Ambrose grabs third in Budweiser Shootout

Marcos Ambrose third in Bud Shootout

Australia’s Marcos Ambrose has finished third in the kick-off event to the NASCAR Sprint Cup season – the non-championship Budweiser Shootout at Daytona.

Ambrose led the field coming to the final lap, but was overhauled in a two-car train by Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch.

Busch, the driver they call ‘Wild Thing’ jumped out to pass ‘Smoke’ in the final metres to grab the victory.

“I’m just really proud to run fast tonight,” said Ambrose.

“We’ve got a lot of steam under the hood this week, which is great. The Ford department has done a wonderful job with the engines.

“I’m out there driving the Stanley car with one lap to go thinking I’m gonna win the race and I get freight trained. There’s a lot to learn out there.

“From my seat it looks like everyone has got a lot of talent out there. You’ve got to have great cars and you’ve got to have a bit of luck and you’ve got to manage your race. It’s a combination of all three.”

Ambrose on the inside of Greg Biffle (front) and Kyle Busch

The race featured three major wrecks, the first coming just nine laps in when Paul Menard started an eight car pile-up, David Ragan and Michael Waltrip eliminated.

The next big crash occurred on lap #58 when Ambrose tapped Joey Logano after having Martin Truex Jr pushing from behind. Taken out in the wreck were Dale Earnhardt Jr, Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick.

Finally, with drivers jostling for position coming to the final lap, Jeff Gordon ended upside down after he got together with Kyle Busch. Also in the crash were Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, A.J. Allmendinger and Jamie McMurray amongst others.

This meant the race was decided by a green-white-chequered finish – with a final two-lap dash to the flag.

Ambrose re-started in second place behind defending Sprint Cup Champion Stewart, but with Brad Keselowski in-behind he headed the field coming to the final official lap of the race. However, the Kyle Bush-Stewart freight train steamed around the outside into the lead. Ambrose did claw back some ground to finish just two lengths back at the finish.

Tomorrow all cars will take part in qualifying for the Daytona 500 with the top two positions locked-in for the race. In a qualifying format unique to the Daytona 500, all other positions will be determined by the twin 60-lap Gatarade Duels which will be run Friday morning Australian time.

Check out the Green-White-Chequered finish

2012 Unofficial Race Results : Budweiser Shootout








1 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s Brown 82 Running
2 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Office Depot 82 Running
3 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 82 Running
4 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 82 Running
5 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 82 Running
6 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 82 Running
7 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army / Quicken Loans 82 Running
8 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 82 Running
9 99 Carl Edwards Ford Fastenal 82 Running
10 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 82 Running
11 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 82 Running
12 22 A.J. Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 80 Running
13 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 79 Running
14 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 75 Running
15 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 73 Running
16 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker Boats 73 In Pit
17 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 73 Running
18 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 54 In Pit
19 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 54 Running
20 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 54 Running
21 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Best Buy 54 Running
22 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 54 In Pit
23 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Peak / Menards 8 In Pit
24 34 David Ragan Ford Scorpion Truck Bed Liners 8 Running
25 140 Michael Waltrip Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 8 Running



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