Chase Elliott tops Truex at Watkins Glen for second straight year

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

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.

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#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
19 Chase Elliott Chevrolet90 80
219 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota900.4541
311 Denny Hamlin Toyota9011.229 
420 Erik Jones Toyota9012.403 
512 Ryan Blaney Ford9019.092 
695 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota9022.632 
74 Kevin Harvick Ford9023.705 
842 Kyle Larson Chevrolet9024.7436
92 Brad Keselowski Ford9027.441 
101 Kurt Busch Chevrolet9027.736 
1118 Kyle Busch Toyota9028.177 
1210 Aric Almirola Ford9031.548 
1337 Chris Buescher Chevrolet9032.058 
1488 Alex Bowman Chevrolet9033.695 
1517 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford9036.644 
1634 Michael McDowell Ford9037.588 
1741 Daniel Suarez Ford9037.900 
1821 Paul Menard Ford9039.3823
1948 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet9040.846 
2014 Clint Bowyer Ford9044.367 
2124 William Byron Chevrolet9050.828 
2238 David Ragan Ford9052.448 
2322 Joey Logano Ford9054.172 
2436 Matt Tifft Ford9054.256 
256 Ryan Newman Ford9056.825 
2696 Parker Kligerman Toyota9057.208 
2715 Ross Chastain Chevrolet9058.603 
2843 Darrell Wallace Jr. Chevrolet901’08.161 
2900 Landon Cassill Chevrolet901’08.480 
3013 Ty Dillon Chevrolet891 lap 
313 Austin Dillon Chevrolet891 lap 
3252 Josh Bilicki Chevrolet891 lap 
3351 Cody Ware Chevrolet891 lap 
3432 Corey Lajoie Ford855 laps 
358 Daniel Hemric Chevrolet846 laps 
3647 Ryan Preece Chevrolet7218 laps 
3777 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet6525 laps 

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