Watkins Glen: Marcos Ambrose Friday report

RAIN WASHES AWAY AMBROSE NEXTEL CUP DEBUT Marcos Ambrose has been denied his first NASCAR Nextel Cup start when rain caused the cancellation of qualifying for the Centurion Boats at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York today. Heavy rain saw ...

RAIN WASHES AWAY AMBROSE NEXTEL CUP DEBUT

Marcos Ambrose has been denied his first NASCAR Nextel Cup start when rain caused the cancellation of qualifying for the Centurion Boats at the Glen in Watkins Glen, New York today.

Heavy rain saw NASCAR officials forced to cancel qualifying for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race, with the starting order now determined by points standings.

Ambrose was looking to qualify the Kingsford Charcoal-backed #77 Camping World Ford Fusion based on speed, as being a new entry, it is not guaranteed a start by being in the Top 35 in Owner's Points.

Ambrose was one of 14 cars set to challenge for the eight 'open' starting positions in qualifying, however with the qualifying washout, the final grid positions are also now set by points, leaving Ambrose, who is driving a first-time entry for Robby Gordon Motorsports and therefore has no owner's points, on the sidelines for this weekend's Cup race.

Ambrose joins Boris Said, Brian Simo, Ward Burton, AJ Allmendinger and Klaus Graf in being denied a chance to start Sunday's race due to the qualifying rain-out.

Ambrose was 35th fastest in a rain-effected Nextel Cup practice session this morning, the Australian only getting the chance to complete eight laps, but the 30-year-old was confident of the pace of his car for the afternoon qualifying session.

The Australian will now put all his energies into tomorrow's NASCAR Busch Series Zippo 200, where Ambrose will be challenging for victory in his full-time ride, the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing.

Marcos Ambrose -- Kingsford Charcoal-backed #77 Camping World Ford Fusion

"You can't fight Mother Nature, that's for sure," said Ambrose.

"It's disappointing. We thought we had a good shot at qualifying the car in, but that's just the way it goes. It was dirty all day and drizzling with rain all day, so we knew that we were going to be up against it. It makes no difference.

"We've had such a great week. From the controversy in Montreal, then to kiss and make up, and then the announcement of the big Cup deal and all the media frenzy that's been around us -- we've got a lot out of this week.

"Running the race would have been fantastic for us, but we've already achieved so much. Robby promised me that he was going to give me another shot, so I'm going to twist his arm until he gives me one.

"The reception we've received from everyone has been big. Instantly we've gone from anonymity to some form of status down pit lane.

"Lots of people have been asking for autographs -- it's been quite entertaining. It's great news, to be honest. It means that we are doing something right and this week has really worked out. There's been plenty of talk and plenty of banter, and that's a good thing."

MEDIA Q&A: Marcos Ambrose

QUESTION: DESPITE TODAY'S EVENTS, YOU'RE STILL SMILING.

MARCOS AMBROSE: "Always smile. Just the way the day's gone. We got rained out, it delayed the session to start, then only got about six laps on the car. We were undercooked anyway, I was probably a steak tartar before qualifying.

"I'm just disappointed I couldn't get a shot at qualifying into the race. But, we've been chased so much this week anyway. The media frenzy that has been created around this whole deal, it's been great for me, personally. I can't complain."

Q: THIS PROBABLY WASN'T ONE OF THE THINGS YOU WERE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS WEEK.

MA: "You expect it. We're a long way north. We're around the Finger Lakes, and where there's water, there's rain. You know, I don't take anything for granted. I always smile and am happy because I don't expect the best, I expect the worst, and I'm happy with surprise when it works out. I sort of half had a feeling that we might've gotten rained out, and here we are."

Q: THIS WOULD'VE BEEN YOUR FIRST CUP START. WHAT'S NEXT?

MA: "There's no guarantee on anything. I'm just really excited we actually got this opportunity in the first place, and hopefully it will happen again. I can't predict it, but hopefully it'll work out."

-credit: team australia

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Boris Said , Klaus Graf , Robby Gordon , Brian Simo , Marcos Ambrose
Teams Robby Gordon Motorsports