NNS: Kyle Busch not thrilled by early incident at the Glen with Ambrose

4 Comments

Marcos Ambrose may have earned his fourth consecutive Nationwide Series win at Watkins Glen (2008-2010; did not compete in 2011-2013), but it was far from a Saturday cruise for him.

An early battle for third place ensued between Ambrose and Kyle Busch on Lap 6 of the 82-lap Zippo 200.

But as they headed for the bus stop chicane, the two made contact and spun off the track.

They were able to recover from their incident quickly and returned to the lead pack before the halfway mark. Eventually, Ambrose was able to hold off Busch in the final laps to take the victory.

Afterwards, a terse Busch indicated his annoyance with the Australian in post-race comments to ESPN.

“Another second place – our Monster Energy Camry was pretty good and probably good enough [to win], just never had the track position,” he began.

“We didn’t qualify as good as we needed to, and tried to make a move on somebody that don’t give a crap. And then he just turned into me and that put us behind. But we came back and got second. That’s it.”

Busch followed Ambrose into the pits during a caution at Lap 14; Ambrose took the subsequent restart in 16th, while Busch took it from 18th. Both drivers quickly made up positions before pitting again on Lap 20 for fuel only.

Then on Lap 26, a caution for Trevor Bayne and J.J. Yeley had Ambrose and Busch cycle to first and second when those ahead of them had to pit.

The two remained among the leaders for the rest of the race, and with five laps to go, Busch got underneath Joey Logano for second.

Ambrose’s lead started to evaporate, and by the final lap, Busch had brought it down to less than one second. But “Rowdy” ultimately ran out of time – much to Ambrose’s relief.

“I don’t know what nitrous button Kyle pressed there toward the end, but he came alive,” Ambrose said in Victory Lane. “Another lap and I’d be in real trouble.”

As for his perspective on the spin with Busch, Ambrose took a humorous approach as MRN’s Dustin Long reported:

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images
1 Comment

SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).