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Watkins Glen finish was incredible and it had serious Chase implications

By admin | August 12, 2012

By Richard Allen


Depending on who you ask, there either was or wasn’t oil on the track during the final laps of the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen on Sunday. The drivers say one thing and NASCAR officials say another. You can probably guess which says what.

Either way, the last few laps -and particularly the final circuit- were among the most exciting and action packed seen in a Sprint Cup race in quite a while. And more than just providing excitement and topics worthy of debate on that one day, a number of circumstances impacting the entire season were created.

When Brad Keselowski got into the back of Kyle Busch(or Busch spun in his own oil depending on which version you want to believe) going through the esses section of the track for the final time, the possible makeup of the Chase for the Championship was altered.

Drivers who are outside the top-10 in the Sprint Cup standings after the 26th race of the season are eligible for one of two wildcard spots. The two drivers with the most wins get those two spots, with points used to break any ties.

Had Busch gone on to win at The Glen, it would have given him a second victory on the season. That would have provided the driver of #18 with a significant advantage over four others who currently have only one win as well as a couple of drivers with no wins who could get themselves into the mix should they win soon.

As of now, Kasey Kahne is in the best position for getting a wildcard invitation into the championship playoff by virtue of his two victories. Busch, Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Joey Logano, and now, Marcos Ambrose all have one win each. Winless drivers Carl Edwards and Paul Menard could potentially get themselves into the picture with a win during the next four races.

With time running out quickly on making the Chase, it’s a safe bet that those drivers listed above breathed a sigh of relief when Busch went for a spin. Otherwise, Edwards and Menard would have been all but eliminated while tremendous pressure would have been placed on Gordon, Newman and Logano to win a second race in the next month.

And more, when Gordon spun on the last turn of the race, he went from a wildcard spot to the outside looking in.

The final lap of the Watkins Glen race was one of the most entertaining in NASCAR’s recent history in its own right. It made for a great day. But just as importantly, it had all sorts of Chase implications at the same time.

Topics: Articles |

10 Responses to “Watkins Glen finish was incredible and it had serious Chase implications”

  1. Aaron Peach Says:
    August 12th, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    Loved every second of the closing lap…. until the 24 spun.

  2. Bill B Says:
    August 13th, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Maybe NASCAR should oil down all the tracks on the last couple of laps to make the endings more exciting.

  3. Tony Geinzer Says:
    August 13th, 2012 at 7:54 am

    On a more serious note,Rich, I hope that the Competition Committee takes a good long look at what to do for the races and I seriously doubt Green White Checker is appropriate for Daytona,Talladega or Road Courses.

  4. Russ Says:
    August 13th, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Regardless of the oil issue. If you are 2 seconds in front with just a couple of laps left, and let the guy get close enough to spin you out it’s your fault.
    Busch lost the race plain and simple.

  5. midasmicah Says:
    August 13th, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Great race! Best race I’ve seen all year. And the finish. And Kyle Busch spun in the oil of the #74 car, which had blown up. It’s amazing how the last lap of this race affected the chase situation. I love it anytime the stupid chase is turned upside by real raing. And how Gordon went from winner to whiner in a week’s time.

  6. Wayne T. Morgan Says:
    August 13th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Best race of the year and yes NA$CAR needs to oil down the last few laps. Perfect weekend for me as Kiddie Kyle gets bumped on both races!! Priceless.

  7. offkilter Says:
    August 13th, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    Bill b beat me to the punch… oil down the tracks, haha. 8 laps or so left, jr spins and smoke begins whisping from one of my ears. At that point i was bummed, but hopeful for ambrose. 4 laps or so left and busch has big lead and i had conceded the win to him. Smoke was then coming out of both my ears. Oh, but what a heck of a payoff on that last lap. Crazy, exciting racing.

  8. Benjamin P. Glaser Says:
    August 13th, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Please add a road course to the Chase. Move Sonoma to the chase and race at Montreal in June.

  9. Jim_812 Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Even without the wild last lap, that race was better than any recent cookie cutter event. (ESPN’s coverage notwithstanding)

    I like Benjamin Glaser’s suggestion. I think that might be the best scenario, weather-wise. BTW, the race that should be replaced IMO, is Talladega. You would be replacing a crap shoot race with a race that requires some extra driving skills.

  10. pete Says:
    August 14th, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    funny if kyle had spun out keslowski, you’d all be screaming for his head. crashing out the leader, oil or not, is still spinning out the car in front going for the win. wonder if or when kes gets spun “just hard racing” coming up in the chase, you all will have the same accepting attitude. rough driving? depends who you are ? great finish to watch ( go ambrose !) and pc too.