Ambrose Wins Duel to Claim Victory at Watkins
With oil, reportedly from Bobby Labonte’s No. 47, turning the track into a slip ‘n slide, it was a close match between Marcos Ambrose and Brad Keselowski at the end of the Finger Lakes 355 Sprint Cup race, with Ambrose taking the checkered flag for the second year in a row at Watkins Glen International Raceway. In a post-race interview Ambrose noted that it was ‘chaos at the end’ with the oil on the track. Nonetheless, he managed to pass Keselowski and clinch the win. Owner of Ambrose’s No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty, also commented on the slippery state of the track while commending Ambrose for staying with it through the race.
Crew chief of Kyle Busch’s No. 18 Toyota, Dave Rogers, commented on No. 47 leaving oil on the track noting that Busch hitting the oil gave Keselowski the opportunity to move ahead – a sentiment many may agree with. Busch hit the oil and skidded sideways as he came out of the first turn on the final lap. In his No. 2 Dodge Keselowski connected briefly with Busch before heading uphill with Ambrose close behind. Ambrose and Keselowski remained side-by-side nearly all the way around the 2.45-mile, 11-turn layout, even racing together over the grass in the inner loop of the top of the S-curves (commonly referred to as the bus-stop) in a nail-biting battle to the finish.
Jimmie Johnson finished the race in third placeputting him in the points lead over Greg Biffle by one point. Fourth place went to Clint Bowyer, with Sam Hornish Jr. in fifth and Greg Biffle in sixth.
The current Sprint Cup standings top ten are:
1. Jimmie Johnson – #48 Chevrolet – 777 points
2. Greg Biffle – #16 Ford – 776 points
3. Matt Kenseth – #17 Ford – 775 points
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. – #88 Chevrolet – 760 points
5. Brad Keselowski – #2 Dodge – 733 points
6. Martin Truex Jr. – #56 Toyota – 728 points
7. Clint Bowyer – #15 Toyota – 719 points
8. Tony Stewart – #14 Chevrolet – 716 points
9. Kevin Harvick – #29 Chevrolet – 710 points
10. Denny Hamlin – #11 Toyota – 693 points