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Derrike Cope's car explodes at Watkins Glen

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"We were about a 10th-place vehicle, and we were going to get a top-five day out of it", Larson said. "I think for our trip this time, it's all about getting adjusted to the new asphalt, the new grip level and the new tire combination". "I can't tell you how disappointed I was that we didn't win the first one".

Tires were the big question mark entering Sunday's Cheez-It 355 at the Glen. "That was really unfortunate and the last thing I wanted to see". This weekend will also feature Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart (nine Watkins Glen wins between them) looking to add one more to their ledgers.

Kyle Busch (No. 18) finished in sixth, Jamie McMurray (No. 1) in eighth, Trevor Bayne (No. 6) in ninth and Matt Kenseth (No. 20) rounds up the top ten finishing in tenth.

Stewart, who has a record five wins at Watkins Glen, is one road victory behind Gordon. "It sucks when it's anybody in racing, it's hard when you lose them, but it's even worse when they're somebody as close to you as Bryan was", Stewart said. He finished second at Martinsville earlier this year, so he'll need to hit Victory Lane, otherwise he won't make the Chase for the second straight year. Allmendinger finished fourth, but Larson dropped to 29th, with his Chase hopes taking a serious blow.

"It didn't get any better throughout the day", Hamlin said.

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"I'm looking forward to the noise because it's like nothing else in any other sport", Sean Connors said. "I guess (Keselowski) kind of races with that mentality, that 'Hey, it doesn't really matter where we finish or if we finish, ' so I just have to be mindful of that when we're around him for the rest of the time".

With four regular season races remaining before the playoffs, Larson is tentatively holding the final transfer position.

Chris Buescher, last week's unexpected victor at Pocono Raceway, made up half of the six-point deficit that stood between him and a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. He and Kyle Busch went wide on a turn later and Denny Hamlin overtook them. I thought we were going to hit a couple walls but he kept me on the road like he promised and it was great.

The cars aren't equipped with speedometers, so drivers have to downshift and judge their RPMs (usually aided by lights on the dash) to maintain a legal speed. We had just as many wins at this point a year ago.

Joey Logano (12) leads the pack during the NASCAR Xfinity series auto race at Watkins Glen International, Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016, in Watkins Glen, N.Y. "Really can't have more days like that if we're going to try and get in that top 30, but proud of them for their efforts to get it turned around". He gave up the lead to his Team Penske teammate, Keselowski, to pit during the yellow flag. The four-time series champion was in his third start replacing Dale Earnhardt Jr., who sustained a concussion at Michigan International Speedway in June and is out indefinitely.

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