BRASELTON, Ga. — Chase Elliott used the right tire strategy and made it pay off with a victory in Speedfest 2011 at Lanier National Speedway Sunday, giving him a sweep of the day’s late-model events.
Elliott, the son of NASCAR legend Bill Elliott, opted not to take any tires at the halfway point of the Champion Racing Ass’n Super Late Model 200 presented by Red Top Auto Auction.
The differing tire strategy was obvious to the fans as Elliott, Pollard, who took two tires and Daniel Hemric, with four fresh tires fought for the win over the final 68 laps.
By deciding not to take tires, Elliott started from the point when leader Hemric decided to take four tires. Elliott was followed by Derrick Griffith, who also took no tires, and Bubba Pollard and Boris Jurkovic, who took on two tires.
Following the restart, Elliott led the next 40 laps until he was passed by Pollard after a restart. Pollard remained out front until a restart on lap 195 when Elliott grabbed the point coming off the fourth corner.
The race was slowed five times by cautions over the final 25 laps with Pollard, Elliott, Hemric, David Ragan and Grant Enfinger battling for the top three finishes.
On the last restart, Elliott got a great start coming off the fourth corner to win with Pollard, Hemric, Enfinger and Ragan rounding out the top five.
“Taking no tires worked out,” Elliott said in becoming the seventh different winner in Speedfest contests. “It was a blast the last few laps. We had a great day today, move on to the next race.”
Pollard said the crew put together a great car, but they came up a little short.
Ragan said he didn’t know how the frontrunners go run so fast on old tires.
“We needed a 30 to 40 lap green flag run at the end,” he said.
Elliott led four times for 82 laps.
T. J. Reaid, trying to make it three consecutive Speedfest wins for Kyle Busch Motorsports, led early in the race and was running in the top 10 when he spun on lap 92 and was never again a factor for the win, finishing sixth.
Rounding out the top 10 were Reaid, Jody Lavender, Eddie Hoffman, Ryan Blaney and Erik Darnell.