While a majority of the kids in the United States are gearing up to go back to school, it was another youngster in NASCAR taking the veterans to school on Sunday. For the second straight year, Chase Elliott won the Go Bowling at the Glen in his No. 9 Chevrolet as he was flawless all afternoon at the Watkins Glen International road course.
Elliott, led a race-high 81 of 90 laps en route to his second win of the season and the fifth of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.
Chase Elliott leads Martin Truex Jr. late in Sunday’s Go Bowling at the Glen
The win though, despite leading all but nine laps, didn’t come as easy as the box score shows. Elliott, had to be perfect around the upstate New York road course on every lap. The reason was because Martin Truex Jr. was stalking Elliott’s every move. Truex, had a fast car but it wasn’t good enough to close up to and get by Elliott. So, his only hope was for Elliott to make a mistake in one of the seven corners so he could pounce.
Truex, would ride in Elliott’s shadow for a majority of the 90 laps on a sun filled Sunday afternoon but Elliott wouldn’t turn a wheel wrong and would get his first top 10 finish since early June when after he scored five straight top five results, he’d go seven weeks without a sniff of another top 10.
This weekend, Elliott knew would be the place where he could end his drought.
The @WGI crowd made @ChaseElliott feel right at home. This one's for all the @Hendrick9Team fans, says the @TeamHendrick driver. pic.twitter.com/4LQWZc6kYj — NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) August 4, 2019
“That was awesome,” Elliott said of his win. “I’ve never been so far from home and felt like I was at my house, so thank you. You all are awesome. What a day! We had such a fast NAPA Camaro and these guys called a great race. 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. Just a huge thank you to everyone that makes this happen. Mr. Hendrick is here today and just a lot of people that have gotten me to this point.”
Elliott, was fourth and first respectively in practice on Saturday and backed that up with earning his third pole of the season later on in the day. The track position helped him have a clean day as all he had to do was keep his car on track and a good result would be his.
For Truex, it was the second consecutive year that he’d come home runner-up to Elliott in Watkins Glen. It was also his fifth top two finish on road courses in his last six attempts. Truex, quickly got his No. 19 Toyota up to speed and would finish third in the first stage. He was second in Stage 2. He just didn’t have enough to win but did get his third straight top two finish at the Glen and fifth top five in his last seven starts on the season.
Truex’s teammate Denny Hamlin finished third in his No. 11 Toyota for his fourth straight top five finish on the season and fifth in the last seven races. It was also his third top four finish in his last four Watkins Glen tries.
Erik Jones gave Joe Gibbs Racing three of the top four finishing positions with bringing his No. 20 Toyota home fourth for his third straight top 10 finish in Watkins Glen and fourth consecutive top four finish on the season. He’s also had nine top six finishes in his last 12 tries on the year and moves to 54 points ahead of the cutoff line. He was 13 points down heading to Kentucky a few weeks ago as he’s made up 67 points in four weeks.
Ryan Blaney had an eventful day but still was able to finish fifth in his No. 12 Ford. Blaney, had to make some changes to his car after passing tech on Sunday morning and as a result would go to the rear of the field at the start. For a race that was so hard to pass, he improved from last to finish fifth. But, he did so with also making Jimmie Johnson mad.
On Lap 61, Blaney got into Johnson which sent Johnson into the tire barriers exiting the inner loop. Johnson, would continue on but said that Blaney punted him. Blaney, said that he would be mad too if he was Johnson but the contact wasn’t intentional. He said that he thought Johnson left a lane open and he took him but Johnson came down after.
Also on that lap, Bubba Wallace and Kyle Busch had a run-in on the front stretch as they made contact exiting Turn 7 and would run into each other the whole length of the front stretch before Wallace sent Busch spinning into Turn 1. That would be the fourth and final caution of the day and set us up for a final restart.
Elliott, got a great launch and beat Truex through the esses and set sail on his first win in 11 races.
Go Bowling At The Glen Results
19 Truex Jr.
17 Stenhouse Jr.
36 Tifft R
43 Wallace Jr.
13 TDillon -1
3 ADillon -1
52 Bilicki -1
51 Ware -1
32 LaJoie -5
8 Hemric R -6
47 Preece OUT
77 Sorenson OUT