Ambrose Bumps Villeneuve In Montreal Qualifying
Marcos Ambrose won the pole and set a new track record in qualifying for Sunday’s Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal.
Ambrose posted a speed of 97.115 mph over the 14-turn, 2.710 mile track during the multi-car qualifying format.
Ambrose, who went out in the final five-car group early Saturday evening, knocked hometown hero – and son of the late driver after whom the track is named – Jacques Villenueve, off the pole twice during the session.
“I think I just made the entire Canadian population mad because it would have been a great story for Jacques Villeneuve to be on pole,” Ambrose said. “I’ve watched him for years and he’s a hero of mine.
“On the last lap, I had my tongue hanging out,” Ambrose continued. “I didn’t want to know where I was stacking up, I just wanted lap times. I didn’t know he was matching me lap for lap. It’s great to be able to start on the pole because this place has been really tough on us. I’m pretty proud of my guys. My NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew gave up their off weekend to come up here and help me win this race. We’re hoping to do that tomorrow, but it’s not going to be easy. There’s a lot of talent in the field.”
Villeneuve will start second after posting a lap at 96.960 mph.
“It was fun,” the former Formula One champion and Indianapolis 500 winner said. “The car has been good all day. We concentrated mainly to be sure the car would be good on old tires and on long runs. It worked fine for qualifying. We felt we had a shot at the pole and the Dollar General crew worked really hard – was great. Just made a little mistake in the hairpin and that cost the pole today. We’re both –Marcos and I – were a little bit on the limit. It’s great to be on the front row with him. He’s a tremendous road racer with past results here and at the (Watkins) Glen. It’s really good to be starting on the front row. It might help us to avoid being caught in some incidents at the start and we can have a strong race.”
Did Villeneuve have any idea he and Ambrose were going back and forth for the pole in qualifying?
“No. I just know that the laps I was doing were good at the time, but I didn’t think they would stick. I thought the last one was good, but there was a small chance that someone would get in – Marcos (Ambrose), and he did. It was frustrating.”
Joey Logano was third fasted and Carl Edwards was fourth.
Boris Said was fifth.
(This story will be updated shortly)No Comment