A.J. Allmendinger wins NCSC race at Watkins Glen

Published 08/10 2014 06:38PM

Updated 08/10 2014 06:45PM

Watkins Glen, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - A.J. Allmendinger became a first-time race winner in the Sprint Cup Series and virtually guaranteed himself a spot in the playoffs after holding off Marcos Ambrose in a two-lap shootout to the finish in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at the Glen at Watkins Glen International.

The final caution of the race for separate accidents involving Denny Hamlin and Alex Kennedy set up the green-white-checkered finish. Allmendinger and Ambrose battled hard on the penultimate lap, as both road-course experts ran side-by-side and bumped each other slightly multiple times.

Allmendinger pulled away from Ambrose on the final lap and then beat him to the finish line by 1.2 seconds. Allmendinger scored his maiden Sprint Cup win in his 213th career start. He also gave JTG/Daugherty Racing its first victory in the series.

Kurt Busch finished third, while rookie Kyle Larson placed fourth. Carl Edwards, who won the first road-course race of the 2014 Sprint Cup season in June at Sonoma Raceway, was fifth.

Regan Smith drove Tony Stewart's car to a 37th-place finish at Watkins Glen. Smith, a Nationwide Series regular, substituted for Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet after he opted not to compete in this race following a tragic accident on Saturday night. Stewart struck and killed 20-year-old Kevin Ward Jr. during a sprint car race at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, which is located roughly 50 miles northeast of Watkins Glen.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Top Videos