Elliott Sadler Wins Wild Kentucky Race as Several Chasers Falterby Kyle Pokrefky September 25, 2016
SPARTA, Ky. — As several Chase drivers faltered in the NASCAR XFINITY Series’s Chase opener at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday, Elliott Sadler stood tall and claimed the win in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300.
The driver of the No. 1 OneMain Chevrolet claimed his third win of the season and his second in two weeks with his Round of 8 berth-clinching win on Saturday.
For the now 13-time race winner in the XFINITY ranks, Saturday night’s win comes as quite the significant one given it being the very first of the XFINITY Series’s new Chase.
“It means a lot,” Sadler said of the significance of the win. “I think anytime you can put a win on the board is special – making the first-ever XFINITY Chase race format is special. It gives us a break for the next two weeks where we can go out and race and have fun and be aggressive and maybe try some things we need to to get ready for the second round. It feels unbelievable.
“I had a really hard week on not much sleep, so to come here and be able to walk away with a trophy is very special – more than you guys probably know.
“It’s a great first step in the Chase and I couldn’t be more thankful and proud of my race team and the cars that they have given me.”
Leading three times for 11 laps, the series veteran took the checkered flag ahead of Daniel Suarez, Ryan Blaney, Sam Hornish Jr., Matt Tifft, Brendan Gaughan, Ryan Reed, Darrell Wallace Jr., Justin Allgaier and Brennan Poole.
Chase drivers to finish outside of the top-10 were Blake Koch in 11th, Ryan Sieg in 16th, Brandon Jones in 26th, Ty Dillon in 27th and Erik Jones in 28th.
A medley of championship-contending drivers found their share of issues throughout the race – most notably the pole-sitter, Erik Jones.
The pole-sitter was involved in an accident with Dillon on Lap 189 in an accident that brought out the red flag for five minutes and 34 seconds.
Brandon Jones’s troubles were caused on a mid-race incident that involved the spinning No. 42 of Justin Marks. Making contact with the spinning car, the driver of the No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet brought his car into the garage for repairs.
Sieg and Allgaier were also involved in cautions of their own – Sieg for a solo spin on Lap 118 and Allgaier for receiving contact from a Hornish Jr. spin on Lap 131.
In total, there were 12 cautions – a new track record for the XFINITY Series – spanning for a total of 64 laps.
The second round of the XFINITY Series’s Round of 12 will take place at Dover International Speedway next Saturday with the Drive Sober 200.
Entering next Saturday, Sadler, Suarez, Gaughan, Reed, Wallace Jr., Allgaier, Poole and Koch are safe into the Round of 8 while Erik Jones, Sieg, Brandon Jones and Dillon are currently on the outside looking in.
Erik Jones currently sits four points out of the last transfer spot into the next round.
Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/Getty Images