Wednesday May 25th, 2016 2:56PM

Ambrose wins Nationwide race at Watkins Glen

By John Kekis, AP Sports Writer
Related Articles
  Contact Editor
WATKINS GLEN, NY - With The King atop the pit box at Watkins Glen International, Marcos Ambrose wasn't about to disappoint.<br /> <br /> The aggressive Australian dueled early with Kyle Busch to fall off the pace in the NASCAR Nationwide race, then was flawless the rest of the way Saturday, holding off a hard-charging Busch at the end to win the race for the fourth time in his last four starts.<br /> <br /> "It's just something special. I'm just so thrilled for the guys," Ambrose said. "I had my tongue hanging out the whole day. There was nothing left. I tried to hold him back. Another lap and I would have been in trouble."<br /> <br /> Ambrose raced to three straight victories at the track from 2008-2010, then missed the 2011-2013 events after failing to find a sponsor.<br /> <br /> Ambrose's future in NASCAR with Richard Petty Motorsports remains in doubt, and he desperately needs a victory in Sunday's Sprint Cup race to have any chance of making the Chase for the championship.<br /> <br /> "There's a lot at stake, a lot of stuff going on in my mind," Ambrose said. "If I can repeat my performance today, I'll be happy."<br /> <br /> At least Ambrose will start from the front row alongside Jeff Gordon, so the catbird seat will be up for grabs as soon as the green flag waves.<br /> <br /> "Maybe this will give him a little more incentive," Petty said. "He's just unreal. He's doing his job, for dang sure."<br /> <br /> Joey Logano finished third, followed by Penske teammate and pole sitter Brad Keselowski. Matt Kenseth was fifth as Sprint Cup drivers dominated on the speedy 2.45-mile road course.<br /> <br /> Points leader Chase Elliott finished sixth, Ty Dillon was eighth, and Regan Smith had a difficult race and came home 17th. That boosted Elliott's lead in the standings to 12 points over Smith and 13 over Dillon and Elliott Sadler, who was seventh.<br /> <br /> Ambrose led 48 laps of the 82-lap race for his fifth Nationwide victory, all on road courses and a series record.<br /> <br /> The race became intense early when Busch and Ambrose, who started together on the second row, tangled in the chicane, or inner loop, on the sixth lap. Busch drove inside of Ambrose entering the quick four-turn section, a move reminiscent of one Ambrose made when he stunned Busch in the same place in the 2009 event and went on to win the race.<br /> <br /> "I looked up halfway down the back straight, he was close and he ducked out late," Ambrose said. "I turned in late because I was very committed. He bumped my left rear. It wasn't intentional. He was trying to get out of the way. No harm, no foul. Just hard racing."<br /> <br /> Both spun out into a big runoff area after the contact, dropping several spots in the running order as the Penske duo of Logano and Keselowski took control.<br /> <br /> "I knew it wasn't over, that's for sure," said Ambrose, his young daughters smiling as they watched in the media center. "The moment I spun out, I tried 110 percent the rest of the way. It just goes to show you these races are never over. You can't quit."<br /> <br /> A decisive moment came just past the midpoint of the race. Logano pitted after Ambrose and zoomed onto the track as Ambrose came streaking by. Both ran side-by-side through the first two turns and into the uphill section until Ambrose edged ahead.<br /> <br /> "Super important," Ambrose said. "If I hadn't cleared him right there, he would have been gone. It would have been hard to pass him."<br /> <br /> "That was definitely a key moment," Logano added. "If I could have gotten out front of him there, I felt like if I got clean air and ran hard, I could gap him. It would have been close. I'm not going to say I would have won the race, but if I didn't run so hard and burn off the tires, would it have been enough to beat him? I don't know."<br /> <br /> When the race restarted with 20 laps to go after the fifth caution, the four cars that began the race in the first two rows were still there, just in a different order.