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Kyle Busch Holds On To Win At Watkins Glen

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, August 11 2013

Kyle Busch survived a series of late restarts to win at The Glen Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Brian Lawdermilk)


Kyle Busch held off Brad Keselowski through a three late-race restarts and went on to win Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at the Watkins Glen International road course.

The victory was the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s third of the season and second at The Glen. Busch led the final 29 laps of the race.

Martin Truex Jr. of Michael Waltrip Racing was third.

Rounding out the top five were Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing and Earnhardt Ganassi Racing’s Juan Pablo Montoya.

Marcos Ambrose, going for his third straight win at the western New York track,  started from the pole and led 51 laps until he had to make an untimely pit stop. That dropped him back to mid pack. His day ended when he crashed on a restart lap with six laps to go.

That left it all up to Busch and Keselowski.

They restarted for the final time with two laps to go and lined up next to each other. Busch kept the lead but could not put the Penske Racing driver away as Keselowski stayed right on Busch’s bumper.

On the final lap, Keselowsk, at times, was just inches – or closer – behind Busch through many of the turns of the 2.45-mile track.

But on the final turn of the final lap, Keselowski went a bit too wide and Busch sprinted to the finish line.

“It was just run as hard as you can, drive your car, try not to worry about what’s behind, whatever happens, happens–we’ll deal with it,” Busch said. “I commend Brad for doing a better job this year at bringing home a cleaner race.

“I felt we ran really hard there those last couple laps. I couldn’t get away from him. My car wouldn’t turn through the corners as well a s I needed it to. I just couldn’t get the front tires to bite, and so he could catch me through the corners. But in the braking zones and exiting the corners, I felt like I was really strong and could get away from him.”

Last year, Keselowski spun Busch in Turn 3 with fewer than two laps left, as the cars slid on a glaze of oil. This race was a completely different matter, Keselowski said.

“I could have dumped Kyle and won the race,” said the defending Cup champion, who climbed to eighth in the series standings on the strength of the runner-up finish. “That stuff goes back and forth, and I’m sure someone in the tabloid side of the media will make a big deal about that, but it won’t be me, because I know I did the right thing…

“It doesn’t mean there isn’t temptation, but there’s a level of respect and a code of honor that you have to have as a man.

“We were strong, but we just weren’t quite strong enough.  We were definitely really close and we’ve been close over the last three years, but just came up a little bit short on the last lap on all three of them.  That stinks, but that’s racing.  We had a shot at it.  I was gonna have to wreck him to really get it and I didn’t want to do that.  I thought I could cross him over here on the last corner and the car just slid the back end a little too much and I just couldn’t quite pull off the move.  It was still a great run for the Miller Lite Ford Fusion.  It was just a really fast car and a solid weekend.”

Ambrose, meanwhile, was left ponder what could have been.

“I’m just really disappointed for my Stanley team,” the Aussie driver said. “Something was wrong with the car there and I just couldn’t get going. I could feel on the roll-around lap that something had broken, but I just feel bad for the guys who got caught up in all that mess. That’s not the way we wanted our day to finish, but thank you to Stanley and Ford and everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports for giving me a good shot to win today. We had a very fast car, but it just wasn’t our day.”

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race – Cheez-it 355 at The Glen

Watkins Glen International

Watkins Glen, New York

Sunday, August 11, 2013

1. (5) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 90, $236658.

2. (8) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 90, $204876.

3. (3) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 90, $161735.

4. (16) Carl Edwards, Ford, 90, $149360.

5. (11) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 90, $132324.

6. (2) Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 90, $135818.

7. (9) Joey Logano, Ford, 90, $118743.

8. (18) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 90, $131296.

9. (13) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 90, $111330.

10. (4) AJ Allmendinger, Toyota, 90, $116018.

11. (6) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 90, $109505.

12. (30) Casey Mears, Ford, 90, $105843.

13. (26) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 90, $123946.

14. (14) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 90, $113318.

15. (29) Max Papis(i), Chevrolet, 90, $122210.

16. (17) Greg Biffle, Ford, 90, $92085.

17. (7) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 90, $107201.

18. (33) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. #, Ford, 90, $123146.

19. (20) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 90, $92835.

20. (35) Danica Patrick #, Chevrolet, 90, $77635.

21. (31) David Ragan, Ford, 90, $98243.

22. (27) Boris Said, Ford, 90, $87393.

23. (10) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 90, $110401.

24. (23) Owen Kelly(i), Chevrolet, 90, $92682.

25. (21) David Gilliland, Ford, 90, $75460.

26. (22) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 90, $82660.

27. (40) Dave Blaney, Chevrolet, 90, $74435.

28. (41) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 90, $71285.

29. (37) Alex Kennedy, Toyota, 90, $71110.

30. (25) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 85, $89460.

31. (1) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, Accident, 84, $117024.

32. (15) Brian Vickers(i), Toyota, Accident, 84, $78585.

33. (39) David Stremme, Toyota, 83, $71435.

34. (19) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 82, $88310.

35. (24) Ron Fellows, Chevrolet, 74, $70160.

36. (28) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 65, $116916.

37. (32) Aric Almirola, Ford, Accident, 58, $106785.

38. (12) Michael McDowell, Ford, Suspension, 58, $64850.

39. (43) Brian Keselowski, Toyota, Brakes, 47, $60850.

40. (38) Travis Kvapil, Toyota, Accident, 41, $64850.

41. (34) Victor Gonzalez Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 39, $52850.

42. (42) Tomy Drissi, Toyota, Accident, 39, $48850.

43. (36) David Reutimann, Toyota, Engine, 4, $45350.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 87.001 mph.

Time of Race: 02 Hrs, 32 Mins, 04 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.486 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 8 for 21 laps.

Lead Changes: 5 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders: M. Ambrose 1-28; J. Montoya 29; J. McMurray 30; K. Harvick 31-38; M. Ambrose 39-61; Kyle Busch 62-90.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): M. Ambrose 2 times for 51 laps; Kyle Busch 1 time for 29 laps; K. Harvick 1 time for 8 laps; J. Montoya 1 time for 1 lap; J. McMurray 1 time for 1 lap.

Top 12 in Points: J. Johnson – 808; C. Bowyer – 733; C. Edwards – 728; K. Harvick – 707; Kyle Busch – 693; D. Earnhardt Jr. – 670; M. Kenseth – 659; Brad Keselowski – 634; G. Biffle – 627; M. Truex Jr. – 625; Kurt Busch – 623; K. Kahne – 622.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, August 11 2013
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