Chase Elliott is years above his age, and he very well might be the best thing in short track racing right now.
He was definitely the class of the field on Wednesday night, winning the World Crown 300 at Gresham Motorsports Park.
Elliott is a former track champion at Mobile and Pensacola and the resume just keeps building.
Elliott won all three segments and cashed $20,000 as a result.
The final segment, despite Elliott’s dominance wasn’t without drama, as the finish was marred by several late-race cautions that trashed several of the leaders and left Bubba Pollard within a restart of nipping Elliott for the victory.
Pollard was able to hang within a second of Elliott’s pace on the final restart with ten laps to go but could pull no closer. Elliott won by five car lengths, completing a Georgia podium that included Pollard and David Ragan.
“We just had a really good car tonight,” Elliott said. “Everyone has been working really hard on these cars this year, and I feel like our cars get better and better.”
Elliott was also the pole-sitter for Wednesday’s race and led the most laps.
“We were all racing for second,” Ragan said. “I think we worked as hard as anyone else out here tonight and I was glad to bring it home with a podium. Chase is just a really special talent and for him to win a race this challenging and this long speaks a lot to his talent and character.”
With his World Crown victory, Chase Elliott joins Bobby Gill, Butch Miller, Darrell Waltrip, Gary St. Amant and Gary Balough as drivers who have won at least three of the four “Grand Slam” Super Late Model races – the Snowball Derby , the All-American 400, the Winchester 400 and the World Crown 300.
Two other drivers led multiple laps and appeared capable of winning the race but both were eliminated from before the checkered flag. Mike Garvey assumed the lead on lap 107 but jumped the restart on lap 110 and was immediately black-flagged for a stop and go for his haste. Teenage sensation Kyle Benjamin led the race on multiple occasions and as late as lap 240 before crashing out of the race on lap 289.
Back to Garvey.
Gresham Motorsports Park is unique in that it doesn’t call off the restart if the leader jumps the cone. Unlike most short tracks, Gresham doesn’t have a restart zone, but rather a restart line where the leader must be clocked-in at 35 mph or risk jumping the start and receiving a penalty.
Garvey was livid at the track’s decision and stayed out for seven laps until being told that his next lap would not be counted unless he pulled in. Garvey conceded and lost two lops serving the penalty. He was eliminated from the race after the second segment when all cars one lap down or more were sent off the track for the final 50 laps.
Only eight cars finished the race.
Veteran tech man Ricky Brooks was the lead engineering official for the World Crown 300 and confirmed that Elliott’s car passed after a thorough inspection, confirming Elliott’s victory as Independence Day fireworks exploded over the Speedway.
1 9 Chase Elliott
2 26 Bubba Pollard
3 77 David Ragan
4 29T Austin Theriault
5 83 Cale Gale
6 55 Mason Mitchell
7 89 Matt Tifft
8 10 Paul Kelley
9 71 Kyle Benjamin
10 84 Clay Alexander
11 98 Ryan Blaney
12 2B Brady Boswell
13 25 Ross Kenseth
14 1 Mike Garvey
15 36 Rodney Benefield
16 118 Jimmy Henderson
17 2 Donnie Wilson
18 99 Casey Smith
19 33 Brandon Jones
20 39 Kenzie Ruston
21 4 Erik Jones
22 75 David Odell
23 29 Spencer Davis
24 51 Stephen Nasse
25 92 Max Gresham
26 23 Dalton Grindle
27 47 Allen Karnes
28 41 TJ Reaid