Jeff Gordon was ready to take his 10th road course victory Sunday at Watkins Glen. It would have been the "road course king's" first win at the New York course since 2001 -- a remarkable stat considering his success on the left and right handers.
He was also looking to take a lead in the seeding points for the Chase for the Nextel Cup after Richmond, breaking a tie with teammate Jimmie Johnson.
Lap 89 in corner one changed all that.
Gordon looped the No. 24 after he got into the tight right-angle turn a little hot and wheel-hopped the race car. Stewart, less than a second back, charged past while Gordon hustled the car back in gear before settling to a ninth-place finish.
For Stewart, his race had suddenly come full circle as the No. 20 rolled to the victory. Around the halfway mark, Stewart slid into the same corner and lost almost 20 spots.
He, though, had time to make it back to the front, unlike the 4-time champion. The last-minute drama continued on the last lap with Carl Edwards charging to get around Stewart, but the Ford driver slipped two corners from the finish and wound up in the kitty litter run-off, but didn't get stuck.
Edwards held on long enough to stay 8th, just in front of Gordon in 9th.
That ending however, wasn't the sole thrilling moment though.
Richard Childress driver Kevin Harvick and Ganassi racing driver Juan Pablo Montoya held par for the most of the day in the top-10 until 20 laps to go came.
Montoya blocked Truex, Montoya spun into Harvick after contact from Truex, and the two of the them finally tried to duke it out -- helmets still on in full force outside the cars in turn one.
ESPN really couldn't have asked for more with the near-fight that ended up being a nice national news-worthy scuffle and an impressive finish that not a single person would have expected. With Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s engine expiring, they'll also have a huge advertising blitz Junior's fight to get back in the Chase, especially with the latest setback.
We, as fans though, could start a similar program to TGOM's "Blaniancs" contest that will feature Rusty Wallace's closest dismissal date from the ESPN booth.
Now that would be drama. Kinda like Gordon spinning with two to go.