Ambrose Makes It Two In A Row At Watkins Glen
Posted by: Dave Thompson, follow @phillyfan17
August 12, 2012
In one of the most exciting, side-by-side racing of the season, Marcos Ambrose came out on top after a clean, physical battle with Brad Keselowski on the final lap to win the Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International.
The victory for Ambrose was his second consecutive win at Watkins Glen and the second win of his career.
Kyle Busch was the race leader when the white flag came out, but Keselowski closed on Busch quickly and made contact on the No. 18′s right-rear, spinning him out.
With Busch now out of contention for the win (finished 7th), a classic battle between Keselowski and Ambrose would end with Ambrose in Victory Lane. Keselowski and Ambrose made contact several times prior to entering the final turn with each pushing their cars to the limit. They continued side-by-side into the final turn, but Ambrose managed to hold off Keselowski for the win.
Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Sam Hornish Jr. rounded out the top-five.
After the race, Keselowski stated that he did not intentional wreck the race leader (Busch), but instead thought the No. 18 had been leaking oil creating a slick race surface thus causing the contact.
“There is nothing I could do.” said Keselowski. “There was one big giant oil slick under his car.”
“It was just really good, hard racing. Beating and banging. That’s the way racing should be,” Keselowski said.
There was plenty of intrigue early in the race with a number of drivers battling mechanical failures, blown tires, etc. Brian Vickers was the first victim of the race when his No. 55 blew an engine before completing the first lap.
The harsh corning and high speeds (for a road-course) of Watkins Glen started to take its toll on the cars just 30 laps into the race. Jamie McMurray brought out the first caution of the afternoon on lap 26 when he blew a front tire and slammed into the guard rail causing heavy damage to the front-end. While under caution, Kurt Busch had a left-rear tire fly off his No. 51 Chevrolet.
Joey Logano was forced to the garage when his No. 20 Home Depot Toyota suffered a broken shock mount. Shortly after Logano’s problem, pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya complained of steering problems and made his way to the garage for repairs. The team later reported a broken lower-control arm and was unable to return to the race. Montoya finished a disappointing 33rd.
“I did think we had a car to win today,” said Montoya. “It was looking really good and everything was going according to plan, and then I hit a curb and all of a sudden it wouldn’t turn.”
Denny Hamlin dropped to 10th in the point standings after his No. 11 FedEx Toyota blew an engine. Hamlin finished 34th and now has recorded six consecutive road-course races outside the top-30.
The win now puts Ambrose’s name in the wildcard pool for the Chase. Kasey Kahne, with two wins, still holds the first wildcard spot despite his 13th place finish. Jeff Gordon had held the second wildcard spot, but after a poor outing on Sunday (finished 21st) he relinquished that spot to Ryan Newman (finished 11th).
With Johnson’s third place finish and teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishing a disappointing 28th, Johnson becomes the new points leader.
Three drivers quietly ran an impressive race today and needed to be mentioned. Regan Smith finished in ninth place for the second consecutive week. Also, Casey Mears finished 16th while Scott Speed finished a season-best 17th.
Results of the Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen:
|1||5||9||Marcos Ambrose||Stanley Ford||90||47||4||RUNNING||2||8|
|2||4||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite Dodge||90||43||1||RUNNING||3||37|
|3||3||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe’s Cortez Silver Chevrolet||90||41||RUNNING|
|4||8||15||Clint Bowyer||5-hour Energy Toyota||90||40||RUNNING|
|5||17||22||Sam Hornish Jr.(i)||Shell Pennzoil Dodge||90||0||RUNNING|
|6||15||16||Greg Biffle||3M Ford||90||38||RUNNING|
|7||2||18||Kyle Busch||M&M’s Toyota||90||39||2||RUNNING||3||43|
|8||24||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford EcoBoost Ford||90||36||RUNNING|
|9||13||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet||90||35||RUNNING|
|10||9||56||Martin Truex Jr.||NAPA Auto Parts Toyota||90||34||RUNNING|
|11||6||39||Ryan Newman||U.S. ARMY Chevrolet||90||33||RUNNING|
|12||22||27||Paul Menard||Menards/Rheem Chevrolet||90||32||RUNNING|
|13||20||5||Kasey Kahne||Farmers Insurance Chevrolet||90||31||RUNNING|
|14||18||99||Carl Edwards||Fastenal Ford||90||31||1||RUNNING||1||1|
|15||19||29||Kevin Harvick||Budweiser Chevrolet||90||29||RUNNING|
|16||30||13||Casey Mears||GEICO Ford||90||28||RUNNING|
|17||21||95||Scott Speed||TWD Ford||90||27||RUNNING|
|18||29||43||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Ford||90||26||RUNNING|
|19||7||14||Tony Stewart||Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet||90||25||RUNNING|
|20||34||38||David Gilliland||Mod Space Ford||90||24||RUNNING|
|21||12||24||Jeff Gordon||Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet||90||23||RUNNING|
|22||32||34||David Ragan||Scorpion Coatings/Al’s Liners Ford||90||22||RUNNING|
|23||35||83||Landon Cassill||Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota||90||21||RUNNING|
|24||42||93||Travis Kvapil||Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota||90||20||RUNNING|
|25||25||32||Boris Said||Hendrickcars.com Ford||90||19||RUNNING|
|26||39||33||Stephen Leicht #||LittleJoesAuto.com Chevrolet||90||18||RUNNING|
|27||26||47||Bobby Labonte||Miller Welders/Freightliner Toyota||90||17||RUNNING|
|28||16||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet||89||16||RUNNING|
|29||36||87||Joe Nemechek(i)||Genny Light/AM/FM Energy Toyota||88||0||RUNNING|
|30||28||31||Jeff Burton||Caterpillar Chevrolet||84||14||RUNNING|
|31||27||51||Kurt Busch||Phoenix Construction Services Inc. Chevrolet||81||13||RUNNING|
|32||14||20||Joey Logano||The Home Depot Toyota||71||12||RUNNING|
|33||1||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Target Chevrolet||63||12||1||Accident||1||1|
|34||23||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Freight Toyota||57||10||Engine|
|35||41||49||Jason Leffler(i)||America Israel Racing Toyota||42||0||Engine|
|36||31||36||Dave Blaney||Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet||41||8||Suspension|
|37||11||98||Michael McDowell||TRAQM Ford||30||7||Rear Gear|
|38||38||26||Josh Wise #||MDS Transport Ford||25||6||Electrical|
|39||10||1||Jamie McMurray||McDonald’s Chevrolet||24||5||Accident|
|40||37||10||JJ Yeley||Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet||15||4||Brakes|
|41||40||19||Chris Cook||Plinker Tactical Toyota||5||3||Brakes|
|42||43||30||Patrick Long||Inception Motorsports Toyota||2||2||Brakes|
|43||33||55||Brian Vickers||MyClassicGarage.com Toyota||0||1||Engine|
Posted: August 12th, 2012
Categories: Nascar Sprint Cup Series, Results.
Tags: Brad Keselowski, Brian Vickers, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyle Busch, marcos ambrose, Regan Smith, Sam Hornish Jr. Ryan Newman, Scott Speed, Watkins Glen International