Marcos Ambrose took his second career win — and second in a row at Watkins Glen — with a victory in the Finger Lakes 355k. Ambrose took the lead from Brad Keselowski in turn 5, after Keselowski had bumped Kyle Busch from the lead in the esses. Jeff Gordon’s day took a negative turn on the final lap where he spun in oil and finished 21st.
Gordon started 12th and moved into the top-10 on lap 3. He moved to 8th on lap 9 and closed in on Ryan Newman for 7th place. After battling loose handling, Gordon came in for a green flag pit stop on lap 23. The first caution waved on lap 25 for Jamie McMurray’s blown tire and subsequent contact with the guard rail. Due to the earlier stop, Gordon stayed on the track and moved up to 4th place for the restart. The handling began going away and Gordon dropped to 6th on lap 35. His descent continued as he fell to 8th on lap 37, and dropped to 10th on lap 38. Gordon came to pit road for a green flag stop on lap 41. Gordon moved from 29th up to 16th before a caution for Denny Hamlin’s blown engine on lap 59.
Gordon came to pit road for chassis adjustments and restarted in 18th. A caution for Jason Leffler’s engine with 26 to go slowed the field. Tony Stewart’s spin into the pit road guard rail brought out the caution with 20 to go. With 12 laps to go, Gordon moved up to 16th place. With 5 to go, he took 11th place from Martin Truex. Two laps later he moved into the top-10 with a pass on Paul Menard. However, he spun going for 9th place on the final lap and fell to 21st. Gordon is now out of the Chase wildcard spot, trailing Ryan Newman by 10 points, as well as Kyle Busch.
After battling into the top-10 in the closing stages, Gordon spun on the final corner of the race and dropped to 21st.
“Oil all over the racetrack. It’s pretty ridiculous that they don’t want to end a race under caution and put that many cars in jeopardy. I had no idea there was oil out there. I knew there was all kinds of havoc happening all around. I’m pretty bummed out right now. We didn’t have the day I thought we were going to have. I thought our car was a lot better than that. We started pretty good, but I knew something wasn’t right. We tried to make an adjustment and didn’t go the right way — went backwards. Alan and the guys made some adjustments during the last stop. We weren’t good on the restart, but man did it come on. We were passing cars left and right, I was having a blast. To work that hard all day long, to come all the way from way back to the top-10 and have it taken away because they didn’t want to throw a caution is pretty disappointing. I jumped out there to the outside of Matt Kenseth. I think he could see the oil because he just gave it to me. I went out there and there was no grip, it just came around.”
source: Jeff Gordon Online
[audio:http://www.scannerbytes.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/2012-08-12-Jeff-Gordon-Finger-Lakes-355k-Watkins-Glen.mp3|titles=2012-08-12 – Jeff Gordon – Finger Lakes 355k – Watkins Glen]
Sorry for the shortened audio this week. We lost our audio feed early in the race.