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Top five finish gives Elliott momentum

POSTED: June 29, 2011 4:00 a.m.

Chase Elliott and the HendrickCars.com/Aaron's Chevrolet team took another step forward on NASCAR's K&N Pro Series East Series as he finished fifth in the circuit's inaugural run at Langley Speedway and earned his second "Rookie of the Race' award.

Elliott, the youngest driver on the circuit at age 15, qualified seventh for the Visit Hampton VA 175 with a lap at 85.968 miles per hour around the .396-mile speedway.

A brief rain shower delayed the start just as the drivers were set to fire engines, but the skies cleared and the green flag flew just after 8 p.m.

Elliott held his own in the early going, saving his car and tires for later in the race. By Lap 78, Elliott moved into the top five, taking the position from pole-sitter Coleman Pressley.

He passed Alex Bowman for fourth just after a restart at Lap 124, and stayed there through several caution periods, moving up to third at one point before dropping back to fifth at the finish behind race winner Sergio Pena, a participant in NASCAR's Drive For Diversity program.

"We are making gains every time we race," Elliott said. "Our communication was better this week all around from my understanding of what I need and [crew chief Ricky Turner] making the adjustments."

The Visit Hampton, VA 175 will air on SPEED on June 30 at 6 p.m.

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