Monday, August 15, 2011

Marcos Ambrose Wins First Cup Race At The Glen

WATKINS GLEN, NY – So what do you get when you put a bunch of 800-hp, 3,500 lb cars on a road-course with a drivers only used to turning left? Actually a pretty fun time! The rain-delayed race at “The Glen” was an exciting competition ending with Marcos Ambrose’s first Cup win. In his 3rd season, the Australian-born, two-time V8 Supercar champion was able to power his way around Keselowski and Kyle Busch in the final laps of the race. When the green flag dropped signaling two more laps, Kyle Busch led the race with Brad Keselowski and Marcos Ambrose in close pursuit. Busch went a bit hard into turn one, sliding outside and allowing Keselowski, Ambrose and several others to get by. With Keselowski in the lead, Ambrose kept the pressure on and was able to push past as they rounded the start-finish for the final lap. Keselowski fought hard to catch Ambrose on the final lap but when the final caution flag flew, the race was called and Ambrose was in front. “It’s a dream come true,” said Ambrose, who left a successful racing career in his native Australia to give NASCAR a whirl. “Winning in the Cup series is an incredible feeling. I’m very, very proud.

The final lap caution was the result of not one, but two incidents. The first incident was initiated when Boris Said clipped David Ragan’s car causing him to slam into David Reutimann then into the fence. Reutimann’s car flipped into the air and slammed into the wall. Seconds later, the caution flag was waved when Tony Stewart lost control of his car near the “bus stop,” and made contact with Clint Boyer. With the havoc caused by the two wrecks, NASCAR officials and Crew Chiefs had to gather around the hauler to sort out the final finishing order.

As is often the case, the mayhem caused a few tempers to flair. After some dirty gestures by Biffle on the track, Boris apparently radioed his spotter saying he wanted to meet Biffle after the race. Greg Biffle confronted Boris Said in the garage area to complain about his aggressive driving. After being separated by crew members and other by-standers, Boris said that Biffle needed a “whoopin’ and that “he’d show up one day with a black-eye.” He also termed Biffle an “unprofessional little scaredy cat.” Boris said that he would not take care of this on the track. Stay tuned for more excitement.

The rain-delayed race has also reignited the debate surrounding the use of rain tires in NASCAR. Jimmie Johnson Crew Chief Chad Knaus is adamant that rain tires should be used in SPRINT Cup. "I'm fine with it. Let's go get 'em right now and bolt 'em on," Knaus said shortly before NASCAR officials postponed Sunday's race until 10 a.m. ET Monday. "Give us an hour and we could race [Sunday], get it done."

Robin Pemberton, NASCAR's vice president of competition and racing development, explained the reasons why that wasn't an option Sunday and won't likely be an option at Cup races going forward. "We feel at this level, it really throws a wild card in there," Pemberton said. "Our guys, we're a series that doesn't have experience on rain tires. It's a lot to put on them. Nowadays the championships are so close and making the Chase is so close, it's a lot of pressure to put on one race at this stage of the season. Quite frankly, we feel like our Cup Series puts on great races in dry weather. And that's what we aim to do. It's about that."

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