Truex Chasing Title as King of the Road

Chase Elliott at Watkins Glen International

If there were a "Driver of the Race" award in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, it would be hard to give it to anyone other than Chase Elliott, who held off reigning series champion Martin Truex Jr. over the final 32 laps to win Sunday's Go Bowling at the Glen.

It comes in his third full-time season of Cup competition and in his 99th career Cup Series start. But on the final lap, he lost control briefly, allowing Truex to close in on his bumper.

It was Hamlin's 27th career pole in Cup. Busch moved back to the lead on the restart of the third and final stage when Elliott over-cooked Turn 1 of the 11-turn circuit.

Midway through the segment, the Big 3 of Busch, Truex and Kevin Harvick were running in the top 10, but Elliott dominated in his No. 9 Chevy, beating Busch by 1.3 seconds.

Gordon, with nine career road course victories, won six straight races from 1997-2000. He lasted less than three laps on Sunday after sliding off course and then heading to the garage with a broken radiator, his day done.

Elliott could have added that the last three victories for the No. 9 vehicle have come at Watkins Glen - the previous two by road course ace Marcos Ambrose in 2011 and 2012. Busch pitted the next time around to stay on the same strategy, but Truex stayed out to win his seventh stage of the season.

Denny Hamlin started from the pole on the high-speed road course in New York's Finger Lakes region. His streak included three wins each at Watkins Glen and Sonoma.

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NASCAR changed pre-race inspections this week to Sunday morning during its second-straight two-day event and only two cars failed. Menard was to have started 14th and Busch was to have started 21st.

The next race is Sunday Aug. 12 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Hamlin traversed the 2.45-mile layout at 125.534 miles per hour in qualifying on Saturday, just ahead of series points leader Kyle Busch.

"You do what you can do, " said Keselowski, a three-time runner-up at The Glen, "if it takes strategy to win, you play strategy".

The cars of Paul Menard, who qualified 14th, and Kurt Busch, who qualified 21st, were the only ones to fail inspection. Their times were disallowed and both Fords were sent to the rear of the 37-car field. Elliott held a consistent lead, and appeared headed for victory.

Aug 5, 2018; Watkins Glen, NY, USA; Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch (18) before the Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International. It continues a NASCAR tradition of father and son combinations that have won races in the Cup Series. The only Xfinity race I ever won was right here on a road course, and lo and behold, he wins his first on a road course.

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