On April 4th, 2014, rookie Chase Elliott in his No. 9 Napa Chevrolet score his first Xfinity Series win (back then known as the Nationwide Series) here at the Texas Motor Speedway; showing the world that the new generation of NASCAR drivers were here to stay. Then, just 10 years and 10 days later, Elliott finds his way back to victory lane at the 1.5 mile speedway, after a couple of thrilling overtime attempts. 

Elliott reacted to that stat by saying, “That’s been a long time. 10 years ago, I guess we’re all getting older. But yeah, it’s crazy, you know, just how fast time goes by. I remember like it was yesterday. I remember the last run of that race and moving up to the middle lane. I had no idea what I was doing, but it felt grippy. The next thing you know, we’re passing Kevin (Harvick, who was in that race) and got blessed for the win. I had absolutely no clue what was going on and where I was running. Oftentimes better that way than you do when you try to think about it more. 

“Yeah, just time flies, but that was a special year. Really, the success that year that started here probably led to some of the opportunities and partnerships that we had going into 2016 and beyond. It was certainly a big deal for everybody that was involved and we still have a lot of the same folks that were there today.”

On the final overtime attempt, it was Elliott and No. 1 of Ross Chastain battling for the win, before the No. 24 of William Byron got into Chastain, sending him crashing along the backstretch. Chastain politely declined to comment on the incident. 

After Elliott in the finishing order, Keselowski scored a second place finish in the Lone Star State, but said it only makes him want a win more. 

“It’s good to have a good finish and score a lot of points and do all those things, but we want to win and we’re hungry to do that. Feel like we have the team to do that. We just need more speed.”

The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., to compete in the Geico 500. That race will be carried live on FOX, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Kaleb Vestal
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