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NASCAR At Watkins Glen: Issues For Juan Pablo Montoya, Kurt Busch, And Tony Stewart

The Finger Lakes 335 is a third of the way complete, and a trio of drivers expected to contend for the victory today have had problems.

Something in the rear of Kurt Busch's No. 51 Chevrolet broke right after Jamie McMurray crashed to draw the first caution of the race. The entire left-rear tire of Busch's car came off as he tried to limp back to pit road. Busch had a chance to win at Sonoma in June before breaking a rear swaybar. He still managed a third-place finish that day, but his car is in the garage as the team attempts to diagnose what has put them out of the race.

Tony Stewart, the all-time wins leader at Watkins Glen with five, was third when he pitted under the yellow for McMurray's accident. As he pulled away, the gas can was still attached to his No. 14 Chevy. Leaving pit road with equipment attached to the race car is grounds for a NASCAR penalty, and Stewart was forced to the rear of the field.

Most recently, polesitter Juan Pablo Montoya broke a lower control arm in the left front of his car on lap 33. Unlike McMurray, his Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing teammate, he avoided wrecking the car but the wheel was wobbling badly as he tried to limp to the garage.

While those three are having issues, Marcos Ambrose leads as he seeks to win his second consecutive event at the Glen. Stewart was the last driver to win consecutive races at the track, in 2004 and 2005.

Brad Keselowski holds second ahead of Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, and Martin Truex Jr.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.