Analysis of the Last Lap at Watkins Glen

Photo- Getty Images

One of the craziest final laps we’ve seen in awhile needs some breaking down. A lot of different story lines made up the final lap. When the white flag flew, we all thought Kyle Busch was going to win. Halfway through the final lap, we thought Brad Keselowski was going to be the winner and after the final lap was over, we knew Marcos Ambrose was the winner. At a track where we’ve never seen a last lap pass for the win, we saw three Sunday afternoon in Watkins Glen.

It all started when Bobby Labonte in the No.47 started leaking oil on the track with two laps to go, NASCAR saw the oil but they didn’t think it was enough to throw a caution so they let the leaders race back to the finish. Then taking the white flag was leader Kyle Busch followed by Keselowski and Ambrose. Busch started to slip around heading down hill into turn one and that allowed Keselowski to catch him.

By the time they were in turn two Keselowski was there and going up the esses Keselowski got into Busch spinning him out. That wreck cost Busch a race everyone thought he had won. Busch did manage to get going again and finish in the seventh position. After Busch was out of the way, Keselowski was the leader followed by Ambrose who was close in tow. Going into the inner loop, both Keselowski and Ambrose started to slip in the oil and both ran off course in the inner loop but managed to stay close to each other entering turn five. Keselowski made a big slip in the oil exiting turn five and he got loose enough where Ambrose could pass him for the lead.

Ambrose managed to clear him and they went off into turn six. In turn six, Ambrose got loose and slid off into the run-off area and Keselowski closed the gap. They were side by side going into turn seven but Keselowski slipped on the exit of the corner and Ambrose powered to the lead and crossed the finish line first.

The wrecking wasn’t done though, last week’s winner Jeff Gordon slipped in the oil and spun around in turn seven and he hit the inside wall before pit road. Gordon did re-fire and ended up with a 21st place finish. The oil on the track cost Gordon his second wild card spot and now Gordon needs to win if he wants to get into the chase.

A wild, wild last lap at Watkins Glen resulted in a driver getting into wild card contention and another falling out. Some drivers will never forget this lap but some hope they forget about it soon.


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