Saturday, June 23, 2018
Sports

Chase Elliott matches expectations by making NASCAR Chase

All eyes were on rookie Sprint Cup driver Chase Elliott before he ever gripped the wheel of the famed No. 24 Chevrolet this year.

As the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott and the successor to four-time champion Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports, the shadows of racing legends and fan expectations loomed for the young talent even during his reign as the 2014 Xfinity series champion.

The younger Elliott grew up racing go-karts and late models while watching his father compete in NASCAR-sanctioned events long after Bill's 1988 Cup championship. But for Chase, 20, of Dawsonville, Ga., the realization that the baton had officially been passed didn't set in until he headed to Daytona International Speedway in February.

"I think a lot of it kind of sank in going to Daytona, and heading down to the Daytona 500 to not watch (Bill) race was weird," Chase said. "It was interesting to go through all the same motions, except knowing I wasn't there just to watch."

Chase has lived up to the expectations by becoming one of only three rookies to ever make the Chase for the Championship. He has no wins but nine top-five showings, the most by a rookie since Carl Edwards scored 13 in 2005.

"I think I've been lucky to have some good moments over the racing I've done to this point, and I think a lot of the things we went through have led to the opportunities we have today," Chase said.

Bill Elliott had a knack for winning the biggest races. He visited Victory Lane in the Daytona 500 twice and the Southern 500 three times. Today, Chase Elliott faces perhaps the most important race of his life, the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway, the second race in the second phase of the Chase for the Championship.

In the Chase for the Championship, Elliott has led the second-most laps in two of the four races, trailing only six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson both times.

"I'm proud of a lot of moments that we've had," Chase said. "I'm not so proud of some, like anybody else, but I definitely don't like to narrow it down to one thing because it wasn't one thing that made everything happen just in the flip of a switch."

Xfinity: Kyle Busch led 150 of 200 laps in a dominant victory in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway, his third consecutive series win at the 11/2-mile track. Elliott Sadler was second and Daniel Suarez third, as both title contenders made a nice start in the three-race round of eight of the second-tier series' inaugural Chase.

NHRA: Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) led qualifying for today's Texas Fall Nationals in Ennis

Comments
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Brady Singer, Gators eliminated by Arkansas at CWS

Times wiresOMAHA, Neb.  —Defending champion Florida failed to win a third straight elimination game, losing to Arkansas 5-2 Friday night and departing the College World Series.The Gators (49-21) had to win to force a rematch. The Razorback...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Sports on TV/radio for Saturday, June 23

TODAYArena FootballAlbany at Baltimore7:30 p.m.CBSSNAutosF1: French Grand Prix10 a.m.ESPN2Monster Energy Cup: Toyota/Save Mart 350 qualifying2:30 p.m.FS1IndyCar: Kohler Grand Prix qualifying6:30 p.m.NBCSNTrucks: Eaton 2008:30 p.m.FS1BaseballRangers a...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Rowdies fall to Penn FC

Rowdies fall to Penn FC

By Darek SharpTimes CorrespondentST. PETERSBURG — For the second time this season, Penn FC got two goals from a former Rowdie that led the way to a win over Tampa Bay.Lucky Mkosana doubled his season total Friday in a comeback 2-1 win before an...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

Ronald Darby’s friend: Jameis Winston got into second Uber ride alone

New details emerged Friday night about the Uber ride in Arizona in March 2016 that led to Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston's three-game suspension to start the upcoming season, including the fact that Winston was in a car that night with a former Vand...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

Lightning re-signs backup goalie Louis Domingue to 2-year deal

The Lightning has re-signed one of its restricted free agents in backup goalie Louis Domingue, who will be back with Tampa Bay on a two-year deal worth $2.3 million.Domingue, 26, was acquired from Arizona in November after he had posted a 4.33 goals-...
Published: 06/22/18
Lightning names ex-player Jeff Halpern as new assistant coach

Lightning names ex-player Jeff Halpern as new assistant coach

The Lightning has filled one of the openings on Jon Cooper's coaching staff, announcing Friday  that former Tampa Bay forward Jeff Halpern has been hired as an assistant coach.Halpern, 42, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the ...
Published: 06/22/18