Pit strategy helped seal the deal for Marcos Ambrose’s first career NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 victory at Watkins Glen International in 2008 and a daring move through the chicane past Kyle Busch last season inked the deal for his second triumph. Now, the Australian driver is going for three in a row in his sponsor’s race on Saturday behind the wheel of the No. 47 Kwik Fill Convenience Stores/Zippo Toyota.
“Watkins Glen is a pretty special place to me and family,” Ambrose said. “It’s where I scored my first NASCAR race win. We were able to return there last year for the Nationwide Series Zippo 200 and repeat. Now, we are looking to make it three in a row.”
The Australian driver has two victories, two pole awards, six top-five, 14 top-10 and 32 top-15 finishes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. He hopes the old saying ‘third time’s a charm’ holds true as he goes for the win, but he knows there are no guarantees.
“There’s no doubt, we’ll be a player, but there are no guarantees in this business,” Ambrose said. “Our number one goal is to win on Saturday for Kwik Fill Convenience Stores and Zippo and hopefully carry that momentum with us into Sunday’s Cup race.”
Ambrose’s only two NASCAR Nationwide Series appearances last year were at road courses. After his victory at The Glen, he came close to another win with a second-place finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. It was a dominating performance, but clipping the curb on the last turn in the final lap while leading allowed Carl Edwards to make the pass for the hardware.
“I made a mistake and literally gave that one away,” Ambrose said. “It won’t happen again and I’ll run Montreal until I win. We’re going back there this month to seal the deal. But, first our focus is Watkins Glen. We’ve got two big races this weekend with Nationwide and Cup and we want to capitalize in both. To sweep the weekend would be amazing. We’ve had such a hard year. We just really want to win badly.”
His winning attitude is refreshing given the tough season he has had in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Everything imaginable and uncontrollable has happened to his JTG Daugherty Racing team on the other side of the fence. Once Saturday is in the books, Ambrose will be on a mission to capture his first Cup victory after finishing second to Tony Stewart at the 2.45-mile road course last season.
“We’ve just got to shadow what Tony Stewart is doing,” Ambrose said. “Five of his 37 Cup wins have happened at Watkins Glen. He’s the guy we are going to have to beat.”
Live coverage of the Zippo 200 at the Glen on August 7 begins at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN and MRN Radio.
Based in Bradford, PA, and distributed in more than 152 countries worldwide, Zippo has produced nearly 475 million windproof lighters since its founding in 1932. Although best known for its iconic refillable windproof lighter, the Zippo product line also includes lighter accessories, butane candle lighters, lifestyle products for men, and an outdoor line of products and accessories introduced earlier this year. Zippo owns W.R. Case and Sons Cutlery Company, one of America’s oldest and finest cutlery manufacturers; Zippo Fashion Italia, maker of Italian fashion leather goods; and substantially all of the assets of Ronson Consumer Products Corporation. For more information about Zippo, visit Zippo.com.
About Kwik Fill Convenience Stores
Kwik Fill / Red Apple is a convenience store chain operated by Warren, PA based United Refining Company. With nearly 300 locations in PA, NY and OH, Kwik Fill prides itself on producing American-made gasoline made from 100% North American crude oil. Kwik Fill convenience stores are integral parts of the communities that they serve. For more information about Kwik Fill, visit KwikFill.com.