WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Slipping and sliding around oil-spattered Watkins Glen International on the last lap and fighting for the lead, Marcos Ambrose and Brad Keselowski didn’t know what lay around the next turn.
“It was absolutely chaos at the end,” Ambrose said. “I had really burned off the brakes. I couldn’t figure out where it (the oil) was coming from. It was just absolutely crazy at the end.”
Ambrose finally passed Keselowski heading to the final turn in a stunning fender-banging duel to win the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International for the second consecutive time.
The oil had been spewing from the No. 47 of Bobby Labonte and ruined the day for Kyle Busch, who seemingly held a commanding lead heading to the white flag of the Finger Lakes 355.
“In the end, nobody knew what was going on,” said Richard Petty, owner of Ambrose’s No. 9 Ford. “They were slipping and sliding off the race track. Marcos might have known a little bit about it, but the rest of us didn’t. Marcos stayed with it all day. Everything fell our way.”
It didn’t for Busch, who led 43 laps.
“Kyle hit the oil,” said Dave Rogers, crew chief of Busch’s No. 18 Toyota. “The 47 broke. You can see him, he just went by smoking.
“He left oil down all over the track. Kyle hit the oil and it allowed the 2 (Keselowski) to get to us.”
Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., finished sixth, and Enumclaw’s Kasey Kahne was 13th.
Skidding around the 11-turn, 2.45-mile layout, Ambrose and Keselowski battled side by side. Both even went into the grass in the inner loop but kept charging.
Ambrose slipped again in turn 10, but Keselowski couldn’t drive past. Neither gave ground, and Ambrose forged ahead on the final turn, another hard right-hander, and turned away Keselowski’s final charge on the outside.
“I must have hit the oil one more time and he didn’t,” Keselowski said. “I thought I had him.”
Entering the race, Ambrose had one win and had never finished lower than third in four starts at The Glen.