The headline above is slightly misleading.
Marcos Ambrose has become quite competent at every type of NASCAR track. But his Racing Reference page now shows two Sprint Cup Series wins, both at Watkins Glen. And in an era where all 43 drivers are highly-specialized in road course racing, Ambrose has managed to stay above the rest of the field. He’s the absolute best at turning right in NASCAR.
That says a lot competing against the likes of Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Tony Stewart.
With that said, he received a bit of a gift win on Sunday afternoon as Bobby Labonte's engine expired in the closing laps, littering oil all the way around the 2.5-mile circuit, setting up perhaps the wildest finish of the season.
[Poll Question: Which finish was more exciting: Sunday at Watkins Glen or Martinsville in April?]
Kyle Busch had led the most laps, including the white flag lap, but stalled upon hitting Labonte's oil in turn 2. That gave Brad Keselowski a run at Busch, resulting in contact that sent the No. 18 into the retaining wall. Keselowski took the lead and Ambrose closed the distance. Keselowski developed a tire rub and Ambrose drag-raced him to the line, winning the Finger Lakes 355 by .571 of a second.
The big debate is whether or not NASCAR should have thrown a caution with so many drivers reporting oil on the track. NASCAR’s Vice President of Competition Robin Pimberton explained that track officials only heard reports of smoke — no fluid — coming from Labonte’s engine, but we know the real reason...
A caution would have ended the race and NASCAR's policy is to make every effort to finish under green. Throwing the caution would have denied fans the exciting finish they ultimately received, leading me to believe that they made the right call.
Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon will likely disagree but this is the show NASCAR feels obligated to provide their fans.
A note on adding a road course to the Chase for the Championship, as well as a complete finishing order can be found after the jump.
It could easily replace the underwhelming Kansas Chase race, providing excitement and flair to a coveted international media market.
It's a win from every conceivable angle.
And don't tell me that the Chase should represent the majority of NASCAR's calendar, not as long as Talladega holds a spot in the final 10 races.
Number of plate races in the regular season: Three
Number of road courses in the regular season: Two
Conclusion: A road course is just as representative of the regular season as a restrictor plate track.
Do you want to see a road course in the Chase? Do you think NASCAR made the right call by not tossing the yellow flag on the last lap? Answer these questions and leave feedback concerning Sunday's race in the comments section below.
Race Rewind: Watkins Glen (via TheOfficialNASCAR)
Victory Lane: Marcos Ambrose (via TheOfficialNASCAR)
|1||5||9||Marcos Ambrose||Stanley Ford||90||47||4||Running||2||8|
|2||4||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite Dodge||90||43||1||Running||3||37|
|3||3||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe's Cortez Silver Chevrolet||90||41||Running|
|4||8||15||Clint Bowyer||5-hour Energy Toyota||90||40||Running|
|5||17||22||Sam Hornish Jr.(i)||Shell Pennzoil Dodge||90||0||Running|
|6||15||16||Greg Biffle||3M Ford||90||38||Running|
|7||2||18||Kyle Busch||M&M's Toyota||90||39||2||Running||3||43|
|8||24||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford EcoBoost Ford||90||36||Running|
|9||13||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet||90||35||Running|
|10||9||56||Martin Truex Jr.||NAPA Auto Parts Toyota||90||34||Running|
|11||6||39||Ryan Newman||U.S. ARMY Chevrolet||90||33||Running|
|12||22||27||Paul Menard||Menards/Rheem Chevrolet||90||32||Running|
|13||20||5||Kasey Kahne||Farmers Insurance Chevrolet||90||31||Running|
|14||18||99||Carl Edwards||Fastenal Ford||90||31||1||Running||1||1|
|15||19||29||Kevin Harvick||Budweiser Chevrolet||90||29||Running|
|16||30||13||Casey Mears||GEICO Ford||90||28||Running|
|17||21||95||Scott Speed||TWD Ford||90||27||Running|
|18||29||43||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Ford||90||26||Running|
|19||7||14||Tony Stewart||Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet||90||25||Running|
|20||34||38||David Gilliland||Mod Space Ford||90||24||Running|
|21||12||24||Jeff Gordon||Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet||90||23||Running|
|22||32||34||David Ragan||Scorpion Coatings/Al's Liners Ford||90||22||Running|
|23||35||83||Landon Cassill||Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota||90||21||Running|
|24||42||93||Travis Kvapil||Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota||90||20||Running|
|25||25||32||Boris Said||Hendrickcars.com Ford||90||19||Running|
|26||39||33||Stephen Leicht #||LittleJoesAuto.com Chevrolet||90||18||Running|
|27||26||47||Bobby Labonte||Miller Welders/Freightliner Toyota||90||17||Running|
|28||16||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet||89||16||Running|
|29||36||87||Joe Nemechek(i)||Genny Light/AM/FM Energy Toyota||88||0||Running|
|30||28||31||Jeff Burton||Caterpillar Chevrolet||84||14||Running|
|31||27||51||Kurt Busch||Phoenix Construction Services Inc. Chevrolet||81||13||Running|
|32||14||20||Joey Logano||The Home Depot Toyota||71||12||Running|
|33||1||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Target Chevrolet||63||12||1||Accident||1||1|
|34||23||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Freight Toyota||57||10||Engine|
|35||41||49||Jason Leffler(i)||America Israel Racing Toyota||42||0||Engine|
|36||31||36||Dave Blaney||Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet||41||8||Suspension|
|37||11||98||Michael McDowell||TRAQM Ford||30||7||Rear Gear|
|38||38||26||Josh Wise #||MDS Transport Ford||25||6||Electrical|
|39||10||1||Jamie McMurray||McDonald's Chevrolet||24||5||Accident|
|40||37||10||JJ Yeley||Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet||15||4||Brakes|
|41||40||19||Chris Cook||Plinker Tactical Toyota||5||3||Brakes|
|42||43||30||Patrick Long||Inception Motorsports Toyota||2||2||Brakes|
|43||33||55||Brian Vickers||MyClassicGarage.com Toyota||0||1||Engine|