Snapshot: Cheez-It 355 at The Glen
August 09, 2014, Stu Hothem, NASCAR.com
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What: 29th Annual Cheez-It 355 at The Glen
Where: Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, New York
When: Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014
TV/Radio: ESPN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90
Distance: 90 laps (220.5 miles)
Time: 1 p.m. ET / Green flag: 1:19 p.m. ET
Pit Road Speed: 40 mph
Caution Car Speed: 45 mph
Fuel window: 33 laps
Average time: 2 hours, 21 minutes
On The Front Row | Full starting lineup
1. Jeff Gordon, Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevrolet (129.466 mph)*
2. Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty Motorsports No. 9 Ford (129.138 mph)**
*Gordon's 75th career pole (third all-time) was his third at Watkins Glen, tying Dale Earnhardt and Mark Martin for most at the road course.
**Ambrose set track record in the first round of qualifying at 129.491 mph. It was the 16th track record of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
Failed To Qualify
Fastest In Practice
First practice: Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing No. 4 Chevrolet (128.474 mph)
Final practice: AJ Allmendinger, JTG Daugherty Racing No. 47 Chevrolet (128.688 mph)
Best 10-Lap Averages
First practice: None
Final Practice: Paul Menard: 124.587 mph
Best Average Finish
Brad Keselowski, Team Penske No. 2 Ford (6.5)
Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty Motorsports No. 9 Ford (6.8)
Defending Cheez-It 355 at The Glen Champion
Kyle Busch, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota
Former Watkins Glen Winners In Field
Jeff Gordon (4); Marcos Ambrose, Kyle Busch (2); Kevin Harvick (1).
*Seven drivers with multiple wins -- and who cannot fall out of the top 30 in points -- have clinched spots in the 16-driver Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick.
*If a driver who has already won in 2014 goes to Victory Lane again, one-time winners in 2014 Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch will clinch a Chase berth.
*If Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman and Clint Bowyer win their first race of 2014, they could be high enough in points to clinch a spot. After Sunday's race, a clinching driver must be 193 points ahead of 31st place.
Carl Edwards, who won at Sonoma Raceway in June, will attempt to become the first driver since Kyle Busch to complete the Sprint Cup road-course season sweep. Busch won both in 2008. Before Busch, it was Tony Stewart in 2005 and another former series champion, Jeff Gordon, had back-to-back sweeps in 1998 and 1999 as part of a six-race road winning streak from 1997 at Watkins Glen through 2000 at Sonoma.
Win or Bust?
Marcos Ambrose goes for his third win in four races at the Glen, which would likely lock him into his first Chase. AJ Allmendinger's 9.2 average finish is his best at any Sprint Cup track and the best among active drivers without a Cup win. With five races left until the Chase, it represents one of their best chances to make the playoffs.
To the rear
After a "record horrible day" on Friday that included at least one engine change, Danica Patrick will start at the back of the field. Other drivers changed transmissions, which is allowed at road-course races, but NASCAR only allows teams to run one engine per race weekend.