Will he match Terry’s resume and record a second championship run 12 years after his first?
XFINITY: Chase Elliott Finally Ends Winless Streak – It had been quite a while since Chase Elliott visited Victory Lane. The 19-year-old had been on a winless streak for over a year, but that ended on Friday evening at Richmond, edging out several Cup stars to win his first race of 2015.
The victory shrinks Chris Buescher’s championship lead to 21 points with a handful of events left in the season. As Elliott heats up, he is looking to capture his second straight title in the XFINITY Series. However, the 21-point margin is still rather large, and it will take at least a few more top fives to win the title.
But for the first time since teammate Regan Smith’s triumph at a road course, the headlines have featured a non-Cup star. Kyle Busch nearly won the race, leading 78 laps. Yet with Elliott’s car locked in late in the going, leading the final 83 laps, the No. 54 car could not find the winner’s circle. Joseph Wolkin
NHRA: Nitro Stars Make the Media Tour Rounds: Six of the NHRA Countdown contenders will hit the road this week to visit the six cities that will host races in the Mello Yello Series playoffs. The drivers will provide a preview of the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship and will participate in media interviews with television, newspaper and radio stations, pose for photos at the tracks and local landmarks and participate in social media events in their assigned cities.
Funny Car driver John Force will visit Charlotte, NC, where the playoffs open at the Carolina Nationals next weekend. Richie Crampton is heading to St. Louis, site of the second round of the championship, the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals Sept. 25-27, while J.R. Todd will go to Reading, PA, where the third round takes place, the NHRA Keystone Nationals, on Oct. 1-4.
Cruz Pedregon is off to Dallas, site of round four of the Countdown, the AAA Texas NHRA Fallnationals on Oct. 15-18. Brittany Force gets to visit Las Vegas, site of the second-to-last event, the NHRA Toyota Nationals, Oct. 29-Nov. 1. Current Funny Car points leader Jack Beckman gets to visit Los Angeles, host of the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona Nov. 12-15.
Fans are encouraged to follow the media tour action on social media at hashtag #Countdown Fever. This is the NHRA’s first Countdown Kickoff Media Tour. Toni Montgomery
Short Tracks: Eldora Brings a Familiar Story – Jonathan Davenport and Scott Bloomquist have been setting the Dirt Late Model ranks on fire in recent months, and the World 100 weekend at Eldora Speedway was no different. After Davenport went on a tear in the summer months, it has been Bloomquist mainly that has taken home most of the trophies lately. Bloomquist started from the pole during Saturday night’s A-Main event, but was passed early by Jared Landers. Further back it was Davenport, already a winner of the Dirt Late Model Dream with a $100,000 payday back in June, who was picking off one competitor after another from the 18th starting position. With less than half of the laps remaining, Davenport caught and passed Landers for an additional $48,000 payout and win. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Eldora runner up Bobby Pierce finished second with Bloomquist behind them in third.
Elsewhere, touring series are inching closer to deciding their 2015 champions. At Montgomery Motor Speedway in Alabama, defending NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Chase Elliott stopped by and won the Southern Super Series penultimate race. Following a seventh place finish in the Alabama 200, Texan Casey Smith enjoys a comfortable advantage over Donnie Wilson in the points chase as he looks for his first series title heading into the finale at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida in less than two weeks.
The SRL Southwest Tour asphalt Late Models visited Rocky Mountain Raceway in Utah with Jacob Gomes ending up triumphant, and closed in on championship leader Greg Voigt with two races remaining. In Washington it was Owen Riddle that won at the Wenatchee Valley Super Oval, but with a podium finish Garrett Evans extended his point lead heading into the final race of the Tri-Track Super Late Model Series at Yakima Speedway in early October. Aaron Creed