Chase Elliott led two different times in his No. 9 Sunenergy1 Camaro ZL1 for 52 of the 90 circuits around the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen road course en route to his first career Monster Energy Cup Series victory in the GoBowling at the Glen, the 22nd-race of the 2018 campaign. Elliott’s victory is the second for the Camaro ZL1 in Cup Series competition, ending a 20-race winless streak for the Bowtie Brand. This is the 22-year-old’s first win and first top 10 finish at Watkins Glen International in his 99th career MENCS start.
“It took us some kind of hard times to get here,” said Elliott in Victory Lane. “I had to have a good group around me to keep pushing me and keep making me realize that we weren’t in those positions by accident. And, it was funny this morning. I woke up and I watched the video. Kirby Smart had a speech about having pressure is a privilege. And, I had that on repeat this morning in the bus, just thinking about it. I thought we had a chance today and wanted to make sure that if we were in a position to try to capitalize, and we did. What a day. But, just thanks to all my partners. SunEnergy1 is on the car this weekend, NAPA Auto Parts, Chevrolet, Kelley Blue Book, Valvoline, and Hooters, and all the folks that support us. This is one hell of a day.”
The victory is the 777th for Chevrolet in the Cup Series and 250th for the Hendrick Motorsports organization, which has a 35-year partnership with the Bowtie Brand. The 250 wins have all been with Chevrolet; and by taking the Camaro ZL1 to Winner’s Circle; Hendrick Motorsports has now taken seven different Chevrolet nameplates to Victory Lane.
“On behalf of everyone at Chevrolet, I am extremely pleased to congratulate Rick and the entire Hendrick Motorsports family on this tremendous accomplishment of 250 race wins in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles, and Motorsports. “This major milestone is the result of years of passion, persistence, and teamwork to get the job done. We are especially proud of the fact that all 250 wins have been in Chevrolet race cars. Rick’s passion for the brand and dedication to putting Chevrolet in Victory Lane has been relentless. As a key partner and respected friend, we salute you.”
Elliott was joined in the top 10 finishing order at Watkins Glen International by Chip Ganassi Racing teammates Kyle Larson, No. 42 Credit One Bank/DC Solar Camaro ZL1 who ended the day in sixth, followed by Jamie McMurray, No. 1 GearWrench Camaro ZL1 who earned a seventh-place finish.
Rookie of the Year contender and Elliott’s Hendrick Motorsports teammate, William Byron, placed his No. 24 Hertz Camaro ZL1 in eighth to earn his first top 10 finish at Watkins Glen in his first outing at the New York venue.
Martin Truex, Jr. (Toyota) finished second, Kyle Busch (Toyota) was third, Daniel Suarez (Toyota) was fourth and Erik Jones (Toyota) finished fifth to round out the top five results.
The MENCS season continues next weekend at Chevrolet’s home track, Michigan International Speedway, for the Consumer Energy 400 on Sunday, August 12.
Team CHEVY PR/Photo Credit Robert Laberge/Getty Images