Kyle Larson gained the lead from Martin Truex Jr. during green flag pit stops in the final stage Sunday, built a big lead and kept his hard-charging Hendrick Motorsports teammate at bay over the final laps to win at Watkins Glen International.
Larson took another step toward a regular-season NASCAR Cup title.
Chase Elliott was relegated to the back of the field before the race when his No. 9 Chevrolet failed inspection twice and crew chief Alan Gustafson was ejected. But just as he did at Road America a month earlier when he won from 34th on the starting grid, Elliott made a gallant charge but couldn’t overcome Larson’s big lead and crossed the finish line 2.45 seconds behind.
Elliott was seeking his eighth road course victory and third in a row at The Glen, which would have tied Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin for the Cup record at the historic road course in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes.
Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.
Larson leaves Watkins Glen tied with Denny Hamlin with 917 points for the series lead.
The Cup series heads to the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next Sunday.