Martin Truex Jr. chasing title as NASCAR’s king of the road

Florence Fletcher
August 9, 2018

While you're free to revel in Elliott's first win and buy as much merchandise as your heart desires it's important that you don't get carried away and think that NASCAR is somehow "saved" or that 10 years of television audience declines are suddently going to be reversed because the 22-year-old won a race on a Sunday in August. Elliott led the final 32 laps of the race, holding off a hard-charging Martin Truex Jr, who ultimately ran out of gas. It was a two-car race as the rest of the field was more than 11 seconds back.

The final stage came down to a battle between Elliott and Truex.

Elliott is set to drive the #23 GMS Racing Chevrolet, the vehicle that has been shared by a number of other drivers, including his son Chase, since the suspension of the former full-time driver of the auto, Spencer Gallagher, following the Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway in late April, in the Johnsonville 180.

Busch rallied strongly to finish third, while Hamlin finished 13th.

The race will be Elliot's first since Daytona in 2012. Jeff Gordon hold the record with six in a row (1997-2000). "Chase (Elliott) has ran a handful of races for the team so I figured I would give it a shot at Road America". The majority of the large crowd was behind Elliott, and roared as he took the checkered flag on the final lap.

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Truex is part of the "Big 3" in NASCAR that is dominating the season.

Suarez and Jones finished fourth and fifth, respectively, on Sunday. "Jimmie has been one of my heroes for a long, long time". In an unique coincedence, both Elliotts got their first ever Cup wins on road courses, and both came after finishing second place eight times. The wet track made for insane visuals as cars kicked up water and experienced road course racers like AJ Allmendinger were right at home, but Team Penske teammates Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski rose to the top once the precipitation stopped and the track dried. Aric Almirola and Ryan Blaney made contact in Turn 7 on Lap 3. Elliott pulled out to a half-second lead while Truex was fighting to get back to the front after restarting 12th. That gave Elliott the lead, which he held until the end. Truex, Busch, and Kevin Harvick, have combined to win 16 of the 21 Cup races. Chase was able to finally capture that elusive first victory in the Cup series.

Road course ace AJ Allmendinger lurks in eighth and Kasey Kahne unofficially will start 10th, both needing a win to make the playoffs.

Denny Hamlin started the race from the pole of the 220.5-mile event but lost the lead on Lap 2 when he was passed by teammate Busch in the sweeping Carousel turn.

"It's way too soon for that", Hamlin, who won at The Glen two years ago, said when asked if his effort was a step toward closing the gap with the three drivers at the top.

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