Ambrose looking forward to Michigan/Montreal combo

Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup. Date: Sunday, mile oval. Start time: 1:00 p.m. (et). Laps: 200. Miles: 400. 2010 Winner: Kevin Harvick. Television: ESPN. Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN) /SIRIUS NASCAR Satellite.

Now that the dust has settled from a frantic race on Monday at Watkins Glen International, the Sprint Cup Series moves on to the wide two-mile Michigan International Speedway.

Marcos Ambrose is on cloud nine this week after claiming his first Sprint Cup win at Watkins Glen. The 34-year-old Australian became the fourth foreign-born race winner in NASCAR's premier series, joining Mario Andretti (Italy), Earl Ross (Canada) and Juan Pablo Montoya (Colombia).

Ambrose's victory also placed him in wild card contention. He currently sits 22nd in points but is only one marker outside the top-20. It will be a busy week for Ambrose. He is scheduled to compete in Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Montreal.

"We're gonna go to Montreal to win that one, and we're gonna go to Michigan on Sunday and try to win it," he said. "I don't know about points, and I really don't give a hoot about it. I've just got to win races, and [Monday] we won.

"I think we're all gonna get a bit of mojo, a bit of confidence about us and keep fighting, keep trying and you never know. We're not out of the Chase, that's for certain, but looking at points aren't gonna help you. You've just got to go out there and try to win races."

Right now, Denny Hamlin and Michigan-native Brad Keselowski hold the two wild card positions. Keselowski, 14th in points, occupies the first spot by virtue of his two wins (Kansas and Pocono).

"Coming back home to Michigan and having your name at the top of the wild card list and a strong potential to be in the Chase is a great feeling," Keselowski said.

Keselowski finished an impressive second at Watkins Glen, driving with a broken left ankle and sore back he sustained from a crash while testing two weeks ago at Road Atlanta.

He finished 25th at Michigan in June.

Hamlin has won two of the last three races at Michigan, including a victory here earlier this season.

"Michigan has been a good track," Hamlin said. "We haven't finished any worse than second over the last three races, so we need to go there and perform well."

Hamlin finished 36th at Watkins Glen due to a late-race crash. He dropped one spot to 12th in the rankings (33 points behind 10th-place Tony Stewart).

Indianapolis race winner Paul Menard is 15th in points. David Ragan, who won the July race at Daytona, saw his playoff hopes take a big hit at Watkins Glen. Ragan finished 28th after he was involved in a vicious multi-car crash on the last lap. He is now four points outside the top-20.

The top-four drivers in points -- Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick -- could clinch a position in the 12-driver Chase field at Michigan.

After his 31st-place run at Watkins Glen, Greg Biffle remained 13th in the standings. He is a distant 49 points behind Stewart. Biffle has yet to win this season after posting two victories last year. He is a two-time winner at Michigan.

Biffle is optimistic about one thing this weekend. Boris Said will not be at Michigan following their post-race brawl at Watkins Glen. Said will attempt to win at Montreal for the second year in a row.

The track surface at Michigan is scheduled to be repaved following Sunday's 400-mile race. Pit road was reconfigured immediately following the June event.

"It won't change that much for us," Hamlin said. "Unless it really changes the configuration and things like that, it won't change really what we do. You have to run a certain speed. One thing it will let you do is get into the [pit] boxes a little bit more aggressive if there's newer pavement than what there was in the past."

Forty-six teams are on the preliminary entry list for the Pure Michigan 400.