Found August 12, 2012 on
Race Review Online:
Add another driver to the mix for the second Wild Card berth, the final Chase position available.
With his second career win at Watkins Glen, Marcos Ambrose inserted himself into the Wild Card mix. Though he's yet to win at the Sprint Cup level on an oval track, which is a necessity if Ambrose hopes to make the Chase, anything is possible.
There are now six drivers who could claim the second Wild Card spot with a win over the next four races, while 11th place and two-time winner Kasey Kahne is still solidly ensconced in the first Wild Card spot.
Here's how the current contenders for the final Chase berth stack up.
Carl Edwards in 12th place is winless, but because of his points position, even a single win would put him ahead of the current one-time winners below him in the standings.
13th-place Ryan Newman (winner at Martinsville in April) is currently the man with a bulls-eye on his bumper, the one all the other Wild Card hopefuls are aiming for.
Kyle Busch in 14th is just six points behind Newman and was less than one lap from winning at the Glen, which would have given him possession of the second Wild Card. However, it was not to be for April's Richmond winner after a last-lap spin . Still, Busch will be among the favorites at tracks such as Bristol and Richmond which remain before the Chase field is set.
Back in 15th, Jeff Gordon dropped to third in the battle for the second and final Wild Card berth after he also spun out on the final lap at Watkins Glen. He had taken over the second Wild Card after his victory at Pocono last week, but he's now 10 points behind Newman and will have to fight back after his disappointing 21st-place finish on Sunday.
In 17th place sits Ambrose following his second career win. He's a daunting 44 points behind Newman, so it will almost certainly take a second 2012 win if he wants to make the Chase. The same goes for Joey Logano in 18th place, winner at Pocono in June, sitting 57 points behind Newman.
It's hard to predict who will come out on top, but my top pick is still Jeff Gordon. Kyle Busch is a close second, but his bad-luck finish at Watkins Glen after dominating nearly half the race shows that his glass is still half full and the tide of bad luck is still against him (if you believe in that sort of thing).
One thing I can be sure of is that it will be an action-packed final month of racing as these drivers jockey for a position in the Chase. These guys are no slouches. They include a four-time champion, last year's championship runner-up, and Kyle Busch, who is...well, one of the most talented, exciting, and controversial drivers NASCAR has seen in quite a while.
Buckle up, and enjoy the ride!
BEST OF MAXIM
Watkins Glen International turned into a 2.45-mile slip-and-slide Sunday as NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers attempted to avoid oil and rain.
But Marcos Ambrose used his stellar road-course skills -- and a little luck -- in an effort to find a dry line with maximum grip on a track that was less than satisfactory after the No. 47 Toyota coated the surface with oil.
And when the track wasn...
We saw an incredible road-course race Sunday at Watkins Glen.
You would have to look long and hard to find a finish like that on a road course. For that matter, other than maybe Daytona and Talladega -- where we know that just because you are leading the white-flag lap you probably wouldn't be the winner of the event -- you won't see a finish like we did Sunday very often...
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Stanley/DeWalt Ford Fusion, is the defending winner of the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen. He spoke to reporters earlier this afternoon.
MARCOS AMBROSE ON WATKINS GLEN: “I remember the rain from last year and we had to wait until Monday to get it in, but it is good to come back. It’s been a good track for me and I’m ready to get started...
In the final laps at Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen, Marcos Ambrose's chances for the checkered flag looked slim. After passing Brad Keselowski to move into second and staying neck-and-neck with the leader Kyle Busch, Keselowski got by Ambrose.
At this time, Bobby LaBonte's engine sprung an oil leak, spewing the slippery black gold all over...
On a track too greasy to provide traction, Marcos Ambrose surged from third to first on the final lap of Sunday's Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International and won the race in a slugfest with runner-up Brad Keselowski.
Keselowski had grabbed the lead in Turn 2 of the final circuit at the 2.45-mile road course, after he knocked Kyle Busch's No. 18 Toyota for a loop...
Defending Watkins Glen race-winner Marcos Ambrose entered the Sprint Cup Series’ Finger Lakes 355 as the odds-on favorite to win. And Ambrose, who...
THE MODERATOR: We’ll get started with our winner’s press conference. We welcome Marcos Ambrose who won today’s race. Second victory here at Watkins Glen and second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory. With this win today, Marcos is now eligible for his second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Race. This is his first victory of 2012.
Talk a little bit...
Marcos Ambrose led the way for the Ford Racing drivers by qualifying 5th for the Finger Lakes 355 At The Glen from Watkins Glen International. The next highest Ford driver was Michael McDowell in 11th place, a great run for a team that normally parks races. Greg Biffle (15th) and Carl Edwards (18th) were the only other Ford drivers in the top 20. Below is reactions from those Ford...
The celebration in victory lane after the crazy win my Marcos Ambrose at Watkins Glen
Here is a pdf I put together of all the post-race quotes I could come up with from Watkins Glen including Marcos Ambrose, Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
One of the best races we 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...
NASCAR had one of the most exciting final laps in its history yesterday at Watkins Glen. The last lap brought back memories of Petty v Pearson at the 1976 Daytona 500 and Kurt Busch's classic Darlington duel with Ricky Craven in 2003. Kyle Busch took the white flag first, but careened off the track in the first turn. Busch was then spun by Brad Keselowski in Turn...