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NASCAR: Allmendinger takes 1st Sprint Cup career win at Watkins Glen

In another close battle to the finish that has become the signature of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race at Watkins Glen, A. J. Allmendinger, driving the No. 47 Scott Products Chevrolet, the JTG Daugherty racing team's one car, ended up taking home the Corning glass trophy in his first career win in the series on Sunday, August 10. Marcos Ambrose, driving the No. 9 Stanley Ford, and who won the race consecutive years in 2011 and 2012, fought hard, took first for a bit, then got edged out to come in second.

NASCAR: Allmendinger takes 1st Cup career win at Watkins Glen
WGI and CMOG; used with permission.
NASCAR: Allmendinger takes 1st Cup career win at Watkins Glen
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Both Allmendinger and Ambrose tested days earlier at the Glen. "I was hoping to make it boring, honestly," Allmendinger said of his first Sprint Cup victory in over 200 attempts. "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."

The win gives JTG Daugherty Racing their first opportunity to enter the Chase championship series of races at the end of the season.

Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide series Zippo 200 winner, Ambrose restarted ninth but 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. Allmendinger praised Ambrose for the clean fight.

Jeff Gordon, the polesitter, started out strong, leading the race for the first 29 laps, before a power issue stopped his car. After losing several laps while that was fixed, he managed to get back in the race and finished 34th. The drop-back cost him in the overall championship points for the season. While he had been leading for several weeks, Gordon is now four points behind Dale Earnhardt, Jr. with 769 to Earnhardt's 773, according to NASCAR.

Last year's Cheez-It winner, Kyle Busch, placed 40th, and Brad Keselowski, one of the trio of drivers closely contending the finish at the Glen over the last few years with Ambrose and Busch, finished 40th on Sunday.

Regan Smith, who stepped in for Tony Stewart at the last minute after the latter driver withdrew from the race following his involvement in a fatal tragedy on a nearby dirt track Saturday night, suffered an accident and finished 37th.

This year's race saw six caution and two red flags, according to Watkins Glen International. The first red flag 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.

After Watkins Glen, just four races remain in the regular season before the Chase to the championship.

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