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.
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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.