<br /> <br /> Ambrose cleared Logano when the green flag flew, with Busch and Keselowski right behind. Busch challenged Keselowski for third entering the chicane, and Keselowski's defensive move sent him spinning off course, grass and dirt flying as he dropped to sixth.<br /> <br /> Logano stalked Ambrose as the two front-runners pulled away from Busch by over 2 seconds as Keselowski tried to rebound from his mistake. Busch began to close, passing Logano with less than five laps to go but never got to Ambrose's back bumper.<br /> <br /> "I just got caught in a bad spot early and battled back," Busch said. "I tried to chase down Marcos. A few more laps maybe, but."<br /> <br /> <b>NASCAR Nationwide Series<br /> Watkins Glen International - Watkins Glen, NY<br /> Zippo 200 - Aug. 9, 2014</b><br /> <br /> <b>(Start position in parentheses)</b><br /> <br /> 1. (4) Marcos Ambrose, Ford, 82 laps, 143.5 rating, 0 points, $53,875.<br /> 2. (3) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 82, 120.2, 0, $28,500.<br /> 3. (2) Joey Logano, Ford, 82, 123, 0, $22,375.<br /> 4. (1) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 82, 120.6, 0, $23,225.<br /> 5. (10) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 82, 111.2, 0, $19,300.<br /> 6. (15) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 82, 97.8, 38, $21,732.<br /> 7. (14) Elliott Sadler, Toyota, 82, 96.4, 37, $20,031.<br /> 8. (8) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 82, 99.1, 37, $19,461.<br /> 9. (6) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 82, 99.8, 0, $13,050.<br /> 10. (7) Brian Scott, Chevrolet, 82, 86.3, 34, $20,331.<br /> 11. (17) James Buescher, Toyota, 82, 76, 34, $18,906.<br /> 12. (28) Ryan Reed, Ford, 82, 71.1, 32, $18,631.<br /> 13. (16) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 82, 74.6, 31, $18,531.<br /> 14. (19) Mike Bliss, Toyota, 82, 80.3, 31, $18,381.<br /> 15. (13) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 82, 82.6, 0, $12,750.<br /> 16. (26) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 82, 72.3, 29, $18,256.<br /> 17. (5) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 82, 87.5, 28, $19,206.<br /> 18. (18) Stanton Barrett, Ford, 82, 68.1, 26, $18,331.<br /> 19. (25) Brennan Newberry, Chevrolet, 82, 64.9, 0, $18,056.<br /> 20. (31) Tomy Drissi, Dodge, 82, 50, 0, $18,706.<br /> 21. (30) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 81, 56.7, 23, $17,956.<br /> 22. (36) Derrike Cope, Chevrolet, 81, 43.8, 22, $17,901.<br /> 23. (20) Carlos Contreras, Toyota, 81, 51.1, 21, $17,826.<br /> 24. (29) Eric McClure, Toyota, 81, 40.1, 20, $17,726.<br /> 25. (21) Dakoda Armstrong, Ford, 81, 56.2, 19, $18,176.<br /> 26. (27) Kenny Habul, Toyota, 81, 48.9, 18, $11,420.<br /> 27. (11) Dylan Kwasniewski, Chevrolet, 81, 74, 17, $17,576.<br /> 28. (9) Brendan Gaughan, Chevrolet, 80, 78.9, 17, $17,501.<br /> 29. (12) Chris Buescher, Ford, 79, 56.9, 15, $17,451.<br /> 30. (38) Roger Reuse, Chevrolet, 79, 31.6, 14, $17,701.<br /> 31. (33) Tanner Berryhill, Dodge, 74, 33.4, 13, $17,326.<br /> 32. (22) Matt DiBenedetto, Chevrolet, 73, 50.7, 12, $17,251.<br /> 33. (23) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, suspension, 43, 40.7, 11, $17,216.<br /> 34. (32) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, overheating, 38, 42.3, 10, $17,156.<br /> 35. (24) J.J. Yeley, Dodge, accident, 33, 60.6, 9, $17,109.<br /> 36. (37) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, electrical, 30, 27.8, 8, $16,286.<br /> 37. (34) Kevin O'Connell, Chevrolet, accident, 25, 33.9, 7, $16,251.<br /> 38. (39) Blake Koch, Toyota, rear gear, 6, 29.3, 6, $10,011.<br /> 39. (35) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, brakes, 3, 30.4, 0, $9,875.<br /> <br /> <b>Average Speed of Race Winner:</b> 92.462 mph.<br /> <br /> <b>Time of Race:</b> 2 hours, 10 minutes, 22 seconds.<br /> <br /> <b>Margin of Victory:</b> 1.555 seconds.<br /> <br /> <b>Caution Flags:</b> 5 for 14 laps.<br /> <br /> <b>Lead Changes:</b> 15 among 11 drivers.