The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series were at Watkins Glen this weekend for some exciting road course racing that didn’t disappoint.
Saturday in the Nationwide Series race, the Busch brothers -Kurt and Kyle- dominated the race, leading every lap between the two of them. Kurt, who was driving for his injured Penske teammate Brad Keselowski, won the race,beating five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson on the final green-white-checkered restart.
“It was a lot of fun to come and fill in for Keselowski in a championship-type of car,” said Busch. “I’m just really proud of the team and it was unbelievable to be able to run out in front with my little brother and Carl Edwards.”
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. continues to lead the Nationwide Series point standings; he is 10 points ahead of second place Reed Sorenson and 24 points ahead of third place Elliott Sadler.
The Sprint Cup Series race was worth the wait after being delayed until Monday morning due to inclement weather. Fans saw Marcos Ambrose become the fifth different first time Cup Series winner this season and the first Australian born driver to win in the Series. The Australian driver outran 2011 STP 400 at Kansas Speedway winner Brad Keselowski for the victory.
Throughout the rain delayed race, there were several incidents that left fans holding their breath. The first happened on lap 49, when Kurt Busch experienced some kind of brake problem and barreled hard into the tire barrier in Turn Five. Seventeen laps later, Denny Hamlin suffered a mechanical issue and lost control of his Toyota, which overran Turn One and slammed into the tire barrier hard enough to buckle the guardrail behind it.
One of the final incidents came on the final lap, when Boris Said got into David Ragan and sent him into the outside guardrail, where he bounced off before sliding back across the track and into David Reutimann. The No. 00 car then bounced off the inside guardrail and went airborne and flipped before impacting the fence on the other side.
All of the drivers involved in incidents were fine and are headed to Michigan this weekend.
Kyle Busch tied Edwards for the Cup Series points lead after his third-place finish at Watkins Glen. However, the tie breaker is number of wins this season and as a result, Busch has the points lead (three wins to Edwards’ one). Johnson is six points behind in third, Kevin Harvick is 14 points behind in fourth and Matt Kenseth is 28 points behind in fifth.
The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is heating up with only four races remaining until the 12-car Chase field is set. STP 400 winner Keselowski, still holds on to the first wild card position after moving into 14th position in the point standings (and two wins). Hamlin holds the second wild card position in 11th place with one win. Paul Menard is the only other driver with a win inside the top 20, but Ambrose is currently 22nd with one win, Ragan is 23rd with one win and Regan Smith is 25th with one win.
Kansas Speedway will host the fourth race of the Chase with the Hollywood Casino 400 on October 9. Also that weekend, Kansas Speedway will host the NASCAR Nationwide Series Kansas Lottery 300 and the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Kansas Lottery 98.9. Tickets are on sale now for all remaining races at Kansas Speedway and may be purchased by visiting www.kansasspeedway.com or by calling 866.460.RACE (7223).