Kyle Sees Victory Slip Away on Last Lap
Team Interstate Racing Wrap-up for Aug. 11-12, 2012:
For Kyle Busch, the Finger Lakes 355k NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race was reflective of a perplexing and frustrating season. Busch led the most laps and had the dominant car on the 2.45-mile road course at Watkins Glen International, and he maintained a 2-second lead going into the final lap.
Then victory slipped away — literally.
Another car’s engine started dripping oil on the track. NASCAR didn’t see it and did not call a caution to slow down the field. Busch slowed to navigate through the slick turns when he was hit from behind by Brad Keselowski and sent into a spin.
“[Kyle] was obviously frustrated that we sat on the front row [and] we led the most laps,” Crew Chief Dave Rogers told NASCAR.com. “I thought that we had the car and the driver to win with three [laps] to go, but you always know something can happen.”
Busch managed to salvage the day with a seventh-place finish, his 10th top-10 result of the season and his seventh in eight career starts at Watkins Glen. Marcos Ambrose went on to win the race.
With round 22 of 36 complete, Hamlin leads the Team Interstate trio in the championship point standings. He dropped two spots to 10th with 693 points, 84 behind new series leader Johnson and 40 points ahead of 11th-place Kasey Kahne. Busch improved one spot to 14th with 638 points, 139 out of first and 55 behind 10th-place Hamlin. Logano fell one position to 18th with 587 points, 190 away from the top spot and 106 behind 10th.
Only the top-10 in points are locked into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, which begins Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. Just four races remain before the cutoff for the 12-driver, 10-race Chase. Chase positions 11 and 12 are wild cards , awarded to the two drivers between 11th and 20th in points who have the most wins. In the event of multiple drivers having the same number of wins, a driver’s point standing serves as the tiebreaker.
Kahne holds the 11th-place wild-card spot thanks to his two victories, the most of any driver outside the top-10. Newman vaulted into the 12th-place wild-card spot by virtue of his April 1 win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and his 13th position in the point standings, higher than his fellow single-race winners in the top-20 – Busch, Jeff Gordon, Ambrose and Logano.
Either Busch or Logano can earn a wild-card spot by grabbing another victory in the next four races or by climbing into the top-10 in points.
AMA Motocross: Millsaps Has Solid Finish in Return
Davi Millsaps made his return from injury as the lone JGRMX/Toyota/Yamaha Team rider at Moto X 338 in Southwick, Mass. Kyle Regal who helped the team earlier during the outdoor season, is now fielding his own program on a privateer Yamaha.
Moto X 338 is named for the American Legion Post that owns the historic track, which hosted the motocross event for the 40th time Saturday. Southwick is the only sand track on the circuit, making the course especially grueling to both rider and machine.
Millsaps began the first moto inside the top 10 and was riding very well given the layoff during injury and the conditions, which became even more treacherous when a steady rain began falling just before the halfway point. On lap seven, he suffered a brief fall in a corner but quickly remounted and finished seventh. The weather improved for the second moto; however, the track was rutted and rough from the earlier rain. Millsaps began the race just out of the top 10 and steadily advanced throughout the moto to finish sixth. His combined and consistent 7 – 6 scores gave him fourth overall for the day, just one position from an overall podium in just his first race back.
Next week: NASCAR returns to Michigan International Speedway, with Busch sporting the Interstate Batteries® colors once again. He won at Michigan last August and is hungry for another victory. AMA Motocross travels to New Berlin, N.Y., next Saturday, and NHRA Drag Racing returns with the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minn.
- NASCAR faces criticism for not throwing caution flag on final lap at Watkins Glen (aol.sportingnews.com)
- Another Bad Brake for Kyle (blogbattery.com)
- Preparing for Watkins Glen (joegibbsracing.com)