MARCOS AMBROSE’S LEGENDARY NASCAR CHEAT
MARCOS Ambrose always had a habit of pushing the limit – both on and off the track.
Introducing Andy Lally, a mainstay of the North American sports car scene, but also for a time a competitor at the top level of the NASCAR Cup Series with The Racer’s Group squad.
On the premiere episode of the Dinner with Racers podcast, Lally recalled an all-time classic tale from his rookie Cup season, which started with the Daytona 500.
With pocket rocket Danica Patrick now involved in the sport, driver weights became a factor when considering parity between the cars.
“In NASCAR you get weighed twice a year… starting in 2010, the year before my rookie year, they weigh the driver, and they take that weight at Daytona,” said Lally.
“So at the first race of the year, and at the start of the second half of the year.
“When the 71 car pulls up at tech, I’m never there, so they say ‘minus 100 and whatever pounds’ (from the car’s weight).
“So you want to bulk up for Daytona, because it doesn’t really matter for weight, then you try and cut weight like crazy after that… or you bulk up, and add weight to your body.
“So I get told it’s time to do the weigh in, and I’m guzzling water, and I put like another jacket on and like two pairs of jeans.
“I go to weigh in at Daytona, and I’m all proud of myself… back then I think they only did it in 10 pound increments, but now they do it to five pounds or to the pound.
“So if you were 181 (82kg), it was the same as being 189 (86kg), so I was like 172 pounds (78kg) or so, so all I was trying to do was get to 181, so I was going to be 10 pounds lighter.
“So I’m drinking a bunch of water, I’m putting extra clothes on, and I’m putting some shit in my pockets, sockets and crap like that.
“I get to the thing, and I’m as nervous as hell, because it’s the Daytona 500, I’m going to go to tech, and I’m cheating.
“And I can say this now because he is back in Australia, Ambrose, who is a buddy of mine, I met him back in 2005 when he came to do the (Daytona) 24 Hours for the first time, we were teammates back then, same team, different car.
“So he comes walking up in a parka that is clearly stuffed with all sorts of shit, and he’s got cargo pants on, pockets are stuffed, and he’s got huge cargo pants, and he’s got jeans on under there, and he is laughing his ass off behind me… and I’m like ‘oh my God – do they not make you take that off?’
“He’s like ‘they didn’t last year!’
“So I weigh in, and I’m like 182 pounds, so I went overboard, all I had to do was 181, so I was all proud.
“He gets on the scale and he’s like 210 (95kg), and he is like 5ft 8in, I mean he’s not skinny, but he’s probably 165 to 175ish (74 to 79kg), something like that.
“I walk off the scales like ‘haha, I’ve got it!’… and I wanted to see Ambrose, boom 210, I’m like ‘look under his parka, you don’t need to be wearing a parka, it’s like 78 degrees (26°C) out in Daytona!’”
How that second weigh in went for Lally later in the season is well worth the listen…