Saturday, August 10, 2013

No surprise, Ambrose top rated driver following all Watkins Glen practice sessions

Marcos Ambrose starts from the pole on Sunday
LAS VEGAS -- For 42 drivers starting in Sunday's Cheez-It 355 road race at Watkins Glen, they'll have a tough challenge in store for them. It's bad enough that they all come in with knowledge of how great Marcos Ambrose is on this course, but now they'll have the difficult task of trying to not only catch him, but also pass him as he starts from the pole.

Ambrose has made a complete mockery of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series during his five years of competing at Watkins Glen. In hasn't mattered what team he has driven for -- his skills on the course far exceed those of everyone else. He rarely makes a mistake entering and exiting turns, and he seems to go through them just a click faster than everyone else. He is like a machine out there, and it's a beautiful thing to watch.

Just how good is he? Well, in most cases, stats don't do a driver justice because of having a bad outing or two due to mechanical issues, wrecks or fuel mileage miscalculations that might have ruined a great performance. For Ambrose, his Watkins Glen stats tell the entire story: five starts with a 2.0 average finish. He's won the past two races here and has never finished worse than third.

It's hard to think about betting any other driver to win, but we have a few that could take advantage if Ambrose does happen to slip up somewhere or have a car that fails him.

The first driver to take notice of is this year's Sonoma road-course winner, Martin Truex Jr., at 20-to-1 odds. He was outstanding in Friday's first practice session with the fastest single lap, and he also was the only driver to run 10-consecutive laps during the rain-shortened session. Truex took a long time between wins over his career, but with one on the board this year already -- and all kinds of confidence -- he could get greedy and snag another one.

Kyle Busch gave Ambrose all he could handle in last season's Watkins Glen race, but he came up short while leading with two laps to go. He's tenacious on the roads and swept the 2008 season, which put him in a unique class with the best-of-the-best road racers in NASCAR history. He starts fifth Sunday and should move up quickly and take another shot at dueling with Ambrose.

Brad Keselowski was also in a duel with Ambrose on the final two laps and finished second for the second consecutive season behind Ambrose. He had a good pair of practices and offers decent value at 10-to-1 odds.

Read More Here....Final Driver Ratings

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