Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 8/7/13
When Tony Stewart looked at the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule, you better believe Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at the Watkins Glen International road course was high up on the list of races he thought he could win. After all, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion was victorious at The Glen in 2002. And 2004. And '05, '07 and '09 as well. With five victories on the seven-turn, 2.45-mile road course, Stewart surely would have been one of the pre-race favorites. But when he broke his right leg during a sprint car race in Iowa on Monday night, Stewart's Watkins Glen hopes ended abruptly, and maybe his hopes of a fourth title, too. Stewart is definitely out for Sunday, to be replaced by Italian racer Max Papis, who is certainly capable of putting the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet up front. With Stewart out, Marcos Ambrose becomes the overwhelming favorite and with good reason: He won the last two Cup races at The Glen, as well as three NASCAR Nationwide Series races. In his five prior Cup starts at The Glen, Ambrose's worst finish is third and his average finish is 2.0. He should be money on Sunday and a victory would certainly introduce him into the discussion of a wild-card spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. And yet, Ambrose has struggled this season, finishing inside the top 10 just once since Martinsville. Can he suddenly pick it up and regain the magic that's been lacking so far this season? If not, Ambrose will have plenty of competition. Brad Keselowski has finished second to Ambrose in each of the last two races at Watkins Glen, and with Stewart out of the picture, the defending NASCAR Sprint Cup champion will have the bit between his teeth as he attempts to win his first race of the year and move back into the top 10 in points. Another driver to watch for is Kyle Busch, who has one victory, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes in his last seven races at Watkins Glen. Busch nearly won last year, leading on the last lap when he got punted by Keselowski. Doubtless, Busch will be eager to avenge last year's debacle and get back to Victory Lane. The most curious driver at Watkins Glen might be Jeff Gordon, who won four of five races here between 1997 and 2001, but since 2002 has posted a woeful average finish of 18.92. Former Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya, of course, is always a threat to win on a road course, and he could be heard from again on Sunday. But the smart money suggests that the three guys who last year went into the last lap with a chance to win -- Ambrose, Keselowski and Kyle Busch -- are again three of the guys to beat. And if you want a true dark horse, there's always AJ Allmendinger in James Finch's Phoenix Racing Chevrolet. Now that would be quite a story.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Carmelo would waive $8M trade kicker for Rockets

Report: Rangers shopping Yu Darvish in trade talks

Floyd Mayweather dating former reality TV star Abi Clarke?

UFC denies that Brock Lesnar has re-entered drug testing pool

Hugh Freeze resigns amid reports he contacted escort service


Dodgers reportedly ‘in the mix’ for top left-handed relievers

Did LeBron troll the world with Ben Simmons birthday tweet?

O.J. Simpson granted parole, will be released in October

Jourdan Lewis will miss start of camp for domestic abuse trial

Vick 'truly sorry' for comments about Kaepernick

NFL owners pushing for Ezekiel Elliott suspension?

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

Box Score 7/21: Stay cool this weekend sports fans

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

Every NFL team’s biggest question as training camps start

Box Score 7/20: Nothing but Nolan

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

Every MLB team's biggest need at the trade deadline

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

Box Score 7/19: The shadow of the trade deadline begins to fall over baseball

Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

The Orioles need to unwind past deals if they are going to rebuild

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Sam Hinkie is calling the shots

The 'No one is betterer than Roger Federer' quiz

The 'Youth in baseball is cyclical' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker