AMBROSE ROBBED OF FIRST NASCAR VICTORY IN MONTREAL Marcos Ambrose has been robbed of his first ever NASCAR victory when taken out while leading with two laps remaining in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, ...
AMBROSE ROBBED OF FIRST NASCAR VICTORY IN MONTREAL
Marcos Ambrose has been robbed of his first ever NASCAR victory when taken out while leading with two laps remaining in the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada today.
The Australian led 37 laps, more than any other driver, in the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion and was on course to record his first NASCAR win when turned around while leading by the black-flagged Robby Gordon at the second corner at a restart with two laps remaining.
Ambrose staged a remarkable recovery to still finish seventh, making up spots over the final two laps, but the damage was done and Ambrose was prevented from taking the chequered flag after dominating the race.
Ambrose qualified fifth and was in fourth place by the first corner at the start of the 74-lap race. After the first round of pit stops Ambrose was up to third and on lap 21 Ambrose passed Boris Said for second.
Six laps later Ambrose made a dive down the inside of race leader Scott Pruett to take the lead and from this point on absolutely dominated the race in a field full of the best road course drivers in NASCAR.
Ambrose and Gordon were vying for the lead when the caution flags flew with six laps remaining. Contact between the two saw Gordon spin exiting turn four. Under caution Gordon reassumed his position behind Ambrose despite NASCAR directing the #55 car to restart down the order.
As the green-white-chequered restart gave the field two laps to the finish, Gordon, who had disobeyed NASCAR's instructions, drove into the back of Ambrose, turning him around in front of the pack.
The Australian did well to recover his spinning car and repassed several cars to claim seventh. Gordon crossed the line first but was classified in 18th as his car was not scored for the final two laps.
Despite the disappointment of losing a certain race win, Ambrose earned his fourth NASCAR Busch Series top 10 and scored his best road course finish, eclipsing the eighth the 30-year-old scored in Mexico City in March.
The result also elevates Ambrose into eighth in the NASCAR Busch Series points standings after 23 of 35 races.
Kevin Harvick benefited from Ambrose's misfortune to win the NAPA Auto Parts 200 ahead of local driver Patrick Carpentier and Max Papis.
Ambrose will have a chance to redeem his fortunes with another road course event at Watkins Glen International in New York State next weekend.
Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion
"When I came over here I made a promise to myself that I was going to be happy no matter what I was dealt," said Ambrose.
"Today, I'm going to focus on being happy because the Kingsford car was the best car here today without doubt.
"Undoubtedly, today we had a bad end result and not through our own doing.
"But I am really proud of this team for giving me a car that was capable of winning and we showed a lot here today.
"When I came over here nobody knew who I was and today we were pulling away from the best road racers in America and were on our way to victory.
"I've got Watkins Glen to look forward to next weekend and we will have a point to prove."
Marcos Ambrose -- Post-Race Press Conference:
MA: "I'm just pleased I'm racing in America, road racing against the best America's got and we're holding our own."
Q: DID YOU KNOW NASCAR TOLD ROBBY GORDON TO GO TO THE BACK?
MA: "Yeah, I knew that and I knew that he was going to try and hit me. We were talking whether we should pull over and let him pass, but you know, I've got two laps to go and I'm trying to win the race.
"If somebody is going to take me out, they're going to take me out. If they feel strong enough, they're going to do it. I'm not going to go into it. I'm disappointed; I promised myself that I wouldn't get mad.
"This is an opportunity for me over here. I'm thankful for what I've been given and today is a bad day, but tomorrow we'll look to next week. I'm pleased that I'm here and holding my own against some of America's best."
Q: WHAT WAS THE STRATEGY FOR TODAY?
MA: "Conserve tyres, conserve fuel until the end and it's a shame that we didn't get to show it."
Q: HOW HARD IS IT TO NOT BE MAD?
MA: "I'll be in therapy for about two years I think."
Q: WHAT WAS THE EXCHANGE BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU?
Q: "He was mad and showed it."
-credit: team australia