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Elliott wins again in Watkins

WATKINS GLEN--Chase Elliott joined an elite group of drivers, Sunday, Aug. 4, as he dominated to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race at Watkins Glen International for a second consecutive time. Elliott's career win total increases to five and this marks his second win this year. He led for 81 of the 90 total laps and gained seven playoff points with the performance.
"This was the first time we've ever gone somewhere and sat on the pole and led the most laps and won the race," said Elliott driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. "I've never done that in my career, and I'm sure Alan [Gustafson] has at some point, but as a group we've never done that."
In similar fashion to last year, Martin Truex Jr. closely followed and dared Elliott to make a mistake in the closing laps of the race. While Truex cutdown what was at times a sizable gap between himself and Elliott, he had to settle for second place finishing .454 seconds behind the leader.
"I tried to do all I could," said Truex after the race. "Chase did an excellent job, just not making mistakes, and really all I could do was get to two car lengths, one and a half at the closest in braking, and just try to force a mistake. But he hit his marks. His car was really fast in the key areas that you need to be, leaving a few of the key corners. I just couldn't get a run on him and we just were kind of stuck there."
Rounding out the top five were Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones and Ryan Blaney. Contenders Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Joey Logano finished ninth, 11th and 23rd respectively.
WGI announced Sunday that reserved grandstand tickets for the Cup race sold out for the fifth consecutive year.
In the updated standings, Kyle Busch leads with the most season points at 851, and also has the number one spot in the playoff ranking. He is followed by Logano in second for season points and third for the playoffs. Although Truex is fifth in the season points he is ranked second for the playoffs.
NASCAR will now move to Michigan, Sunday, Aug. 11. Kevin Harvick will look to defend his title from last year.
Saturday's racing action at WGI saw a new winner in Austin Cindric in the Zippo 200 Xfinity race. AJ Allmendinger gave Cindric a challenge through about half of the final lap before Cindric was able to widen the gap after the carousel. However, Allmendinger's car failed the post-race inspection for a rear height violation, causing him to show last on the finisher list.
Officially, the top five included Cindric, Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Blaney and Tyler Reddick.
In Friday's K&N Pro Series East Great Outdoors RV Superstore 100, Max McLaughlin won the shortened race due to lightning. He led 34 of the 34 laps completed.

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