Chase Elliott won the season-opening XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, holding off Joey Logano on the final lap to go to Victory Lane in the Powershares 300.
On a restart with 13 to go, Logano led the field to green. But with a push from the No. 1 Chevrolet of JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler, Chase Elliott soon took the lead in his No. 88 Chevy.
He then led the rest of the way — but had to hold off Logano in dramatic fashion on the final lap. Elliott jumped to the outside to block Logano, then squeezed Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford against the outside wall and beat him to the checkered flag by less than a full car length.
It was the 20-year-old Elliott’s first win at Daytona.
"Just a fantastic Saturday to start the weekend of the Daytona 500," Elliott said. "What a great day. I had a fast race car. Big thanks to (primary sponsor) TaxSlayer and everybody at JR Motorsports for letting me drive it."
Elliott, who on Sunday will become he youngest driver ever to start the Daytona 500 from the polein his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevy, edged Logano by 0.043 seconds. It was Logano’s third second-place finish in three races during Speedweeks.
”Dang it. I’m sick of finishing second,” Logano said.
Kasey Kahne was third, followed by Sadler and Austin Dillon. Elliott, Kahne and Sadler gave JR Motorsports three of the top four spots.
Logano said he thought he had a shot at passing Elliott at the very end for the win. But he acknowledged that Elliott did a great job of pinching him, and said that once their cars touched, he knew it was over.
“The plan was to make the move off of four and going to the top he blocked the first move and wiggled to the bottom and back to the top," Logano said. "At that point it is a little late and then we touched each other and that is the killer. Once we had that touch it killed our momentum and I couldn’t pull him back enough to get in front of him."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, edges the No. 22 Team Penske Ford of Joey Logano for the XFINITY Series win Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.