Marcos Ambrose came oh-so close to fulfilling one of his NASCAR dreams, falling just short of earning a berth in the Sprint All-Star Race after finishing fifth in the Showdown qualifying race at Charlotte Motor Speedway today. Ambrose needed to...
Marcos Ambrose came oh-so close to fulfilling one of his NASCAR dreams, falling just short of earning a berth in the Sprint All-Star Race after finishing fifth in the Showdown qualifying race at Charlotte Motor Speedway today.
Ambrose needed to finish in the top-two in the Showdown, or win the popular fan vote to progress to the All-Star Race, however his storming drive through the field in the Showdown race, and an eventual top-five result in the fan vote saw him just miss out on both counts.
"We had a great run going out there this evening, I just wish we had a few more laps to track down the leaders and crack the top-two to make it into the main event," Ambrose said.
"The car has been quick all weekend long, I think if we had made the All-Star Race we definitely would have been a contender.
"I really have to thank everyone who voted for us in the fan vote, we were right there in the top rung of the voting throughout, and to finish in the top-five is very gratifying.
"It goes to show that there are a lot of people following what we are doing back in Australia, and more and more Americans are getting behind me.
"I can guarantee that we are doing everything in our power to get that breakthrough win, we'll be looking to build on the momentum we have had this weekend when we race here in Charlotte next weekend."
Ambrose had provisionally qualified in fifth place for the Showdown, but a downpour with only a handful of cars left to complete their timed run saw the starting order determined by a random draw, which saw the Cavalia backed Toyota Camry drop back to 18th in the 29 car field for the start.
In the first 20 lap segment of the 40 lap race, Ambrose set a cracking pace as he carved his way through the field, jumping up into 13th place after only two laps.
Yellow flags waved on the 18th lap, when Regan Smith and Juan Montoya crashed entering the first turn, with Ambrose's JTG Daugherty Racing crew swinging into action during the break in action to service the Camry with four new tyres and a suspension tweak.
Racing didn't last long into the second half of the race, when David Gilliland came into contact with the wall on the front stretch.
From a bunched re-start, Ambrose was placed in tenth, but one by one picked off the cars ahead of him, getting into fifth place with 10 laps remaining, running laps quicker than the race leader.
Positions remained static until the finish, with laps running out for Ambrose, as Martin Truex Jnr took the race win from Greg Biffle, with the pair progressing to the All-Star Race along with Carl Edwards, who won the fan vote.
Kurt Busch took the eventual All-Star Race victory, holding out the fast finishing Truex Jnr in a thrilling green-white-chequered flag finish.
The NASCAR road show stays put at Charlotte Motor Speedway until next Sunday, with the running of the Coca Cola 600 and a return to points paying Sprint Cup Series competition.
-source: marcos ambrose PR