Elliott wins first cup race at Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN--Race fans had the opportunity to see just how close teams push their fuel mileage, Sunday, Aug. 5 at Watkins Glen International. First place finisher Chase Elliott ran out of fuel on his victory lap, while second place driver Martin Truex Jr. was out before the race even ended.
As is so often the case at Watkins Glen, the final lap had everyone on the edge of his or her seat. Elliott and Truex were battling for the lead, well ahead of the rest of the cars. As they both took the white flag for one lap to go, Elliott had a considerable lead on the front stretch. However, he went wide on turn one, instantly losing the gap he had with Truex. The crowd audibly gasped as the events unfolded. Elliott's faster car started to pull away going up the esses and he had nearly a four car length advantage through the carousel. Truex then ran out of gas, making the last two turns stress-free for Elliott.
"So my big thing was just trying to make the most of the sections that I felt like I was better than him and not mess up," said Elliott after winning. "We were coming to that white flag, I felt like I had a pretty nice gap, just don't mess up, and I messed up, of course, and I had to knock it out of gear and I completely missed turn one and luckily had a big enough gap that he couldn't get up next to me."
Truex felt he had a fast car, but it was too loose to get by Elliott. "You know, enough [of the car was left] to be faster than the No. 9, just not enough to pass him," said Truex in the media center. "I could get right to him. I chased him down from a ways back after that restart." He continued, "I was too loose all day on the exits on all the corners. I couldn't get the power down good enough, and running behind him there, just burned my rear tires off trying to make something happen."
Kyle Busch, Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones rounded out the top five in the Go Bowling at The Glen cup series race.
"Every year we come here, we have a fast car and fail to execute, whether that's just called bad luck or whatever," said the third-place Busch in the post-race press conference. "It never ceases to amaze me. Nothing surprises me anymore."
While the fans were waiting for Elliott to finish his victory lap and do the ceremonial burnout in front of the grandstands, he ran out of fuel on the track. Teammate Jimmie Johnson helped push his car in front of the fans to celebrate the win.
The 22-year-old Elliott has had 99 career starts, eight runner-up finishes and now a win on his resume.
Joey Logano won Saturday's Xfinity race followed by AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier. Logano broke an oil cooler in Sunday's main race causing him to go to the garage and finish last.
Brett Moffitt won the Friday K&N Pro Series-East race at WGI.