In an entertaining race from world-famous Watkins Glen International, it was Kyle Busch and the No. 18 car that took the checkered flag and won the 2013 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen.
Busch has been a serious contender at each of the last two races at Watkins Glen, but after holding off Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 car on the last lap, he was finally able to drive into victory lane.
Keselowski held on for a second-place finish, Martin Truex Jr. managed a very respectable third-place finish and Carl Edwards finished fourth. Juan Pablo Montoya rounded out the top five.
Full Cheez-It 355 at The Glen Results
|3||Martin Truex Jr.||56||Toyota||3|
|5||Juan Pablo Montoya||42||Chevrolet||11|
|18||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||17||Ford||33|
|30||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||88||Chevrolet||25|
|41||Victor Gonzalez Jr.||36||Chevrolet||34|
*Visit NASCAR.com for results and race times.
Two-time Watkins Glen winner Marcos Ambrose raced his way to the pole for the race and started off red-hot, staying in the lead and putting a healthy gap between himself and the field.
David Reutimann and the No. 83 car brought out the first caution of the day on Lap 6 with a blown engine. After the race returned to green for a few laps, Jeff Gordon and the No. 24 car brought out the second caution of the day with major front-end damage on Lap 14.
After Ambrose once again brought the field back to racing, the race stayed clean until teams began pitting under the green flag. Kevin Harvick then took the lead following the first round of stops.
The yellow flag came out for the third time as Michael McDowell blew out a tire on Lap 35. Shortly after returning to green-flag racing, the red flag was brought out in a four-car wreck on Lap 40 that involved Travis Kvapil, Ron Fellows, Tomy Drissi, Landon Cassill and Victor Gonzalez Jr.
Ambrose took the lead once the race restarted and maintained it until a caution on Lap 60 came out when Aric Almirola smashed into the tire barrier. Teams made pit stops under caution, and the field was shuffled.
With Ambrose stuck in traffic, Busch took the lead with just over 20 laps to go. Another yellow flag was brought out on Lap 78 and turned the race into a closing-lap shootout.
The hope of a clean finale was shattered with just 10 laps left as Kasey Kahne and the No. 5 car got sideways and collected the No. 88 of teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., as well as Jeff Burton, Alex Kennedy and David Ragan.
Just as the green flag came out once again, Ambrose was turned around coming up the hill. The wreck included Brian Vickers and Max Papis. After the final restart of the day, Busch emerged to win the race.
2013 Sprint Cup Standings
|Rank||Driver||Points||Behind||Starts||Wins||Top 5||Top 10||DNF||Laps||Laps Led|
|6||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||670||138||22||0||5||12||2||5735||94|
|10||Martin Truex Jr.||625||183||22||1||5||9||2||5627||253|
*Complete standings found at ESPN.com.
Another wild race is in the books, and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves toward the Chase for the Sprint Cup as it travels to Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400. The next race will take place Aug. 18 at 1:16 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN.
Greg Biffle was the 2012 race champion.
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