Welcome NASCAR race fans to my NASCAR blog. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series tried to race the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips @ The Glen on Sunday, but rain washed it out before the command to start the engines. Instead, they raced Monday Morning at Watkins Glen International. I got to see the race on ESPN. I was going to make the headline of who won, but thought it would be more fun to give the review and have the racing action unfold, instead of announcing the winner.
18 Kyle Busch qualified on the Pole with a speed of 126.421 mph and 69.767 seconds around this 2.45 mile road course. 43 A. J. Allmendinger starts next to him on the front row. 9 Marcos Ambrose won at Watkins Glen the last three years in the Nationwide Series and declares on Friday he will win on Sunday. But can he do it on Monday? He was fastest in final practice. 14 Tony Stewart is looking for his sixth victory at this track. 24 Jeff Gordon is looking for his tenth win on a road course. 11 Denny Hamlin crashed while qualifying and will start in the rear. 13 Casey Mears changed the engine. 66 Michael McDowell missed the driver’s meeting. Both will start from the rear. 38 Terry Labonte got in on a past champion provisional and starts last. Dave Blaney, Brian Simo and p. J. Jones failed to make the race.
So, here we go! 43 gets by 18 for the lead at the start of the race. 18 bumps 9 when he takes second away. 51 Boris Said gets into the inner loop too hard and spins. 13 Mears passes before the line and must come to the pits for a pass-through. 22 Kurt Busch spins out trying to make a pass at the inner loop and 43 puts him a lap down. 29 Kevin Harvick comes in for fuel. 37 Scott Speed spins. 22 bumps 43 to stay on the lead lap and sends 43 spinning through the grass. 9 takes the lead. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya leads when 9 pits. 18 leads, then pits. 48 Jimmie Johnson leads, then pits.
The track is very foggy, but so far, so good. 11 locks the brakes trying to stay off 16 Greg Biffle and 9 gets by both of them. 16 runs out of fuel and is stalled on the track, bringing out the first caution. 6 David Ragan and 5 Mark Martin are headed to the pits when gets by the caution comes out, closing pit road. 5 heads back onto the track, but 6 runs out of fuel on pit road. 36 Ron Fellows gets back onto the lead lap. 22 comes back in for repairs. 14 has a long pit stop. 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 31 Jeff Burton make it to pit road as the caution comes out, before pit road closes.
00 David Reutimann gets knocked off course and spins. 9 pits and 42 leads. 42 pits and 24 leads. 48 makes a pit stop from fourth. 18 takes the lead. 2 Brad Keselowski gets by 24 for second. The second caution comes out when 22 has a tire going down and crashes into the tire barrier. (Kurt won the Nationwide race on Saturday but will not sweep Watkins Glen.) 51 Boris Said gets is lap back. 14 drives inside 56 Martin Truex, Jr. 48 drives around 47 Bobby Labonte. 24 gets by 47. 2 takes the lead from 18. (Remember, he is driving with a broken ankle and hurt.)
17 Matt Kenseth runs out of fuel and team mate 16 pushes him to pit road. 33 Clint Bowyer leads when When the race resumes 9 gets around 56 for third. 48 gets by 14 for sixth. 9 gets by 2 for second and closes in on leader 18 with eight laps to go. 27 Paul Menard blows a tire, bringing out the fourth caution for debris with four laps to go. 27 gets a fire under the car! In the pits, 5 enters his pit with the jack man too close and the jack man jumps with the jack onto the car.
This will be a Green, White Checker Finish. 9 spins the tires. 18 bobbles. 2 takes the lead. 9 takes the lead on the last lap and as the leaders head for the Finish Line, two different incidents happen. 1 has nowhere to go but into 6. 6 gets into the tire barrier, across the track and into 00 who flies back across the track and into the fence. 14 gets off track into the grass, collecting others. All this is happening as the leaders are approaching the finish and I’m screaming for them to stop the race. They finally do, and it takes awhile to figure out the finishing order of those back there.
9 Marcos Ambrose wins his first Sprint Cup race, the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen. (If his name was Kyle Busch, this would be his fourth NASCAR win, all four coming at the same track.) Thirty-one cars were still on the lead lap at the finish. There were eight drives who led laps. 18 led the most laps. There are now fifteen different race winners in 2011! Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jr., Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Juan Pablo Montoya, A. J. Allmendinger, Jeff Burton and Jimmie Johnson for the top ten.
Kyle Busch moves up two spots in the points to take the points lead, while Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson each move down a position. Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth move up while Kurt Busch falls two spots to sixth. Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman stay seventh and eighth, while Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Tony Stewart swap ninth and tenth in points.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley. I love NASCAR racing.