Watkins Glen: Marcos Ambrose race report

AMBROSE TAKES FIRST NASCAR WIN AT WATKINS GLEN Marcos Ambrose has scored his first NASCAR win with victory in the Zippo 200 at the Watkins Glen International road course in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in New York state today. Ambrose is the...

AMBROSE TAKES FIRST NASCAR WIN AT WATKINS GLEN

Marcos Ambrose has scored his first NASCAR win with victory in the Zippo 200 at the Watkins Glen International road course in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in New York state today.

Ambrose is the first Australian to earn a NASCAR victory and his historic feat on the 2.45-mile road course lifts him into the top 10 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings.

Tomorrow, Ambrose will look to repeat today's effort when he races in the top-tier NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen in the #21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion of Wood Brothers Racing.

Since leaving Australia to pursue a career in NASCAR, Ambrose has made 83 NASCAR starts -- 22 in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, 59 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and two in the top-flight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Next year Ambrose will race full-time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with JTG Daugherty Racing. Today's win is the first for this team since former NBA star Brad Daugherty bought into the team and the first victory for the operation since 23 August 1996 when Jeff Fuller won the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway, also in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.

The Australian qualified in 12th position in the #59 STP Ford Fusion, and steadily made his way through the pack. He eventually got to the lead on lap 48 but immediately gave the lead up to pit.

With 12 laps to go Ambrose was in third position, but as the two cars ahead -- Jeff Burton and Jimmie Johnson -- ran low on fuel and were forced to pit in the latter stages, Ambrose's combination of car speed and smart pit strategy came to the fore and the 31-year-old from Launceston, Tasmania collected his debut NASCAR win.

Of the three road course event in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series, Ambrose has been the dominant driver, collecting third last weekend in Montreal, Canada, second earlier in the year in Mexico City and victory today in Watkins Glen.

Ahead of tomorrow's Centurion Boats at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Ambrose was fastest in the first practice session held today and third fastest in the other, a positive sign for Ambrose as he looks to carve through the field from the 43rd and final starting spot in the #21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion of Wood Brothers Racing.

Ambrose won today's Zippo 200 over four seconds ahead of Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Next weekend the NASCAR Nationwide Series holds its 25th event of the season at Michigan International Speedway.

-credit: jtgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Burton , Matt Kenseth , Jeff Fuller , Jimmie Johnson , Marcos Ambrose , Kyle Busch
Teams JTG Daugherty Racing , Wood Brothers Racing