It finally happened. After 99 starts, eight second-place finishes and too many "almosts" to count, Chase Elliott is a winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Elliott held off defending champion and Watkins Glen winner Martin Truex Jr. to score the highly anticipated win in Sunday's Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen International.

Elliott was fast from the start after qualifying third. The third-year Hendrick Motorsports driver led a race-high 52 laps, won a stage for the third week in a row, and didn't back down from Truex and Kyle Busch over the second half of the race.

As is tradition when an Elliott wins, the famous Dawsonville Pool Room's siren was blaring after Chase took the checkered flag.

And how's this for fun with numbers? Elliott's famous father Bill also got his first Cup win on a road course after eight second-place finishes. The elder Elliott was helping spot for his son Sunday, and after the race, Awesome Bill was overcome with emotion.

"I don't know how to describe it," Elliott said. "I kept waiting on something to go wrong and he held it together, and lo and behold, Truex ran out of gas (on the last lap). A lot went our way today."

The win was the 250th win in NASCAR's top division for Hendrick Motorsports and Elliott became the ninth driver to score his first career win for HMS, joining the likes of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Geoff Bodine.

How Elliott won the race: The old-fashioned way: he earned it. Elliott's drive over the final 15 laps was nothing short of stellar with Truex breathing down his neck, patiently waiting to pounce at Elliott's first mistake.

Except it never came. Not with Truex in reach, at least. After taking the white flag, Elliott nearly lost the race when he got into Turn 1 a little hot and began to wheelhop. But showing the composure of a cagey veteran, Elliott had the presence of mind to knock his car out of gear and into neutral so he wouldn't spin. The loss of time allowed Truex to catch him going into the esses, but the 78 ran out of fuel exiting the carousel and Elliott cruised to the win.

"I could get right to him. I chased him down from a ways back after that restart," Truex said. "I just tried all I could to chase him down, and I got there with plenty of time, it's just every time I'd start putting together some good corners and get close enough to him to even think about making a move, I'd get sideways behind him. He did a good job of putting his car exactly where it needed to be and not making a mistake."

Elliott, who is known for keeping a cool demeanor and sometimes being a little too hard on himself, was thankful to finally get the monkey off his back.

"A lot of relief, a lot of emotion in general, but definitely relief I would say would be one way to describe it," he said. "It's been — I've left these races pretty down over the past couple years at times and had some great opportunities, and I think that you just have realize, we run second eight times, whatever it was, I think kind of one thing I tried to beat in my head was that you don't run second eight times for luck and take it for what it is. That's the truth, you just don't.

"I learned a lot about myself the past couple years. I've learned a lot racing in general. I felt like the end of last year I was probably at the top of my game that I've ever been racing as a race car driver in general and felt coming into this year with a lot of confidence and knowing that I felt like we could compete with these guys."

Busch's bounce back: Things got real sideways during the final pit stops of the day. Kyle Busch came to pit road with the lead but a broken fuel can led to the crew not filling his Toyota with enough fuel to reach the finish. As a result, Kyle came back down pit road to fill the tank and restarted way back in 31st.

By the end of the day, Busch drove through the pack all the way to a third-place finish and became NASCAR's all-time leader in laps led at road courses. As great as Busch's drive was, when the checkered flag flew all he could think about was the opportunity that slipped through his fingers at the Glen. Unfortunately for the 2015 champion, it was nothing new.

"Every year we come here, we have a fast car and fail to execute," Busch said. "Last year we had a lug nut get stuck in the caliper, this year we had fueling problems. It never ceases to amaze me. Nothing surprises me anymore."

Denny Hamlin's day went south on pit road: Busch wasn't the only driver who had problems on pit road. During the final round of stops, Denny Hamlin came to pit road in the top five after running up front all day.

Hamlin, who led just two laps from the pole, had trouble exiting pit road with his crew losing a tire when he sped away from pit road with a pit gun caught on his car. One of Hamlin's crew members ended up being hit by the flying tire. Thankfully, no crew members were taken to the care center and finished the day without serious injury. Hamlin, who won at Watkins Glen in 2016, finished the day with a disappointing 13th-place finish.

Brad Keselowski suggested on Twitter after the race that the backwards pit road at Watkins Glen may have led to the troubles Sunday. If you'll recall, a number of pit crews serviced the "outside" tires last, leaving crew members near where cars sped by leaving pit road.

Allmendinger's disappointment: Every time we head to Watkins Glen, AJ Allmendinger is considered a favorite, or at the very least a strong dark horse to win. After scoring his only Cup win to date at Watkins Glen four years ago, Allmendinger's results have been a letdown, and Sunday was no different.

After getting some damage on the first lap of the race, Allmendinger brought his car to pit road for repairs. Unfortunately for the Dinger, his eighth-place qualifying result was the high point of his day, as he was never in contention to win and brought the No. 47 home 15th. With Sunday likely being his last good chance to sneak into the playoffs, it'll take something out of the ordinary for the Dinger to make the postseason. 

The most popular win of the season? Probably: Chase Elliott's first Cup win has been a long time coming. So it was no surprise that many of Elliott's competitors were quick to victory lane to congratulate him on the win, including Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch. Even the Atlanta Braves joined in by congratulating the Georgia native on Twitter.

Here are a few tweets that recap the popular moment that we'll be talking about for a long time:

Bloomin' Monday: It was a relatively quiet day for Kevin Harvick, but a 10th-place finish is good enough for a free Bloomin' Onion at Outback Steakhouse! Race into your local Outback Monday and tell your server you're there for the Bloomin' Monday special and you'll have a free Bloomin' Onion on your table faster than Kevin Harvick can turn a lap at your favorite NASCAR track!

Next week: NASCAR makes its second trip to the Irish Hills of Michigan for the Consumers Energy 400. How will Chase Elliott respond from his first career win? Can he go back-to-back, or will the big three battle it out for the win? Catch all of the action on NBC Sports Network and MRN Radio. Plus, the Xfinity Series takes on its second straight road course at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.