Chase Elliott, 14-year-old son of Bill Elliott, did his daddy proud by winning his first race of the season. Elliott took his No. 9 Aaron's Dream Machine to victory lane at Gresham Motorsports Park this past weekend.
Elliott has come close to winning several times in the 2010 season. But his nearly flawless run in the Monolith Companies 100 gave him the coveted checkered flag and the trophy.
"We just had a really good car start to finish," Elliott said. "We were a little loose at the beginning of the race, but as the tires came in, it tightened up, and this thing was awesome."
Elliott was just a bit delayed in getting to the race track on Friday, the day before the main event. Seems young Chase had to get through school and finish up his homework before putting the car on the race track.
Once on the track, Elliott qualified well, securing the second position right behind his teammate Casey Roderick. Roderick took the pole with a time of 16.485 seconds while Elliott timed in at 16.488 seconds, a mere three thousandths of a second difference.
Although Elliott and his teammate qualified well, the luck of the draw for the race played out in reverse order. Roderick drew the sixth position for the start and Elliott leapfrogged to the pole position for the race.
When he took the green flag, Elliott shoved the gas pedal to the floor. But he got loose off of turn four, allowing Dwayne Buggay to get into the lead.
After the first caution at Lap 15, Elliott challenged Buggay and took the lead. The caution flag flew for a second time, and Elliott again held onto the top spot.
On Lap 57, the caution flag flew again for a wreck involving Elliott's chief competitor, Buggay. After the race was red-flagged for clean up on the track, Elliott got back at it, battling this time with his Bill Elliott Racing teammate.
Elliott took the advantage on the restart, but Roderick stayed with him, challenging him for the lead. The duo raced side by side through turn four, until Elliott took command.
On Lap 65, Elliott was still out in the lead. But his teammate Roderick was not so fortunate, getting into a major wreck with another racer, T.J. Reaid, to bring out the red flag yet again.
"When I got into T.J., my car just bottomed out and washed up the track and went sideways," Roderick said. "When I tried to correct it, I turned into T.J. and we ended up in the wall."
"It was just hard racing for second," Roderick continued. "I think we had a pretty good car though.
With Roderick out, Elliott and another racer, Slocumb, were next in line to battle for the race lead. Slocumb was black flagged, however, for jumping the restart, paving the way for the young Elliott's first win of the year.
Elliott, who had been burned in other races with late race incidents robbing him of the win, waited until he had the checkered flag in both of his hands before allowing himself to finally celebrate.
"You never know," Elliott said. "You just can't be out front and know you are going to win. You just have to try as hard as you can every lap.
"It feels great to win."
Elliott was also treated to a special and unique victory celebration. The siren on top of the Pool Room was set off to mark the native son's achievement.
Elliott will next head off to Montgomery Motor Speedway's "Show Me The Money" race on April 24.
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