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News and Results | Point Standings | 2008 Schedule | 2007 Schedule and Results | 2006 Schedule and Results


Ambrose Gets First Career Nationwide Win at The Glen

Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose
 
 
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 9, 2008) -- If you're a believer in numerology, maybe the numbers explained why Marcos Ambrose's luck took a turn for the better Saturday at Watkins Glen International.

In his 59th NASCAR Nationwide Series start in the No. 59 Ford, Ambrose won Saturday's Zippo 200 at the 2.45-mile road course. The first career victory was redemption of sorts for Ambrose, whose dominant run last week in the road race at Montreal was waylaid by a pit road speeding penalty.

Ambrose took the lead on Lap 79 of 82 after both Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton ran out of fuel in front of him on successive laps. Kyle Busch survived an early-race penalty when his team failed to control a tire on pit road to finish second, 4.336 seconds behind Ambrose.

Busch also drove away from a 360-degree spin in Turn 11 after contact with Burton's Chevrolet on Lap 62. Matt Kenseth came home third -- his first top-five finish in either of NASCAR's top two series -- followed by Kevin Harvick and polesitter Dario Franchitti.

Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Jason Leffler, David Ragan and Brad Coleman completed the top 10. Burton finished 14th, on the lead lap, after refueling. Johnson took his No. 48 Chevrolet to the garage after running out of gas and was credited with a 29th-place result.

"I didn't quite have the car," Ambrose said frankly. "We didn't quite hit the setup the way we wanted to, but we had enough to stay with them. We just couldn't race as hard as I wanted to, but the race came our way.

"It's a shame for Jimmie Johnson. The 48 was just a rocket. He probably had the pace to win, but we're here in Victory Lane, and he's not."

Ambrose caught a break when NASCAR called a debris caution while he was on pit road for a fuel stop on Lap 49. That gave the Australian driver enough gas to reach the finish when the race went green the rest of the way after a restart on Lap 54.

Ambrose had a large enough lead on the final circuit that crew chief Gary Cogswell instructed him not to pass his nemesis, Boris Said, whom Ambrose had spun on the road course in Mexico City earlier this year.

"I told him several times he did not need to pass him to win the race," said Cogswell, who admitted being concerned about what might have happen if Ambrose had tried to pass Said. "I called to him the last few laps what his interval was to second place. . . I told him there was no use taking a chance."

Notes: On Lap 54, Carl Edwards' Ford slid into the Chevrolet of Clint Bowyer in Turn 1, sending both cars off course. Edwards, who took responsibility for the incident, finished 25th, two positions behind Bowyer, who saw his lead shrink to 128 points over second-place Keselowski… Tad Geschickter, owner of Ambrose's Ford, had previously announced a partnership with ESPN announcer Brad Daugherty, who provided commentary on the race from the TV booth. . . Busch led Eddie D'Hondt Motorsports to the runner-up finish in the team's Nationwide Series debut.


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