Ambrose finishes eighth in Sonoma NASCAR

Last updated 16:51 25/06/2012

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Australian driver Marcos Ambrose has finished eighth after starting from pole at the NASCAR Sprint Cup series race in Sonoma.

Ambrose had to overcome some handling issues on his Stanley Ford Fusion early in the race.

He dropped back as far as 16th before improving to eighth in a race won by American Clint Bowyer.

Ambrose improved to 16th place on the overall standings after 16 races.

"We missed it, but we did a good job to recover and get a top-10 out of it," Ambrose said.

"I just feel bad for my Stanley team. We will take it and move on.

"We got the pole and had a lot of speed.

"We'll learn from it and head to Kentucky next weekend."

Bowyer raced to his first NASCAR victory on a road course, holding off the challenge of fellow Americans Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch.

Bowyer dominated Sunday's race, but defending race winner Busch was all over his bumper towards the end.

A caution with four laps remaining set up a final restart and overtime finish and forced Bowyer to earn the victory.

He raced side-by-side with Busch at the green flag but cleared Busch and pulled away for the win.

"To have this dirt boy from Kansas at Victory Lane on a road course is big, trust me," Bowyer said.

"I saw Jeff Gordon, he's sitting there on the wall, he's won this race many times, he's a champion of this sport and I just beat him.

"I passed Jeff Gordon, and you have no idea, a young racer from Kansas, you don't forget stuff like that."

Bowyer dominated by leading 71 of the 112 laps.

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- AAP

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