Marcos Ambrose showed that he will be a force to be reckoned with in the run to the NASCAR Sprint Cup, backing up his Watkins Glen victory with a fifth place finish aboard the Stanley Ford Fusion at Michigan International Speedway.
A front runner throughout the 400 mile race on the two mile long superspeedway, Ambrose secured his third straight top-ten finish.
With three races to come before the cut-off for the Chase to the Sprint Cup, Ambrose requires a victory in Bristol, Atlanta or Richmond to secure his place in NASCAR's playoffs.
"It was a really strong day for the Stanley Ford Richard Petty Motorsports team," Ambrose said.
"After you come off a win, sometimes it's a struggle to keep that mojo going.
"We had a fast car all day long, got track position late and really made the most of it.
"We've got to look back and rewind the race, we were holding off (Greg) Biffle with 25-30 laps to go, and he won.
"I'm proud of my guys for carrying that momentum through, it's great to run top-five, but winning's what it's all about for us right now."
Starting from eighth position, Ambrose struggled in the opening laps after being forced into the grey part of the track and falling back to 19th.
The opening caution flashed on lap five when David Gilliland spun, with Ambrose staying on track to make his first stop under green flag conditions.
Ambrose worked his way up to 16th position by lap 53 of 200, with the Stanley Ford Fusion coming alive as the fuel burned down.
Sitting in 16th place on lap 65, the second caution of the race slowed the field when race leader Mark Martin made brutal contact with the pit wall.
Acing the restart, Ambrose jumped to 11th place one corner after the green flag, before unfortunately tangling with Regan Smith at turn three.
Undamaged in the accident, Ambrose saw in the restart from 12th position.
Following some wild three wide racing, Ambrose once again sat in 11th when Joey Logano slapped the wall, bringing out a yellow on lap 89.
Pitting under the caution, the number nine took in the green flag from 16th, but mounted a charge to the front which saw the Stanley Ford scored in second place before its next stop.
After Kurt Busch met the concrete wall in turns three and four, Ambrose stayed on track under the yellow to restart from eighth.
Juan Montoya brought out the next caution when he suffered a flat tyre, with Ambrose restarting sixth.
Trevor Bayne was the next to slow the field with 20 laps to go, with Ambrose looking destined to finish in seventh. That was until race leader Jimmie Johnson blew his engine within sight of the finish line, setting up a green-white-chequered flag finish.
Ambrose nailed the restart, and advanced to fifth spot, behind Greg Biffle, Brad Keselowski, Kasey Kahne and Dale Earnhardt Jnr.
Next Saturday night the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continues with one of the highlight events of the season, the Bristol night race.
Pure Michigan 400 Results
1. Greg Biffle (Ford)
2. Brad Keselowski (Dodge)
3. Kasey Kahne (Chevrolet)
4. Dale Earnhardt Jnr (Chevrolet)
5. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
6. Carl Edwards (Ford)
7. Clint Bowyer (Toyota)
8. Ryan Newman (Chevrolet)
9. Paul Menard (Chevrolet)
10. Martin Truex Jnr (Toyota)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings (after 23 of 36 races)
1. Greg Biffle (Ford)- 823 points
2.Matt Kenseth (Ford)- 803
3.Dale Earnhardt Jnr (Chevrolet)- 801
4.Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)- 795
5. Brad Keselowski (Dodge)- 776
6. Martin Truex Jnr (Toyota)- 763
7. Clint Bowyer (Toyota)- 757
8. Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet)- 738
9.Tony Stewart (Chevrolet)- 728
10. Denny Hamlin (Toyota)- 727
17. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)- 639