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Elliott breaks 39-race winless streak by taking Richmond
I-Elliott wins pic
The thunderous SI-RENE atop the world famous Pool Room woke up Dawsonville as Chase Elliott broke a 39-race winless streak to take the checkered flag Friday night at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia. Elliotts next race will be Saturday at Chicagoland. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

The thunderous SI-RENE atop the world famous Pool Room woke up Dawsonville as Chase Elliott took the checkered flag Friday night at Richmond International Raceway in Virginia.

Coming off a 39 race winless streak, Elliott's Virginia529 College Savings 250 victory powered him within 21 points of points of Xfinity series leader Chris Buescher, who finished 10th.

"We always want to come and give our best shot and try to win," Elliott said. "I'm just super excited to be back in Victory Lane."

Elliott started off the day with a strong sixth-place qualifying effort to help position himself up front where he stayed the entire night, never dropping outside the top six.

Leading a race-high 83 laps on the way to his first win at Richmond and the fourth of his career, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet was able to hold off veteran Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch, who finished a mere 1.308 seconds behind the winner.

Brian Scott finished third, followed by Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Regan Smith and Josh Berry.

Elliott, the reigning Xfinity Series champ, was first off pit road under caution on Lap 218 of 250 and held the top spot the rest of the way.

"I had a killer car," he said, as turned the praise to his crew.

"I cannot say enough about our pit crew tonight. They are the ones who gave us the chance to go and win this race. The pit stops were by far the best they have been all season and they just did a killer job. I'm very happy for those guys and excited about Chicago next weekend."

Friday night's win moved Elliott to second in points with eight races left in a season and marked the 400th win for Chevrolet.

"We are very proud of Chase Elliot and his win tonight at Richmond International Raceway," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of performance vehicles and motorsports. "We salute all the drivers, team owners, and crews for their performance and contribution in securing each and every one of the 400 wins for Chevrolet from 1982 to today in the NASCAR's Xfinity Series."

To top off the weekend, Elliott also took the checkered flag Sunday in the Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motorspeedway.

After a gear box issue and a flat tire sent him down pit road under caution at lap 153, Elliott used a furious rally from 10th to charge back to the front in the 51st annual Alabama 200, leading lap 176 over Kyle Grissom before a late-race caution set up a restart with 23 laps to go in the historic event.

"It started when [crew chief] Ricky [Turner] made the adjustments I needed at the halfway break," Elliott said of picking up his third career Southern Super Series win. "I feel like our car was pretty decent, but that flat tire really set us back. Luckily we were able to get a tire put on the thing and I was fortunate on a couple of those final restarts to be in the right lane and get back to the front."

Despite spinning the tires when the green flag returned, Elliott ultimately passed Grissom for good on lap 181, leading the final 20 circuits unchallenged to pick up his second career Alabama 200 victory, both coming in the past three years.

"The end of the race was good, but I didn't have a very good restart on that last green flag and made it twice as hard on myself," Elliott added of the final run at lap 178. "I appreciate Kyle [Grissom] racing me clean - I thought he did a really good job today. This is a great day for us, though, and I'm glad we were good enough when it mattered."

 

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