Chase Elliott breaks 39-race drought with Richmond victory

during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 11, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia.

Sept. 11, 2015

By Reid Spencer
NASCAR Wire Service

RICHMOND, Va. – Reigning NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott was first off pit road under caution on Lap 218 of 250 and held the top spot the rest of the way, breaking a 39-race winless streak on Friday night at Richmond International Raceway.

Elliott’s victory in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 trimmed his standings deficit to 21 points behind series leader Chris Buescher, who finished 10th. Elliott’s first victory of the season was also the first in 24 races for an XFINITY Series regular at RIR.

Yes, Elliott won the race, leading a race-high 83 laps on the way to his first win at Richmond and the fourth of his career. Perhaps, the loudest noise, however, came from late model stock car star and Dale Earnhardt Jr. protégé Josh Berry, who trumpeted his arrival for his maiden XFINITY race at RIR with a seventh-place finish.

During an 81-lap green-flag run from Lap 54 through Lap 134, Berry drove from seventh to second. In the latter half of the run, Berry trimmed a five-second deficit to Brian Scott, the leader, to 2.6 seconds before Jeremy Clements’ wreck in Turn 2 slowed the action for the fourth cation of the race.

Berry repeatedly lost positions on pit road, the last time because egress from his stall was blocked by the No. 6 Ford of Darrell Wallace Jr. He lost five positions under that sixth caution and restarted ninth on Lap 226 before recovering to finish seventh.

Polesitter Kyle Busch came home second, 1.308 seconds behind Elliott. Brian Scott led 63 laps and finished third, followed by Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Regan Smith and Berry.