The Monster Energy cup Series goes road racing on this first weekend in August when the travel to Central New York and the Finger Lakes area to Watkins Glen International and the I Love New York 355.
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Road race expert Boris Said will run his final NASCAR race before a sell out crowd as he hangs up the helmet after 31 years of racing.
For the second week in a row NASCAR has enacted a two day event with the Monster Energy Cup drivers qualifying on the same day as the race.
After two rounds of qualifying with a time of 69.49 Kyle Busch will sit on the pole and bring the field down for the green flag. Busch won the Xfinity race on Saturday for his first career Xfinity win at Watkins Glen. This is Kyle Busch’s third pole in a row at Watkins Glen.
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Denny Hamlin did not make a run in the second round with brake issues. In an interview he noted that they will probably have to replace the brakes and start the race at the back of the field.
Clint Bowyer also did not make a second round run reporting a brake issue.
Only 37 teams brought cars to Watkins Glen for the race.
The starting lineup for the I Love New York 355:
Martin Truex Jr
Denny Hamlin – moved to the back of the field for a brake change
Clint Bowyer – moved to the back of the field for a brake change
Paul Menard – moved to the back of the field for unapproved adjustments
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ryan Newman – moved to the back of the field for unapproved adjustments
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Gary Klutt – moved to the back of the field for unapproved adjustments
Boris Said – moved to the back of the field for unapproved adjustments
Matt DiBenedetto – moved to the back of the field for unapproved adjustments
Stages one and two of the race will last 20 laps each with stage three lasting 50 laps for a total of 90 laps around the track.
Rochester, New York native and Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm performed the National Anthem for today’s race.
Trevor Bayne comes down pit road before the green flag waves with a possible brake issue.
When the green flag drops Kyle Busch gets out in front of the field for the lead and begins to pull away.
AJ Allmendinger gets off the track and loses several spots as the drivers get sigle file through the field.
Lap three and Kyle Busch has already pulled out to a lead of a second and a half over Kyle Larson.
Lap five Kyle Busch has increased his lead to over two and a half seconds on Martin Truex Jr who passed Kyle Larson for second.
Lap seven, Kyle Busch is running away with the lead; he now has a lead of over three and a half seconds on Martin Truex Jr.
Trevor Bayne is in the garage for brake system repairs.
Lap eleven Kyle Busch maintains a lead of over three and a half seconds on Martin Truex Jr.
Trevor Bayne has returned to the track 10 laps down.
After starting in the rear of the field, Clint Bowyer has moved up 14 spots on lap 12.
Boris Said gets off the track in a backup car.
Erik Jones blew through the interloop and had to come to a complete stop before rejoining the field.
Daniel Suarez become the first driver to come down pit road to make a green flag stop before the end of the stage.
Dale Earnhardt Jr is reporting some issues with his car with some sort of engine issue.
Kyle Busch wins stage one with a lead of over four seconds. It is his ninth stage win of the season.
By Tomás Del Coro from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – Kyle Busch 18 and Harvick 4, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58159825
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road, but some drivers stayed out on the track after pitting early.
Kyle Busch makes a second trip down pit road, reporting a possible loose wheel. A lug nut was stuck between the caliper and the wheel.
Joey Logao had a slow stop on pit road and lots 15 spots on the track.
Chase Elliott brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 24 with Chase Elliott edging out Kyle Larson for the lead when Larson gets off the track.
Lap 25 Chase Elliott has a lead of over half a second on Jamie McMurray.
Dale Earnhardt Jr has taken his car to the garage.
Kyle Larson and Jamie McMurray come down pit road for service. Jamie McMurray’s team has tire issues and lost a lot of time and spots on the track.
On lap 27 Dale Earnhardt Jr becomes the first driver out of the race.
Lap 29 Chase Elliott has a lead of over three seconds on Daniel Suarez.
Lap 31 Chase Elliott gives up the lead to come down pit road, giving the lead over to Daniel Suarez who has a one second lead over Mat Kenseth.
