NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Chase Elliott grew his championship points lead over closest competitor and JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith in the Zippo 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Saturday afternoon. Elliott finished the race sixth, highest of any series championship-eligible driver, and grew his points lead from two points heading into the race to 12 points after the checkered flag. Smith remained in second, just with a bigger deficit after finishing the race 17th.
Elliott Sadler finished in the top-10 and held his position of third in the standings, but with Smith's issues, closed in on second. After the Watkins Glen race, Sadler is just one point behind Smith and the second spot. Sadler isn't the sole owner of the third spot, though. Ty Dillon is also 13 back, tied with Sadler for third.
The top four are separated, somewhat, from their fellow competitors. As they stand within 13 points of each other, the next driver in line is Brian Scott, who is in fifth, 45 points behind Elliott and the championship lead. Trevor Bayne is alonger three points behind Scott in sixth, and then there's an even bigger gap to the two drivers tied for seventh, Brendan Gaughan and Chris Buescher. They're multiple races' worth of points back, 151 points behinds the front-runner.
Here's a look at the top-10 of the driver points standings:
1. Chase Elliott, leader
2. Regan Smith, -12
3. Elliott Sadler, -13
3. Ty Dillon, -13
5. Brian Scott, -45
6. Trevor Bayne, -48
7. Brendan Gaughan, -151
7. Chris Buescher, -151
9. Ryan Reed, -182
10. James Buescher, -185
With Kyle Busch finishing second in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in the Zippo 200, while Brad Keselowski drove the No. 22 Team Penske Ford to a fourth-place finish, Busch extended the lead the No. 54 team has in the Nationwide Series owner points standings over the No. 22 team, but not by much. The No. 54's lead is still small, standing at three points after the Zippo 200.
The No. 54 and No. 22 teams have distanced themselves from the competition, running a full race's worth of points ahead of their closest competitor, the No. 42 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet team. The No. 42 is 72 points behind the No. 54.
Here's a look at the owner's points standings:
1. No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, leader
2. No. 22 Team Penske Ford, -3
3. No. 42 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet, -71
4. No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, -95
5. No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, -104
6. No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, -107
7. No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, -108
7. No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, -108
9. No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, -140
10. No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, -143