NASCAR: Elliott holds back anger, after Larson wins at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott - Watkins Glen - Nascar
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Chase Elliott held back his anger in his post-race interview after victory slipped through his grasp at Watkins Glen International.

Chase Elliott spoke with Rick Hendrick and Jeff Gordon on pit road at Watkins Glen, and he was visibly frustrated.

Though he repressed it long enough when he spoke to NBC Sports’ Dave Burns, who asked what risk he factored into choosing the outside lane for the final restart.

“Just a huge congratulations to Kyle (Larson) and everybody on the 5 team,” Elliott said. “Congratulations to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports for getting another win. Appreciate Kelley Blue Book for being on our car this weekend.”

His answers had the same energy as Kyle Busch saying “Everything’s great.”

“Congratulations,” he said. “He did a great job. Seriously, they deserve it. Looking forward to going to Bristol (SIC) next week and trying to get one for our team.”

Given how the finish played out, and that this was their second run-in, this season, it’s completely understandable.

Kyle Larson Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – AUGUST 21: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 21, 2022, in Watkins Glen, New York. Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

On the final restart with six laps to go, Larson figured this was his last shot to overtake Elliott.

“I told myself if I had a nose ahead of him before we got to the braking zone,” Larson said, “I was going to have to try my best to maintain that, not let him get a nose ahead of me, pinch my corner off, end my chance of winning.”

So he drove deep into Turn 1, ran Elliott into the runoff, powered ahead, and out-ran AJ Allmendinger to win the Go Bowling at The Glen.

“I had a good restart,” he said. “I got in there hot. Did what I had to do to win.”

Meanwhile, Elliott came home fourth, after leading a race-high of 29 laps.

“Again, I’m not necessarily proud of it,” Larson said, “especially with a teammate, but I feel like I had to execute that way to get the win.”

Regardless, Elliott leaves Watkins Glen with the regular season championship and the 15 bonus playoff points. So time will tell if the five he left on the table come back to haunt him.

Saturday, however, will tell who takes the final spot for the playoffs, as the regular season concludes at Daytona International Speedway.

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Featured Image Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images