Sprint Cup Series regulars dominated the Zippo 200 at The Glen NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on Saturday, occupying the top-five for much of the race and then claiming all five spots in the top-five finishing order. Leading the way was Marcos Ambrose, who led 48 laps in the 82-lap race on his way to claiming his fourth-straight win in the last four Nationwide Series races he has entered at the Glen.
Joey Logano ran second to Ambrose for most of those laps led, but was passed by Kyle Busch with six laps remaining. As a result, Busch finished second, relegating Logano to third. Brad Keselowski finished fourth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five.
“Monster Energy Camry was good, probably good enough (two win),” Busch said. “Just never had track position.”
Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott was the highest finisher among Nationwide championship-eligible drivers, finishing sixth, despite a pit road penalty early in the race when his crew went over the pit wall too early.
With his top-10 finish, Elliott increased his points lead over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith that was a minuscule two points heading into the race. Smith struggled on pit road and then got caught up in an on-track skirmish with Dylan Kwasniewski. He wound up finishing 17th.
Keselowski started on the pole and led the most laps early, although, Logano did get by him for the lead once. As Keselowski and Logano raced for the lead in the opening laps, Busch and Ambrose battled for third. The two got together and both spun on lap six, losing several positions. When the first yellow flag waved on lap 11, Ambrose and Busch were among the drivers who pitted, so when the field cycled through stops around lap 20, Ambrose and Busch stopped for fuel only.
Spending less time on pit road, Ambrose and Busch were first and second for a restart following a caution that came out on lap 26. Ambrose then maintained the lead for the duration of the race, except for laps led by others during the final cycle of green-flag pit stops.
Despite being a mainstay up front from that point on, Ambrose didn’t take a possible win for granted.
“I knew it wasn’t over, that’s for sure,” Ambrose said. “I had my tongue hanging out all day.”
Logano got by Busch for second on the restart and ran second to Ambrose until Busch retook the spot in the final 10 laps.
“We were the car to beat,” Logano said. “We were good on the short run, better than Marcos.”
Elliott Sadler finished seventh, Ty Dillon was eighth, Paul Menard ninth and Brian Scott was 10th.