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Marcos Ambrose wins again at the Glen

Marcos Ambrose won the Finger Lakes 355 Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen after surviving a thrilling final lap showdown with Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski.
Marcos Ambrose went into the final lap of the the Finger Lakes 355 in third position. At times over the next seventy seconds, he and the other leaders came perilously close to outright disaster on a treacherous track made slick by oil from a backmarker. But when the dust finally settled, Ambrose had clinched the win in one of the most thrilling climaxes to a NASCAR Sprint Cup race all season.

"It was just absolutely crazy at the end," admitted the Australian, who won his first NASCAR Cup race right here at Watkins Glen exactly a year ago. "It just feels so good to be back in Victory Lane ... It just feel so good. This year is pure joy. It's a great day."

Despite concerns about showers in the area, the race started on time at 1.20pm local time. Polesitter Juan Montoya didn't get to turn a single lap in the lead and was immediately passed in turn 1 by fellow front row man Kyle Busch, who went on to lead 43 of the 90 laps of the race and claim the bonus point for most laps led.

"We got the last two poles and I did think we had a car to win today," said Montoya. "We kind of bogged down at the start and Kyle got us."

From the jubilation after qualifying on Saturday, it was to prove to be another disappointing race day for Montoya. He was able to maintain position behind Busch over the first stint, but was off the pace after the first round of pit stops with a mechanical failure.

"I think it was the lower control arm," Montoya said while the team effected repairs. "We got a good pit stop and got ahead of [Busch]. It was looking really good; everything like it was going according to plan. The car started getting really tight and all of a sudden I hit a curb and the car went completely left on me."

Montoya did get back out but was far off the lead lap by the time he rejoined. He was just one of a number of cars that seemed to get beaten up by the Watkins Glen curbs, with other casualties including Montoya's Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team mate Jamie McMurray, Joe Gibbs Racing's Joey Logano, Michael Waltrip Racing's Brian Vickers and Phoenix Racing's Kurt Busch.

"We don't know if a tyre went down or what," said McMurray of his exit from the race on lap 25 which brought out the first caution in the middle of the initial round of pit stops. "It just happened all of a sudden. The tyre blew out and we hit the guardrail [in turn 4] pretty hard."

"I felt it about 10 laps before that caution," said Logano of his own problems. "I felt it bouncing really hard in the rear. It ended up ripping the whole mount, the whole shock mount right out of the chassis."




Related Pictures

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Brad Keselowski leads Marcos Ambrose as both cars skid through the grass in the backstretch chicane on the final lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series` Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International. (Photo Credit: By John Harrelson, Getty Images for NASCAR)
Team owner Richard Petty hugs Marcos Ambrose after the Australian driver`s second straight Watkins Glen International victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images)
Kyle Busch spins in the #18 after contact with Brad Keselowski in Turn 2 as Marcos Ambrose lurks on the final lap of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series` Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland, Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Johnson advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS races to win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory with his daughter, Ella Sofia Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, lead the field to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover sInternational Speedway on September 26, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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Buster - Unregistered

August 13, 2012 10:58 PM

It would be interesting to ask NASCAR followers what they found more exciting. The Watkins race or slip stream racing at Daytona. That was what racing is all about. v8 supercars take note. There doesn't need to be a penalty given for hard racing.



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