Watkins Glen (WBNG BINGHAMTON) AJ Allmendinger earned his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win Sunday with some big moves late in the Cheez-It™ 355 at The Glen. During the final two laps of the race, Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose battled it out until AJ got around him the Chicane and took the lead.
“I was hoping to make it boring, honestly,” Allmendinger said. “I wanted to lead all 90 laps and just have a cruise control. But that’s what makes the Sprint Cup Series so fun. You know you’re not going to get that.”
It was anything, but boring with Allmendinger leading 30 of the 90 in his 212 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start.
The victory was a huge for the one-car JTG Daugherty Racing team, it is the first time that they have been eligible from the Chase for the Sprint Cup title.
Polesitter Jeff Gordon led for the first 29 laps, falling back to second and eventually losing power to finish 34th after getting back into the race.
Yesterday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen winner, Ambrose restarted ninth in a few laps managed to capture third position on the final restart. He made it up to first only to fall to second after the battle with Allmendinger.
The Cheez-It™ 355 at The Glen saw six caution and two red flags. The second caution came out on Lap 52 following an accident exiting the carousel involving Michael McDowell, Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Alex Bowman and Danica Patrick. The red flag returned on Lap 86 when Denny Hamlin’s day ended in the first turn.
There are just four races until the field is set for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished 11th Sunday, now holds a five-point lead over Gordon in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.
(Courtesy: Watkins Glen International)