Ambrose Passes Keselowski on the Final Lap for the Win

Photo- Getty Images
By Jason Schultz

One of the best races fans have ever witnessed sent Marcos Ambrose to victory lane for the second year in a row at Watkins Glen. 

Going into the final lap Ambrose was third and he crossed the finish line first. 

Many factors affected the end of the race, but oil was the biggest one. After Bobby Labonte blew his engine with two to go, he laid oil all over the track and the leaders would need to go through it to make it to the finish. NASCAR officials weren’t aware of the amount of oil on the racing surface so they did not throw a yellow flag. 


Since NASCAR didn’t throw the yellow-flag, Kyle Busch wasn’t able to go to victory lane. Busch was the leader taking the white flag and when he went down into turn one, he slipped in the oil laid down by the No.47 car. Then Busch continued to slip in the oil and eventually got turned by Brad Keselowski. 

After that incident, Keselowski was leading followed by Ambrose. Both cars continued to slip around and eventually Ambrose got past Keselowski for the victory. 

Both Ambrose and Keselowski commented after the race about the last lap with both saying “That’s the way racing should be.” This race was by far the best one of the season and fans saw some of the best racing ever today. The oil factor on the last lap proved once again that NASCAR drivers are the best race car drivers in the world. 

The race started out exciting when Kyle Busch challenged pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya for the lead and Busch went on to lead lap one. Also on lap one, we saw Brian Vickers head to the garage with engine issues and he did not return to the race. 

On lap nine, we saw our first spin of the day when David Ragan got into Boris Said and Said spun around. Remember last year when it was Said getting into David Ragan on the last lap, sending Ragan hard into the barrier and starting a big crash in turn two. When Ragan hit Said in today’s race, it may have been some payback. 

The first caution of the day came out on lap 26 when Jamie McMurray cut down a tire while entering the backstretch and hit the wall hard. Under the caution, Kurt Busch had an issue with his tire and when he entered turn six, Busch spun around and his tire popped off. Busch then went to the garage. Many of the leading cars made pit stops under this caution. 

Trouble for wild card contender Joey Logano began on lap thirty when Logano went behind the wall, he eventually did make it back on track though. 

On lap 32, pole-sitter Juan Pablo Montoya went behind the wall with some sort of engine issue. 

On lap 39, Marcos Ambrose took the lead for the first time from Brad Keselowski. Keselowski would eventually retake the lead on lap 47 when Ambrose made his pit stop. 

Just after halfway; Keselowski was the leader followed by Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr, Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart. 

The next yellow flag flew on lap 58 when Denny Hamlin blew his engine. This is the third straight race at Watkins Glen where Hamlin has failed to finish and the sixth straight road course race where Hamlin had issues. After the race, Hamlin fell back to tenth in points and is only 40 points ahead of eleventh place Kasey Kahne. 

Trouble for Jason Leffler struck on lap 65 when he blew his engine on the backstretch. 

The final yellow-flag of the day flew with 20 laps to go when Tony Stewart spun out and hit the wall while running in second. Stewart got loose all by himself exiting the final turn of the course and hit the inside wall just before pit road. 

Point’s leader Dale Earnhardt Jr had issues with seven laps to go when he spun out in turn five. Earnhardt Jr lost a ton of positions and no caution flag flew. That incident lost Earnhardt Jr the points lead but going into Michigan next weekend, Earnhardt Jr could easily get it back. 

Bobby Labonte in the No.47 started leaking oil on the track with two laps to go, NASCAR saw the oil but they didn’t think it was enough to throw a caution so they let the leaders race back to the finish. 

Taking the white flag was leader Kyle Busch followed by Keselowski and Ambrose. Busch started to slip around heading down hill into turn one and that allowed Keselowski to catch him. By the time they were in turn two Keselowski was there and going up the esses Keselowski got into Busch spinning him out. 

Keselowski did apologize to Kyle Busch over twitter following the race. That wreck cost Busch a race everyone thought he had won. Busch did manage to get going again and finish in the seventh position. 

After Busch was out of the way, Keselowski was the leader followed by Ambrose who was close in tow. Going into the inner loop, both Keselowski and Ambrose started to slip in the oil and both ran off course in the inner loop but managed to stay close to each other entering turn five. 

Keselowski made a big slip in the oil exiting turn five and he got loose enough where Ambrose could pass him for the lead. Ambrose managed to clear him and they went off into turn six. 

In turn six, Ambrose got loose and slid off into the run-off area and Keselowski closed the gap. They were side by side going into turn seven but Keselowski slipped on the exit of the corner and Ambrose powered to the lead and crossed the finish line first. 

