NowAm­bro­seis smokin’

Aussie vows to con­tinue his US cam­paign, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motorsport -

MAR­COS Am­brose proved he still has the right stuff for Nascar suc­cess with a win and a third in two road-course starts at Watkins Glen last week­end.

De­spite the un­cer­tainty about his fu­ture — most likely tied to Ford with Nascar in the US from next year — the speed and com­mit­ment he showed at Watkins Glen were top-drawer stuff.

His vic­tory in the sec­ond-tier Na­tion­wide se­ries event was his hat-trick at the course and class and it took for­mer F1 ace Juan Mon­toya to beat him in the Sprint Cup head­line event.

Am­brose prob­a­bly would have been a stronger con­tender in the sprint event with a bet­ter car and crew. He was 11th in qual­i­fy­ing and his Toy­ota Camry was far from per­fect on the fi­nal run to the flag.

‘‘I re­ally drove the car into the ground to­day. Ev­ery lap was like a qual­i­fy­ing lap. It’s so in­tense at the front of the field, and it was a lot of fun dic­ing with Juan in the mid­dle of the race,’’ Am­brose says.

‘‘Af­ter the last round of pit stops, the han­dling of the car re­ally went away, but it’s still a good re­sult.’’

Am­brose knew he had the pace af­ter the Na­tion­wide win and ad­mits his third win is a high­light of his time in the US, say­ing: ‘‘It was with­out doubt the most sat­is­fy­ing win of my ca­reer. We’ve had a re­ally tough year, and the re­sults we’ve had this week­end re­ally put the dis­ap­point­ing as­pects of the sea­son be­hind us.’’

He was al­ways the pace­maker in the Na­tion­wide race af­ter qual­i­fy­ing in pole po­si­tion.

He led 60 of the 82 laps and beat young gun Joey Logano, a reg­u­lar oval-track win­ner in Na­tion­wide.

‘‘To win three in a row here is pretty sweet. It’s a huge re­sult for the team,’’ Am­brose says. ‘‘I’m say­ing good­bye to JTG Daugh­erty Rac­ing at the end of the year, so it’s nice to score a win for them.’’

But even af­ter a first and a third, Am­brose is look­ing ahead.

‘‘We’re back to Michi­gan next week­end. It’s a track I re­ally like com­pet­ing on, and I hope the mo­men­tum we’ve gained this week­end can roll on.’’

De­spite ru­mours he may come home to re­sume V8 Su­per­car rac­ing, Am­brose says: ‘‘The Nascar Sprint Cup is the most com­pet­i­tive form of motorsport in the world. It’s a very hard deal to win races here, but that’s what I’m here for, and we’re go­ing to keep at it.’’

Fired up: Mar­cos Am­brose has had a big win in the US and pledges to keep driv­ing in Nascar events, de­spite ru­mours he may come home soon.

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