Chase Elliot – Chases.. Chatches… and WINS Allen Turnber Snowflake 100admin
Watch closely. Chase Elliott is ready to amaze at any moment.
A teenage sensation in every sense of the word, Elliott has only been racing for seven of his 15 years.
But each time he climbs into one of his trademark No. 9 cars, the improbable seems likely for the son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott.
It happened again in the Snowflake 100 on Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway.
Elliott started 31st out of 36 cars. When it was over, he wildly swung the checkered flag above his head as water, Red Bull and the crowd’s roar washed over him.
“It really shows how hard we worked for this,” said Elliott, who assumed the lead on Lap 86. “To have as many problems today … and to comeback, I’m just thankful.”
Elliott started near the tail end of the field after winning one of two last-chance qualifiers earlier Saturday. That was only necessary after he was disqualified following qualifying because officials ruled the nose of his car was too low.
None of it mattered. In fact, some of Elliott’s rivals thought the afternoon race might have helped him.
“He saw what was working,” said Bubba Pollard, who moved from third to second after Landon Cassill was disqualified in post-race inspection. “He’s a good little race-car driver, though.”
The good little race-car driver methodically made his way from the back of the pack while Augie Grill comfortably led for more than 70 laps (7 to 78).
Elliott began to lean on the throttle a little bit more at the midway point, as he cracked the top 10.
Then, he just began embarrassing drivers, especially coming out of Turn 4 where he shined.
He mowed down Pensacola’s Johanna Long, who finished a disappointing 13th after running in the top five early. He did away with today’s Snowball Derby polesitter Cale Gale.
Before you knew it, Elliott was up to fifth by Lap 70.
“I don’t believe it. The longer it went, the better he got,” papa Bill said.
The younger Elliott caught a burst of speed on Dwayne Buggay for third on Lap 78.
A lap later, Pollard past Grill for the lead, but the kid wasn’t far from making his final move.
“We had a good car; we just missed a little bit,” Pollard said. “I think I raced to hard at the beginning with Augie, but that’s how he races.”
After being the class of the field early, Grill fell back to sixth by the Snowflake’s end.
Long felt the sting of defeat, too, because the handling of her car continued to get worse as the race rolled on.
“It’s disappointing,” she said. “I expected so much.”
The expectations will culminate in today’s 43rd annual running of the Derby, America’s most prestigious short-track race.
It has been, unquestionably, a messy weekend out at Five Flags with some vicious crashes.
The Pro Late Models, though, proved their mettle by running green for the opening 34 laps before the first yellow came out. Dillon Oliver nudged Pensacola’s Tommy Rollins into the Turn 2 wall.
There was just one other yellow the rest of the way, as the race finished in a blazing time of right at an hour.
Nothing was as fast as Elliott, though.
“I thought at one point we were too loose,” he said.
Too loose? Now, that’s amazing.
Snowflake 100 Results � 1. Chase Elliott; 2. Bubba Pollard; 3. Mike Garvey; 4. John Bolen; 5. Daniel Hemric; 6. Augie Grill; 7. Erik Jones; 8. Cale Gale; 9. Andy Pugh; 10. Kenzie Ruston; 11. D.J. VanderLey; 12. Johanna Long; 13. Matt Smith; 14. Brandon Bendele; 15. Cody Smith; 16. David Odell; 17. Jason Young; 18. Tony Clark; 19. Logan Boyett; 20. Shanna Ard; 21. Chuck Tuck; 22. Kyle Bryant; 23. Austin Kirkpatrick; 24. Dwayne Buggay; 25. Brandon Odom; 26. Hunter Robbins; 27. Kyle Benjamin; 28. Dillon Oliver; 29. Justin South; 30. Thomas Praytor; 31. Chris Davidson; 32. Scott Patton; 33. Tommy Rollins; 34. David Jones; 35. Robert Royce; DQ. Landon Cassill