In the NASCAR Cup Series’ final road-course race of the season, fuel-saving strategies came into play down the stretch.
Teammates Chase Elliott, Kasey Kahne and Jimmie Johnson were all told to start saving fuel with approximately 20 to 30 laps to go.
Kahne and Elliott elected to make green-flag pit stops for fuel in the closing laps of the race. Elliott pitted with nine laps to go and Kahne pitted at Lap 82. Both teammates were able to regain some track position after their stops as competitors encountered the same fuel issues.
Elliott and Kahne took the checkered flag 13th and 16th, respectively.
As the field came to the white flag, Johnson began to run out of fuel. He finished 29th.
EARNHARDT’S FINAL ROAD COURSE
Sunday marked Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s last road course race of his final full-time NASCAR Cup Series season. Taking the green flag in 28th, Earnhardt’s day ended prematurely with a potential valve train issue after the first stage. He was scored 37th.
Despite not getting the result he wanted, Earnhardt took some time to explain the role that Watkins Glen International has played in his development as a driver. He said the consistent support of the fans makes it nice when the series heads to the New York track.
“If there is a road course I think the Cup cars can get around pretty good, this would be it,” Earnhardt said. “I like coming here and I like the series coming here. The weather is always pretty good. And the fans support this place consistently.”
As his last weekend of racing at the New York venue concluded, Earnhardt shifted his focus to turning his luck around next weekend at Michigan.