Marcos Ambrose looks to defend his 2011 crown at the Finger Lakes 355 at the
Glen this Saturday, but he'll have to go through the likes of Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart to do it.
Gordon is coming off a big win in the Pennsylvania 400, whereas Stewart has
emerged victorious in this race a record five times since 2002, most recently in
2009. Gordon is right behind him with four wins at the Glen.
When Ambrose won last year at the Glen, it was his first-ever Sprint Cup
victory, and he became one of just two drivers in history to become a first-time
winner on the road course.
Here's where and when you can catch Sunday's Sprint Cup action.
Where: Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen,
When: Sunday, August 12 at 12 p.m
Starting Order: Qualifying will be held on Saturday at 11:30
a.m. ET. You can see it live on ESPN2.
Finger Lakes 355 Practice: Friday, August 10 at 12 p.m. ET, SPEED
Finger Lakes 355 Practice: Friday, August 10 at 4 p.m. ET, SPEED
Finger Lakes 355 Qualifying: Saturday, August 11 at 11:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Finger Lakes 355: Sunday, August 12 at 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
He may have the momentum right now, but this season hasn't been an easy one
for Gordon, who has experienced far more than his fair share of bad luck.
According to the Sporting
News, that included a flat tire at Darlington, a blown engine at the Daytona
500 and many more unfortunate turns.
That's why he's going to be so fired up for this weekend's race at the Glen,
where he's had an impressive history of success. Now that his season finally
seems to be turning around, he's going to be more eager than anyone to make the
luck last-especially now that seizing a wild-card berth into the Chase for the
Championship is firmly within his grasp.
Of course, that means the pressure is on, too, because if his luck turns
downward again, he can bid his Chase chances farewell.
In last year's race, Busch came in third behind Ambrose and Brad Keselowski,
but he's going to need to do a lot better than that if he has any hopes of
making it into the Chase.
This season, Busch has one win, and like Gordon, he's been on the bad side of
luck lately-see last weekend's crash at Pocono for evidence. But if his season
is going to turn around anywhere-and in time for the Chase-it will be at the
Glen. According to the Corning
Leader, Busch has averaged a 5.33 finish in his last six starts at the
course, disregarding his rookie season, when he finished 33rd.
Who's your pick to win?
Jeff Gordon Kyle Busch Marcos Ambrose
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18.4% Total votes: 217
Who's your pick to win?
Does Stewart really have a shot at making it a whopping six wins at the Glen?
Maybe-but he's going to have to erase last year from his memory if he hopes to
have a chance of winning this year's race.
In 2011, Stewart finished a career-worst 27th at the Glen after losing
control of his car on the final lap, according to the Star
Gazette's Andrew Legare. He has a history of success here, so pushing
last year's struggles out of his consciousness shouldn't be too difficult-and
it's also completely necessary. He, like so many others, badly needs a win to
push himself into contention for a spot in the Chase, via the Star
Predicted Winner: Jeff Gordon
He's had almost as much success here as Stewart-the all-time leader in wins
in this event-and plus, he has the momentum, coming off his victory at the
Pennsylvania 400. He'll carry that over into this weekend's showdown and tie
Stewart for five wins at the Glen.