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Ambrose finally gets to victory lane

Fortunately Reutimann was able to exit the #00 in surprisingly decent shape despite the dramatic aerial exhibition, although he later showed off the rip in his firesuit where debris had penetrated at the shin. Ragan was looking bruised and battered when he limped away from the #6 and headed to the ambulance, calling on NASCAR to insist on the installation of SAFER barriers at the Glen rather than the old fashioned metal and tyre arrangements.

"It's a shame that a race track we go to in 2011 doesn't have a better wall design all the way around the race track, so hopefully they'll look at that. I've been to some dirt tracks that have better walls than that," Ragan said.

"I'm okay, I'm sore. That was a hard hit. I looked down at my feet and my pedals and my leg rests were all pushed over," he continued. "I felt like I had Boris clear and I think he got a little better run that we did and he just hooked us. He certainly could have given a little more of a break and we all could have gotten through there and not torn up anything. But he was aggressive and we were all aggressive. He hooked me and I hit hard."

Meanwhile, Ragan's Roush Fenway team mate Greg Biffle got involved in a heated altercation in pit lane with Boris Said, the driver who had triggered the explosive last lap crash after contact with Ragan - although their confrontation appeared to be over a clash from last year's race at the Glen rather than anything that happened on Monday.

"I went over there to go talk to [Biffle], and he wouldn't even let me get out of the car. Throws a few little baby punches and then he runs away and hides behind some big guys," said Said after the race. "He's the most unprofessional little scaredy cat I've ever seen in my life. He won't even fight me like a man. ... I'll go see him Wednesday at his house and show him what he really needs. He needs a freakin' whoopin' and I'm going to give it to him."

Said was complaining that Biffle was "flipping me off, giving me the finger, totally unprofessional" during the final part of the race even though Biffle was two laps down at the time. "He won't hide from me for long. I'll find him. I won't settle it out on the track – it's not right to wreck cars – but he'll show up with a black eye one of these days. I'll see him somewhere."

"Boris Said and Greg Biffle had a few problems, and Boris wanted to settle it with his fists," Said's crew chief said wryly.

Meanwhile, further round the track it suddenly dawned on Marcos Ambrose that he was at last a Sprint Cup race winner, in a thoroughly deserved and hard-fought victory and that he was finally heading to victory lane as the fifth first-time winner in the 2011 Cup season.

"We just had a really good combination of balance," Ambrose said after the race. "We didn't have any exceptional spots on the race track, we just had even balance across the whole circuit, and I was able to look after the rear tyres."

“I've sacrificed so much to get here and to finally win and be here in Victory Lane in the Cup Series is a dream come true," he said. "This win is for her and the whole Petty family. Richard and everyone else who gave me the chance, thank you very much.

Despite his maiden win, Ambrose still looks highly unlikely to make it into the Chase as he's in 22nd position - outside the top 20 means that he's not eligible for a "most race wins" wildcard. Instead, the big winner in Chase terms this week was Brad Keselowski, who climbs to 14th position in the Sprint Cup points standings and is currently top of the wildcard list with his two race wins.




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