Coming off a series of tough endings, Dawsonville's Chase Elliott was able to hold on through multiple cautions and turn in a strong finish Sunday at Watkins Glen.
The 20-year-old rookie driver started the day in the 16th spot and his finish in 13th moved him up a place in points' standings.
Elliott now has 561 points and is 166 out of first in the 12th spot.
Denny Hamlin won the race after some drama between Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. who were aggressively fighting to overtake him.
Keselowki, in his No. 2 Ford Fusion got into the back quarter panel of Truex Jr. and spun him around. Truex Jr. ended the day seventh and unhappy with Keselowski.
Joey Logano slipped past the fray and took second while Keselowski was third.
The finish put Keselowski at the top of the points standings.
The road course at Watkins Glen International is a 2.45 mile track with seven turns and once again Elliott relied on an extra spotter, his father Bill Elliott.
The hall of fame driver helped out at Sonoma and Indianapolis earlier in the season.
Elliott started the race from 16th in the No. 24 SunEnergy 1 Chevrolet SS and moved into the top 15 by lap 17. He would make his way into the top 10 before his lap 26 pit stop.
After a red flag caution on a multi-car accident, Elliott went to pit road. He restarted in 13th on lap 56.
He held in the top 15 until the next caution came with 14 laps left.
After the second red flag, he restarted in 18th with four laps to go and was able to pick up five spots before the finish.
Elliott finished ahead of the other Hendrick Motorsports drivers with Jeff Gordon taking 14th in Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 88. Kasey Kahne finished 19th and Jimmie Johnson was 40th after the incident at the halfway mark in the race.
Next weekend there is a break in the Sprint Cup schedule. The next event begins at 8 p.m. on Aug. 20 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Coverage will be provided by NBCSN.