Chase Elliot and Regan Smith rank 1-2 in the driver standings.
It’s shaping up to be a tussle between teammates for the NASCAR Nationwide Series title.
JR Motorsports comrades Chase Elliot and Regan Smith rank 1-2 in the driver standings, separated by 15 points. Next in line is Richard Childress Racing’s Ty Dillon, who trails Smith by 20 points and Elliott by 35.
“This could be a championship battle that comes all the way down to the last race,” Smith said.
Entering Friday’s Virginia529 College Savings 250 (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN 2) at Richmond International Raceway, the teammates have nine races left to duke it out for the title. Richmond presents the opportunity for Elliott to further distance himself from the pack or Smith to catch up as the final stretch of the season begins.
Elliott followed up two consecutive victories with a second-place finish in the circuit’s first visit to Richmond in April, proving his status as a bona fide contender. He goes into this weekend’s race with a streak of five straight top-10 finishes on the line.
“The first Richmond race was a blast, and my NAPA AUTO PARTS team gave it their all, but we came up a bit short to (Kevin) Harvick,” Elliott said. “I’ve been looking forward to going back to Richmond ever since we left in April. Just knowing how well we ran, and how our team left with some really good race notes, has me optimistic for our return.”
Smith had once struggled at Richmond, posting a high finish of 15th in six starts prior to joining JR Motorsports. Since, he has notched three top 10s with a high finish of third.
“It certainly hasn’t been kind to me in the past, but since I’ve been racing there with JR Motorsports, we’ve run really well,” Smith said. “So I think we have a great opportunity in front of us this weekend to gain some points on the competition.”
NASCAR Wire Service