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Ambrose 3-peats at Watkins Glen: The Nationwide Zippo 200 Review

I know that sometimes you see the winning car carry the race sponsor and your first response is, "RIGGED!"

Marcos Ambrose, driving for the final time in a JTG Daugherty Nationwide Car, was carrying the Zippo and Kwik-Fill colors.  And boy were they ugly.  Now, I don't really know what Kwik-Fill is but I feel like if I ever saw one I'd be hesitant to go in. 

The Zippo/Kwik Fill 47 Toyota was green with yellow flames - green and yellow being the Kwik Fill colors - but I don't think I'm alone here in wishing we would have seen a black and red flamed Zippo Toyota instead.  It wasn't the worst looking car in history, but it was probably top 20. 

Ambrose was going for his third straight Watkins Glen win.  It may not seem like much for a road course racer like Ambrose to win 3 straight road course races, but it should be noted that Ambrose has only won 3 Nationwide races in his career.  All of them at Watkins Glen.  Ambrose raced for two full seasons in Nationwide before moving to cup full time in 2009.  The worst that Ambrose has finished at the Glen was 13th.  That was the first ever race Ambrose ran at the Glen.  In three Cup series races at the Glen, Ambrose has finished 3rd in '08, 2nd in '09 and now a 3rd in '10.


Nationwide results and more after the JUMP!

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Pts Bns Driver Rating Winnings Status Tms Laps
1 1 47 Marcos Ambrose Kwik Fill/Red Apple/Zippo Toyota 82 195 10 150.0 $50,595 Running 2 60
2 2 20 Joey Logano GameStop Toyota 82 175 5 123.4 $29,050 Running 1 8
3 3 33 Kevin Harvick Jimmy John's Chevy 82 165   115.4 $25,150 Running
4 8 22 Brad Keselowski Ruby Tuesday/Discount Tire Dodge 82 160   112.5 $19,075 Running
5 5 18 Kyle Busch Combos Toyota 82 160 5 122.7 $18,850 Running 1 14
6 12 88 Ron Fellows GT Vodka Chevy 82 150   106.0 $22,518 Running
7 10 27 Nelson Piquet ArcSight/G2 Custom Apparel Ford 82 146   100.5 $22,218 Running
8 6 32 Jacques Villeneuve Dollar General Stores Toyota 82 142   99.9 $23,093 Running
9 17 66 Steve Wallace 5-hour Energy Toyota 82 138   88.6 $20,918 Running
10 15 81 Michael McDowell K-Love Dodge 82 134   86.3 $15,125 Running
11 14 7 J R Fitzpatrick Schick Hydro Chevy 82 130   94.4 $20,568 Running
12 27 10 Tayler Malsam Iron Horse Jeans Toyota 82 127   81.9 $20,293 Running
13 25 11 Brian Scott # AccuDoc Toyota 82 124   82.1 $23,793 Running
14 30 40 Mike Bliss Key Motorsports Chevy 82 121   69.7 $20,093 Running
15 22 35 Tony Ave TriStar Motorsports Chevy 82 118   74.0 $20,868 Running
16 23 23 Alex Kennedy Media Master Chevy 82 115   73.2 $19,968 Running
17 7 98 Paul Menard CertainTeed/Menards Ford 82 112   87.1 $13,950 Running
18 33 01 Mike Wallace JDavisMotorsports.com Chevy 82 109   61.9 $20,243 Running
19 24 15 Michael Annett Germain.com Toyota 82 106   65.6 $19,768 Running
20 32 59 Kyle Kelley UPR.com/Apex/A 1 Certified Solar Chevy 82 103   53.6 $14,600 Running
21 34 28 Kenny Wallace Bully Hill Vineyards Chevy 81 100   52.9 $19,668 Running
22 16 09 Boris Said Zaxby's Ford 81 97   68.2 $19,618 Running
23 26 87 Joe Nemechek Gator.com Chevy 81 94   62.6 $19,943 Running
24 36 70 Mark Green Blue Ox Chevy 80 91   43.2 $19,443 Running
25 18 1 Ryan Newman Phoenix Construction Chevy 79 88   81.0 $13,075 Accident
26 11 16 Colin Braun # Con-way Ford 78 85   56.9 $19,648 Running
27 40 26 Brian Keselowski K- Automotive Dodge 78 82   37.6 $13,225 Running
28 28 34 Tony Raines Long John Silvers Chevy 60 79   42.9 $19,223 Running
29 19 99 Trevor Bayne Out! Pet Care Toyota 60 76   72.6 $19,188 Running
30 21 62 Brendan Gaughan South Point Hotel & Casino Toyota 59 73   51.3 $19,453 Running
31 35 24 Eric McClure Hefty Odor Block Ford 53 70   39.7 $12,625 Transmission
32 31 21 Morgan Shepherd Victory in Jesus Chevy 44 67   43.1 $19,033 Electrical
33 4 60 Carl Edwards Fastenal Ford 25 64   83.0 $12,530 Engine
34 20 12 Justin Allgaier Verizon Wireless Dodge 25 61   53.3 $18,938 Engine
35 13 38 Jason Leffler Great Clips Toyota 23 58   70.5 $18,903 Accident
36 9 6 Billy Johnson CitiFinancial Ford 23 55   56.4 $18,868 Accident
37 29 05 Victor Gonzalez Jr. 31-W Insulation Chevy 20 52   44.0 $18,828 Accident
38 39 52 Joey Scarallo My 3 Sons Vending Ford 9 0   32.5 $12,305 Brakes
39 37 61 Chase Miller Specialty Racing Ford 8 46   35.6 $12,270 Brakes
40 41 89 Johnny Chapman Victory in Jesus Chevy 3 43   32.5 $12,135 Overheating
41 42 92 Dan Brode K-Automotive Dodge 2 40   32.4 $12,100 Brakes
42 38 36 Kevin Hamlin TriStar Motorsports Chevy 1 0   29.8 $12,060 Brakes
43 43 82 Matt Carter MOBILE-Shop.com Dodge 1 0   30.4 $11,991 Brakes

The race was showcased by a huge pileup on lap 24.  Jason Leffler got loose, pancaked the wall and bounced right into Trevor Bayne and the rest of the feild bunched up.  In the end, countless (because I lost count) cars were involved including Justin Allgaier, Billy Johnson, Tony Raines, Brendon Gaughan, Victor Gonzalez, Alex Kennedy, Colin Braun, Boris Said but not really Kevin Harvick. 

Harvick managed to stop before hitting Gaughan and got to watch as Billy Johnson crushed Tony Raines into the air.  Harvick then put it in reverse and drove away.  It does look like Victor Gonzalez may have taken off his side mirror (if he had one), but nothing serious, if he was hit at all. 

We had a red flag for about a half hour, which is why I set my DVR to record at least an hour after the scheduled end time of a race (2 hours for cup races).

On thing is for sure, this race hurt Carl Edwards big time.  Keso was able to record his 16th top 5 of the year, while Edwards blew an engine and finished 33rd.  With less than 15 races to go, Keso is almost ready to put it on cruise control. 

With the #43 car withdrawing from the event, they lost even more ground on the top 30, and could shut down for the rest of the year. Here's the race for the top 30:

28 Said 09 1,913
29 Keller 35 1,882
30 Howard 70 1,879
31 McDowell 81 1,862
32 Allen 05 1,795
33 McClure 24 1,745

Next week we head to Brooklyn, Michigan for the Carfax 250.  If you can pull yourself away from Madden '11 long enough, tune in Saturday at 1pm to ESPN for the Nationwide Race from Michigan.  I'll try to put down Madden myself and get a preview up later in the week for the race.  Enjoy!