The wrecking wasn’t done though; last week’s winner Jeff Gordon slipped in the oil and spun around in turn seven, hitting the inside wall before pit road. Gordon did re-fire and ended up with a 21st-place finish and no longer in the second wild card spot. 

Many fans say that was the craziest last lap seen in years and it can’t be argued.

Ambrose pulled into victory lane for the second straight year at the Glen and  celebrated just as much. 

A huge point’s shakeup occurred following today’s race and Earnhardt Jr is no longer atop the point standings. Jimmie Johnson is now the points leader; he is up on second place Greg Biffle by only one point. Kenseth is third down by a mere two points to Johnson and Earnhardt Jr is fourth. 

A second place finish by Keselowski earned him a new points position of fifth. Clint Bowyer jumped up to seventh in the points and Denny Hamlin took a plunge down to tenth. Kasey Kahne moved up to eleventh in points and he still holds the first wild card position. Ryan Newman is the new man in the second wild card position. 

Kyle Busch is only six points behind Newman. Gordon has fallen to fifteenth in the standings and will likely need a win to move up. Logano will need another win or possibly two to make the chase as well. 

With the win, Ambrose is now in wild card contention and will likely need another win to have a shot at making the chase. 

For not being a road course expert, Sam Hornish Jr had a great run and finished fifth. Brad Keselowski came up short all weekend at Watkins Glen by finishing second in both races at the Glen this weekend. 

A wild one at the Glen gave Ambrose his second career win and some hope at making it into the chase. The wild card drama will continue next week at Michigan, tune in to see who can capture victory.

 

Results and Point Standings via Nascar.com
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STATUS
1
5
9
Ford
Stanley
47/1
90
Running
2
4
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
43/1
90
Running
3
3
48
Chevrolet
Lowe’s Cortez Silver
41/0
90
Running
4
8
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
40/0
90
Running
5
17
22
Dodge
Shell / Pennzoil
0
90
Running
6
15
16
Ford
3M
38/0
90
Running
7
2
18
Toyota
M&M’s
39/2
90
Running
8
24
17
Ford
Ford EcoBoost
36/0
90
Running
9
13
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row / Farm American
35/0
90
Running
10
9
56
Toyota
NAPA Auto Parts
34/0
90
Running
11
6
39
Chevrolet
U.S. Army
33/0
90
Running
12
22
27
Chevrolet
Menards / Rheem
32/0
90
Running
13
20
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
31/0
90
Running
14
18
99
Ford
Fastenal
31/1
90
Running
15
19
29
Chevrolet
Budweiser
29/0
90
Running
16
30
13
Ford
GEICO
28/0
90
Running
17
21
195
Ford
TWD
27/0
90
Running
18
29
43
Ford
Smithfield
26/0
90
Running
19
7
14
Chevrolet
Office Depot / Mobil 1
25/0
90
Running
20
34
38
Ford
ModSpace
24/0
90
Running
21
12
24
Chevrolet
Drive to End Hunger
23/0
90
Running
22
32
34
Ford
Scorpion Coatings / Al’s Liners
22/0
90
Running
23
35
83
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
21/0
90
Running
24
42
93
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
20/0
90
Running
25
25
32
Ford
HendrickCars.com
19/0
90
Running
26
39
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes A
utos.com
18/0
90
Running
27
26
47
Toyota
Miller Welders / Freightliner
17/0
90
Running
28
16
88
Chevrolet
National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew
16/0
89
Running
29
36
87
Toyota
Genny Light / AM-FM Energy
0
88
Running
30
28
31
Chevrolet
Caterpillar
14/0
84
Running
31
27
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
13/0
81
Running
32
14
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
12/0
71
Running
33
1
42
Chevrolet
Target
12/1
63
Accident
34
23
11
Toyota
FedEx Freight
10/0
57
Engine
35
41
249
Toyota
America Israel Racing
0
42
Engine
36
31
36
Chevrolet
Tommy Baldwin Racing
8/0
41
Susp.
37
11
98
Ford
TRAQM.com
7/0
30
Rear Gear
38
38
26
Ford
MDS Transport
6/0
25
Electrical
39
10
1
Chevrolet
McDonald’s
5/0
24
Accident
40
37
10
Chevrolet
Tommy Baldwin Racing
4/0
15
Brakes
41
40
119
Toyota
Plinker Tactical
3/0
5
Brakes
42
43
30
Patrick Long
Toyota
Inception Motorsports
2/0
2
Brakes
43
33
55
Toyota
My Classic Garage
1/0
0
Engine
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