Murphy: I didn’t think Ambrose had it in him

Sunday 27th April, 2014 - 8:24pm

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Ambrose has said he regrets not punching Murphy in this Bathurst 2005 exchange

Ambrose has said he regrets not punching Murphy in this Bathurst 2005 exchange

Marcos Ambrose’s former V8 Supercars sparring partner Greg Murphy has expressed shock after watching footage of the now NASCAR star punching rival Casey Mears.

The punch was thrown during a heated post-race confrontation following the Richmond Sprint Cup race, in which Ambrose and Mears took the flag in 18th and 19th respectively.

CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s earlier story including footage of the incident

Murphy and Ambrose almost came to blows shortly before the Ford driver’s switch from V8 Supercars to NASCAR at the end of 2005.

A collision that took both cars out of that year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 led to a heated moment between the pair, from which Ambrose eventually walked away.

Murphy watched video of today’s incident in between V8 SuperTourer driving duties and local television commitments at Pukekohe’s ITM 500 Auckland.

“I didn’t think he had it in him, but there you go, I’m wrong again,” an amused Murphy told Speedcafe.com.

“I’ve got to pay credit to that one. It looked like it was a pretty good hook!

“Maybe he wasn’t going to let it slide two times in a row.

“Maybe he saw a picture of my head on Casey Mears’ shoulders, who knows?

“He obviously got a big shove from Casey for whatever reason that moved him aside and that was enough to get him riled up.

“It was very entertaining!”

Ambrose commented in a 2012 interview with a NASCAR journalist that his biggest career regret had been refraining from punching the Kiwi at Bathurst.

The pair had laughed about the incident during Speed Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Bathurst 1000, where the American channel surprised Ambrose by adding Murphy to a live phone interview.