MOORESVILLE, N.C. – official release — JR Motorsports photo — A chance for redemption? Chase Elliott has one this weekend.
And maybe – just maybe – the 18-year-old Dawsonville, Georgia native can be the one standing in victory lane at Richmond International Raceway rather than his JR Motorsports teammate, Kevin Harvick, who won the April 25 race in front of Elliott, the runner-up finisher.
For Elliott, that race was as memorable as any of his three victories, as second-place finishes usually stick in the craw of a racer. Elliott entered that April weekend on a high, as he had just become the series points leader on the heels of back-to-back wins at Texas Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway.
Since running second to Harvick at Richmond, Elliott has notched six top-five finishes, including a win at Chicagoland Speedway. His three wins tie him with Harvick, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski as the most by any driver in 2014. Then there is this: with three wins each, both Harvick and Elliott are one win shy of equaling Brad Keselowski’s mark of most wins by a JRM driver in a single season (Keselowski scored four wins in 2009).
As he did in the spring, Elliott enters the weekend as the series points leader, this time with a 15-point advantage over teammate Regan Smith with nine races to go. Elliott also leads Ty Dillon by 53 points in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.
Friday night’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 will start at 7 p.m. ET with ESPN2 and MRN/Sirius XM providing live broadcasts of the event.
“I’ll tell you what, the first Richmond race was a blast, and my NAPA AUTO PARTS team gave it their all, but we came up a bit short to Harvick. I’ve been looking forward to going back to Richmond ever since we left in April. Just knowing how well we ran, and how our team left with some really good race notes, has me optimistic for our return.”
“It’s a real race track with a lot of character. The races there always put on a good show for the fans. The track is short, abrasive, and quick. Richmond hasn’t been paved in quite some time, so that allows us to have some fun out there. It’s when you repave a track surface that takes away from some of the side-by-side racing that fans want to see. I love short-track racing under the lights. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a long time.”