WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — Three years ago AJ Allmendinger didn’t want the second Sunday in August to end, so he lingered in victory lane at Watkins Glen International to soak in the atmosphere with his crew.The victory on the road course stamped the Los Gatos native as a threat to win every time NASCAR’s Cup series visits the two twisting layouts on the schedule.With the playoffs looming, he’s 27th in points and needs a victory to qualify for the postseason as the series stops at The Glen, his best shot left to produce that needed result.If there’s any added pressure, he says he doesn’t feel it.Honestly, said Allmendinger, who drives the No. 47 Chevrolet for JTG Daugherty Racing.“The racetrack will always be special, obviously, being my first win, reliving those memories,” said Allmendinger, an expert road racer from his days in open-wheel racing.Ambrose had been dominant in NASCAR’s top two series at The Glen, winning two straight Cup races and four straight events in the second-tier series.The previous year Allmendinger also won on the road courses at Elkhart Lake (Wis.) and Mid-Ohio in NASCAR’s second-tier series, but success at the top level has been elusive.“This year, we’ve been a little off on speed kind of everywhere we’ve been to,” said Allmendinger, who has one top-five finish and four top-10s in 21 starts this year.Xfinity practice on Friday gave a handful of Cup regulars a chance for extra time on WGI’s 2.45-mile layout as they prepared to race in Saturday’s Zippo 200 with an eye toward Sunday.“There’s so much a feel of, ‘I’ve got to get it done, I’ve got to win this thing,’” said Wallace, a two-time winner at The Glen who will work the race as an analyst for the Motor Racing Network.
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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — If Kyle Busch seemed to take a bit longer to take his customary bow after a NASCAR victory, it was understandable.Busch recovered from a spinout and a pit road penalty and survived a late restart to win the Zippo 200 on Saturday, his first triumph at Watkins Glen International in the Xfinity series and 90th in his career.Busch topped the Penske Racing duo of Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski and easily beat them on a restart with three laps to go.Busch has also won 39 Cup races and 48 Truck Series races for 177 overall NASCAR wins.
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Jordan Spieth needed only three holes to leave a strong cast of challengers wondering what it’s going to take to catch him in the Northern Trust at Old Westbury, N.Y. Spieth ran off three straight birdies on the back nine at Glen Oaks Club and finished with a pair of pars for a 6-under-par 64, matching the low score of the tournament and building a three-shot lead over Dustin Johnson. It was the second straight day that Spieth filled his card with birdies on the easier back nine at Glen Oaks — a 30 on Friday, a 31 on Saturday.
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Northern Californian Alexander Rossi overcame a mechanical malfunction on pit road to notch a big victory. IndyCar points leader Josef Newgarden wasn’t so lucky. Rossi, of Nevada City (Nevada County), used a stroke of good fortune to win the IndyCar Grand Prix at The Glen on Sunday from the pole, leading just over half of the 60-lap race and easily holding off four-time series champion Scott Dixon over the closing laps at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International for his second career victory. His first one came last year in the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.