Saturday, September 5, 2009

Marcos Ambrose: Watkins Glen International vs. Montreal - NASCAR Nationwide Series races.

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, there is so much going on in NASCAR right now as the Labor Day approaches, but today I want to discuss the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Marcos Ambrose and what happened to him at both Watkins Glen and Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.

Watkins Glen -- Three weeks ago I asked a question about the final laps of the Watkins Glen Nationwide Series race, Was Ambrose’s move on Busch in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Watkins Glen race aggressive or a bad move?

The responses was pretty good, when it comes to comments, whether I agree or disagree with them, as long as they are clean and add something to the conversation, I love to read them and accept them for all of my readers read them as well. Here are a few of the comments I received…

Dave said... “Kyle Busch is certainly a good driver, he performs well on all sorts of tracks, he will continue to improve as he matures and if he ever reaches the road racing skill level of drivers like Ambrose, Ron Fellows, Boris Said, Scott Pruett, he too will pounce on unsuspecting road course rookies like he was pounced on. I'm surprised at the complaining, just like a road racer has to learn about ridiculous oval techniques like the "bump and run" the hard way, the round track guys will learn the road race moves the hard way. They should watch the Speed World Challenge and old Trans Am races, the DTM series in Germany, or Ambrose's old stomping ground, the V8 supercar series in Austrailia, they might learn something.”

Cathii said...” Personally I think Kyle Busch needs to learn about real racing. Racing has nothing to do with pouting and complaining about coming second... Ambrose cut his teeth in the Australia V8 Super Cars, a series where a move such as that is the bread and butter of any good race driver. It amused me when Busch said he wouldn't have done it cause he 'would have wrecked'... Maybe that's because he only knows how to turn left.”

Darren said... “Kyle Busch is just a sore looser. He is obviously a great driver but should learn how to be gratious in defeat because you can't win them all. Whenever he wins he is all smiles which is understandable but if he doesn't he carries on like a spoilt little boy. The move was as clean as you will see no contact whatsoever in fact there was miles of room between them. Kyle could have easily braked a little earlier and still made the corner. Marcos has always been a tough but fair racer as he proved in his V8 days. Pull your head in Busch you were beaten fair and square by someone who can turn right as well. That's the kind of racing i want to see anyway, if we are going to get drivers complaining about overtaking then lets just qualify and call that the race result. Don't you get it Kyle overtaking is what you have to do to win or is only OK if your the one doing it. Well done Marcos you make me proud to be an Aussie and i think Kyle Busch needs to take a leaf out of Carl Edwards' book he got overtaken also but with a little contact but he wasn't rubbing panels on the victory lap or wearing his bottom lip as a chest plate afterwards he saw for what it was a racing move where both cars can continue and finish the race. Carl you are a gentleman and Marcos your a legend in this proud Aussies eyes.
As for this NASCAR fan, I stand behind what I said three weeks ago: personally the way I see it is, Marcos Ambrose is not the first driver to make this move at Watkins Glen going into the interloop nor for that matter, turn 1 and it will not be the last time neither. A few years ago, Robby Gordon made an even more aggressive move in a Busch Series race on Kurt Busch, but in that case, Kurt Busch won the race.

While the move was an aggressive move, a dive bomb move, it wasn't a bad move to make for position and so long as Ambrose didn't make contact (which he didn't make contact with Busch), then the move isn't bad. These dive bomb moves especially at Watkins Glen will be happening for years to come.

Thank you to everyone for commenting, as for the results, after surfing the internet, most NASCAR fans and the people who watched the race and commented say that it was an aggressive move, but not a bad move.

Montreal -- Once again for the second time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the NAPA Auto Parts 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal Canada, the series made history by racing in the rain. The drivers, teams, owners and NASCAR found themselves with a long day of exciting racing, several cautions flags and racing the rain to complete the 76 lap race, but would come up short, so NASCAR elected to run the final 16 laps in the rain.

However all of that would change once NASCAR elected to have the teams switch over to a rain setup with windshield wipers, rear lights, defoggers and rain tires, the racing changed into what looked to be a free for all. Drivers trying to make passes that would never slick in the dry, let along the rain, drivers driving way to far over their heads and taking out a several cars (ex: Steven Wallace) and just a bunch of caution flags that ended up taking forever to finish.

Through it all though, this Nationwide Series race would come down to the final turn of the final lap when Marcos Ambrose would make that one mistake by hitting the curb in just the wrong way and that move would allow Carl Edwards to slip by and take the victory, winning the NAPA Auto Parts 200. I have to say that even my father (who was in the other room) was shocked, he wanted to see Marcos Ambrose win this one.

Marcos Ambrose said: “I might have mistaken the last corner, last lap and lost the race because of it. Disappointing but you have to take the lumps as they come. I’m racing up against some pretty awesome drivers and some great equipment. You know we led a lot of laps and just starting to get annoyed with this track to be quite honest with you. Its three years in a row that I have seemed to given it away. Just took forever this race. I mean I must of had five or six restarts off the front there and didn’t manage to mess up any of them but it’s just disappointing, I just feel bad for my guys that I let them down and congratulations for Carl for winning the race and he put me under pressure there at the end and I made a mistake.“

Carl Edwards said: “We drove into turn 10 which is what you call the 180 degree hair pin there. I drove in a little bit deeper than him, braked a little later and I caught him and that surprised me, I didn’t think I would catch him in that corner but I had the benefit of watching his car and being able to go just a little farther than him, that’s all I was going to do. He was kind of out there blind, feeling the track and once I got him we came off of turn 10 and he was spinning his tires and I thought, I might have him here and then he got in front me, I spun my tires a little bit or something and I thought well there’s nobody who brakes harder in this sport than him, brakes later, so I thought I don’t know what I can do here in this last corner and low and behold he just hit the inside curb a little too hard and piled into the second curb and just opened the door. I just saw it all materialize there, that was an amazing gift.” – Quotes from Nationwide.com
I believe Marcos Ambrose will win in Montreal, how many times can you be denied, don’t answer that, but seriously, Ambrose is too good of a racecar driver and he will be in victory lane again not only in the Nationwide Series, but in the Cup Series, maybe even at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Was running the final 16 laps of the Montreal NASCAR Nationwide Series race in the rain the right decision? Simply put, YES. The fans in Montreal paid good money to see the entire race and if NASCAR can get in all 76 laps in one day before darkness even if it means having the teams switch over to rain tires, then they do it. It doesn’t surprise me at all that NASCAR did run in the rain, that is what they are setup for, that’s what gives the fans the show that they paid for period.

In the end, according to NASCAR, the Montreal race made history in two separate categories, first for racing in the rain and second for the putting on the longest race in Nationwide history set at 3 hours, 49 minutes, 19 seconds.

Here is something to powder, the Nationwide Series race in Montreal took almost 3 hours and 50 minutes, NASCAR can run the entire Daytona 500 in that time period with time to spare, for example, the 2008 Daytona 500 (who by Ryan Newman) took 3 hours, 16 minutes, 30 seconds with 7 cautions for 23 laps and if that doesn’t do it for you, the 2008 Coca-Cola 600 (won by Kasey Kahne), NASCAR’s longest race took 4 hours, 25 minute, 9 seconds with 11 cautions for 50 laps.