Chase Elliott wins at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott wins at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott wins at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott, who topped the first round of qualifying, will start third, followed by Truex and Kyle Larson.

Truex was shooting for his third straight road-course win, but ran out of fuel on the final lap as he was only a few auto lengths behind Elliott, who also ran out of fuel but on the cool down lap. On race day, the big three were looking like the best of the field once again, but the #9 Sun Energy1 vehicle of Chase Elliott was a man on a mission. Truex closed within in a couple auto lengths of Elliott with 10 laps to go, but faded back in the final circuits.

It was Elliott's first career win in his 99th Cup start and 250th for Hendrick Motorsports.

Gordon, with nine career road course victories, won six straight races from 1997-2000.

The 22-year-old Elliott from Dawsonville, Georgia inherited the lead on lap 56 when race leader Kyle Busch was forced to come back down pit road for more fuel.

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

Midway through the segment, the Big 3 were running in the top 10, but Elliott dominated and beat Busch by 1.3 seconds. Hamlin was third, Erik Jones fourth and Truex fifth. His last Xfinity Series race was in October 2005 at Memphis.

Moments later, Joey Logano slid off course on lap two and dropped to the rear of the field, then headed to the garage with a broken radiator, his day done. Aric Almirola and Ryan Blaney made contact in Turn 7 on Lap 3. Almirola pitted along with AJ Allmendinger, who suffered front-end damage after contact with Logano.

The final stage came down to a battle between Elliott and Truex. His streak included three wins each at Watkins Glen and Sonoma. It occurred on an afternoon where he led a race-high 52 laps and won Stage 2 - his third consecutive race with a stage win. He won at Sonoma, California, the only other true road course on the regular-season schedule, in late June and is the defending Watkins Glen victor.

Truex won at Watkins Glen last summer and in California in June. The Glen has had only one repeat victor - Marcos Ambrose in 2011-12 - in the past 12 years.

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Sunday will be a marathon for NASCAR and the teams because inspection this week was moved to prior to the race.

Maybe Watkins Glen will be where Denny Hamlin joins the exclusive club of winners in 2018. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Hamlin traversed the 2.45-mile layout at 125.534 miles per hour Saturday to take the top spot in the No. 11 Toyota, just ahead of Busch. Barring an inspection failure, of course. Their times were disallowed and both Fords were sent to the rear of the 37-car field. That gave Elliott the lead, which he held until the end. It was Logano's third win in the series at The Glen and 30th overall, seventh on the career list.

The next race is Sunday Aug. 12 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.

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