This past weekend, Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York hosted the Sprint Cup Series Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen and the Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at The Glen. The Camping World Truck Series returns to action with the VFW 200 on August 18th at Michigan International Speedway.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Juan Pablo Montoya received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award. He put up a lap of 127.020 mph, a new track qualifying record, to start up front. This is the No. 42 Chevrolet driver's ninth pole in 203 NSCS races. This is his second consecutive pole and third top-10 start in 2012. It is Montoya’s first pole in six races at Watkins Glen International. He led one lap, suffered parts failure in the front-end, and was credited with a 33rd place DNF. He dropped one spot to 22nd in the point standings.
Did Not Qualify:
NONE, only 43 cars entered.
Marcos Ambrose won the Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen, his second victory in 141 NSCS races. This is the No. 9 Ford driver's first victory and sixth top-10 finish in 2012. It is his second victory and fifth top-10 finish in five races at Watkins Glen International. Ambrose, who won this event last year as well, moved up one spot to 17th in the 2012 NSCS point standings.
Rookie of the Race:
Stephen Leicht, the No. 33 Chevrolet driver, started 39th and finished 26th. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Rookie of the Race award. Leicht, who made 10 of the 22 races so far this season, moved up two spots to 41st in the points.
- Kyle Busch won the $5,400 3M Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps (43 of 90). He started the No. 18 Toyota second in the lineup and finished seventh. He is 14th in the point standings.
- Toyota Racing Development won the $5,000 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award (Busch’s No. 18).
- Brad Keselowski won the $5,000 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award for recording the fastest average speed on restarts and finishing the race on the lead lap. He started the No. 2 Dodge fourth, led 37 laps and finished in second place.
- Marcos Ambrose’s crew chief, Todd Parrott, won the DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race award. The $5,000 cash award is presented to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race finish for each event. Menard started the No. 9 Ford fifth and won the race.
- Matt Puccia, crew chief on Greg Biffle’s No. 16 Ford, won the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award. The $5,500 award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from the first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times (improved 0.519 seconds). Biffle started 15th and finished in sixth.
- Travis Kvapil won the $5,000 USG Improving the Finish Award which goes to the driver who improves the most from start to finish. Kvapil started the No. 93 Toyota 42nd in the lineup and improved his finish 18 places to 24th. He is currently 31st in the point standings.
- Clint Bowyer won the $5,000 Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal. Bowyer’s No. 15 Toyota finished fourth in the race.
Jimmie Johnson leads the point standings by 1 point over Greg Biffle. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was the standings leader heading into WGI, spun with a couple of laps to go and finished a lap down in 28th place.
NSCS Top 12 (G/L):
1. Jimmie Johnson +3
2. Greg Biffle +1
3. Matt Kenseth -1
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -3
5. Brad Keselowski +2
6. Martin Truex Jr. -1
7. Clint Bowyer +3
8. Tony Stewart -2
7. Brad Keselowski +2
9. Kevin Harvick 0
10. Denny Hamlin -2
11. Kasey Kahne 0
12. Carl Edwards 0
Next NSCS Race:
Pure Michigan 400, Sunday, August 19th at Michigan International Speedway
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NASCAR Nationwide Series
Sam Hornish Jr. received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award at Watkins Glen International with a qualifying lap of 122.454 mph in the No. 12 Dodge. This was his first career pole in 54 NNS races. Hornish made his second NNS start at The Glen. He led 15 laps, finished third and moved up one spot to third in the 2012 point standings.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 26 John Young, No. 52 Ryan Ellis, No. 08 Louis-Philippe Dumoulin and No. 00 Derek White.
Sprint Cup regular, Carl Edwards, won the Zippo 200 from second in the lineup. It is his 38th victory in 245 NNS races. The 38th win for Carl Edwards makes him solely third on the all-time NNS wins list breaking a tie with Kevin Harvick. This is the No. 60 Ford driver's first victory and third top-10 finish in eight NNS races at Watkins Glen International.
Rookie of the Race:
Jason Bowles, the No. 81 Toyota driver, started 27th and finished 17th. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award. Bowles is currently 13th in the 2012 NNS point standings.
- Jason Bowles makes the most improvement in the series since his 17th place finish was 12 places better than his last NNS finish. This earned the No. 81 Toyota driver a $2,600 check and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award.
- Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet, won the $2,000 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal. He started the race in eighth and finished in ninth place.
- Carl Edwards won the $2,200 3M Lap Leader award as the eligible driver leading the most laps (9 of 82) in the No. 60 Ford.
- Penske Engines won the $2,100 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. They built the engine in Brad Keselowski’s No. 22 Dodge. He started ninth and finished in second place. Keselowski, a Sprint Cup regular, is ineligible for points in this series.
Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 13 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NNS Top 10 (G/L):
1. Elliott Sadler 0
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +1
3. Sam Hornish Jr. +1
4. Austin Dillon -2
5. Justin Allgaier 0
6. Michael Annett 0
7. Cole Whitt 0
8. Mike Bliss 0
9. Brian Scott 0
10. Joe Nemechek +1
Next NNS Race:
NAPA Auto Parts 200, Saturday, August 18th at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:
Timothy Peters leads the point standings by 8 points over Ty Dillon.
Next NCWTS Race:
VFW 200, Saturday, August 18th at Michigan International Speedway.