In recent years, the road course of Watkins Glen has seemed to become a different version of restrictor plate racing. There have been accidents that claimed multiple cars, many resulting in violent hits and even some hurting drivers.
This seems to have continued with multiple hard impacts in Sunday’s action. Guys like Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Stenhouse, Kevin Harvick and Austin Dillon all saw their cars torn up more like they were involved in the Big One at Talladega, and not a wreck coming out of the Carousel right-hand turn.
The action causing the accident was just as intense as the battle out front for the lead.
Guys like Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, and even some names you normally wouldn’t see out front like A.J. Allmendinger, Danica Patrick and others took some time out front. But when it came down to the final sprint, despite originally being close on fuel, the late cautions made it enough to make it to the end. Even with a charge from behind, which eventually turned into a battle for second, and ended with one car in the fence while the one that did the spin felt much regret after the flag.
Still, after coming one corner short in Sonoma, Denny Hamlin held on and completed a quest that he wanted to finalize after being that close. It was a special delivery when the FedEx Toyota made it to victory lane, that is after the team put on a pair of new rear tires due to Hamlin scorching the rubber right off.
The writers were unable to win this week, but had a solid run at the end of the day. All but five managed to secure a top-10 finish tightening up the standings.
Here’s where everyone is after the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen:
Sal Sigala Jr. (695) Kyle Busch finished 6th – 2
Ashley McCubbin (688) Kyle Busch finished 6th – 2
Ashley Hull (657) Tony Stewart finished 5th – 8
Patti Rodisch (624) Jeff Gordon finished 14th – 3
Dustin Parks (616) Tony Stewart finished 5th – 1
Rob Blount (615) Kyle Busch finished 6th – 4
Rob Tiongson (580) Jeff Gordon finished 14th – 2
Billy Fellin (572) Brad Keselowski finished 3rd – 2
Misan Akuya (571) Tony Stewart finished 5th – 3
Klarissa Mitchell (566) Carl Edwards finished 15th – 1
Mary Jo Buchanan (553) Jeff Gordon finished 14th – 3
Ashley Hobbs (515) Kurt Busch finished 11th – 2
Stephen Conley (479) NO PICK SENT – 1
Kara Martin (477) NO PICK SENT – 1
Next Race: It’s not very often that a break comes in the midst of a summer stretch, but may as well enjoy it because NASCAR will only have two of them come next year.
The Cup Series gets a break from heading out out onto the track this week as teams and drivers get to enjoy one more vacation before the stretch run to the end of the year. Everyone deserves some rest, and for many teams it gives them a chance to be with family before the upcoming school year begins. After the week off, one of the marque events is on the schedule, and happens to be a week ahead of the normal time.
For those that enjoy Saturday nights at a short track, this is the big event. It’s back to Thunder Valley, and those that enjoy coming to the Bull Ring are ready to see it thunder once again.
Bristol awaits for all, but this time all writers get an extra seven days to decide on a winner. So, lock in those picks by Thursday, August 18, at 10 p.m. ET for the NRA Bass Pro Shops Night Race.