He wasn’t first time lucky, he suffered the sophomore jinx, and his third time definitely wasn’t a charm. Now, Marcos Ambrose has a fourth frustration in Montreal to fume over.
After taking control of the race early and passing cars at will, a mechanical failure turned another promising performance in Montreal to tears as he retired from the NAPA Auto Parts 200 on Sunday with 24 laps to go due to a suspension problem.
Instead of celebrating a win on the podium, a dejected Ambrose sat at the end of his hauler talking about what could have been — again.
It was the same old story for the likeable Australian, who has dominated each of the four NASCAR Nationwide races in Montreal, only to have something go wrong and spoil an incredible performance. In all, he has led 149 of 273 laps Nationwide has run on the 12-turn, 4.361 kilometre Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.
So, when does the constant disappointment make him begin to have a hate on for Montreal?
“Oh, about now,” he said with a huge smile. “You know it’s a great track, a great city, huge crowd and I love coming here. Just because I am not winning doesn’t mean I don’t have fun. It’s just a shame I can’t get to victory lane.”
An alternator failure meant that Ambrose had to shut down all the fans in the car to conserve electrical energy as the power got sucked from the battery. With engine power falling, Ambrose needed to drive the car hard to keep up. And that was his downfall.
“We were dominating early on. I held the lead for a long time but I drove it so hard that I broke some of the left front suspension,” he said. “You can’t say we didn’t give it a good shot.”
Ambrose told reporters that he needed to sleep on it when asked whether he'd be back in 2011 to try to finally win in Montreal.
Let's hope he does come back and gets that elusive win. He deserves it.