Elliott wins; Hornish 36th

JAY COHEN AP Sports Writer Published:

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) -- Chase Elliott is proving to be a quick study. A few questions for his teammates and a couple practice laps, and he was ready to roll in his first race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Elliott held off Trevor Bayne to earn his third Nationwide Series win of the season Saturday night, putting the rookie on top of the standings.

"We had an awesome race going," Elliott said. "I try to make the most of my practice laps. They gave me a good car. That gives me time to learn the track in practice."

Elliott had a strong car all day long for JR Motorsports, qualifying third and leading a race-high 85 laps. Bayne tried to chase him down on fresh tires in the final laps, but ran out of time.

"The gap was closing," Bayne said. "Probably 10 more laps, but we'll never know."

Elliott, the son of former NASCAR champion Bill Elliott, also won in his first trips to Texas and Darlington this year. He leads the standings by seven points over Regan Smith.

Chase Elliott said Smith and Kasey Kahne provided some importance advice about the track.

"I did have some questions that I asked, and I definitely think that helped tonight," he said. "So thankful to have a couple great teammates and good to have something to lean back on with those guys."

Defiance native Sam Hornish, Jr. had engine problems early in the race, running only seven laps and finishing 36th after qualifying in sixth earlier in the day.

Kyle Larson was third, followed by Kahne and Ty Dillon to round out the top five.

Brian Scott, who started on the pole, finished sixth and earned $100,000 in the second event of the four-race "Dash 4 Cash" bonus program.

Kahne and Larson were the lone Sprint Cup regulars in the field on an off weekend for NASCAR's top series. Everyone comes back to Chicagoland in September on the same weekend that the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins at the 1.52-mile oval.

The night began with a pair of Richard Childress Racing teammates in front after Scott and Dillon had the best showing in qualifying. It was Scott's second pole of the season and No. 4 for his career. He won his first Nationwide Series pole at Chicagoland on Sept. 17, 2011.

Scott led for 20 laps before Elliott moved in front.

Erik Jones finished seventh in his Nationwide debut, driving Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 20 Toyota. The 18-year-old Jones won the Truck Series race last week at Iowa in the No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota he shares with Busch. Jones also won a Truck race last year in Phoenix.

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