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The Top 5 Best Races at Watkins Glen

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Joshua Lipowski

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NASCAR returns to the Finger Lakes region this weekend with a race at Watkins Glen International. One of the most historic and iconic road courses in the United States, "The Glen" has hosted some incredible NASCAR races during its' history. Here are the five best.

NASCAR returns to the Finger Lakes region this weekend with a race at Watkins Glen International. One of the most historic and iconic road courses in the United States, “The Glen” has hosted some incredible NASCAR races during its history. Here are the five best.

5. 2018 Go Bowling at the Glen: Chase Elliott’s First Win

Chase Elliott had close call after close call as he tried to win his first career Cup Series race. However, he always ended up in second or losing the lead in the closing laps. In 2018 at Watkins Glen, Elliott was the class of the field, leading 52 laps.

However, Martin Truex Jr. was closing in, and Elliott missed turn one on the final lap. Elliott fought off the challenge, and Truex Jr. ran out of fuel to give Elliott the win. Elliott ran out of fuel as well on the last lap, and he got a push from his teammate and future Hall of Famer Jimmie Johnson after the win.

4. 2007 Centurion Boats at the Glen: Tony Stewart Spin and Win

Tony Stewart was on a hot streak during the late summer stretch of 2007, and one of his best tracks, Watkins Glen, was coming up. Stewart spun out early in the race, but he found his way in second with two laps to go. Polesitter, Jeff Gordon, was leading the race heading into turn one.

At that point, Gordon wheel hopped into turn one, and he spun out. Stewart took the lead over second-place Carl Edwards. As Edwards shot into the gravel trap on the final lap, Stewart took home his third win of the season.

3. 2011 Finger Lakes 355: Marcos Ambrose 1st Career Win

After rain postponed the Watkins Glen race to Monday, it was a race between Kyle Busch, Marcos Ambrose, and Brad Keselowski. Ambrose hounded Busch for the final few laps, but a caution came out for Paul Menard getting into an accident.

This set up an overtime finish, where Busch would overshoot turn one to hand the lead to Keselowski. Keselowski would lose the lead to Ambrose in the inner loop, and two separate accidents on the final lap brought out the caution. That was all, and Marcos Ambrose won his first career Cup Series race.

2. 2014 Cheez-It 355: Road Course Ringers Battle for a Playoff Spot

In the first year of the modern “Win and you’re in” system, road course races took on higher priority for road course ringers. A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose fit that bill, and they battled to the bitter end at Watkins Glen in 2014. Allmendinger was looking for his first career win after being suspended only two years prior, and Ambrose was looking for his third win at Watkins Glen in four races.

The two battled hard as a wreckfest of a race continued. In the end, it was Allmendinger who would take home the win after getting the better of Ambrose on a late restart. It was also the first win for JTG Daugherty Racing in the Cup Series.

1. 2012 Finger Lakes 355: Marcos Ambrose Slips and Slides his Way to a Win

Just like in 2011, it was Ambrose, Busch, and Keselowski battling for the win at Watkins Glen. In the final laps, oil was dropped onto the tracks by an ailing car, and the top three began slipping and sliding. Busch lost his advantage, and he was spun by Keselowski in the esses.

For the final half-a-lap, both Keselowski and Ambrose swapped the lead while slipping and sliding around. Eventually, Ambrose got just enough traction off the final corner to get the win. it was his second consecutive win at the Glen.

Watkins Glen has had some incredible races in its history. Will this weekend add to it?

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Picture of Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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