Chase Elliott has smooth 1st NASCAR season while claiming Nationwide Series championship

Chase Elliott's first season racing on a national level has gone smoother than anyone expected.

Elliott wrapped up the Nationwide Series title last week but won't officially celebrate his championship until after Saturday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The trophy presentation will cap a whirlwind year for the 18-year-old rookie, who didn't even have a ride last November.

Elliott won three races this season in giving JR Motorsports its first Nationwide title. The team is owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., his sister Kelley, and Rick Hendrick.