Ambrose and Keselowski slip despite 1-2 finish
Marcos Ambrose was the primary recipient of an unusual phenomenon in the Castrol EDGE Rankings this weekend, as the spoils for once didn’t go to the victor.
NASCAR Sprint Cup’s visit to Watkins Glen threw up a thrilling last lap battle between Ambrose, Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch.
It was Ambrose who eventually triumphed, taking his second successive win at the circuit.
Keselowski finished second, having tapped Busch into a spin as he tried to dive down the inside on the final run through the first turn. The Joe Gibbs man finished seventh, having looked set to claim victory until oil eroded his lead with two laps to run.
While that contributed to the thrilling climax, it was also responsible, in part at least, for Ambrose’s Rankings fall.
The 35-year-old’s 2011 victory proved more dominant and therefore earned him a higher Castrol EDGE Rankings total – meaning that, even with his dramatic victory on the weekend, he lost ground.
As a consequence he slipped one spot to 49th in the Rankings, leaving him on the verge of slipping out of the top 50 just two weeks after breaking into the group for the first time.
The same phenomenon also held for Keselowski, who likewise slipped one spot despite finishing second.
The 28-year-old had also finished second in 2011, but that result also earned him a higher Rankings total than his 2012 equivalent- the upshot being a slide to 17th.
Busch almost made it a repeat of the 2011 podium order until his spin on the final lap.
Seventh place on the flag was not enough to prevent him tumbling down the order, as he fell five spots to 24th.
That loss was matched by Joey Logano, who dropped to 56th after finishing 32nd at Watkins Glen, having come home fifth in 2011.
Moving in the opposite direction were Matt Kenseth (11) and Greg Biffle (16), both of whom gained one spot.
Kenseth’s gains, the reward for a top eight result, carried him above Carl Edwards and onto the brink of the top 10.
Biffle meanwhile finished just ahead of Busch in sixth.
In the process he jumped Keselowski and moved right onto the tail of Kasey Kahne, who came home 13th.