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Elliott finishes second at Richmond
Elliott finishes second pic
Chase Elliott continues his Nationwide Series points lead with his latest top-five finish, taking second place at Richmond. - photo by For the Dawson Community News

Dawsonville's "hometown hero" Chase Elliott continues his Nationwide Series points lead with his latest top-five finish, taking second place.

Elliott, the driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, finished second in the Sept. 5 race at Richmond International Raceway.

"From the time we unloaded and all the way through practice I felt like my NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet was very similar to the way it performed in tonight's race," Elliott said in a press release.

Elliott continues to lead the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings by 19 points over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith. Race winner Kyle Busch led all 250 laps to earn his 67th career Nationwide Series victory.

"There were times throughout the weekend where I thought we were a little off, but there were also times where I thought we were OK," Elliott said. "We just didn't quite have the speed we needed to win this race and missing grip here and there could have also helped us get by the No. 54."

Starting third, Elliott battled a loose NAPA Chevrolet in the early laps. Crew chief Greg Ives made air pressure and chassis adjustments on the team's first pit stop during lap 74. Elliott lost a spot on the ensuing restart, but was able to reclaim the third position before another caution at lap 84.

For the majority of the race, Elliott consistently rode in the third position. After a slight hiccup on a lap-166 pit stop, Elliott dropped to a race-low fifth position. When the field went back to green on lap 172, Elliott quickly made up lost time and settled back into the third position.

On the final restart with 18 laps to go, Elliott restarted third behind Busch and Kevin Harvick. The 18-year-old rookie dove inside of Harvick to steal the second spot, but could not muster a challenge for Busch's No. 54 car in the late laps. Elliott secured his fourth consecutive top-five result with a runner-up finish for the second time in as many starts at the .75-mile track this season. Busch earned the victory followed by Elliott, Harvick, Ryan Blaney and Brian Scott.

"Not sure if we got any better from the spring race until now, but if there's anything, we have some work to do and we will get to it and be prepared for Chicago next week," Elliott said.