HAMPTON, Ga. – Chase Elliott has won three races thus far in his rookie season on the NASCAR Nationwide Series circuit.
But the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott has never won a pole position in the NNS – until Saturday.
The younger Elliott earned his first pole in 24 starts – and the sixth different driver to get his first career NNS pole – this season.
The only driver to crack 180 mph, Elliott’s speed of 180.240 mph paced the field for Saturday night’s Great Clips 300 to Feed the Children. The 18-year-old Elliott grew up in suburban Atlanta and considers AMS his home track.
“This is a big weekend for me, hometown for me and (primary sponsor) NAPA,” Elliott told ESPN. “My dad has given me a little bit of advice. We’re looking forward to the race tonight, hope the rain stays away and we finish where we start.”
Elliott, who earned a pole while racing part-time in the Camping World Truck Series last season (at Bristol), becomes the youngest pole-winner at AMS, breaking a 22-year-old record now previously held by Sprint Cup star Jeff Gordon.
Elliott also comes into tonight’s race atop the NNS points standings with a 13-point lead.
Kyle Larson made a late burst in the closing minutes to vault up to the No. 2 position with a top speed of 179.510 mph.
Kyle Busch was third-fastest (179.487 mph), followed by Joey Logano (179.441), Elliott Sadler (178.677), Matt Kenseth (178.551), Trevor Bayne (178.436), Kevin Harvick (178.246), Brian Scott (177.983) and David Ragan (177.312).
Regan Smith was 11th-fastest (177.119), followed by Ryan Reed (176.274).
Follow me @JerryBonkowski