Chase Elliott will start Sunday’s Daytona 500 the same way he finished Saturday’s Powershares QQQ Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway: in the front.
Elliott held off a hard-charging Joey Logano to win the season-opening race. Logano nudged Elliott’s right-rear quarterfinal as they approached the finish line, with both drivers keeping control of their wobbling cars.
Fourth-place Elliott Sadler was the only driver eligible for the Xfinity championship to finish in the top five. Cup driver Kasey Kahne was third and Austin Dillon was fifth.
Elliott didn’t have this one sealed up until he blocked Logano coming out of Turn 4 of the final lap.
Three who mattered
Chase Elliott: 2014 Xfinity champ and ’15 runner-up wins season opener. He’s a fulltime Cup driver now, though.
Joey Logano: He thought he had enough to pass Elliott at the end, but couldn’t get past him on the outside.
Elliott Sadler: Elliott’s JR Motorsports teammate is the top Xfinity finisher.
<bullet> So Sadler will be the points leader, but nobody clinched a spot in the Xfinity’s Chase, since Cup-driver Elliott isn’t eligible for the title.
<bullet> Logano finished second for a third consecutive time this week. He was also runner-up in the Sprint Unlimited and in the first Duel qualifying race Thursday.
<bullet> Sadler, in his first season at JR Motorsports, said he’s been impressed with the family atmosphere of the team (co-owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Rick Hendrick) at the team. Sadler is also happy that the team has a direct relationship with Hendrick Motorsports.
They said it
“When we physically touched each other at the end, that’s what killed my momentum.” – Logano.
Heads Up Georgia 250
Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Ga.
When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1.
Radio: Performance Racing Network.