Published: Thu, August 09, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Results, points after Xfinity race at Watkins Glen

Results, points after Xfinity race at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott has won the NASCAR Cup race at Watkins Glen, holding off Martin Truex Jr in a scintillating finish.

"If you're Chase Elliott, how could you have had a better first win?"

"It's tough, gave it all I had", Truex, who recorded his sixth top-five in the last seven races, said in a post-race TV interview. We ran out of gas on the last lap anyway, so I guess it wouldn't have mattered.

Elliott, son former Cup champion and Hall of Famer Bill Elliott, mimicked his father's first career victory as that win, too, came on a road course - "Dollar Bill's" first Cup victory came at Riverside in the final race of the 1983 season. The Sonoma win was by a margin of more than 10 seconds and was aided by crew chief Cole Pearn's gamble to pit off-sequence from the rest of the leaders.

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Truex closed to the back bumper of Elliott's No. 9 Chevy as his auto moved wide heading out of the first turn of the final lap, but Elliott regrouped and pulled away as Truex sputtered home second, out of fuel.

The final stage came down to a battle between Elliott and Truex. I couldn't get it and I was sideways. I leaned on him a lot over this past offseason and I always lean on him, but certainly a lot throughout this off season just about the opportunities I've had in the past and not closing them out. "He did a good job of putting his auto exactly where it needed to be and not making a mistake". He also became the youngest driver to win a Cup race, accomplished at 19 years and 35 days.

Positions 3-10 went to: Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Jamie McMurray, William Byron, Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick.

Other Notables: #14 Clint Bowyer P11, #12 Ryan Blaney P12, #11 Denny Hamlin P13, #88 Alex Bowman P14, #2 Brad Keselowski P17, #31 Ryan Newman P19, #10 Aric Almirola P22, #43 Bubba Wallace Jr P25, #3 Austin Dillon P27, #21 Paul Menard P28, #48 Jimmie Johnson P30, #22 Joey Logano P37. "I'm so thrilled, so emotional, so much relief, working on three years and I hadn't won one".

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"He's excited about it", Chase Elliott said. "We were getting closer, closer, closer and finally got it done".

Busch dominated until early in the second stage when, on Lap 27, he was passed by Elliott for the lead.

Busch took charge on the restart, pulling away to a lead of almost three seconds over Truex, with Hamlin third and Chase Elliott fourth. We were kind of standing around one day and offered it up, and he just wants to go have fun and race.

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