Thrilling Finish At The Glen!
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Marcos Ambrose came out on top of a wild scramble on the last lap of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Finger Lakes 355 to collect his second-straight victory at Watkins Glen Int’l.
Entering the final lap of Sunday’s event, Kyle Busch looked to have the race in hand. However, oil from Bobby Labonte’s Toyota caused Busch, second-place Brad Keselowski and Ambrose to all get loose coming out of the first turn.
Busch managed to hold the lead for a moment, but contact from Keselowski sent Busch spinning. Keselowski and Ambrose kept going and began a rough and tumble battle for the lead. Keselowski, showing damage from the contact with Busch, was doing everything he could to keep Ambrose behind him.
Kicking up dirt and gravel along the way, Ambrose managed to muscle his way by Keselowski as they exited the bus stop. Keselowski ducked in behind Ambrose and gave him a bump heading into the final corners, allowing him to get a run on the outside.
However, more oil from Labonte’s machine caused Keselowski to get loose and gave Ambrose the opening to pull away out of the final corner to grab his second Sprint Cup victory.
It was the first time
“The oil was moving around the race track,” Ambrose said. “You just take your chances. You’ve got to commit at that point in the race. Bad luck to Kyle, but great racing with Kyle and Brad. They are the two best guys to race. Just awesome fun. That’s the way racing should be.”
Despite finishing second to Ambrose at Watkins Glen for the second-straight year, Keselowski was all smiles post-race.
“The track just had no grip at all,” Keselowski said. “I got under him (Busch) going into two and we all slipped in the oil and I hit him and spun him. I hate to say there was nothing I could do, but there was nothing I could do.
“Then it just came down to running a whole lap against Marcos. I got in the oil and would slip up and he’d get by me and then he’d get in the oil and slip up and I’d get by him. It was just really good, hard racing. That’s the way racing should be.”
Jimmie Johnson finished third and took over the series point lead by one point over Greg Biffle and two points over Matt Kenseth.
“Those last two laps were just out of control with the oildown,” Johnson said. “You’re studying the road trying to see an oil trail and there really wasn’t a large visible one to dodge, but you could feel the oil on your tires. Guys were spinning all over, it was chaos. I’m glad we got back to the finish line to finish third.”
Clint Bowyer, who won the other road course event on the Sprint Cup schedule at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway earlier this year, finished fourth with Sam Hornish, Jr. in fifth and Biffle in sixth.
After the rough luck on the final lap, Busch ended up finishing seventh.
“The 47 (Labonte) broke, he went by smoking and put oil down all over the track. We just got caught in the oil,” said Dave Rogers, Busch’s crew chief. “We were fast, they knew we were here, but we didn’t get the job done today.
Kenseth, Regan Smith and Martin Truex, Jr. completed the top-10.