Ambrose Gets Last-Lap Win


Marcos Ambrose makes it two in a row at Watkins Glen International with Sunday's victory in the Finger Lakes 355. (Photo: Getty Images)


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Marcos Ambrose got by Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski on a wild last lap to score his second straight Watkins Glen victory in Sunday's Finger Lakes 355.

Busch had the lead as the white flag flew but got loose and was then tagged from the rear by Keselowski, who drove into the lead and -with reports of oil on the track - became locked in a side-by-side battle with Ambrose.

Ambrose finally got by with only a couple of corners remaining around the historic road course and went on to score his second career Sprint Cup Series victory.

“It feels so good to be back in Victory Lane,” Ambrose said.  “The oil was getting worse and worse.  Oil was moving around the track.  You take your chances.  You have to commit at that point.  That’s the way racing should be and we got the No. 9 to Victory Lane.”

While some drivers complained that the track was too oily for green-flag conditions, reportedly coming from the expired engine of Bobby Labonte, NASCAR said none of its officials positioned around the circuit reported any fluid.

"They also said that their tires were wore out and their brakes were wore out, and all that other stuff that goes on,” said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton.

“Those last two laps were out of control with oil on the track," said Jimmie Johnson. "Guys were spinning all over the place.  It was chaos."

Jeff Gordon, one of Johnson’s Hendrick Motorsports teammates, agreed.

“Oil all over the racetrack," he said.  "It’s pretty ridiculous they don’t want to end a race under caution and put that many cars in jeopardy.  I had no idea that there was oil out there.”

Ambrose was not one of those drivers with concerns.

“I was the first one to slip in the oil and it was just getting worse and worse,” he said.  “You could tell the car was staying out there because the oil was moving around the race track and you just take your chances.  It was great racing with Kyle and Brad.  They’re the two best guys to race.”

Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer and Sam Hornish Jr. rounded out the first five finishers.

“Just good, hard racing ... some beating and banging,” Keselowski said.  “I think that’s the way racing should be.  It’s great to race against guys like Marcos that you can run on, lean on and don’t lose their cool, and intentionally wreck you. That’s what racing is supposed to be, right there: a little bit of bumping and rubbing but none of that intentional wrecking.  Marcos is a class act and that’s the way racing should be.”

Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Regan Smith and Martin Truex Jr. completed the first 10 finishers.

Pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya was among several drivers who had early problems in Sunday’s attrition-filled race.  The 2010 Watkins Glen winner was inside the top five when he broke a control arm, sending him to the garage and eventually to a 33rd-place finish.

“We had a car to win today," Montoya said.  "It was looking really good and everything was going according to plan, and then I hit a curb and all of a sudden it wouldn’t turn."

Others who had issues included Montoya’s Earnhardt Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano, Brian Vickers and Denny Hamlin - who had a fire break out on his car after his engine expired.

Johnson is the new points leader after Dale Earnhardt Jr. slid late in the race to finish 28th.  Johnson leads Biffle by one point with Kenseth two behind and Earnhardt now 17 back.

Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman are the two Wild Card leaders with four races left in the regular season.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to Michigan International Speedway for next Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400.

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