The Glen should be a blast

August, 8, 2007

Watkins Glen this weekend has more plot lines than a TV soap opera during sweeps month.

The usual story going into the New York road course race is whether one of the unrelated Gordons -- Jeff or Robby -- can beat Tony Stewart.

But this event has intrigue, mystery, possible redemption and a chance at making history.

Let's start with Robby Gordon, the protagonist in this little drama. Robby has a chance to thumb his nose at NASCAR and show he was wronged one week ago in Montreal.

Gordon's antics at the Canadian Busch race (doing a burnout at the finish line when he knew he didn't win, wrecking leader Marcos Ambrose and failing to line up where NASCAR told him to line up) earned him a one-race suspension in the Nextel Cup Series and a $35,000 fine.

Gordon had his reasons, like getting punted by Ambrose after the yellow flag was displayed. But Gordon has accepted his punishment and made amends by hiring Ambrose to drive a second car for Gordon's team this weekend.

So what happens if those guys are running 1-2 at the end on Sunday? Wouldn't that be fun to watch?

And don't forget about the other Gordon. Jeff feels he was wronged at Sonoma in June when a penalty forced him to start in the back at the Infineon road-course race.

Gordon finished seventh at Sonoma, but feels he could have won if not for the team penalty, which also cost him 100 points.

Next on the list of interest is Juan Pablo Montoya, who could make history this weekend by winning four road course races in one season. He already has victories in the Busch race at Mexico City and the Nextel Cup race at Sonoma, Calif.

Montoya could add two more this weekend. Saturday is his last Busch race of the year. Montoya could become the first Cup rookie to win both road courses races in the same season.

There's also a possibility that foreign drivers could win both the road course events. Canadian Patrick Carpentier, who finished second last weekend at Montreal, makes his Cup debut this weekend in the No. 10 Dodge for Gillett Evernham Racing.

Don't be surprised if things get rough. A few drivers thought Montoya was a little too aggressive at Sonoma, so payback could be a problem on Sunday.

He might want to avoid Stewart, who also believes he should have won at Infineon. Stewart would love to show Montoya a few road-racing tricks of his own. Stewart has won two of the last three and three of he last five Cup races at The Glen.

Kevin Harvick, who passed Stewart to win this event last year, has a chance to win his second road-course race in as many weeks with a victory Sunday. The antics up front by Robby Gordon and Ambrose last week enabled Harvick to steal a victory at Montreal.

While all these road-racing experts are going at it, another subplot is taking place between Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Penske Racing.

Four drivers for those two teams -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex Jr. at DEI, and Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman at Penske -- are competing for the final two spots in the Chase.

None of them have won on a Cup road course, but Truex won the Busch race at Mexico City in 2006.

All in all, this should be a road race to remember.

Terry Blount

ESPN Staff Writer



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