Lap 35 Daniel Suarez’s lead over Matt Kenseth is down to just under a second.
After getting around Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr sets his eyes on Daniel Suarez on lap 38.
Kevin Harvick is on pit road for service and looking to improve his car’s handling.
On the final lap of stage two, Martin Truex Jr is on lead Daniel Suarez’s bumper.
Monster Energy Cup rookie Daniel Suarez gets his first stage win of the season.
By Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=43117400
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Maritn Truex Jr
Daniel Suarez brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 44 but Martin Truex Jr edges out Daniel Suarez for the lead and pulls away from the field.
Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski get together spinning out and getting off the track but the race stays green.
Kyle Busch brings his car down pit road for tires and to pull out the fender. Busch is not happy. This is not the first time the two drivers have tangled.
Lap 47 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly three seconds on Ryan Blaney.
Lap 48 Martin Truex Jr has increased his lead to over three seconds on Ryan Blaney. Kyle Busch is back in 34th place.
A tire on the track from Landon Cassill’s car brings out the first on track incident caution flag of the race. Brad Keselowski was about to come down pit road for service when the caution flag came out.
With 39 laps remaining in the race, it is outside the predicted fuel load of every driver.
Once pit road opens the teams bring the cars down for service. Kevin Harvick and Brett Moffit make contact on pit road causing some damage to the nose of Harvick’s car.
Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 55 and pulls out in front of the field.
Lap 56 Danica Patrick spins out but the track stays green. Brad Keselowski has a lead of less than half a second on Jamie McMurray. Keselowski cannot make it to the end with his current fuel load and must save fuel in order to make it to the end of the race.
Lap 59 Clint Bowyer gets around Jamie McMurray for second. Martin Truex Jr is on Jamie Mac’s bumper battling for third. Brad Keselowski is still out in front of the field.
Martin Truex Jr gets around Jamie McMurray for third and on lap 61 Truex gets around Clint Bowyer for second as he sets his sights on lead Brad Keselowski. Keselowski’s lead is nearly a second.
On lap 63 Martin Truex Jr catches and passes Brad Keselowski for the lead of the race.
Lap 66 Martin Truex Jr has a one second lead on Brad Keselowski.
Lap 67 Kyle Busch has moved through the field after the on track incident with Brad Keselowski and is now in the top 10 in eighth place.
Lap 70 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly two seconds on Brad Keselowski. His crew chief reports that Keselowski is some six laps short of being able to finish the race on fuel.
Lap 74 Martin Truex Jr has a second and a half lead on Brad Keselowski.
Fifteen laps to go Martin Truex Jr is still leading the field, Joey Logano has come down pit road for two tires and fuel.
With 14 laps remaining in the race Brad Keselowski catches and passes Martin Truex Jr for the lead of the race.
Several of the drivers are in a fuel conservation mode, hoping to save enough fuel to finish the race.
Lap 80 Brad Keselowski has pulled out to a lead of over two and a half seconds on Martin Truex Jr.; but how much longer can he stay out on the track?
Chase Elliott and Kasey Kahne come down pit road for fuel.
Lap 82 Ryan Blaney catches Martin Truex Jr and passes to take over second place.
Lap 83 Brad Keselowski has a lead of over five seconds on Ryan Blaney.
Lap 85 Kyle Busch comes down pit road for a splash of fuel.
Lap 86 Jamie McMurray comes down pit road for a splash of fuel.
Lap 86 Brad Keselowski comes down pit road for a splash of fuel giving the lead over to Ryan Blaney.
Lap 87 Ryan Blaney is out of fuel. Martin Truex Jr becomes the leader of the race. Ryan Blaney makes his way to pit road for a splash of fuel.
Brad Keselowski was caught driving through too many pit boxes on pit road.
Martin Truex Jr takes the white flag with Matt Kenseth in second.
Martin Truex Jr wins the race after his fuel saving plan, and even has enough left for a burnout to celebrate the win. This is Turex’s fourth win of the season.
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The unofficial results of the I Love New York 355:
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Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Dale Earnhardt Jr