2010-08-12 / Sports

Montoya Wins Easily At The Glen

By Gerald Hodges
THE RACING REPORTER

Juan Montoya Juan Montoya WATKINS GLEN, N. Y. – Juan Pablo Montoya smoked the rest of the field on his way to victory in Sunday’s Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen. He dominated the 90- lap race and finished over five seconds ahead of runner-up Kurt Busch.

“We had our problems, but we understood each other, and this is the result of a lot of hard work,” said Montoya.

It was Montoya’s first Cup win since 2007.

“We had a hard-fought battle,” said Kurt Busch. “We were right there in the mix. We slipped a lot, but it was a good run for us.”

Marcos Ambrose, the winner of Saturday’s Nationwide Series race, passed Montoya for the lead about midway of the race, but faded in the closing laps and was lucky to come in third.

“We lost the handle there at the end, and there was no way to fix it that late in the race,” said Ambrose.

The remaining top-10 finishers were: A.J. Allmendinger, Carl Edwards, Jamie McMurray, Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton, and Jeff Gordon.

Dale Earnhardt and his team turned in a poor performance, as he finished 26th.

“It was a terrible race, terrible car,” said Earnhardt. “No it was worse than that, it was awful.”

Jimmie Johnson hit the outside wall with 20 laps to go and finished 28th.

Denny Hamlin ran into Johnson’s wrecked car and wound up with a DNF. He was credited with a 37thplace finish.

Top-15 Chase contenders with four races remaining before the 12-driver Chase format begins: 1. Harvick-3210, 2. J. Gordon-3025, 3. Burton- 2895, 4. Kurt Busch-2892, 5. Johnson-2882, 6. Hamlin- 2872, 7. Kyle Busch-2866, 8. Stewart-2865, 9. Edwards- 2821, 10. Kenseth-2806, 11. Biffle-2743, 12. Martin-2641, 13. Bowyer-2631, 14. Newman 2558, 15. McMurray- 2547

Ambrose gets Nationwide win

Marcos Ambrose earned his third consecutive victory at Watkins Glen, as he dominated most of the race and pulled away from runner-up Joey Logano to win the Zippo 200 by nearly three seconds.

Though his future is uncertain, with his announced departure from JTG/Daugherty Racing for parts – or team – unknown, Ambrose drove immaculately Saturday afternoon in picking up his third straight NASCAR Nationwide Series victory at Watkins Glen International, winning from the pole.

“It was a wonderful day for us,” said Ambrose, who has not announced plans for next year, though the rumor mill says he’s likely to land in a NASCAR Sprint Cup ride at Richard Petty Motorsports. “We’ve had our troubles at JTG this year, and we’re parting ways at the end of the season, and this is a really fitting way to finish this thing off.”

Top-10 points leaders after 22 of 35: 1. Keselowski- 3509, 2. Edwards-3182, 3. Kyle Busch-3036, 4. Allgaier-2984, 5. Harvick-2774, 6. Menard- 2732, 7. S. Wallace-2626, 8. Bayne-2441, 9. Gaughan- 2420, 10. Leffler-2384

Todd Bodine rolls to Nashville Truck win

Todd Bodine tightened his hold on the Camping World Truck Series point standings with a dominant victory in the Nashville 200 at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday night.

But the veteran driver isn’t about to start celebrating his second truck series championship yet.

“No, not really. It can be lost,” Bodine said. “You can never count anybody out. Racing, you never know what’s going to happen. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing every week. If we take care of what we do and don’t worry about everybody else, we’ll be just fine.”

Top-10 points leaders after 14 of 25: 1. Bodine-2188, 2. Almirola-2014, 3. Peters-1956, 4. Sauter-1955, 5. Dillon-1900, 6. Crafton-1894, 7. Hornaday- 1875, 8. Skinner-1854, 9. Starr- 1773, 10. White-1706

Kentucky wins, Atlanta loses

Tradition continues to crumble in the world of NASCAR racing

Politics and Kentucky Speedway won.

Atlanta Motor Speedway will lose its spring race.

When the reshuffled schedule is announced in the coming weeks, the 1.5-mile track will pick up the date Atlanta had in March and begin its venture into NASCAR’s top series with an early July date.

“We’ve now gotten the word,” said AMS President Ed Clark. “It’s time to step back and refocus. A lot of tracks have one NASCAR event weekends and do very well. That’s what we intend to do.

“That’s one thing about this; great moments have occurred here, and that’s not going to go away. We’re going to make some more.”

At least Clark won’t have the headache of trying to sell tickets for a March date few wanted because the weather always seemed to be a factor.

“It’s a business decision,” Clark continued. “Are we happy about it? No, but we’re very supportive of the company. The most difficult thing for me was a lot of loyal people have worked a lot of years to build what we have.”

The Kansas City Star reported that Kansas Speedway will also be awarded a second date, beginning in 2011.

While Kansas Speedway President Pat Warren has not received formal notification from NASCAR, he said, “We fully expect when the schedule is announced, or when they at least tell us what our portion of the schedule will be, that we anticipate next year we will have two Sprint Cup races.”

Kansas’ receiving a second date is part of several changes to the NASCAR schedule that will be announced next week.

Auto Club Speedway, in Fontana, Calif., will relinquish one of its two Cup dates, and that’s apparently the one going to Kansas Speedway.

Chicagoland Speedway has scheduled a Monday news conference to announce it will move its July date to September and kick off the Chase for the Sprint Cup in 2011.

Weekend racing: The Sprint Cup and Nationwide teams are at the 2-mile Brooklyn, Mich., track, while the Camping World Trucks are at the historic Darlington Motor Speedway.

Sat., Aug. 14, Nationwide Series Carfax 250, race 23 of 35; starting time: 1 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2.

Sat., Aug. 14, Camping World Series Too Tough To Tame, race 15 of 25; starting time: 7 p.m. ET; TV: Speed.

Sun., Aug. 15, Sprint Cup Carfax 400, race 23 of 36; starting time: 1 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN.

Racing trivia question: Ken Schrader continues to race in the Truck series at the age of 55. What year did he win the Sprint Cup rookie of the year?

Last week’s question: Where is Robby Gordon’s home state? Answer. He is from Bellflower, Calif.

You may contact the Racing Reporter at: hodgesnews@ earthlink.net

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