Elliott makes history as youngest winner in NASCAR Trucks history
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario – In just his sixth start of the season, Chase Elliott made history as the youngest winner in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series when he took the checkers in today’s inaugural race at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park. The 17-year-old driver of the No. 94 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet started fourth and held on through the exciting closing laps to earn the victory.
Elliott arrived at the 2.459-mile road course on Friday and immediately set to work on learning how to navigate the twists and turns of the track. The No. 94 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevy finished the first day in the top 10 and the team returned Saturday to dominate both final practice sessions. After group qualifying, Elliott was scored fourth and would line up on the second row for the second time this season.
When the race went green at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, Elliott charged through the field and took command of the lead before the first lap cycled through. The Dawsonville, Ga., native maintained his hold on first through an early caution on Lap 6 and worked to extend his lead as the race unfolded. On Lap 18, crew chief Lance McGrew told Elliott that he shouldn’t worry about saving fuel, “every second you gain makes the pit stop that much better.” McGrew called the No. 94 Chevy down pit road six laps later for four tires and fuel.
Elliott returned to the track in sixth on Lap 25 and began his climb back to the top-five, breaking back in just two laps later. The No. 94 Chevrolet then returned to pit road for four tires and fuel during a full course caution on Lap 33. After restarting eighth on Lap 35, Elliott hit pit road for the final time on Lap 40 to top off with Sunoco fuel for the final 20 laps of the 64-lap event.
Returning to the track in 11th, Elliott radioed that he was worried about his left-rear tire going down due to rub from the fender. The spotters gave him an all-clear on the tire and Elliott grew quiet as he concentrated on his climb through the field around the road course. The driver of the No. 94 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet was running in second when the final caution flew on Lap 64. In the last restart, Elliott tracked the leader in the closing five laps and was able to recover after making contact in the final turn to take the checkered flag.
“It feels really good to get my first win,” Elliott said. “I hate to win it like that, but not often do you have a truck like we had in our No. 94 Aaron’s Dream Machine/Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet today. We had to make the most of it and I’m glad we could take the win.“