Chase Elliott fended off a strong charge from Martin Truex, Jr. in the waning laps to claim his second straight win in the Go Bowling at the Glen.

The Dawsonville, Georgia native led 80 out of 90 laps after starting from pole and became the first driver to win back-to-back races at the 2.45-mile road course since Marcos Ambrose won in 2011-12.

The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 asserted himself as the class of the field early with two dominant wins in the race’s opening stages. He led the opening 20-lap stage wire-to-wire ahead of a brigade of Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas led by Pocono winner Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, Jr., and Kyle Busch with Hendrick teammate William Byron completing the top five.

He then surrendered the lead under the stage break to make his first pitstop which then elevated Kyle Larson to the lead ahead of Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman and Chris Buescher when the stage began.

Elliott restarted clawed forward at the drop of the green and re-took the lead on Lap 29 when Larson ducked onto pit road which left him with a 1.8 second lead over Harvick.

The stage came to a premature end on Lap 39 when Bubba Wallace crashed into the tyre barrier in Turn 5 and secured the win for Elliott.

The stage break saw none of the leaders pit as Elliott took the green flag on Lap 45. He broke away from Martin Truex, Jr. but could not gap the field as he had done prior.

Truex never let Elliott too far out of his sights throughout the stint and drew close as the pair navigated lapped traffic but was unable to complete the pass.

His closest chance came on Lap 57 as Elliott struggled to lap Ty Dillon. Truex attempted to go three-wide with the lapper in Turn 6, but Elliott came out of the corner ahead.

Pitstops began immediately after as third-place runner Kevin Harvick peeled off to make his final stop of the day.

A handful of drivers including Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski and Aric Almirola stopped a lap later while Elliott pitted on Lap 60.

Truex led one lap before making his stop on Lap 61 and Elliott passed him during his return to the track while Paul Menard held the point.

The caution flew on Lap 62 when Jimmie Johnson crashed while simultaneously Bubba Wallace turned Kyle Busch in Turn 1 after door-banging their way down the front stretch.

Menard surrendered the lead under the yellow, elevating Elliott and Truex to the front row on the Lap 66 restart.

The lead see-sawed over the next 15 laps as Truex got within striking distance a few times while Denny Hamlin rode a distant third place.

Truex, Jr got to Elliott’s rear bumper twice in the final ten laps but could not mount a charge as Elliott took the win by just .454s ahead.

“We had such a fast NAPA Camaro and these guys called a great race,” he said. “We just stayed mistake free and Martin (Truex Jr.) was a little quicker I felt like those last few runs, but the track position was key and I didn’t mess up into Turn 1 this time, so that was good.”

Truex led a JGR sweep of positions 2-4 as Hamlin ended up third ahead of Erik Jones in fourth while Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney recovered from starting at the rear for unapproved adjustments to end up fifth.

Matt DiBenedetto picked up his fourth top ten in the last eight races by finishing sixth while Kevin Harvick faded to seventh in the waning laps.

Kyle Larson ended up eighth ahead of Brad Keselowski in ninth while Kurt Busch rounded out the top ten.

Points leader Kyle arguably had the most dramatic day of any driver. The 2008 Watkins Glen winner spun out of third on the race’s second lap, and had run-ins with William Byron and Bubba Wallace before recovering to finish 11th.

The race for the final spot in the final cutoff spot of 16th in The Playoffs heated up today as many of the contenders encountered problems.

Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson ran inside the top ten briefly before a late crash dropped him to 19th in the finishing order. Finishing just behind him was Clint Bowyer who lies 15th in the standings, just 12 points ahead of Johnson.

Tied with Johnson is the Roush-Fenway Racing driver Ryan Newman, who suffered from two cut tyres during the event. He got back on the lead lap during the Lap 63 yellow flag and worked up to 25th by the end of the race.

 

Comments

Loading Comments...