Ambrose pipped at Watkins Glen

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Monday 11th August, 2014 - 7:40am

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Second place for Ambrose at Watkins Glen

Second place for Ambrose at Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose has finished a heartbreaking second place at the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen after a dramatic race.

A late battle with AJ Allmendinger saw the pair race side-by-side with each driver getting their nose in front.

A two lap dash to the chequered flag provided a grandstand finish with Allmendinger having just enough to score the win.

Ambrose had a great battle with pole man Jeff Gordon in the opening period of the race. The Australian took the lead at the first round of stops when he pitted one lap earlier.

The race then appeared to be Ambrose’s for the taking when Gordon’s car suffered electrical issues and slowed. However, Gordon couldn’t make the turn to pit road and the caution flag flew.

A range of strategies then came into play, but the race was set for a dramatic moment when Ryan Newman slammed into the fence and was collected by Michael McDowell.

An extensive clean-up was required, including guardrail repairs which lasted just under 90-minutes.

With a third of the race still to run all the leaders pitted and Ambrose returned to the track in ninth.

Over the next 15 laps Ambrose carved his way up to second behind Allmendinger when a succession of caution flags flew.

He took the lead from Allmendinger with five laps to run with an incredible run through the Esses to the Bus Stop. Allmendinger then returned serve on the front straight.

As that was happening a wreck involving Denny Hamlin, which destroyed the pit entry barriers, again brought out the red flag.

After 20 minutes the cars were then sent on a two-lap dash with Ambrose taking a chance exiting the Bus Stop and Carousal. Allmendinger got back alongside and held the line through the final two corners.

Ambrose couldn’t hold the rear bumper and Allmendinger was unchallenged on the final lap.

“I left nothing on the table,” said Ambrose.

“I tried to rattle his cage and couldn’t shake him. We raced fair and square to the end there. It was a tough couple laps but it was fair. We were both giving it to each other pretty hard. No harm, no foul. We just came up a little short.

“I am just really proud of my Stanley team. We put a lot of effort into this race and really tried to win it. We won yesterday and came up one short today.

“It is like a game of chess and he was one step ahead of me. I had a few shots at it but I couldn’t quite close the deal.”

Ambrose will need to look at winning another race before the Chase for the Sprint Cup, but results could also fall his way to get into NASCAR’s version of the playoffs.

“Man, I just finished the closest race of my life. I haven’t thought about points or anything,” said Ambrose.

“I will look at it Monday. We are decent in the championship position. I think we are 16th or something. We need to score points but we really need to focus on winning.”

VIDEO: Final laps

VIDEO: Ambrose post-race

VIDEO: Allmendinger Victory Lane

VIDEO: Big wreck

RESULTS:Cheez-It 355 – Watkins Glen International

 POS CAR DRIVER MANUFACTURER STARTING POS. LAPS LAPS LED FINAL STATUS POINTS BONUS POINTS
1 47 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 6 90 30 Running 48 5
2 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford 2 90 19 Running 43 1
3 41 Kurt Busch Chevrolet 5 90 0 Running 41 0
4 42 Kyle Larson Chevrolet 23 90 0 Running 40 0
5 99 Carl Edwards Ford 16 90 3 Running 40 1
6 22 Joey Logano Ford 11 90 0 Running 38 0
7 4 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet 4 90 0 Running 37 0
8 16 Greg Biffle Ford 28 90 0 Running 36 0
9 20 Matt Kenseth Toyota 8 90 0 Running 35 0
10 55 Brian Vickers Toyota 12 90 0 Running 34 0
11 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Chevrolet 7 90 0 Running 33 0
12 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 30 90 3 Running 33 1
13 78 Martin Truex Jr Chevrolet 25 90 0 Running 31 0
14 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 14 90 0 Running 30 0
15 13 Casey Mears Chevrolet 22 90 0 Running 29 0
16 3 Austin Dillon Chevrolet 31 90 0 Running 28 0
17 51 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 15 90 0 Running 27 0
18 43 Aric Almirola Ford 27 90 0 Running 26 0
19 34 David Ragan Ford 26 90 0 Running 25 0
20 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Ford 21 90 0 Running 24 0
21 10 Danica Patrick Chevrolet 43 90 0 Running 23 0
22 38 David Gilliland Ford 33 90 0 Running 22 0
23 36 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 39 90 0 Running 21 0
24 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota 17 90 0 Running 20 0
25 32 Boris Said Ford 34 90 0 Running 19 0
26 77 Nelson Piquet Jr Ford 32 90 0 Running 18 0
27 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 24 90 0 Running 17 0
28 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 3 90 6 Running 17 1
29 40 Landon Cassill Chevrolet 41 89 0 Running 0 0
30 66 Joe Nemechek Toyota 40 89 0 Running 0 0
31 7 Michael Annett Chevrolet 42 88 0 Running 13 0
32 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet 20 87 0 Running 12 0
33 33 Alex Kennedy Chevrolet 38 86 0 Accident 11 0
34 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet 1 86 29 Running 11 1
35 2 Brad Keselowski Ford 9 85 0 Running 9 0
36 23 Alex Bowman Toyota 36 85 0 Running 8 0
37 14 Regan Smith Chevrolet 13 81 0 Accident 7 0
38 98 Josh Wise Chevrolet 37 78 0 Running 6 0
39 83 Ryan Truex Toyota 35 69 0 Suspension 5 0
40 18 Kyle Busch Toyota 19 69 0 Running 4 0
41 31 Ryan Newman Chevrolet 10 55 0 Accident 3 0
42 95 Michael McDowell Ford 29 55 0 Accident 2 0
43 26 Cole Whitt Toyota 18 9 0 Accident 1 0

