GMS Racing tabs HOFer Bill Elliott to race at Road America

Silvia Morton
August 9, 2018

"If you're Chase Elliott, how could you have had a better first win?" After challenging several times on the opening lap, Busch made the pass on the second lap after banging fenders with Hamlin in the chicane.

Midway through the segment, the Big 3 were running in the top 10, but Elliott dominated and beat Busch by 1.3 seconds. Elliott pulled out to a half-second lead while Truex was fighting to get back to the front after a restart mired him in 12th.

The victory for the Hendrick Motorsports driver gave Chevrolet its second points victory of the season and locked Elliott into the championship-deciding playoffs, which begin in Las Vegas five races from now. Busch was the early race favorite and led 31 laps before giving up the lead to Elliott. 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. Justin Allgaier was third, followed by Justin Haley and Aric Almirola. "We still have an issue with star power and hopefully this stable of young drivers coming along will start to win and build their brands". I won my first Cup race at a road course in Riverside. It occurred on an afternoon where he led a race-high 52 laps and won Stage 2 - his third consecutive race with a stage win. All three of Truex's road course wins were won with strategy, including last year at The Glen and this year at Sonoma in California's wine country. The Glen has had only one repeat victor - Marcos Ambrose in 2011-12 - in the past 12 years.

No inclement weather is expected Sunday, but there's still a wrinkle to the proceedings already because instead of NASCAR announcing a field and then having to change it after handing out inspection violations, the Watkins Glen inspections are only taking place Sunday morning. The times of Paul Menard, who qualified 14th, and Kurt Busch, who qualified 21st, were disallowed.

It was Hamlin's 27th career pole in Cup.

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The news caught Cup series leader Kyle Busch by surprise after qualifying Saturday evening.

Chase Elliott will start third in the No. 9 Chevy, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson.

The trio was as dominant as always last week at Pocono when Busch and Harvick had to start at the back of the field after their cars failed postqualifying inspection. Seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson wound up using his vehicle to push Elliott to his first victory celebration. His lone Xfinity Series victory came in the 1993 Fay's 150 at Watkins Glen International.

Be sure to tune in to NBC Sports Network at 3:00 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 25 to watch Bill Elliott make his return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in the Johnsonville 180 at Road America.

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