NASCAR at Watkins Glen 2014 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights and Reaction

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NASCAR at Watkins Glen 2014 Results: Winner, Standings, Highlights and Reaction
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After yet another wild run at Watkins Glen International that featured a red flag that lasted over an hour, it was AJ Allmendinger and the No. 47 team that stole the show and the victory at the 2014 NASCAR Cheez-it 355 at The Glen.

With only four remaining races until the Chase for the Sprint Cup, Sunday’s win locked up Allmendinger's spot in the championship hunt. This was also Allmendinger's first career Sprint Cup Series win. Bob Pockrass of Sporting News was among many to acknowledge that the 32-year-old earned it.

Marcos Ambrose and the No. 9 car finished second, and Kurt Busch finished third. Kyle Larson and Carl Edwards rounded out the top five. Meanwhile, notables like Dale Earnhardt Jr. (11th) and Danica Patrick (21st) failed to crack the top 10.

Tony Stewart, who was involved in an accident that resulted in the death of Kevin Ward Jr., per a county sheriff press release obtained by The Charlotte Observer, did not compete in the race. 

2014 Cheez-it 355 at The Glen Results
Finish Driver
1 AJ Allmendinger
2 Marcos Ambrose
3 Kurt Busch
4 Kyle Larson
5 Carl Edwards
6 Joey Logano
7 Kevin Harvick
8 Greg Biffle
9 Matt Kenseth
10 Brian Vickers
11 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
12 Kasey Kahne
13 Martin Truex Jr.
14 Jamie McMurray
15 Casey Mears
16 Austin Dillon
17 Justin Allgaier
18 Aric Almirola
19 David Ragan
20 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
21 Danica Patrick
22 David Gilliland
23 Reed Sorenson
24 Denny Hamlin
25 Boris Said
26 Nelson Piquet Jr.
27 Clint Bowyer
28 Jimmie Johnson
29 Landon Cassill
30 Joe Nemechek
31 Michael Annett
32 Paul Menard
33 Alex Kennedy
34 Jeff Gordon
35 Brad Keselowski
36 Alex Bowman
37 Regan Smith
38 Josh Wise
39 Ryan Truex
40 Kyle Busch
41 Ryan Newman
42 Michael McDowell
43 Cole Whitt

Source: NASCAR.com

Perennial road-course contender Jeff Gordon started the race on the pole and led the first 10 laps before the caution flag flew. Cole Whitt and his No. 26 smashed into the tire barrier and forced the cars back into a double-file restart.

The field ran several green-flag laps without incident, but teams began employing pit strategy shortly after by bringing drivers in early. After a complete round of green-flag pit stops, it was Ambrose who overtook Gordon on Lap 33.

On Lap 42, Brad Keselowski reported issues with the brakes in the No. 2 car. He is always a threat to win at Watkins Glen, but he was forced into the garage later in the race to make changes to the car. He finished 35th.

Keselowski used his mid-race down time to tweet:

The second caution of the day came out when Gordon, who was running second at the time, suffered a complete power failure. Car owner Rick Hendrick stated on the ESPN broadcast that it was a battery connection problem that the team went on to diagnose and correct.

It wasn’t long after the next restart that the biggest accident of the day took place. Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman made contact coming out of Turn 7, which directed the Newman's No. 31 car into the wall and back into traffic. Michael McDowell tried to avoid the wreck, but he was struck in the rear and sent into the wall hard.

The huge crash brought out the red flag.

The race went back to green with 32 laps remaining, and Allmendinger and the No. 47 car took the lead. Ambrose was stuck in traffic during the restart, but he looked like the strongest car in almost every corner.

Lap 78 brought out the caution flag once again when Josh Wise crashed into the grass, and the restart brought Allmendinger and Ambrose back together. Immediately after the race restarted, Jimmie Johnson was spun and the yellow flew again.

With just six laps remaining, Ambrose made a pass to take the lead, but Allmendinger regained first place as the red flag flew once again for two separate crashes involving Denny Hamlin and Alex Kennedy.

When the green flag fell, Allmendinger was the winner. 

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
Rank Driver Points
1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 773
2 Jeff Gordon 768
3 Matt Kenseth 703
4 Brad Keselowski 696
5 Joey Logano 671
6 Carl Edwards 658
7 Jimmie Johnson 650
T8 Kevin Harvick 645
T8 Ryan Newman 645
10 Kyle Larson 635
11 Clint Bowyer 634
12 Greg Biffle 626

Source NASCAR.com

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series' next stop sends drivers and their teams to Michigan International Speedway next week for the Pure Michigan 400. The race will take place Sunday, Aug. 17, at 1 p.m. ET and be televised on ESPN.

Is AJ Allmendinger a serious championship contender?

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Jimmie Johnson won the first Michigan race of 2014, and Joey Logano won the 2013 Pure Michigan 400. Each of these elite drivers should be considered favorites heading into next Sunday’s 400-mile battle.

While Earnhardt Jr. hasn’t been consistent at Michigan, he has found success when he finishes the race. After breaking his 143-race winless streak with a victory at Michigan in 2012, Junior has found his rhythm at the track.

With precious few races remaining before the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup officially begins, teams are already shifting their attention from the road course at Watkins Glen to the two-mile oval in Michigan.

 

*Stats via NASCAR.com. 

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