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Chase Elliott edges Joey Logano in close finish to win Xfinity opener at Daytona

NASCAR XFINITY Series PowerShares QQQ 300

DAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 20: Chase Elliott, driver of the #88 Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag ahead of Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway on February 20, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

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Joey Logano’s bumper hit Chase Elliott’s once, twice and then a third time, but Elliott kept his No. 88 Chevrolet going in the right direction across the finish line to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series PowerShares QQQ 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

“I thought we were wrecked, which fortunately we didn’t,” Elliott said. “I didn’t know if we were going to make it across the line or what was going to happen. Once I realized his momentum stopped, I tried to get away from him to keep the draft from pulling me back anymore.”

Elliott earned his fifth career series win with the .043-second finish over Logano.

“It was a heck of a battle, man” Elliott told Fox Sports 1. “Had such a good car and found ourself in the right place at the right time at the end and, luckily, just barely had enough get by Joey there.”

Elliott also barely had anything left in his fuel tank. The Sprint Cup rookie parked his car on the start-finish line after it ran out of fuel. A tow truck pushed him to victory lane.

This is the first restrictor-plate win for Elliott, keeping the No. 22 from giving Team Penske its first Xfinity win Daytona.

“I had no problem with it,” said Logano of the block that bent Elliott’s right-rear corner panel. “That’s what I expect. He did exactly what he was supposed to do.”

Logano, the defending Daytona 500 winner, has finished second in all three races he’s participated in during Speedweeks, including the Sprint Unlimited and his Can-Am Duel qualifying race.

“I’m sick of finishing second,” Logano told Fox Sports 1. “Hopefully we’re saving it all for (Sunday’s Daytona 500).”

There were no cautions in the final 13 laps after the race was slowed four times for 17 laps.

The top five was completed by Logano, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Austin Dillon.

HOW CHASE ELLIOTT WON: Elliott led 19 laps, including the final 14 beginning on a restart. On the last lap, Elliott used the outside wall to keep Logano behind him coming to the finish line to win.

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: JR Motorsports finished the day with three cars in the top five. Kasey Kahne was third with Elliott Sadler fourth. Teammate Justin Allgaier came home 12th in his first race with the team. Kahne led 30 laps. … Darrell Wallace Jr. finished sixth for his 15th career top-10 finish.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: A seven-car crash broke out on Lap 14 when Chase Elliott spun Bobby Labonte in Turn 3. Among those collected were Labonte, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Brandon Jones and Jeb Burton. Larson later had to pit after losing his left-front tire to damage from the accident and finished 34th, nine laps down. Labonete finished 23rd, two laps down … Brennan Poole had to pit to replace a battery around Lap 75 after running in the top 10 for much of the day. He finished 27th, three laps down… Ray Black Jr. brought out the final caution with 19 laps left when he stalled on the backstretch. He finished 33rd … Defending race winner Ryan Reed finished 16th, one lap down.

NOTABLE: Elliott Sadler leaves Daytona leading the Xfinity Series points … At 20 years, 2 months, 23 days old, Chase Elliott is the youngest driver to win a Xfinity Series race at Daytona ... All five of Elliott’s Xfinity Series wins have come at five different tracks.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I didn’t do a good job of representing (sponsor Tax Slayer) in the Sprint Unlimited. So Chase saved my butt this week.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of Chase Elliott’s Xfinity Series car.

NEXT: The Heads Up Georgia 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Feb. 27 at 1:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

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