Skip to content

Chase Elliott roars from 6th to the win in final 2 laps at Darlington (VIDEO)

Apr 11, 2014, 10:21 PM EST

After his final pit stop of the night saw him drop from second to sixth, it appeared Chase Elliott‘s bid for victory in his first race at Darlington Raceway was over.

But the 18-year-old dynamo was far from finished.

Coming off a restart with two laps to go in the VFW/Sport Clips Help A Hero 200, the Nationwide Series rookie raced all the way to second heading for the white flag and then overtook Elliott Sadler on the final lap to earn a stunning win on one of NASCAR’s most difficult tracks.

Sadler got loose off of Turn 2 and saved it, but that opened the door for Elliott to get next to him down the backstretch before pulling off the race-winning pass in Turn 3.

“That last restart was crazy,” said Elliott, who claimed his inaugural Nationwide win just last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. “I didn’t know what to expect starting sixth and I knew those guys on two tires were going to be a little slow than those on four.

“But it happened to work out. Our lane went and [Sadler] got a little loose on 2. I was able to get to the outside and that was where I wanted to be anyways. Unbelievable. I can’t thank these guys enough…”

Starting second, he ran behind pole sitter Kyle Busch for the first 33 laps before hunting him down for the point. He would then dominate the middle stanza of the race until a caution came out for a spinning Regan Smith on Lap 88.

The subsequent pit stops saw Busch, coming from the first stall out of the pits, leap from fifth to the lead while Elliott did the reverse and fell from the lead to fifth.

Off a restart with 48 laps left, Elliott rose up to challenge Kyle Larson for second and the two young lions made contact with one another in the process. They were able to somehow avoid crashing, but the battle enabled Busch to pull away.

Elliott finally took second with 39 to go after Larson had another brush with the wall, but now had to cut into a gap of almost three seconds to Busch.

The deficit dwindled a bit as Busch fought with a loose condition and lapped traffic, but Elliott was still about a second and a half behind until Tanner Berryhill was spun out by Larson with seven laps left to trigger the caution.

Busch brought the leaders to the pits, where he dropped to third after taking four tires while Sadler and Larson took just two to gain first and second on the track.

As for Elliott, he took four tires in what appeared to be an ill-fated stop. But as it turned out, he had one more surge left in him.

When it was all over, Elliott had once again turned the heads of the Sprint Cup elite. While racing for JR Motorsports, he is a Hendrick Motorsports development driver – and the Hendrick gang was definitely impressed.

His car owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., praised Elliott and his work in post-race:

And Earnhardt’s HMS teammates also chimed in as well:

Matt Kenseth took third behind Sadler, with Busch fading to fourth and Joey Logano coming home fifth.

Elliott also extended his lead in the Nationwide Series championship to an unofficial margin of 13 points over Smith, who recovered from his earlier spin to finish eighth.

NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES – DARLINGTON RACEWAY
Unofficial Results
1. Chase Elliott, led 52 laps
2. Elliott Sadler, led 3 laps
3. Matt Kenseth
4. Kyle Busch, led 84 laps
5. Joey Logano
6. Kyle Larson, led 2 laps
7. Kevin Harvick, led 5 laps
8. Regan Smith
9. Trevor Bayne
10. Ty Dillon
11. Brian Scott
12. Landon Cassill
13. Ryan Reed
14. J.J. Yeley
15. Josh Wise
16. Mike Bliss
17. Mike Wallace
18. Dakoda Armstorng
19. Kevin Lepage
20. Jeffrey Earnhardt
21. Eric McClure
ONE LAP DOWN
22. Brendan Gaughan
23. Dylan Kwasniewski
TWO LAPS DOWN
24. Carlos Contreras
THREE LAPS DOWN
25. James Buescher
26. Joey Gase
27. Tanner Berryhill
FOUR LAPS DOWN
28. Todd Bodine
SIX LAPS DOWN
29. Derrike Cope
30. Tommy Joe Martins
31. Jeremy Clements, 10 laps down
32. Cale Conley, 11 laps down
33. Mike Harmon, 11 laps down
34. Chris Buescher, 28 laps down

35. David Starr, Lap 67, Accident
36. Matt Carter, Lap 30, Rear Gear
37. Ryan Sieg, Lap 16, Accident
38. Matt Dibenedetto, Lap 7, Overheating
39. Jeff Green, Lap 6, Brakes
40. Blake Koch, Lap 2, Vibration

Latest Posts
  1. Petter Solberg leads after Day 1 of World RX finale in Argentina

    Nov 28, 2014, 7:16 PM EST

    FIAWRXChamp

    Red Bull GRC champs Olsbergs MSE has their drivers second and fourth in the standings so far.

