Chase Elliott leads 80 of 90 laps to go back-to-back at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott was nearly untouchable on Sunday at Watkins Glen.

Elliott easily held off Martin Truex Jr. over the course of the third stage to get his second win of 2019 and the fifth win of his career. And if you think that sentence sounds familiar, well, you’re right. Elliott beat Truex for the win a year ago at Watkins Glen.

The 2018 battle was far more entertaining. On Sunday, Truex simply couldn’t get a chance to pass Elliott over the race’s final green flag run. Elliott was damn good. There’s no doubt about that. But there’s also no doubt that dirty air played a role in the finish as Truex noted multiple times on his radio that he felt like he would hit a wall of air each time he got in the vicinity of Elliott’s rear bumper.

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“Martin was a little quicker I felt like those last two runs but the track position was king,” Elliott said.

Elliott and Truex had an epic battle last year as Elliott had to fend off multiple challenges from the 2017 champion in leading the final 34 laps of that race. And, like many movie series, Sunday’s sequel wasn’t nearly as good as the original.

“I tried to do all I could,” Truex said. “Chase did an excellent job just not making mistakes and all I could do was just get to two car lengths, one and a half at the closest in braking and just try to force a mistake and he hit his marks. His car was really fast in the key areas he needed to be leaving a few key corners.”

Denny Hamlin was third, Erik Jones was fourth and Ryan Blaney finished fifth.

[Playoff watch: Jimmie Johnson is back into the 16-driver field]

Chase Elliott led 80 of 90 laps in a dominant performance at Watkins Glen. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott led 80 of 90 laps in a dominant performance at Watkins Glen. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch finishes 11th after multiple on-track conflicts

Kyle Busch might’ve had a car to contend with Elliott and Truex. He just had too many on-track kerfuffles for us to find out.

Busch spun on lap two while trying to pass William Byron into turn 1 as the two made contact. Busch then sent Byron into the grass in the bus stop chicane later in the stage and Byron then ruined the front end of his car running into the back of Busch’s.

Busch then got into a scrap with Bubba Wallace as the two exchanged contact down the front straightaway and Wallace turned Busch into turn 1 as a caution flag had flown for Jimmie Johnson’s spin. That happened after contact from Busch had sent Wallace into the tire barriers in the carousel corner earlier in the race.

Somehow, Busch came back to finish 11th and take over the points lead from Joey Logano, who finished 23rd.

Full results

1. Chase Elliott

2. Martin Truex Jr.

3. Denny Hamlin

4. Erik Jones

5. Ryan Blaney

6. Matt DiBenedetto

7. Kevin Harvick

8. Kyle Larson

9. Brad Keselowski

10. Kurt Busch

11. Kyle Busch

12. Aric Almirola

13. Chris Buescher

14. Alex Bowman

15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

16. Michael McDowell

17. Daniel Suarez

18. Paul Menard

19. Jimmie Johnson

20. Clint Bowyer

21. William Byron

22. David Ragan

23. Joey Logano

24. Matt Tifft

25. Ryan Newman

26. Parker Kligerman

27. Ross Chastain

28. Bubba Wallace

29. Landon Cassill

30. Ty Dillon

31. Austin Dillon

32. Josh Bilicki

33. Cody Ware

34. Corey LaJoie

35. Daniel Hemric

36. Ryan Preece

37. Reed Sorenson

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports

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