Ambrose 10th in rain-shortened Nascar race
19:29 AEST Mon Aug 6 2012

P - Australian Marcos Ambrose bounced back in the latest round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, finishing tenth on Sunday aboard the Stanley Ford Fusion on the 'Tricky Triangle' at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.

In a rain shortened event, Ambrose showed strong form, and was in the right place at the right time during a pair of late race cautions.

Jeff Gordon took advantage of an accident sparked by teammate Jimmie Johnson and a touch of timely rain to win his first race of the season and notch up his 86th career victory.

Kasey Kahne was second, followed by Martin Truex Jr, Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart.

The result is Ambrose's fifth top-10 of the season, and puts him in good stead for his return to Watkins Glen next weekend, the scene of his first top-tier NASCAR victory last season.

"We deserved a top-10 today, we had strong pace and it's a good reward for the hard work the Stanley team have been putting in lately," Ambrose said.

"With the rain coming, everyone knew it was going to be a shortened race, and things got pretty crazy out there.

"It's good to get our groove back ahead of Watkins Glen. I can't wait to get there."

Rain delayed the start of action and, when the green flag finally dropped, Ambrose saw in it from a Pocono best starting spot of fifth.

Finding the inside line of the track, Ambrose raced to third position, but then drifted back to ninth as the first stint wore on.

A competition caution scheduled for lap 20 never eventuated, with Kyle Busch smacking the wall directly behind Ambrose on lap 18.

After being caught up in traffic on the subsequent pit stop, Ambrose restarted from 20th but, working with Kevin Harvick, started to move back up the field.

He was pleased with his car when another round of green flag stops took place on lap 74, with teams turning their attentions to incoming thunderstorms.

The cars were brought to pit lane on lap 98 of the scheduled 160, with Jeff Gordon declared the winner, the biggest beneficiary of the race-ending accident.

In the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings after 21 of 36 races, Dale Earnhardt Jnr in a Chevrolet is the leader on 744 points, just five ahead of Matt Kenseth and six clear of Greg Biffle. Ambrose is in 18th place on 553.

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