Had Marcos Ambrose won Sunday’s event at Watkins Glen you’d likely of heard about how good he was at the track and then you would of heard the inevitable question to when he would win on an oval.
Ambrose didn’t win Sunday. In fact he finished third after a great showing and suddenly some are already calling Ambrose a huge disappointment. To the same degree one could wonder if they would think the run Jeff Gordon has had this year is also a huge disappointment since he lacks wins thus far.
It’s not easy to run third in any NASCAR Sprint Cup Race. At Watkins Glen the talent of Ambrose may have been matched by only two or three drivers but it only takes one of those drivers to beat you. Ambrose ran well, he won the Nationwide event the day before and who knows maybe if he had better equipment he would have been able to hang with the superior cars of Montoya and Kurt Busch.
Next year Ambrose is leaving JTG Daugherty and that moment should be fast enough for fans of the Australian. While it’s not official yet it’s been speculated by many that he will find himself in the #9 ride currently held by Kasey Kahne who will shift over to Team Red Bull for one reason before assuming Mark Martins spot at Hendrick Motorsports.
Ambrose showed me nothing on Sunday that I didn’t already know. The guy can whip a car around a road course. That he didn’t win may be a disappointment but it doesn’t mean he’s a failure by any stretch.
The 2010 season may have started with early promise for the 34 year-old who had run one and a half years on the circuit. The close calls of 2009 hinted that Ambrose could be primed for a break out. That break out will have to happen in 2011.
There will be a day when Ambrose not only can run a road course and be competitive but will also contend on ovals. That day is coming sooner then later.