Chase Elliott wins NASCAR race at Watkins Glen

NASCAR driver Chase Elliott put an end to his summer-long struggles with a dominating win on the road course at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Sunday.

A year after winning at The Glen for the first time, Elliott was the top driver at the track again, driving the No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports to a 0.454-second win over Martin Truex Jr. — who was second last year as well.

Elliott, who started from the pole, led 80 of 90 laps around the 2.45-mile layout.

“I think it’s huge,” Elliott said after his fifth career win. “We’ve had fast cars at times, but one thing or another ended up for a bad weekend. The way we did it was the biggest thing. That’s the kind of effort you have to put on often to compete with the guys in the field.”

Elliott already had qualified for the postseason with a win at Talladega (Ala.) in May, but after four straight top-fives he hadn’t had a top-10 finish since June at Pocono (Long Pond, Pa.), a span of seven races. He also led 400 laps in the opening 13 races but had led only nine laps since until Sunday.

It was a two-car race for more than half of the 220.5-mile distance and the entire final 40 laps.

Truex began to exert some pressure after sitting behind Elliott for more than 10 laps in the final segment. Elliott held his ground until Truex’s No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota closed with six laps to go, waiting to pounce on a mistake that did not come.

“I tried to do all I could. Chase did an excellent job just not making mistakes,” Truex said. “He hit his marks. His car was really fast in the key areas that you need to be. I just couldn’t get a run on him.”

Formula 1: Lewis Hamilton passed Max Verstappen on the 67th lap to take the lead for good en route to a victory in the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.

“We were just not fast enough. I tried everything I could,” Verstappen said. “Congrats to Lewis, he was pushing me really hard. I like that.”

Hamilton, seeking a sixth Formula 1 title, leads the season standings by 62 points going into the midseason summer break.

NHRA: At the Northwest Nationals in Kent, Wash., John Force edged Ron Capps in the final to earn his 150th career Funny Car title.

Force, a 16-time season champion in the classification, finished with a time of 3.971 seconds and a top speed of 320.58 mph. Capps was clocked in 4.018 seconds.

Robert Hight, who won the Funny Car title at Sonoma Raceway a week earlier, lost to Tommy Johnson Jr. in the second round.

“Well, it’s been 25 races, since Denver last year,” Force said, alluding to his most recent victory before Sunday. “Give me a good race car, I can race. I may not be as young as these kids and a hot shot on that Tree, but I can still get it done.”

Other winners included Austin Prock (top fuel) and Matt Hartford (pro stock).

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Chase-Elliott-wins-NASCAR-race-at-Watkins-Glen-14280021.php.

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