NASCAR's return to Watkins Glen for the final road race of the 2019 Monster Energy Cup Series was a successful one for Chase Elliott.
Elliott and Martin Truex Jr. started this weekend in a prime position for victory. The duo has combined to win the previous four road races, including Sunday, on the circuit dating back to 2018 and fought for the lead throughout today's event, with Elliott prevailing by .454 seconds.
Elliott seemed to have the momentum coming into Sunday after winning the pole. The No. 9 car controlled most of the race, leading 80 of 90 laps.
Go Bowling at the Glen Results—Top 10
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
Full results can be found on NASCAR.com.
Elliott has been on hot and cold streaks throughout this season. The 23-year-old had a string of five consecutive top-five finishes snapped at the Firekeepers Casino 400 on June 10. He followed that up with seven straight races outside the top 10, including three of the previous four in 29th place or lower.
Last year's race at Watkins Glen was Elliott's first victory on the Monster Energy circuit. It came in a race he started third in, a fact not lost on him when he took the top spot in Saturday's qualifying run.
"Qualifying well here is important, because the strategy is important," he said, via NASCAR.com's Reid Spencer. "Pitting these cars backwards (with fuel intakes on the right side instead of left), you need good pit selection and track position. This is a great result for our NAPA Chevy team."
Elliott picked up a lot of points along the way, including winning both stages before taking home the checkered flag. The second stage ended under caution when Bubba Wallace crashed into the tire barrier.
Even though there were 37 drivers in the field, this race was a two-man showdown between Elliott and Truex. They were in the top two spots for the final 25 laps when Elliott slid past Truex coming out of a caution, though the battle was going on long before that moment.
The caution flag had to come out because Ryan Blaney made contact with Jimmie Johnson, who took great exception to the incident.
Johnson has historically struggled at Watkins Glen—his last top-10 finish was in 2015—and this year was no different with the No. 48 car being forced to settle for 19th place.
As Elliott celebrates his second win of the season, the race for the playoffs is picking up steam. There are only four events remaining until the Round of 16 begins.
Nine drivers have already clinched a postseason berth, including Truex, Elliott, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman.
Johnson and Ryan Newman are currently tied for 16th place on points, but Johnson has the edge for the final playoff spot by virtue of having one stage victory.
The Monster Energy Series will get back to a traditional track next weekend when NASCAR converges on Michigan International Speedway for the Consumers Energy 400 on Aug. 11.