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Chase Elliott tops Truex at Watkins Glen for second straight year

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Chase Elliott tops Truex at Watkins Glen for second straight year
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It’s déjà vu all over again with Chase Elliott out-dueling Martin Truex Jr. for another victory at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

Race Winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro
Race Winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro
Race Winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro
Race Winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro
Race Winner Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro

In almost an exact replay of a year ago, Elliot deftly held off a furious charge from Truex, answering every challenge over the final 50-lap final stage.

The win is Elliott’s second of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season and fifth of his career – all coming in the last 12 months. 

"This is wild. Thank you guys, that was pretty awesome. I've never been so far from home and thought I was at my house," Elliott said to the cheers from the fans. "Thank you. What a day. 

"We had such a bad fast Camaro and we stayed mistake-free. Martin was a little quicker those last two runs but track position was king and I didn't mess up in (Turn) 1 this time, so that was good.

"I just want to thank everyone that makes this happen. Mr. (Rick) Hendrick is here today and just a lot of people that have obviously gotten me to this point. I wish my mom and my grandmother were here today but I can't wait to see you guys - love you!

"Sorry I ran out of gas again! You guys are awesome."

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

Rounding out the top-10 were Matt DiBenedetto, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch.

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Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, some drivers pit but Elliott remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 44.

Truex stayed close to Elliott on the restart as he tried to catch the leader in a battle that was reminiscent of last year’s race. 

By Lap 48, Elliott had been able to sustain a small lead over Truex but couldn’t pull away like he had earlier in the race. 

With 40 lap remaining in the race, Elliott had built almost a 1-second lead over Truex with Harvick in third, more than 6 seconds behind the leader.

Ryan Newman ran off course in Turn 5 and suffered a flat right-front tire, but was able to limp around the track and back to pit road.

On Lap 53, Daniel Hemric spun off the inner loop and suffered a lot of damage to his No. 8 Chevrolet but was able to continue on to pit road.

 

After 55 laps, Truex had closed to Elliott’s rear bumper again to challenge for the lead. Harvick remained in third, more than 9 seconds behind the lead.

Harvick was the first to make his final pit stop on Lap 58 as the window opened for drivers to make it to the end of the race on fuel.

Several more drivers followed down pit road on Lap 59, including Clint Bowyer, Keselowski and Aric Almirola.

Elliott elected to pit on Lap 60 which allowed Truex to move into the lead for the first time in the race. Truex pit one lap later.

On Lap 62, caution was displayed after Jimmie Johnson severely damaged his No. 48 Chevrolet and did damage to the retaining wall.

At the same time, Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch hit each other several times on the frontstretch with Wallace finally turning Busch into Turn 1.

 

Paul Menard, who had been leading, made his pit stop under the caution which put Elliott back in the lead on the restart on Lap 66. He was followed by Truex, Hamlin, Harvick and Jones. Kyle Busch lined up 35th.

On Lap 68, Elliott was concerned he may have a left-rear tire going down and his team was attempting to visually inspect the tire. He continued to maintain a lead over Truex.

With 20 laps remaining, Elliott held a small lead over Truex with Hamlin in third. They were followed by Jones and Harvick.

After 75 laps, Elliott’s lead over Truex hovered around sixth-tenths of a second. Hamlin remained in third, Jones fourth and Blaney had moved up to fifth.

Truex was growing frustrated trying to catch Elliott. “I’m just stuck right here,” he said over his team radio.

With 10 laps to go, Truex had closed again to Elliott’s rear bumper but still couldn’t get close enough to attempt a pass for the lead. Hamlin was third, more than 6 seconds behind the leader. 

With five laps remaining, Truex had again closed to Elliott’s rear bumper to challenge for the lead.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 90   80
2 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 90 0.454 1
3 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 90 11.229  
4 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 90 12.403  
5 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 90 19.092  
6 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 90 22.632  
7 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 90 23.705  
8 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 90 24.743 6
9 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 90 27.441  
10 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 90 27.736  
11 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 90 28.177  
12 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 90 31.548  
13 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 90 32.058  
14 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 90 33.695  
15 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 90 36.644  
16 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 90 37.588  
17 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 90 37.900  
18 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 90 39.382 3
19 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 90 40.846  
20 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 90 44.367  
21 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 90 50.828  
22 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 90 52.448  
23 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 90 54.172  
24 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 90 54.256  
25 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 90 56.825  
26 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 90 57.208  
27 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 90 58.603  
28 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 90 1'08.161  
29 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 90 1'08.480  
30 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 89 1 lap  
31 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 89 1 lap  
32 52 United States Josh Bilicki  Chevrolet 89 1 lap  
33 51 United States Cody Ware  Chevrolet 89 1 lap  
34 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 85 5 laps  
35 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 84 6 laps  
36 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 72 18 laps  
37 77 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 65 25 laps  
 

Chase Elliott wins Stage 2 under caution at Watkins Glen

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Watkins Glen
Author Jim Utter