Chase Elliott is finally a NASCAR Monster Energy Cup winner.
Elliott claimed his first cup series win on Sunday at Watkins Glen International after a tense fifteen lap battle with last years champion and Watkins Glen winner Martin Truex Jr. His victory gives Hendrick Motorsports its 250th win as an organization and Chevrolet its first win since the season opening Daytona 500.
“Holy cow, I don’t know what to say, just so thrilled, so emotional, so much relief. Working on three years, I hadn’t won one. I came here with a great opportunity today, and I was able to get it done,” said Elliott after his victory.
After Elliott fought hard to keep Truex behind him, the final lap proved to be his shining moment of the day. Elliott wheel-hopped coming into turn one and with the race on the line was able to hold the lead as Truex Jr. closed in to capitalize on his mistake. “I started to wheel-hop, and I knocked it out of gear in order not to spin out, and luckily I had a big enough gap where he couldn’t get me, but what a day!”
The hard charging Truex would have to settle for second after winning the race last year as his car ran out of fuel on the final lap. Kyle Busch, after a fueling issue dropped him down the order, powered to a third place finish after dominating the race early on. Buschs Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones would round out the top five.
Chase Elliott’s father, and NASCAR Hall of Famer, Bill Elliott was present for his first career win on Sunday as he served as his son’s spotter on the end of the backstretch. Ironically Bill’s first NASCAR cup series win came at a the Riverside road course in 1983.
The series now heads to Michigan and the Michigan International Speedway for the Consumers Energy 400. Coverage beings Sunday, August 12th at 2:30 p.m. on NBC.
Images courtesy of Watkins Glen International/ISC, Fox News, Autoweek and Speedway Digest.
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