Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
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Chase Elliott wins at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott wins at Watkins Glen

NASCAR changed pre-race inspections this week to Sunday morning during its second-straight two-day event and only two cars failed. On race day, the big three were looking like the best of the field once again, but the #9 Sun Energy1 auto of Chase Elliott was a man on a mission.

It comes in his third full-time season of Cup competition and in his 99th career Cup Series start.

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. "I'm so thrilled, so emotional, so much relief, working on three years and I hadn't won one". The first lap was eventful for the Penske Ford of Joey Logano as he went off course and hit the barrier, ending his day after lap one. Joey Logano, who won the Xfinity race on Saturday, qualified sixth, followed by Aric Almirola, AJ Allmendinger, Erik Jones, Kasey Kahne, Ryan Blaney and Michael McDowell.

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

Martin Truex Jr., seeking a third-straight road course win, pressured Elliott over the final 17 laps but finished second.

Elliott won the race's second stage and brought the crowd to its feet with a pass of Busch.

Stage Three: This was by far the most interesting stage of the race.

AJ Allmendinger- JTG Daugherty Racing
AJ Allmendinger – JTG Daugherty Racing

Kyle Busch, however, could lay his own claim, after fighting his way back to third place, overcoming a fueling snafu on pit road during his final stop under caution on Lap 56. 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. While Busch had a valiant rally, it wasn't enough.

Collecting wins - and a playoff point each - in the 20-lap first and second stages were Truex and Elliott, respectively. Chase was able to finally capture that elusive first victory in the Cup series.

Chase Elliott (9) makes his way through the esses during a NASCAR Cup Series auto race, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, in Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Busch rallied strongly to finish third, while Hamlin finished 13th. With four races remaining until the Playoffs, this definitely gives them hope going forward.

Denny Hamlin's No. 11 will start from the pole Sunday for NASCAR's Cup road race at Watkins Glen International.

The numerology wasn't lost on the elder Elliott, who was spotting for his son on the backstretch at Watkins Glen and actually beat his son to Victory Lane, because Chase ran out of gas after taking the checkered flag and needed a push from teammate Jimmie Johnson. Elliott, the son of NASCAR Hall of Famer and 16-time most popular driver Bill Elliott, was set to take over that mantle from the retired Dale Earnhardt Jr.


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