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Watkins Glen NASCAR Cup: Elliott resists Truex for second 2019 win – autosport.com

Watkins Glen NASCAR Cup: Elliott resists Truex for second 2019 win – autosport.com
06 Aug
10:23

Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott resited pressure from Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr to clinch a second NASCAR Cup win of 2019 at Watkins Glen.

Polesitter Elliott led 81 of 90 laps and swept the stages at the venue at which he claimed his maiden Cup victory last season.

But Truex posed a significant threat throughout the final stage as the two dominated, consistently lapping a second faster than the rest of the field.

A restart in the final part of the race offer Truex his best opportunity to pass Elliott’s Chevrolet. The two banged wheels approaching Turn 1 and through the Esses, escaping serious damage despite Elliott’s initial fears of a deflating left-rear tyre.

Truex was within striking distance of Elliott entering the final laps but was unable to make an overtake and, setting for second, secured his fifth top-two finish from the last six road-course races.

Having started the race in third, Kyle Busch was eliminated from contention early on after tangling with front-row starter William Byron while battling for second at Turn 1.

Busch spun and slipped back to 10th and, after coming across Hendrick Motorsports’ Byron later in the stage, Busch pushed the Chevrolet driver onto the grass at Turn 5.

Byron retaliated by ramming Busch during the stage-ending caution period, causing significant damage to the front of his Chevrolet.

In stage three, and while recovering from a pitlane speeding penalty, Busch made door-to-door contact with Darrell Wallace Jr as the two tussled on the pit straight. After several bites of contact, Wallace spun Busch at Turn 1 to trigger the final caution of the race.

Busch restarted the race in 29th, but recovered to 11th at the finish.

His JGR team-mates Denny Hamlin and Erik Jones ended up third and fourth, with Jones climbing from 14th on the grid to secure his fourth consecutive top-four finish to elevate himself 54 points clear of the playoff cut with four regular-season races remaining.

For the second race in a row, Ryan Blaney started from the rear of the field due to unapproved pre-race adjustments.

He recovered to finish fifth despite tangling with his team-mate Joey Logano as the two battled through Turn 5 early on, as well as pitching Jimmie Johnson into a spin at the Carousel in the final stage.

Johnson trailed home in 19th and ended the race level on points with Ryan Newman – the two either side of the playoff cut line.

Newman was running in 15th when he picked up a puncture and subsequent pitlane penalty for entering too many pitboxes, finishing in 25th.

Matt DiBenedetto passed Kevin Harvick late on to grab sixth place, and the fourth top-10 finish in the last seven races for the Leavine Family Racing team.

Kyle Larson briefly led the race in the second stage after being the last car to make his first pitstop. His alternative strategy propelled him to eighth.

Result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps
1 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 90
2 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 90
3 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 90
4 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 90
5 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 90
6 Matt DiBenedetto Leavine Family Racing Toyota 90
7 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 90
8 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 90
9 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 90
10 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 90
11 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 90
12 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 90
13 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 90
14 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 90
15 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 90
16 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 90
17 Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 90
18 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 90
19 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 90
20 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 90
21 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 90
22 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 90
23 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 90
24 Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports Ford 90
25 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford 90
26 Parker Kligerman Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 90
27 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 90
28 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 90
29 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 90
30 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 89
31 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 89
32 Josh Bilicki Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 89
33 Cody Ware Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet 89
34 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing Ford 85
35 Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 84
36 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 72
37 Reed Sorenson Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 65

Source: https://www.autosport.com/nascar/news/145234/elliott-resists-truex-to-win-again-at-watkins-glen

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