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Chase Elliott earns win at Watkins Glen

09 August 2018

Elliott held off defending Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. over the race's final 15 laps to score his first-career Cup Series victory Sunday at Watkins Glen.

The 22-year old driver for Hendrick Motorsports in his 99th start in the Monster Energy Series a runner-up eight times in his career, wasn't the bridesmaid this week, as he drove an outstanding race on his way to his first career victory.

Truex was bidding to become the first Cup driver to win three straight road races since Tony Stewart accomplished the feat just over a decade ago (2004-05). But Truex's No. 78 Toyota skidded, Elliott regrouped and pulled away and Truex sputtered home, out of fuel.

It was Hamlin's 27th career pole in Cup.

Busch took charge on the restart, pulling away to a lead of almost three seconds over Truex, with Hamlin third and Chase Elliott fourth.

Midway through the segment, the Big 3 of Busch, Truex and Kevin Harvick were running in the top 10, but Elliott dominated in his No. 9 Chevy, beating Busch by 1.3 seconds. "Chase (Elliott) has ran a handful of races for the team so I figured I would give it a shot at Road America. If we're this close on a road course, I know we can do it on an oval, so we'll keep working on it".

Elliott could have added that the last three victories for the No. 9 vehicle have come at Watkins Glen - the previous two by road course ace Marcos Ambrose in 2011 and 2012.

Truex is part of the "Big 3" in NASCAR that is dominating the season. His streak included three wins each at Watkins Glen and Sonoma.

Racing announced Saturday on Twitter after the Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen that the 62-year-old Elliott will drive the No. 23 Chevrolet at Road America in Wisconsin on August 25. The Glen has had only one repeat victor - Marcos Ambrose in 2011-12 - in the past 12 years.

NASCAR changed pre-race inspections this week to Sunday morning during its second-straight two-day event and only two cars failed. During that pitstop, Busch had a problem, and that allowed #9 Chase Elliott to take back the lead on the restart, and Busch had to restart in 26th.

The sophomore class at Joe Gibbs Racing is coming of age. All 12 drivers who made the final round of qualifying passed.

The news caught Cup series leader Kyle Busch by surprise after qualifying Saturday evening.

"You feel satisfied", Elliott said. Justin Allgaier was third, followed by Justin Haley and Aric Almirola. Their times were disallowed and both Fords were sent to the rear of the 37-car field.

Finally. Chase Elliott has a Cup Series win.

The start of the 2018 race season is expecting another stellar year of tickets sales, as WGI President Michael Printup said he expects to sell-out seating for the fourth year in a row.

Chase Elliott earns win at Watkins Glen