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Ambrose: 'Cup win is a dream come true'

The latest first-time winner in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, Australia's Marcos Ambrose, was celebrating getting into victory lane for the first time at Watkins Glen International.
The weekend in US motorsports turned out to be a tale of two Australians: in IndyCar, you had one very angry Queenslander in Will Power. But over in NASCAR less than 24 hours later you had one ecstatic Tasmanian by the name of Marcos Ambrose. Who was - wait for it - standing in victory lane. At last!

"It's just a dream day," he said at the winner's press conference. "Winning in the Cup series is just an incredible feeling and I'm very, very proud."

It hadn't come easy, that's for sure. "I drove pretty much 100 percent the whole day and it's not often you need to do that around this place," he agreed. "With the rain imminent and the fog imminent, the strategy all messed up with fuel strategies, you never knew who was gonna be in the lead, you had to go the whole time ... It was frantic. It was tough all day. It seemed everytime I looked in my mirror there was someone there."

The shifting strategies meant that Kyle Busch led the most laps in the race, and was still in front going into the final laps. Ambrose had to charge him down - and then find a way past him.

"I had a run at him and had a couple chances and he locked up a tyre and I missed a shift and locked up my tyres and got all frazzled, so I was cooling everything back down to have one more shot at him," he said. "I knew the laps were winding down, but he was struggling. He was fighting his car. I could see that he was really loose up over the esses. I was gonna have another shot at him. If I was within three or four lengths coming into the last brake zone, I was gonna go through him to try to win."

The game changed when Paul Menard hit the wall and caused a late caution, throwing the race into a green-white-chequered situation.

"On the restart, I tried to actually blend in behind him because I knew I was never gonna outbrake the #18," he said. "He was gonna just saddle up in there trying to win the race and that's exactly what he did, but I couldn't find a hole, so I kind of got stuck into turn one and just saddled off in there and tried to make a hole, which worked out for me."

Busch ended up overrunning turn 1 and and lost the lead to Brad Keselowski - who, ironically, was the driver that Ambrose had been shooting the breeze with in the motorhome on the wet Sunday afternoon. "And there we were, the two of us, duking it out for the victory.

"I got through the bus stop really good and just forced the issue on him. I never touched him, I don't think, but I got him aero-free and I was able to slide past," said Ambrose of the penultimate lap before a major wreck involving David Ragan and David Reutimann brought out an early chequered before Keselowski could regroup and fight back.




Related Pictures

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NASCAR Officials wait in the rain for the start of the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen on Sunday, August 14 before the race was officially postponed until Monday. [Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images]
Heluva Good! Senior Vice President of Operations, Scott Blake, waves the Green Flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 15 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. [Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images]
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, and A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #43 Best Buy Ford, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 15 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. [Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images for NASCAR]
David Reutimann crashes the #00 Aaron`s Dream Machine Toyota into the wall after an incident in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 15 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. [Photo Credit: Getty Images/NASCAR Media]
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 15 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. [Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Stanley Ford, poses in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 15 in Watkins Glen, N.Y. [Photo Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman and Michael McDowell wreck at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates with the chequered flag at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates in victory lane at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose lead the field to a restart at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger leads Marcos Ambrose at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates with a burnout after winning at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger takes the chequered flag to win at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates in victory lane at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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Sailor - Unregistered

August 17, 2011 2:04 AM

Well done Marcos, you now join Mario Andretti and Juan Pablo Montoya as the only non North American drivers to win in premier class Nascar. Hopefully this is the breakthrough to more wins and a climb up the rankings.



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