  2. WATCH: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET

    Nov 28, 2014, 4:45 PM EST

    nascar america

    Put down your shopping bags, heat up some Thanksgiving leftovers, and tune in for a Black Friday edition of NASCAR AMERICA on NBCSN.

  3. WEC: Porsche continues to lead the way in Sao Paulo Practice 2

    Nov 28, 2014, 4:31 PM EST

    AUTO-FRA-MOTOR-RACING-ENDURANCE Getty Images

    Mark Webber fastest in second practice for WEC at Interlagos.

  4. WEC: Brendon Hartley leads Porsche 1-2 in Sao Paulo opening practice

    Nov 28, 2014, 3:00 PM EST

    The Goodwood Festival of Speed - Day 2 Getty Images

    Porsche 919 Hybrids run 1-2 in the first session at Interlagos.

  5. WEC draws the curtain on 2014 with Brazilian round this weekend

    Nov 28, 2014, 2:00 PM EST

    BahrainWECstart Getty Images

    The end of the WEC season occurs this weekend in Brazil.

  6. F1 2014 Review: Stories of the Season

    Nov 28, 2014, 1:45 PM EST

    Mideast Emirates F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    We take a look back at some of the biggest stories in Formula 1 this year.

  7. USAC: Christopher Bell wins Turkey Night Grand Prix; Kyle Larson finishes 3rd

    Nov 28, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

    logo-usac

    Rico Abreu locks up USAC Honda Midget Series title with fifth-place finish in Thanksgiving classic.

  8. F1 2014 Driver Review: Fernando Alonso

    Nov 28, 2014, 1:00 PM EST

    Fernando Alonso AP

    Alonso proved once again in 2014 that he has ability exceeding that of the Ferrari car, but even he couldn’t make up for the shortcomings of the F14 T.

  9. Toro Rosso confirms Carlos Sainz Jr. for 2015 F1 season

    Nov 28, 2014, 12:11 PM EST

    F1 Testing In Abu Dhabi - Day One Getty Images

    Spanish driver to race alongside Max Verstappen in 2015, stepping up to make his F1 debut.

  10. F1 2014 Driver Review: Sebastian Vettel

    Nov 28, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Practice Getty Images

    Red Bull may have been underdogs after winter testing, but few could have predicted Sebastian Vettel’s bid for a fifth world title being as weak as it was.

  11. F1 2014 Driver Review: Valtteri Bottas

    Nov 28, 2014, 11:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Germany Getty Images

    After a difficult rookie season, Bottas’ sophomore year in F1 brought far more success, marking the Finn as a possible champion in the future.

  12. Ricciardo expecting good battle with Kvyat next year

    Nov 28, 2014, 10:30 AM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ENG-SILVERSTONE Getty Images

    Kvyat will replace Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull next year.

  13. Hulkenberg’s Porsche drive a great showcase for modern versatility

    Nov 28, 2014, 10:15 AM EST

    HulkPorsche2 Getty Images

    Nico Hulkenberg and Porsche: a win for both the WEC and F1 in a rare moment of motorsport unity for the common good.

  14. F1 2014 Driver Review: Daniel Ricciardo

    Nov 28, 2014, 10:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary Getty Images

    What a year it was for Daniel Ricciardo in his first season at Red Bull.

  15. Hamilton: Second F1 title takes career another step forward

    Nov 28, 2014, 9:30 AM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-BRITAIN-HAMILTON Getty Images

    Talks about a new contract with Mercedes should be brought forwards after title win.

  16. F1 2014 Driver Review: Nico Rosberg

    Nov 28, 2014, 9:00 AM EST

    Austria F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    A worthy title contender, Nico Rosberg enjoyed his most successful season to date in 2014.

  17. F1 2014 Driver Review: Lewis Hamilton

    Nov 28, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    2014 saw the Briton become a two-time F1 world champion, winning 11 races.

  18. Raikkonen confident 2015 will hold better things for Ferrari

    Nov 28, 2014, 7:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Practice Getty Images

    A new regime will come into force at Maranello next season following a disappointing campaign in 2014.

  19. Susie Wolff promoted to test driver at Williams for 2015

    Nov 28, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Germany - Practice Getty Images

    British racer will remain with Williams for 2015 after becoming the first woman to take part in a grand prix weekend session in 22 years over the summer.

  20. Famed NHRA team owner Don Schumacher undergoes cancer surgery

    Nov 27, 2014, 8:46 PM EST

    Don Schumacher and daughter Megan. (Photo courtesy ShoeRacing.com) Don Schumacher and daughter Megan. (Photo courtesy ShoeRacing.com)

    NHRA team owner Don Schumacher underwent surgery Wednesday for early-stage skin cancer.

Video from NASCAR America

Kevin Harvick's well deserved Sprint Cup
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1479)
  2. T. Stewart (1440)
  3. J. McMurray (1436)
  4. A. Dillon (1182)
  5. B. Scott (1058)