The upper echelon of the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings can be described with one word…tight.
A mere 13 points separate the top four drivers with only a dozen races remaining on the season.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Chase Elliott holds a 12-point series lead over JR. Motorsports teammate Regan Smith, sitting just one point ahead of third-place Elliott Sadler and fourth-place Ty Dillon, who are tied in the standings.
I think we’re capable of running top five in all these events, including the companion races, road courses or whatever,
“As far as the points (total) goes, like I’ve said all season long, I don’t get too caught up in it, I don’t pull it up during the week, I don’t worry about it,” said Elliott, following the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen. “When you get caught up in that, that’s when I think things can go south, so just trying to focus on running well and contending for wins I think is the best way to go about a championship.”
Elliott will go for the win this Saturday in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio (2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN), where he will race on the 13-turn, 2.25-mile road course for the first time. He hopes to build off of his sixth-place finish at Watkins Glen, which he described as “decent” after the race.
“I think we’re capable of running top five in all these events, including the companion races, road courses or whatever,” Elliott said. “I personally need to step up and be a better road racer, try to figure out how to keep up with those guys and try to figure out how to beat them.”
On paper, the only way for Elliott to be a better road racer is to win on a road course. In addition to his top 10 run at Watkins Glen, he finished fourth at Road America earlier this season. Overall, Elliot boasts three wins, eight top fives, 15 top 10s and an average finish of 9.0 in his rookie campaign.
NASCAR Wire Service