When Chase Elliott took the checkered flag Sunday at Watkins Glen for his first Cup win, the car behind him was being driven by Martin Truex Jr., the defending Cup champion and the winner of the last two road course races.
“Just nice to win it straight up and it not be a fuel mileage race,” Elliott said afterward. “You can win these things a lot of different ways, but to actually go out there, run in the top 2 or 3 all day long and race the guy that’s won the past two road races straight up for a victory at the end is very satisfying.”
Elliott’s first win came in his 99th start. It occurred on an afternoon where he led a race-high 52 laps and won Stage 2 – his third consecutive race with a stage win. That stage win was over Kyle Busch, who like Truex, is one of the members of the season’s Big 3.
“If you’re Chase Elliott, how could you have had a better first win?” Cassill said. “He didn’t steal one from a superspeedway, he didn’t just have a dominate car on an intermediate track. … He beat the best in the business, he ran door-to-door with Kyle Busch at Watkins Glen earlier in the race. He had the speed. This is going to do so much for his confidence moving forward, so much more than any other race track he could have won at.”
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