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The Top-Five Twists From Watkins Glen’s Cheez-It 355

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By Kayla Darrow – Road courses always promise heated racing, and dramatic finishes, and this past weekend at Watkins Glen was no different. Drivers struggled with strange obstacles, endured hard wrecks, and clawed their way to the finish. @AJDinger came out on top and scored his first NSCS win, but there is plenty more to talk about.

In case you missed it, here are the top-five stories from this Sunday’s race at Watkins Glen:

1. @JeffGordonWeb loses power: Jeff Gordon looked to have a car to beat on Sunday after starting from the pole. Gordon was running second to @MarcosAmbrose before he suddenly lost all power on Lap 51. He was unable to return to pit road, bringing out the second caution of the day. While it’s unclear exactly what happened, the four-time Watkins Glen winner was able to return to the track and finished 34th, four laps down.

2. @KevinHarvick’s beanbag incident: Kevin Harvick found himself dropping back quickly from his fourth place starting spot after the drop of the green flag. The reason? Beanbags that are used to test a car’s weight and balance were accidently left under his seat. Harvick immediately pitted on Lap 3 to get the bags out of his car, putting him back out deep in the field. He spent all day fighting his way back up front and finally claimed a top-10 finish when he placed seventh.

3. The carousel strikes again: Watkins Glen’s carousel has caused big wrecks before. Sunday’s race saw a hard wreck in that exact spot between @RyanJNewman and @Mc_Driver after Newman made contact with the back of @GBiffle. After smacking the guardrail, Newman spun across the track, collected McDowell and sent him flying into the opposite rail. Both cars were demolished, but luckily the drivers were uninjured. Newman, unhappy with NASCAR after the wreck, voiced concern that Watkins Glen may not be up to the organization’s safety standards.

4. A rough day for @KyleBusch: Kyle Busch’s race seemed to go from bad to worse. It all started during Busch’s pit stop at Lap 22 when he left the pit stall with the fuel can still attached. Busch had to come back around to serve a pass through penalty. He was then running one lap down in 41st place when contact with @MartinTruex_Jr caused serious damage to his front left fender and tire. Busch headed off to the garage but was able to fix the damage and returned to the track to finish 40th, 21 laps down.

5. A first-time winner: With just two laps remaining after the final caution of the race, fans were set to see an all-out battle to the finish between Allmendinger and Ambrose. The two traded paint a few times during the two laps, and Ambrose gave it his all, but he was unable to shake Allmendinger from the lead. This was Allmendinger’s first NSCS win and his first time qualifying for the Chase. 



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