NEWTON, Iowa – Chase Elliott set another milestone in his racing career on May 19.
Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet, won the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East-West combination event at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night. The 16-year-old Elliott took the lead on Lap 145 from Brett Moffitt and held on through a green-white-checkered finish for his first victory in 16 career K&N Pro Series East starts.
Elliott still ranks first in the 2012 championship standings, and extended his lead to 20 points over second-place Moffitt. As the overall race winner Elliott has earned a secured starting position for the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on the short track at Daytona International Speedway during 2013 Speedweeks. Elliott’s win also welcomed Chevrolet back to Victory Lane in the K&N Pro Series East. The last time the manufacturer earned a win in the series was on August 28, 2010.
The K&N Pro Series East-West combo event at Iowa will air on SPEED on May 31 at 3 p.m. ET.
“We had a really fast No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevy. I think one that was capable of winning the race,” Elliott said. “But we just had to have things go our way. We needed to have a good restart and a good run on the bottom to get by (Moffitt). Fortunately, things kind of worked out and we didn’t have to do that. But at the same time, we had to stay out front on that last green-white-checkered finish.”
Elliott started the race in the 15th position, and by Lap 28, he was running ninth. He continued to steadily work his way through the field as the race progressed. On Lap 63, Elliott was up to fourth. The mandatory competition caution came out at Lap 76 and the red flag waved moments later so all teams could come in for a pit stop.
When the race resumed on Lap 79, Elliott was fourth and only one lap later, he moved into third. Elliott maintained the third spot until Lap 145 when he took the lead from Moffitt, who received contact from the second-place driver Cale Conley that slowed both of them down. Elliott capitalized on this opportunity and drove past both cars to take the lead. He held on through a green-white-checkered finish for his first career NASCAR victory.
Elliott now has posted one win, six top-five finishes, 11 top-10s and led 50 laps in 18 career K&N Pro Series starts.
Next up, Elliott will drive his No. 9 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet in the May 25 super late model event at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. Then, he will race in the June 2 K&N Pro Series East event at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.