<br /> <br /> <b>Lap Leaders:</b> B.Keselowski 1-5; J.Logano 6-9; B.Keselowski 10-17; J.Logano 18; R.Smith 19; M.Kenseth 20-21; T.Dillon 22; M.Bliss 23; J.Clements 24; J.Buescher 25-26; M.Ambrose 27-48; J.Logano 49; K.Busch 50; R.Smith 51; B.Gaughan 52-56; M.Ambrose 57-82.<br /> <br /> <b>Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led):</b> M.Ambrose, 2 times for 48 laps; B.Keselowski, 2 times for 13 laps; J.Logano, 3 times for 6 laps; B.Gaughan, 1 time for 5 laps; M.Kenseth, 1 time for 2 laps; J.Buescher, 1 time for 2 laps; R.Smith, 2 times for 2 laps; K.Busch, 1 time for 1 lap; T.Dillon, 1 time for 1 lap; M.Bliss, 1 time for 1 lap; J.Clements, 1 time for 1 lap.<br /> <br /> <b>Top 10 in Points:</b> 1. C.Elliott, 752; 2. R.Smith, 740; 3. E.Sadler, 739; 4. T.Dillon, 739; 5. B.Scott, 707; 6. T.Bayne, 704; 7. B.Gaughan, 601; 8. C.Buescher, 601; 9. R.Reed, 570; 10. J.Buescher, 567.
© Copyright 2016
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 1 year ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 1 year ago )
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 1 year ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 1 year ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 1 year ago )
Professional Sports
Garbo, Jr. to compete in NASCAR K&N East with Whelen sponsorship
CHARLOTTE, NC--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- When Marsh Racing and longtime team sponsor Whelen Engineering Company, Inc. got the opportunity to put together a race team for 2015, they looked closely at the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
12:00PM ( 1 year ago )
Former NASCAR racer pleads guilty in high-speed chase
12:51PM ( 1 year ago )
Chili Bowl entry list again nearing record 300 mark
TULSA, OK - For the past couple years, the entry list for the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals has flirted with the 300 mark. Once again, the number of teams registering for the indoor Midget event is nearing the three century mark with 285 entries received for the 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals.
11:59AM ( 1 year ago )
Kenseth wins Homestead, Elliott crowned Nationwide Champion
HOMESTEAD, FL - Matt Kenseth took home the winners trophy in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season finale on Saturday, holding off Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson for the victory while 18-year-old rookie Chase Elliott was officially crowned as the 2014 series champion in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
11:58PM ( 1 year ago )
What comes next for Chase Elliott?
What do you do when you accomplish your goals a year early?
12:34PM ( 1 year ago )
Dawsonville's Elliott scores NASCAR Nationwide championship
AVONDALE, AZ - Brad Keselowski took advantage of a late-race caution to edge Kyle Busch for a Nationwide Series victory at Phoenix International Raceway, but Chase Elliott was the day's big winner at Saturday
6:54PM ( 1 year ago )
Xfinity Series
Baseball: 2016 a disappointment? No way
It was a lot to expect coming into the 2016 season for area baseball teams coming off the heels of arguably the best season ever for area teams in 2015...
5:05PM ( 2 hours from now )
Turner takes Toccoa Raceway Limited Late Model victory
Clayton Turner powered to the front of the Limited Late Model field Saturday night at Toccoa Raceway, and went on to score the feature victory at the Toccoa, Ga. speedway.
12:00PM ( 2 hours ago )
Racers double up in Summit ET races at Atlanta Dragway
Saturday was a day of doubles at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, Georgia, as drivers and fans came out for double Summit ET racing action.
By Jerry Towns
8:00AM ( 6 hours ago )
Drag racing legend Muldowney having cancerous lung removed
Drag racing legend Shirley Muldowney is having surgery to remove a cancerous lung.
By The Associated Press
1:52AM ( 13 hours ago )
Breck Davidson Named to 2016 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III All-Region Team
Piedmont College baseball senior Breck Davidson has been honored with a spot on the 2016 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Division III All-Region Third Team, marking his first time on the listing.
By AccessWDUN Staff
11:14PM ( 15 hours ago )