The NASCAR Cup Series drivers take on Watkins Glen International on Sunday, Aug. 8, at 3 p.m. ET as Chase Elliott seeks his third consecutive victory at the road course. Unfortunately for the defending Cup Series champion, he will start at the rear of the field.
NASCAR announced Sunday morning that the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro had failed inspection twice, sending Elliott to the back of the pack. He had an original starting spot of 11th but will now have to make up considerable ground through the 37-car field in order to fight for the win.
Elliott is the two-time defending champion at Watkins Glen, racing to Victory Lane in 2018 and 2019. Both times, he captured the checkered flag after holding off Martin Truex Jr. NASCAR did not travel to Watkins Glen in 2020 due to COVID-19 altering the season schedule.
Elliott Can Tie a Hall of Fame Driver at Watkins Glen
Entering Sunday’s race at the New York track, Elliott sits third on the all-time road course wins list. Jeff Gordon has the top spot with nine victories in his Hall of Fame career. Tony Stewart is second with eight. Elliott is now up to seven after wins at Circuit of the Americas and Road America.
Watkins Glen served as the site of several of Stewart’s wins due to the relative lack of road courses on the schedule during his career. He logged three victories at Sonoma Raceway in California and a staggering five at Watkins Glen in only 16 starts. For comparison, Gordon only won four times at the road course during his career.
If Elliott can win his third consecutive race at Watkins Glen, he will tie Stewart for second and move one step closer to history. Given his age (25) and the large number of road courses on the schedule, there is little doubt that he will ultimately surpass both Stewart and Gordon on the all-time road course wins list. The only question is when he will do so.
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