Drivers Insist Watkins Glen Track Was Oil-Covered; NASCAR Says No

Either 43 of the world's best race car drivers are a bunch of whiners with active imaginations or NASCAR failed to recognize there was oil on the track at the end of Sunday's Watkins Glen race.

After hearing from the drivers after the race, it seems to be the latter.

Jeff Gordon, who hit what he said was oil and spun out – relegating him to a 21st-place finish – said it was "pretty ridiculous" for NASCAR to not throw the caution.

"It's just unfortunate that that gets taken away from you because NASCAR doesn't want to end the race under yellow," he said. "I understand. You want to keep it entertaining and give the winner a shot at it, but there's a lot of other things going on out there, too.

"I think they completely disregarded that, and, hey, it's over now. We'll move on."

Other drivers also talked about the oil after the race.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. said it was "a bad deal" to keep racing with oil on the track and said he didn't like the situation. Clint Bowyer said the slick track reminded him of riding motocross, where riders left the groove to find traction. And Jimmie Johnson called the last two laps "out of control" because of the oil.

"I thought I blew a right-front tire when I turned in (the corner)," Johnson said. "(I thought), 'Why would I blow a right front?' The right front was in the oil slipping, and I could feel that."

Brad Keselowski said the oil was the reason he slid off the track into the grass while battling with eventual race winner Marcos Ambrose, and he thought he threw the race away at one point due to the "undriveable" conditions.

"I looked in my mirror, and he was in the grass, too," Keselowski said. "That shows you how bad the track was."

Even Ambrose talked extensively about the oil, which he called a "fine spray" instead of the typical black streak (though he was glad NASCAR didn't throw the caution, of course).

"Normally, you can see it on the racetrack, but I couldn't see it," he said. "It was, 'Wait until the car slides and try and save it.'"

NASCAR officials, though, told reporters there was no evidence of oil on the track.

"We got a report of smoke on the 47 (Bobby Labonte's car) and not any dropped oil," NASCAR's Robin Pemberton told USAToday.com. "And basically that's it. It looked to me that everybody made it through OK. One car went around. And the rest of it was good hard racing coming to the checkered (flag)."

In addition, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director John Darby told SportingNews.com, "it was obvious to me it wasn't that bad."

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