Chase Elliott leads the way in final Cup practice at the Glen

Could Chase Elliott be poised for a second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series victory at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International?

Chase Elliott leads the way in final Cup practice at the Glen

In the final minutes of Saturday’s final practice session, Elliott jumped to the top of the speed chart with an average lap of 126.901 mph – nearly a mile-and-a-half faster than second-place Martin Truex Jr. (125.418 mph).

Matt DiBenedetto ended up third (125.391 mph), Michael McDowell fourth and Kyle Busch completed the top-five.

Elliott picked up his first career Cup Series victory last year with his win at Watkins Glen, holding off Truex.

“Everybody wants to talk about last year and that’s great. I’m glad that last year happened, for sure. I’m proud of it, but we celebrated it when it was time to celebrate it and now is not really the time to celebrate it,” Elliott said. 

“We had our time to do that in between here and wherever we went after that, and we did it and had plenty of it. It’s out of my system and it’s time to come back and try to run good. I feel like we had an OK first practice, but we have some work to do. 

“I think it’s just dialing things in and it’s tough. Everybody is really close.”

Rounding out the top 10 in practice were Clint Bowyer, Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Erik Jones.

Kyle Busch had the best average lap speed (124.535 mph) among the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps. Hamlin and Ryan Blaney were second and third, respectively, in that category.

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Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Mph
1 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 24 1'09.503     126.901
2 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 19 1'10.325 0.822 0.822 125.418
3 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 25 1'10.340 0.837 0.015 125.391
4 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 18 1'10.414 0.911 0.074 125.259
5 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 30 1'10.518 1.015 0.104 125.074
6 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 20 1'10.580 1.077 0.062 124.965
7 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 28 1'10.682 1.179 0.102 124.784
8 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 24 1'10.717 1.214 0.035 124.722
9 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 16 1'10.720 1.217 0.003 124.717
10 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 22 1'10.757 1.254 0.037 124.652
11 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 19 1'10.778 1.275 0.021 124.615
12 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 19 1'10.811 1.308 0.033 124.557
13 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 27 1'10.888 1.385 0.077 124.422
14 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 22 1'10.949 1.446 0.061 124.315
15 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 28 1'10.957 1.454 0.008 124.301
16 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 25 1'10.967 1.464 0.010 124.283
17 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 27 1'10.979 1.476 0.012 124.262
18 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 18 1'11.027 1.524 0.048 124.178
19 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 29 1'11.144 1.641 0.117 123.974
20 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 16 1'11.260 1.757 0.116 123.772
21 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 20 1'11.298 1.795 0.038 123.706
22 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 19 1'11.323 1.820 0.025 123.663
23 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 21 1'11.432 1.929 0.109 123.474
24 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 22 1'11.490 1.987 0.058 123.374
25 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 19 1'11.548 2.045 0.058 123.274
26 96 United States Parker Kligerman  Toyota 11 1'11.672 2.169 0.124 123.061
27 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 21 1'11.756 2.253 0.084 122.917
28 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 16 1'11.805 2.302 0.049 122.833
29 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 24 1'12.159 2.656 0.354 122.230
30 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 17 1'12.212 2.709 0.053 122.140
31 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 18 1'12.236 2.733 0.024 122.100
32 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 12 1'12.607 3.104 0.371 121.476
33 51 United States Cody Ware  Chevrolet 8 1'14.426 4.923 1.819 118.507
34 77 United States Justin Haley  Chevrolet 3 1'16.325 6.822 1.899 115.558
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Chase Elliott earns Watkins Glen pole over William Byron

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