2012 season in the rear view: Marcos Ambrose

Vitals: 18th in the points standings. 1 win, 3 top 5s, 8 top 10s. 4 DNFs.

Moment to remember: Hey, we have a winner! Being the lowest ranked winner in the points standings isn't much of an honor, but Marcos Ambrose's win was sure fun to watch. Let's watch it again.

That win was followed by two top five finishes, suddenly making Ambrose a legitimate Chase contender as the Sprint Cup marched towards the final race before the Chase at Richmond.

Moment to forget: And then things started sputtering from there. In the 12 races since his fifth place finish at Bristol, Ambrose's highest finish was a 12th place at Kansas Speedway. In that stretch, Ambrose had three crew chiefs (Todd Parrott, Mike Ford and Drew Blickensderfer) and finished outside the top 20 six times, including crashing at Talladega and then at Texas after losing a tire.

The wrap: After Richmond, Ambrose was 15th in the points standings, but was 17th after Chicago and then settled into 18th. He showed enough flashes at non road courses to stay inside the top 20 for the final 26 races, but was only a true threat to win at Watkins Glen.

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