“You know, the road to this point is what makes today special,” Chase Elliott said on Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America. “When you’re in those moments in the past and you have those tough days – all those second-place finishes and missed opportunities.”
Before winning the Cup race at Watkins Glen International, Elliott finished second eight times, the most recent of which came in April at Richmond Raceway. His father, Bill Elliott also had eight second-place finishes before scoring his first win.
“It’s just been a kind of a hard, long road the last couple of years to get to this point and it’s just satisfying,” Elliott said.
Chase won in his 99th career Cup start, but questions about when he would get his first victory have echoed in his mind since his rookie season when he finished second at Michigan International Speedway for the first time in June 2016. That came in his 20th start.
“(I) came to the white flag and I felt like I had a nice gap to Martin (Truex Jr.),” Elliott said. “I feel like, ‘just don’t mess up,’ and then I go into the first corner and mess up. Got the car wheel-hopping; completely blew Turn 1 and luckily had a big enough lead to the 78 that he didn’t get up next to me and I was able to gap him back.”
By comparison, Bill Elliott scored his first win on a road course (Riverside International Raceway) in his 115th start.
Bill was on hand at the Glen to spot for Chase.
“Burn that son-of-a-gun down,” Bill said to him as he drove down the backstretch on his cool down lap, but Elliott was out of gas.
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