Marcos Ambrose, who hails from Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, is doing something he has never done before on Wednesday and that is making a stop in Rossburg, Ohio for his first trip to the half-mile, high-banked dirt oval known as Eldora Speedway.
Ambrose will compete inthe Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series invades Richmond International Raceway this weekend thanks to an invitation from two-timeCupchampion and Eldora Speedway owner Tony Stewart.
Ambrose is racing the No. 47 Kingsford Charcoal dirt Late Model fielded by Twin Oaks Racing and owned by Bob Straight in the fifth annual event that has anall-star cast with drivers, such as, Jimmie Johnson,David Reutimann, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Kenny Schrader, Brian Vickers and Ron Capps to name a few.
According to Ambrose, to be personally invited by Stewart is a privilege and it is also an honor to race for such a great cause that supports four-military-themed charities. Proceeds from HBO Pay-Per-View race telecast willbenefit theWounded Warrior Project, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Homefront and Fisher House.
"For Tony to invite me to race in the Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream issuch an honor and I appreciate him including me because it means a lot to me personally," Ambrose said. "It makes me feel like I've been accepted as one of the guys. Who would have thought an Australian would be invited to something of this magnitude with some of the best racers in the business? I know I'm going to have my hands full because I'll be going up against drivers that grew up racing on dirt and I really don't have any dirt experience whenit comes down to it. I don't want to get in the way and I want to do well for Bob Straight and the Twin Oaks Racing team in the No. 47 Kingsford Charcoaldirt Late Model. We'll have a lot of fun. Mycrew chief, Frank Kerr, and acouple of my guysare going up with me. This is something I have been looking forward to all season."
Once the dirt feature is over, Ambrose prepares to race the No. 47 Clorox Toyota at RichmondInternational Raceway where he finished 11th in the Cup race earlier this season.
"We had a strong finish at Richmond and we are hoping to bounce back followinga 23rd-place finish at Atlanta (Motor Speedway)," Ambrose said. "Richmond isa track I enjoy racing because it is a short track that feels likea mile-and-a-half track. It's just really fast and smooth."
Ambrose enters the .75-mileD-shaped oval with four top-five and seven top-10 finishes this season and is 17th in the driver's championship standings. In 36 career starts, he has recorded five top-five and eight top-10 finishes.
"We've had a respectable season and our goal now is to finish in the top-15 in points," Ambrose said. "I'm confident and I have a great crew. It's a realistic goal for us with the way we have been running this season."