12 August 2013
Watkins Glen: Busch wins after Ambrose denied 'three-peat'
"I was trying to just get through there," chipped in Kahne. "There were some openings there. I'm not sure what happened. I know I got hit in the left-rear. I know the #9 was there and the #20. I don't know how it all happened because I haven't seen it. I felt like I was kind of over on my side of the road, but I would have to see it to know for sure."
Once he did review the incident, Kahne was distinctly unhappy with Kenseth - and with the whole JGR team, given that he's previously crashed after three run-ins with Kyle Busch so far in 2013. "Headed to Joe Gibbs racing to talk to whoever will come out front #that's4" he posted on Twitter, to which Denny Hamlin - the only JGR driver not to have had an incident with Kahne so far in 2013 - replied: "I'll talk to you my friend."
For his part, Kenseth explained that after running wide out of turn 1 he'd been left three-wide at the top of the hill, unable to get back in line. "I went to get back on the track and there's no room to get back on,” Kenseth said. "I didn't know where I was supposed to go. I'm trying to get back on the track, me and Marcos hit a little bit.
"I was trying to carry my momentum so I didn't have four more cars pass me, and I just lost control of my car and went across and I guess somebody was outside of me," he added. "I guess it was Kasey. That part was my fault."
The race got back underway with six laps remaining, and the green barely lasted any longer this time than it had the last: and this time the cause was non other than pre-race favourite Marcos Ambrose, who had been worried about track bar issues and had also reported as having a left rear tyre going down by Harvick who had been running behind him. Harvick avoided the Australian's subsequent spin in turn 3 which occurred after contact with Max Papis, but Brian Vickers was the innocent bystander who ended up taking a piece of the wrecking action.
"The guy was sideways going up the hill," said Papis. "I touched him I turned him, not on purpose obviously. I think that something broke in the back of his car, I guess. Pretty weird deal. It was not a good thing."
"I'm just really disappointed," said Ambrose. "Something was wrong with the car there and I just couldn't get going. I could feel on the roll-around lap that something had broken, but I just feel bad for the guys who got caught up in all that mess. That's not the way we wanted our day to finish ... We had a very fast car, but it just wasn't our day."
All that mayhem seemed to have sated much the field's desire for the usual last-lap turmoil at the Glen, and once the race resumed with two laps to go the race went full distance without further cautions. The laps under yellow had relieved the fuel situation and once Kyle Busch nailed the restart and fended off Brad Keselowski's final bids for the lead he was able to make up some of the disappointment of last year's so-close near miss, which had left ill-feeling between the two drivers after Keselowski knocked him aside on the final lap in a race eventually won by Marcos Ambrose.
"I commend Brad for doing a better job this year at bringing home a cleaner race," said Busch. "I think what saved the race probably for us was just the launch I got out of the carousel. I got about a two-car-length gap on him getting down into Turn 6, kept it about a half-car gap through 6, and then on 7 he was on me. If he was any closer getting into 6, he probably could have out-broke me and probably doored me or whatever and been able to pass me.
"It was just run as hard as you can, drive your car, try not to worry about what's behind you, whatever happens happens, and we'll deal with it," he added. "We ran really hard there those last couple laps. I just couldn't get away from him. My car wouldn't turn through the corners as well as I needed to. I just couldn't get the front tyres to bite, and so he could catch me through the corners, but the braking zones and exiting the corners I felt like I was really strong on and could get away from him.
"It was fun, and glad it worked out the way it did," he added. "For me, anyway!"
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
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