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8.12 WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL
2011 RECAP Australia's MARCOS AMBROSE, who had three Nationwide Series wins here, earned his first Cup victory and the first for Richard Petty Motorsports since '09.
TRACK FACT In 119 Cup races over the past four years, Ambrose has 12 top five finishes. Four of those came at the Glen, where his average finish is a Cup-series-best 2.2.
EYE ON 2012 The best road-course racer in NASCAR is Juan Pablo Montoya. The former F1 champ won here in 2010 and has led laps in three of the last four Cup races.
WALTRIP "It's a fast course that flows well. There's a couple of short chutes where you can make passes. For stock cars, Watkins Glen is the better of the two road courses we go to."
8.5 POCONO RACEWAY
2011 RECAP BRAD KESELOWSKI made his tires last, staying out during a late caution. He left Pocono 18th in the standings, making him Chase eligible as a wild card.
TRACK FACT Last summer Pocono founder Joseph Mattioli stepped away at age 86, transferring controlling interest in the facility to his three grandchildren.
EYE ON 2012 It's the start of the final stretch of the regular season, so the intensity level usually ratchets up at Pocono. Drivers will take more chances, which leads to more wrecks.