Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, finished seventh in Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) race at Kansas Speedway.
It was Elliott's series leading 24th top-10 finish, which gives him control of second position in the championship standings as the NXS heads into consecutive off-weekend's.
Elliott trails points leader Chris Buescher by 27 markers with three races remaining in the 2015 season. Kyle Busch led four times for 56 laps en route to his 75th career NXS victory.
Misfortune struck early for Elliott as he tagged the wall in qualifying resulting in the NAPA team going to a backup car.
Although Elliott qualified 12th, the 19-year-old had to drop to the tail end of the longest line upon the initial green flag. Elliott entered pit road 15th during his first time in - totaling 25 spots picked up in just 29 laps of racing.
Crew Chief Ernie Cope went to work on Elliott's machine making air pressure and chassis adjustments to help the second year JR Motorsports driver's ability to enter each corner with stability.
Elliott once again faced adversity 42 circuits into the race when leader Matt Kenseth put him one lap down.
Thirty-nine laps later, Elliott received the lucky dog and started to gain momentum as he led a late race charge to the front.
Fortune sided with Elliott as a much needed caution fell with six laps to go.
Elliott, who was 15th, elected to stay out, picking up four positions by the time the field reset on the ensuing green-white-checkered.
On a two-lap sprint to the finish, Elliott picked off four more cars, resulting in a seventh-place finish and notching his third consecutive top-10 in a resilient performance.
Busch bested Kenseth, Joey Logano, Ty Dillon and Regan Smith for his fifth NXS victory in 2015.
"Just my mistake completely. We should have never been in that spot there. I made a mistake in qualifying and tore up our NAPA Auto Parts Chevy (and I thought it was pretty good,) which ended up putting us in a hole. We got lucky there at the end. Overall it was my fault putting us in that position (qualifying) and I feel bad about it. I don't know if you guys saw it or not, but the guy on the final restart, on the outside, ran out of gas, allowing me to push forward. I'd like to be honest with myself, it wasn't all me picking up those spots. I didn't do anything special, my lane just happened to go," Elliott said.