April 11 in NASCAR: Chase Elliott wins at Darlington with last-lap pass


On April 4, 2014, Chase Elliott scored his first career Xfinity Series win at Texas Motor Speedway, leading 38 laps and beating the likes of Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Kenseth.

Then the 18-year-old JR Motorsports driver went out and one-upped himself.

A week later, on April 11, Elliott competed in his first race at Darlington Raceway, the track his father Bill Elliott won at five times in his Cup Series career.

The younger Elliott led 51 laps in the first half of the Xfinity race. The cautioned waved on Lap 142 for an incident involving Larson and Tanner Berryhill.

After a round of pit stops, Elliott restarted sixth on the outside of the third row. Ahead of a two-lap shootout to the checkered flag, Elliott was behind Busch, Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, Larson and leader Elliott Sadler.

After Elliott gave a big shove to Kenseth’s rear bumper on the backstretch, Elliott was in fourth when the field entered Turn 3 and third in Turn 4.

By the time Elliott crossed the start-finish line for the final lap, he was second behind Sadler.

With a huge run off Turn 2, Elliott got Sadler loose, opening the door for the JR Motorsports rookie. Elliott cleared Sadler in the middle of Turns 3-4 and cruised to the win.

“Holy cow … that was crazy,” Elliott told ESPN in Victory Lane. “That had to be fun to watch, it was fun to be a part of.”

Also on this date:

1965: A.J. Foyt finished 30th in a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, but he also won. While the record book says Marvin Panch was the victor, it was Foyt driving Panch’s car who took the checkered flag. After Foyt was eliminated on Lap 91 for a mechanical problem, he took over for an ailing Panch, his Wood Brothers Racing teammate, on Lap 212. It was technically Panch’s first speedway win since the 1961 Daytona 500.

1966: With a victory at Bowman Gray Stadium, David Pearson capped off a streak of wins in four races held over nine days.

1999: Rusty Wallace led 425 laps and scored his seventh career Cup Series win at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was the first of three Bristol wins for Wallace in four races.