The second Car of Tomorrow race at a road course proved to be one of the most exciting races Watkins Glen has ever seen. In the end, Tony Stewart overcame an early spin and benefited from a Jeff Gordon spin to bring in his third win of the season and his fourth career win at The Glen.
It was clear from the drop of the green flag: Gordon and Stewart had the best cars on the track. Between the two of them, they led 95% of the race. In the closing laps, it looked as though Gordon had the race well at hand but with two laps to go, Gordon spun out going into turn 1, giving the lead and the eventual win to Stewart.
"Just driving hard and over drove it into 1," Gordon said after the race. "Just stupid. I wanted that win really bad."
Gordon would wind up finishing 9th.
A little earlier on in the race, Stewart spun out in almost the same exact place that Gordon did, putting him back to 19th place.
"We had to do as hard a job as anyone," Stewart said. "We just had to hope Jeff made a mistake and that's what happened. The good lord was with us today."
But, believe it or not, there were bigger and brighter fireworks during the race. With 18 laps to go, Martin Truex Jr. spun Juan Pablo Montoya into Kevin Harvick, putting both drivers out of the race. After the wreck, Harvick parked his car in front of Montoya's. Both drivers got out of their cars and a shoving match ensued.
"I was talking about kicking his ass 'cuz thats how I felt about it," Harvick said when he was asked what was said between him and Montoya.
"He [Truex Jr.] just hit me and spun me from behind while I was braking going into 1," Montoya explained. "When I went to Kevin and said it wasn't my fault, he started grabbing me and I didn't appreciate that. When it's not my fault, he shouldn't come push me around. I have no respect for him anymore."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. didn't get into a fight on the track but he probably punched something when he got out of his car after his engine blew while he was in second place.
"Just too many downshifts this weekend," he said. "During the race, we were doing good on downshifts but during practice we were really bad. We just beat it up too much."
The 42nd place finish dropped Junior from 13th to 14th in the points standings. It was his fifth DNF of the year and his fourth DNF that came as a result of engine problems.
"If we make the chase fine, if we don't, fine," said his crew chief, Tony Eury Jr. "But I'm proud of Junior. He drove his butt off today."