WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Slipping and sliding around oil-spattered Watkins Glen International on the last lap and fighting for the lead, Marcos Ambrose and Brad Keselowski didn’t know what lay around the next turn.
It was absolutely chaos at the end, Ambrose said. I had really burned off the brakes. I couldn’t figure out where it (the oil) was coming from. It was just absolutely crazy at the end.
Ambrose finally passed Keselowski heading to the final turn in a stunning fender-banging duel to win the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International for the second straight time.
The oil had been spewing from the No. 47 of Bobby Labonte and ruined the day for Kyle Busch, who seemingly held a commanding lead heading to the white flag of the Finger Lakes 355.
Desperate for a win to move back into contention for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, Busch skidded sideways coming out of the first turn of the final lap. Keselowski’s No. 2 Dodge caromed off the side of Busch heading uphill through the high-speed turns and Ambrose followed Keselowski through as Busch spun to the side.
Busch slipped up big in Turn 1, said Keselowski, who suffered damage to the front of his car.
There was nothing he could do. We all checked up and Marcos was right on my bumper. We all just about spun out. We got to the inner loop, and again, nothing but oil.
Skidding around the 11-turn, 2.45-mile layout, Ambrose and Keselowski battled side by side nearly all the way around.
Ambrose slipped again in Turn 10, but Keselowski couldn’t drive past. Neither gave ground, and Ambrose forged ahead on the final turn, another hard right-hander, and turned away Keselowski’s final charge on the outside.
I must have hit the oil one more time and he didn’t, Keselowski said. I thought I had him.
Jimmie Johnson was third to gain the points lead by one over Greg Biffle. Sonoma winner Clint Bowyer and Sam Hornish Jr. were next, giving Dodge, which is leaving NASCAR at season’s end, two in the top five. Dale Earnhardt Jr. spun late and finished 28th to fall from first to fourth in points, 17 behind Johnson.