Avondale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) – Eighteen-year-old Chase Elliott became the
youngest champion in NASCAR national touring series history by clinching the
Nationwide Series title with a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s DAV 200
Honoring America’s Veterans at Phoenix International Raceway.
Elliott, the son of 1988 NASCAR Cup Series champion Bill Elliott and a rookie
in Nationwide this year, holds a 52-point lead over second-place and JR
Motorsports teammate Regan Smith, allowing Elliott to clinch the championship
one week before the season-ending race at Homestead. Smith finished 10th.
Kyle Busch started on the pole and dominated this race by leading 187 of 206
laps, but Brad Keselowski passed him on the final lap and then beat to the
finish line by 0.141 seconds for his fifth Nationwide win of the season and
the 32nd of his career.
Busch appeared to be on his way to victory in the closing laps, as he held a
sizeable lead over second-place Keselowski, but Alex Bowman ran out of fuel
and slowed on the track, forcing a caution and setting up a green-white-
Elliott Sadler finished third, and rookie Ty Dillon placed fourth.
Chase and Bill Elliott became the fifth father/son combo to win NASCAR
national series championships; joining the Jarretts (Ned and Dale), Pettys
(Lee and Richard), Pearsons (David and Larry) and Earnhardts (Dale and Dale
Elliott also became the first driver in any one of NASCAR’s top-three series
to claim a series title and rookie-of-the-year honors in the same season.