 

CHAMPIONSHIP

POS DRIVER POINTS BEHIND STARTS WINS TOP 5 TOP 10 DNF
1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 773 Leader 22 3 10 15 1
2 Jeff Gordon 768 -5 22 2 7 15 0
3 Matt Kenseth 703 -70 22 0 8 14 2
4 Brad Keselowski 696 -77 22 3 9 10 0
5 Joey Logano 671 -102 22 2 8 12 4
6 Carl Edwards 658 -115 22 2 5 9 2
7 Jimmie Johnson 650 -123 22 3 6 12 3
8 Kevin Harvick 645 -128 22 2 6 11 2
9 Ryan Newman 645 -128 22 0 2 8 1
10 Kyle Larson 635 -138 22 0 5 10 2
11 Clint Bowyer 634 -139 22 0 3 9 2
12 Greg Biffle 626 -147 22 0 3 7 1
13 Kasey Kahne 622 -151 22 0 2 9 3
14 Austin Dillon 616 -157 22 0 1 3 0
15 Kyle Busch 615 -158 22 1 6 9 3
16 Marcos Ambrose 584 -189 22 0 3 5 0
17 Paul Menard 574 -199 22 0 3 9 0
18 Brian Vickers 573 -200 22 0 3 7 2
19 Jamie McMurray 566 -207 22 0 2 6 3
20 Denny Hamlin 552 -221 21 1 5 9 1
21 Tony Stewart 537 -236 21 0 2 6 1
22 Aric Almirola 532 -241 22 1 2 4 4
23 Kurt Busch 529 -244 22 1 5 5 5
24 A J Allmendinger 525 -248 22 1 2 4 2
25 Casey Mears 516 -257 22 0 1 2 0
26 Martin Truex Jr. 508 -265 22 0 0 3 1
27 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 447 -326 22 0 1 4 1
28 Danica Patrick 419 -354 22 0 0 2 3
29 Justin Allgaier 398 -375 22 0 0 0 4
30 Michael Annett 360 -413 22 0 0 0 2
31 David Gilliland 334 -439 22 0 0 0 4
32 David Ragan 312 -461 22 0 0 0 2
33 Cole Whitt 306 -467 22 0 0 0 3
34 Reed Sorenson 283 -490 22 0 0 0 5
35 Josh Wise 265 -508 21 0 0 0 1
36 Alex Bowman 265 -508 22 0 0 0 4
37 Ryan Truex 174 -599 19 0 0 0 6
38 Michael McDowell 140 -633 11 0 0 1 4
39 Travis Kvapil 132 -641 14 0 0 0 1
40 Terry Labonte 77 -696 3 0 0 0 0
41 Bobby Labonte 54 -719 3 0 0 0 1
42 Parker Kligerman 54 -719 8 0 0 0 4
43 Jeff Burton 51 -722 2 0 0 0 0
44 Michael Waltrip 48 -725 3 0 0 0 1
45 Juan Pablo Montoya 47 -726 2 0 0 0 0
46 David Stremme 43 -730 6 0 0 0 2
47 David Reutimann 37 -736 3 0 0 0 0
48 Alex Kennedy 37 -736 4 0 0 0 2
49 Dave Blaney 34 -739 5 0 0 0 2
50 Brett Moffitt 32 -741 2 0 0 0 0
51 Boris Said 28 -745 2 0 0 0 0
52 Timmy Hill 22 -751 5 0 0 0 3
53 Nelson Piquet, Jr. 18 -755 1 0 0 0 0
54 Eddie MacDonald 9 -764 1 0 0 0 0
55 Regan Smith 7 -766 1 0 0 0 1
56 Tomy Drissi 6 -767 1 0 0 0 0
57 Morgan Shepherd 2 0 0 0 1
58 Matt Crafton 0 0 0 0 0
59 Regan Smith
60 Blake Koch 3 0 0 0 0
61 Johnny Sauter 1 0 0 0 1
62 Eric McClure 0 0 0 0 0
63 Ryan Blaney 1 0 0 0 0
64 Joe Nemechek 11 0 0 0 3
65 Landon Cassill 20 0 0 0 4
66 Mike Bliss 2 0 0 0 2
67 Sam Hornish Jr 1 0 0 0 0
68 J.J. Yeley 6 0 0 0 3
69 Trevor Bayne 8 0 0 0 3
70 Brian Scott 5 0 0 0 1

 

 

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