Rookies lead, anchor Chase drivers at Chicagoland
September 19, 2016
Sprint Cup Rookie-of-the-year contenders Chase Elliott and Chris Buescher find themselves on opposite sides of the Chase grid in relation to each other after Sunday’s Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway.
After Elliott’s finish of third in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400, he finds himself sixth on the Chase grid, 11 points ahead of 13th Kevin Harvick unofficially. Meanwhile, Buescher’s finish of 28th, two laps down, positions the driver 16th on the Chase grid, 12 points behind 12th place Tony Stewart unofficially.
Elliott and Buescher, the only rookies in the Chase for the Cup, both made their first starts at the speedway in the Sprint Cup Series Sunday.
Buescher and Elliott started 13th and 14th respectively via owner’s points dictating the starting grid from a qualifying washout on Friday.
Elliott led three times for a total of 75 laps, including holding the lead prior to the race’s final caution.
Elliott gave his take on his competitiveness in Sunday’s race.
“We are proud of the run we had today,” Elliott said. “Obviously, hate to come up short, but that is part of life some days. We were fast and I think that is something to be happy about and we can move forward to Loudon with some motivation, I think, and get ready to get going.”
As for Buescher, he gave his take on if he feels more pressure heading into next weekend’s race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“No, it isn’t any different on pressure,” he said. “Obviously, we care about where we are at but we are trying to get all we can get. I promise you that.
“That is how we will attack it at Loudon, the same way if this was a top-ten day or where we ended up. We will go to Loudon and give it all we can.”