in town. Names like Harvick and Kyle Busch will likely be near the top of the leaderboard, with both looking for a fourth win.
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