NASCAR's first ever race in the country of Canada did not disappoint.
Chaos broke out in the final laps of the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Saturday. With four laps to go, Robby Gordon got around Marcos Ambrose for the lead. Behind the two leaders, Kevin Harvick got into the side of Scott Pruett's 41 car, causing a huge pileup. The caution waved. Back up front, though, Ambrose spun Gordon out and went back to the lead. Under a lengthy caution, NASCAR scoring decided that Ambrose would be scored as the race leader and that Gordon would be scored in 17th. But Gordon did not budge. Instead, he remained in second place and on the restart, he spun the leader, Ambrose. Gordon was black flagged repeatedly but never served his penalty.
Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick cleared the smoke left behind by Ambrose and, although Gordon was in front of the field, Harvick was the race leader. He held off a hard charging Patrick Carpentier to win NASCAR's inaugural race in Montreal. After the race, three cars were doing celebratory burnouts: Harvick, who won the race, Gordon, who insists he won the race and the local favorite, Carpentier, who might as well have won the race. He finished second after starting from the pole in his Busch series debut.
"It got rough out there," Harvick said in victory lane. "That was more like Martinsville then a road course."
The win was Harvick's fourth of the season.
"We're going to appeal," Gordon said. "I completed all the laps. I won this race."
He had a case. Before he was spun by Ambrose, the caution flag was already flying. The field should have been frozen. He unofficially finished 18th. After the race, NASCAR officials were huddled around Gordon's car. Penalties and fines are likely to be forthcoming for his actions.
"I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed," said Ambrose. He finished 7th.
Series points leader, Carl Edwards was right in the thick of things in the final laps but he was several laps down. He broke a chassis bracket earlier in the race and spent some time behind the wall.