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Elliott holds off Truex at Watkins Glen

09 August 2018

Elliott led 52 laps including picking up another Stage win in Sunday's Going Bowling at the Glen.

A hard-charging Martin Truex Jr. came up a little short, finishing second to first-time victor Chase Elliott in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series road race at Watkins Glen International. Stewart, with eight career road course wins, won three straight from 2004-05.

Hamlin, Elliott and Erik Jones pitted on lap 17 as teams revealed their strategies while Busch, who dominated the segment, and Truex stayed on track.

But Truex ran out of gas seconds later, paving the way for Elliott to cruise to the finish line unchallenged. Elliott pulled out to a half-second lead while Truex was fighting to get back to the front after a restart mired him in 12th. It also assured Elliott a spot in the playoffs as he became only the fifth driver to win a race outside of the "Big 3" of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Truex, who have combined to win 16 of 22 races.

NASCAR Cup Series driver Chase Elliott (9) a victor for the first time in NASCAR'S Top series at Watkins Glen. He lasted less than three laps on Sunday after sliding off course and then heading to the garage with a broken radiator, his day done.

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Truex is part of the "Big 3" in NASCAR that is dominating the season.

Elliott could have added that the last three victories for the No. 9 auto have come at Watkins Glen - the previous two by road course ace Marcos Ambrose in 2011 and 2012. "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". His streak included three wins each at Watkins Glen and Sonoma.

Lapped traffic allowed Truex to get close - it was down to one vehicle length with under three laps to go - but he never found the magic he needed as Elliott drove a flawless race.

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

Hamlin traversed the 2.45-mile layout at 125.534 miles per hour in qualifying on Saturday, just ahead of series points leader Kyle Busch.

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Elliott's win is a feel-good story that has a lot of angles.

The trio was as dominant as always last week at Pocono when Busch and Harvick had to start at the back of the field after their cars failed postqualifying inspection. 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.

Elliott hasn't competed in any of NASCAR's national series since he drove in the July Cup race at Daytona in 2012.

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.

Finally. Chase Elliott has a Cup Series win.

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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.

Elliott holds off Truex at Watkins Glen