That meant Ambrose was in the lead for the final restart on lap 72 and he was able to hold off his rivals to the chequered flag, this time making no last-turn mistakes and finally taking the Montreal victory he'd been looking for over the last four years. All that despite starting from the back of the grid and not taking part in a single lap of practice before the green flag.
"It has been a heck of a day!" said Ambrose. "Started with the Cup practice in Michigan at 10 this morning, a helicopter ride, a plane ride here, another helicopter ride, then a boat ride to finally jump in another race car to come in and finally
win this race!"
The NAPA Auto Parts 200 win is Ambrose's fourth in Nationwide in 75 starts, all of the wins having come on road courses. He's the 13th different winner in the 24 races of the 2011 season so far.
Behind Ambrose, Michael McDowell strayed onto some oil quick-dry dust that had been laid down on the track following Gordon's problems, which allowed Alex Tagliani to slip past him to regain and this time keep second position. It was an excellent showing for the open-wheel racer who only last weekend was racing in IndyCar at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and who has only three Nationwide Series runs to his name. Tagliani's previous best result in the Nationwide series - also at Montreal - had been a lowly 26th place.
"I've very proud, very thankful for all the help I had from Penske Racing," said Tagliani. "It was great to drive the Hot Wheels Dodge this weekend here in Montreal."
Steve Wallace and JR Fitzpatrick finished in fourth and fifth place just ahead of Scott Speed and Carl Edwards. Danica Patrick finished down in 24th place with a suspected broken axle, while Jacques Villeneuve never recovered from that mid-race battle with Ambrose and finished in 27th despite leading the most laps of the day.
Canadian driver, stunt performer and model Maryeve Dufault finished a respectable 30th place in her series debut albeit five laps down, despite harmless spins on laps 13 and 67, and a more serious one on lap 15 that triggered the first caution of the afternoon when she rolled across the track and was hit by Trevor Bayne.
There were additional cautions for Louis Philippe Dumoulin crashing on lap 41, Boris Said running off at turn 10 and getting stuck in the gravel on lap 51, a crash for Alex Kennedy in turn 8 on lap 56 that also caught up Timmy Hill, and debris on lap 61.
Among the other incidents that didn't require a yellow were Andrew Ranger pulling off with a blown engine on lap 24; Bayne running off road on lap 25 and damaging the rear end of the Wood Brothers #16; Ricky Stenhouse Jr. spinning on the penultimate lap but still managing to keep the Nationwide points lead by eight over Elliott Sadler; and Steve Wallace going three-wide across the grass through the final turn of lap 55 that ended with Carpentier getting spun out.
"Me and Carpentier were racing really hard," Wallace said. "I got underneath him, I tried to outbrake him. He crowded me. I got loose, and I spun him out."