Ambrose gets first Cup win at the Glen
Amanda Vincent is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.
After rain postponed the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International in upstate New York by a day, moving the race from Sunday to Monday, Marcos Ambrose made his way to victory lane to celebrate his first-career win in the series in 105 starts.
“I’m so proud of him,” crew chief Todd Parrott said of his driver.
Pre-race pit plans varied, with some teams planning to run the race on two pit stops and some on three. Ambrose’s No. 9 team was one of the ones on a three-stop strategy, but the extra stop didn’t hinder Ambrose, as he had one of the fastest cars on the race track all race long.
“It’s a dream come true,” Ambrose said of collecting his first Sprint Cup Series victory. “I’m very proud.”
Kyle Busch started on the pole, but A.J. Allmendinger got by him on lap one to assume the lead by the completion of the first lap. Ambrose made his way up to the second spot by lap four and battled Allmendinger for the top spot. Allmendinger got into the grass on lap 10, losing the lead to Ambrose and then the second position to Busch.
Ambrose, on his three-stop strategy, gave up the lead to head down pit road on lap 18. Busch then assumed the lead. Planning to run the race on only two stops, Busch stayed out, not making his first pit stop until a caution came out when Greg Biffle’s car slowed on the track on lap 28.
With many of the then-front runners heading down pit road either right before or under that caution, Ambrose cycled back to the lead for the restart. Ambrose remained up front until he decided to make his second pit stop on lap 39. As drivers on the three-stop plan made their way down pit road, the lead cycled back around to Busch, with last week’s race winner, Brad Keselowski, running second.
Keselowski passed Busch for the lead with 33 laps to go. Both frontrunners made their final stops under the green with 30 laps to go and came back on track in the 13th and 14th positions. Ambrose found himself back in the lead again but still needing to make his final pit stop.
After a caution with 25 laps do go when Denny Hamlin lost his brakes and went head on into the turn one tire barrier, Busch and Keselowski were back in the top two positions. Ambrose joined them in the top-three with 18 laps to go and took the second spot from Keselowski with 15 laps left in the race.
Busch and Ambrose then began pulling away from the rest of the field, but that margin was erased when Paul Menard suffered a tire issue to bring out the fourth caution of the race with four laps to go. Nearing the end of the scheduled race distance, extra laps were added in the form of a green-white-checker attempt.
On the restart, Ambrose spun his tires and Busch got sideways, opening the door for Keselowski to take the lead. Ambrose then took the lead from Keselowski on the white flag lap and drove on to the win.
“I knew exactly what not to do but did it anyway,” Busch said of his performance on the final restart.
The race ended under caution, as David Ragan and David Reutimann got together on the final lap, resulting in Reutimann’s car flipping over. Tony Stewart also got off-track in the final lap and spun back onto the track in front of much of the race field.
Keselowski finished second, and Busch was third. Martin Truex Jr. was fourth, and Joey Logano rounded out the top-five.
With his third-place finish, Busch took the series points lead from Carl Edwards, who finished 12th.