Marcos Ambrose captured his first NASCAR Nationwide Series win on Saturday after he took the checkered flag in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International.
After coming so close on previous occasions in road course events, Ambrose was finally able to break through for the victory when he inherited the lead from Jeff Burton, who ran out of gas, with five laps-to-go.
"Man it feels so good to get it off my back," Ambrose said in Gatorade Victory Lane. “I have come so far this. I have never won in America. It just feels so good.”
Amborse, who last pitted with 33 laps-to-go, became the third first-time winner in 2008, following Brad Keselowski (Nashville) and Joey Logano (Kentucky).
The victory was also the first for JTG Daugherty Racing car owners Tad and Jodi Geschickter since 1996 and the first for Brad Daugherty since 1989.
“It's been 12 years since we’ve won and we’ve finished second 12 times in that time,” Tad Geschickter said. “Through it all, Clorox and Kingsford have stuck with us the whole way. Now we’ve given them some momentum to keep it going."
“You don’t fall into wins,” Daugherty said. “They’ve worked hard for years for this moment. They’ve built this team on solid fundamentals. That’s why I wanted to be involved with people who have such standards.”
Kyle Busch came home second in his first start behind the wheel of the No. 92 Toyota for Eddie D'hondt. The finish came after a heated battle with Burton in the closing stages of the race, which included a spin by the two after contact racing into the frontstretch.
"I don't know if his mirror wasn't big enough to where he couldn't see me or not," Busch said. "I got to his inside -- I hit him and we both spun and I popped it out of second gear, which is what we run through that corner and got into neutral and was waiting for the thing to spin back around and as soon as it was almost heading into the right direction I got it into first and the thing was still running. It all worked out and I was able to still be leading -- that was pretty cool."
Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and polesitter Dario Franchitti rounded out the top five.
Burton wound up finishing 14th after leading the most laps in his No. 29 Chevrolet with 25.
In just his second series start of the season, Jimmie Johnson was contending for the lead with Burton in the closing laps until he also ran out of fuel. He finished 29th.
Brad Keselowski finished sixth to jump one position, to second, in the standings. He now trails Clint Bowyer, who finished 23rd, by 128 points. Carl Edwards fell to third (-174) after a 25th-place finish.