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Chase Elliott gets pole at Watkins Glen

Chase Elliott will start first on Sunday at Watkins Glen. (AP Photo/John Munson)

Chase Elliott is going to start Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen where he finished the 2018 race: first.

Elliott posted the fastest lap in the second round of qualifying on Saturday to win the pole for Sunday’s race. He’s joined on the first row by teammate William Byron, a driver who is looking for his first career win.

Elliott scored his first-ever win a year ago at Watkins Glen when he held off 2017 Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. over the race’s final laps. Truex will start fourth and is joined by Kyle Busch on the second row.

Elliott has won three more Cup Series races since that win at Watkins Glen, a win that was overshadowed by then-NASCAR CEO Brian France’s DWI arrest later that evening. Elliott won two more races in 2018 and is already qualified for the 2019 playoffs thanks to a win at Talladega this season.

The last few weeks haven’t gone well for Elliott, however. He’s gone from third to eighth in the points over the last seven races and has four finishes of 29th or worse in that span. He was last a week ago at Pocono after a flat tire caused a crash. That was his backup car too. Elliott had crashed the day before in practice.

Sunday’s race is a great chance to stop that slide.

Starting lineup

1. Chase Elliott

2. William Byron

3. Kyle Busch

4. Martin Truex Jr.

5. Kyle Larson

6. Denny Hamlin

7. Kurt Busch

8. Jimmie Johnson

9. Aric Almirola

10. Brad Keselowski

11. Michael McDowell

12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

13. Clint Bowyer

14. Erik Jones

15. Kevin Harvick

16. Chris Buescher

17. Alex Bowman

18. Daniel Suarez

19. Ryan Blaney

20. Matt DiBenedetto

21. Joey Logano

22. Paul Menard

23. Daniel Hemric

24. Parker Kligerman

25. Ryan Newman

26. Matt Tifft

27. Ty Dillon

28. Austin Dillon

29. Ryan Preece

30. Bubba Wallace

31. David Ragan

32. Ross Chastain

33. Corey LaJoie

34. Landon Cassill

35. Cody Ware

36. Josh Bilicki

37. Reed Sorenson

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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