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Elliott could clinch Nationwide Series in Phoenix
Maintains points lead after 4th place finish Saturday
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Dawsonville's Chase Elliott could clinch the NASCAR Nationwide Series title a week before the season ends if all goes well in Phoenix this weekend.

Following his 15th top-five finish this year in Saturday's Texas 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, Elliott is 48 points ahead of JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith.

"This was a complete race for us, and one that we would like to replicate two more times this season," he said after the race. "I'm looking forward to Phoenix."

The series winner will be crowned Nov. 15 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Elliott drove his No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet to a fourth place finish after starting 11th in Saturday's race.

Kyle Busch earned his 70th career Nationwide Series win, after he led a race-high 116 of 200 laps.

Elliott fell out of the top-10 after he reported losing grip on lap 35.

"We really struggled to start the day. We were running decent, but not great at the beginning," he said.

As the caution flag fell on lap 49, crew chief Greg Ives brought Elliott to pit road, where the team executed a near-flawless pit stop and kept Elliott in the mix.

"For us to go from that side of the spectrum, to running inside the top five at the end of the day, I really can't thank my NAPA Auto Parts team enough for not giving up on me," Elliott said.

As the race neared the halfway mark of 100 laps, Elliott radioed that he was having issues controlling the front end of the racecar.

Then a caution flag came out on lap 96, allowing him to come to pit road for fresh tires and another chassis adjustment.

The final restart came on lap 137, where Elliott found himself in the seventh position.

As the final laps wound to a close, Elliott gradually gained on the leaders. In the midst of the longest green-flag run of the day, the NAPA team made one final pit stop on lap 180.

Busch, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Elliott and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top five.

"It was, in my opinion, our best performance of the year," Elliott said.

 

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