Big Spotlight for Nationwide Series

Chase Elliott

For the third year, NASCAR’s number two division will competed at the historic track and it’s an opportunity drivers aren’t taking lightly. (Photo: Jeff Wackerlin)

The NASCAR Nationwide Series gets another shot to race at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250.

For the third year, NASCAR’s number two division will competed at the historic track and it’s an opportunity drivers aren’t taking lightly.

“The event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is always a race that stands out on the Nationwide Series schedule,” said Elliott Sadler, who came close to winning the race two years ago but was black flagged by NASCAR for jumping a late restart. “Winning at the Brickyard is a dream for every professional driver.

“I really enjoy competing here, however, I still have a chip on my shoulder after getting black-flagged while leading the race in 2012. I think the only way to get over the bad memories is to win this coming weekend and celebrate with my team by kissing the bricks.”

Elliott is only eight points back of series leader Chase Elliott in the standings after the JR Motorsports driver scored his third win of the season last Saturday night at Chicagoland Speedway.

The second-generation driver also has great regard for the Brickyard and does bring some childhood memories with him to this weekend’s racing thanks to his dad, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott.

“It’s one of the places I look back on, I do have memories of The Brickyard win he had, I think it was 2002,” Elliott said. “That’s a special race track for me. I always love going back there ever since then knowing he has been to Victory Lane. We are going to give it our best shot.”

Based on the way Elliott and the JR Motorsports organization has performed this year, he has more than a good shot at following in his famous father’s footsteps as an Indy winner. The team has won seven of the year’s 18 races and a driver from the organization has led the standings 17 of 18 weeks.

But even with a championship in the balance and the importance of running well for the overall season goals, the prestige of Indianapolis remains a huge focal point.

“Just the word ‘Indianapolis’ is enough in itself,” said Elliott. “It’s such a prestigious place with years of racing memories. It is great to see the Nationwide Series share the weekend with the Cup guys now, and it’s one date I’ve been looking forward to all season long.”

Elliott’s teammate Regan Smith, seven points behind in second place of the standings, echoes those thoughts.

“The Brickyard is such a big race for our series,” said Smith. “That place is legendary. The names and the faces of those who’ve won there is a ‘who’s who’ list no matter the series. It’s a very important place for motorsports. It ranks up there with the prestige of Daytona and Darlington.

“You want to go there and win and showcase your team and sponsors, do everything you can to run well. It’d be a lie to say the teams don’t put a little extra emphasis on that race. We work hard for all the races, but we know where Indy is on the schedule.”

In addition to prestige and points, there’s also some extra money on the line Saturday. Round 3 of the Nationwide Series Dash 4 Case program means Elliott along with Brian Scott, Trevor Bayne and Ty Dillon, can pick up an extra $100,000 by being the best finisher of the quartet.

Scott, who pocketed 100k last week in Chicago, is pumped for a chance to score another huge payday at Indianapolis.

“It’s a great program that Nationwide Insurance does,” Scott said. “It (winning Round 2) comes at a really good time. Our team has got a lot of momentum heading to Indianapolis where we finished second and almost won that race last season.”

Related Topics:

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Race Center

O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge

@ Texas Motor Speedway
Saturday, November 01, 2014
Radio Start:
PRN
TV Start:
ESPN2, 3:30 p.m. (ET)

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