Kyle Busch’s spin in the closing moments of the Finger Lakes 355 cost him the race and Marcos Ambrose held off Brad Keselowski to win in upstate New York on Sunday afternoon.
Busch saw the white flag wave overhead as he crossed the start/finish line at Watkins Glen International raceway, signaling the final lap of the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen. A few hundred yards later, he skidded on a patch of oil on the track and was tapped by Keselowski’s car to send Busch into a spin. That was all Ambrose needed and he raced around the circuit, holding Keselowski off to win the NASCAR race.
“It was absolute chaos at the end,” Ambrose recalled the last lap of the race, adding that he’s happy fate intervened. “She’s been frowning on me all year, so it’s nice to get a change.”
Ambrose described the race’s final moments. Busch spun first and Keselowski ran into him.
“I can’t blame Brad for hitting Kyle. The guy was sliding across the track. He was going to spin out. Brad finished him off,” he said. “I thought, Man, there’s one, I got one more to go.”
Sunday’s win was Ambrose’s second straight at Watkins Glen and the second of his Sprint Cup career. He has finished in the top three in all the five races he has started at the race track. Ambrose said he was not only happy to win the race, he was also happy that his family was at Watkins Glen to experience the victory with him.
“It’s a special thing to win a NASCAR race, especially a Sprint Cup race,” he said. “I’m from Australia. I feel a long way away a lot of days. It’s great to have them here, let them celebrate with me. These days don’t come around every day, you know.”
The Watkins Glen race shook up the Sprint Cup standings. Johnson finished third on Sunday and climbed three places to the top of the leader board, where he holds a tenuous grip over Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth by the slimmest of margins of one point and two points respectively.
The Pure Michigan 400, at the Michigan International Speedway, is the next race on the NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule on Aug. 19.