Watkins Glen Winners and Losers

W.Glen Int'l

Kyle Busch was the big winner at The Glen, coming away with his third victory of the season. (Photo: Getty Images)

The second road-course race of the Sprint Cup Series season was great for some drivers while others were all twisted up at Watkins Glen International.

Winners

Kyle Busch – The frustration of not winning Watkins Glen the last two years finally is gone for Busch after he was able to stay ahead in the closing laps for Sunday’s victory.  As is usually the case for Busch, the triumph wasn’t without some controversy thanks to contact with Martin Truex Jr. in a late battle for the top spot.  But "Rowdy" won’t be losing any sleep over it.

Brad Keselowski – Yes, second place can be looked at as the first loser.  But in the case of Keselowski, as disappointed as he was in not being able to pass Busch on the final lap, he’ll take the runner-up performance.  It’s still hard to believe the defending series champion hasn’t won for nearly a year, but Keselowski’s Watkins Glen effort will go a long way in his quest at a second title run.

Carl Edwards – Not a flashy outing by Edwards by any means but sufficiently solid to keep him firmly in the Chase picture.  At some point, Edwards and the Ford camp are going to have to figure out how to win races but for now, a third-place run at The Glen will be good enough.

Juan Pablo Montoya – Some were saying anything less than a win for Montoya at Watkins Glen would be a letdown.  The way this season has gone for the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing driver, the top-five run was pretty close to a victory.

Watkins Glen International – One of the largest crowds in track history - and of the 2013 season overall - jammed the historic Upstate New York road course on Sunday afternoon.  Hats off to the fans that turned out and to the track for continuing the renaissance of one of the sport’s treasured facilities.

Losers

Marcos Ambrose – The Richard Petty Motorsports team banked on good runs and possibly wins at Sonoma and Watkins Glen to put Ambrose in contention to make the Chase.  After falling flat in Sonoma last June, Ambrose wound up with a miserable day at The Glen despite dominating the first half of the race and looking like he would run off to a third straight win at the track.

Jeff Gordon – Should Gordon miss this year’s Chase, he can point back to his early exit via a crash at The Glen as the final culprit.  Gordon has had an up-and-down season, to say the least, and with only four races left to make the playoffs, the "downs" are winning.

Kasey Kahne – One week you’re standing in Victory Lane and the next, your car looks like an entry in the World Figure 8 Championships at Islip, New York.  That was Kahne’s Watkins Glen fate when he was knocked out of the race in a vicious crash with teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr.

And speaking of Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Road-course racing is not high on the list of favorite things to do for "Junior."  After his hard crash Sunday, it probably dropped down a little further.

Aric Almirola – The overall forgettable day for RPM wasn’t exclusive to Ambrose.  Almirola made a spectacular exit from the race when he crashed nose-first into a tire barrier and completely buried the No. 43 Ford.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.

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