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NASCAR Cup: Chase Elliott wins second-straight at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA Auto Parts Camaro ZL1, celebrates his back-to-back win Sunday August 4, 2019, in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing).

By AMANDA VINCENT

Chase Elliott went back-to-back at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International, claiming his fifth-career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win Sunday in the GoBowling.com at The Glen. His first-career win came in last year’s race. Sunday’s win was Elliott’s second Cup win of 2019.

“Thank you guys; that was awesome,” Elliott said to his team after the race. “I’ve never been so far from home and felt like I was at my house, so thank you. You all are awesome. What a day! We had such a fast NAPA Camaro and these guys called a great race. We just stayed mistake free and Martin (Truex Jr.) was a little quicker, I felt like, those last few runs, but the track position was key, and I didn’t mess up into turn one this time, so that was good. Just a huge thank you to everyone that makes this happen. Mr. (Rick) Hendrick (car owner) is here today and just a lot of people that have gotten me to this point. I wish my mom and my grandmother were here today, but I can’t wait to see you guys when I get back home. Love you.”

Elliott dominated the race, leading 80 of the 90 laps that made up the race. For more than half of those laps, Martin Truex Jr., the 2017 winner at The Glen, challenged Elliott from second. But for the second year in-a-row, Truex wound up second to Elliott at the road course.

“I tried to do all I could,” Truex said. “Chase, he did an excellent job just not making mistakes. All I could do was get to within two car lengths or one-and-a-half at the closest in braking, just trying to force a mistake. But he hit his marks, and his car was really fast in the key areas, there, where it needed to be and leaving a few of the key corners. Just couldn’t get a run on him and was just kind of stuck there. Unfortunate, but our Bass Pro Camry was really, really fast today. We passed quite a few cars and finished up front, just couldn’t pass that last one.”

Elliott gave up his lead for the final time when he pitted under green on lap 59. After green-flag pit stops for others and more of his fellow-competitors pitting under a caution two lap laters, he cycled back to the lead with Truex, again, in second. They ran one-two for the remainder of the race.

Denny Hamlin finished third, Erik Jones was fourth, and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-five.

Elliott won both of the 20-lap stages that made up the first 40 laps of the race. After starting on the pole, he led the entire opening stage.

Kyle Larson waited until lap 29 to make his first pit stop of the race, and as a result, was up front at the beginning of the second stage. A handful of other drivers also stayed out at the end of the opening stage after pitting under green on lap 17. They also restarted for the second stage ahead of Elliott.

Elliott, though, got back up to the second position in the running order on lap 28 to be in position to retake the lead when Larson finally made his first stop. After retaking the lead, Elliott remained up front for the remainder of the second stage, but Truex was closing on him when the yellow flag waved on lap 39 when Darrell Wallce Jr.’s car got into a tire barrier. Stage two ended under caution.

The opening stage included fireworks, of sorts, between Kyle Busch and front-row starter William Byron. Busch spun while challenging Byron for second on the second lap. On lap 19, contact from Busch sent Byron into the grass with significant damage to Byron’s car.

Busch joined Byron in the back to restart the second stage after getting caught speeding on pit road. Busch was able to race back toward the front, but Byron’s struggles continued.

Later in the race, Busch found himself in an on-track feud with Wallace. The two drivers were racing for the 10th position when the yellow flag waved for a Jimmie Johnson spin that resulted in contact from Blaney on lap 61.

“It was just racing,” Blaney said. “I got off the bus stop better than him, and he left a lane. I tried to back out. I thought he knew I was there. I didn’t mean to spin him. It wasn’t my intention, but it was a good battle back after starting in the back. We had a good car, just could never really get up there to show us how it did, but overall, not a bad comeback for this group.”

Wallace didn’t like the way Busch challenged him for the position, so under caution, Wallace spun Busch.

Busch still managed an 11th-place finish.

Finishing sixth through 10th were Matt DiBenedetto, Kevin Harvick, Larson, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the GoBowling.com at The Glen at Watkins Glen International:

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Posted by on August 4, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,Monster Energy NASCAR Cup,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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