Ambrose heads to Phoenix 500 with confidence

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Success at PIR in Past Gives Ambrose High Hopes for Weekend

Ambrose has a knack for running well at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) and hopes his success at the one-mile track continues this weekend. Ambrose scored a top-10 finish at the Avondale, Ariz., track last fall and was poised for a top-three finish earlier this spring before mechanical issues took him out of contention with just 17 laps remaining.

Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty Motorsports Ford

Photo by: Action Sports Photography

This weekend will mark Week 2 with new crew chief Drew Blickensderfer and Ambrose is looking forward to continuing to build on their relationship at Phoenix. The duo worked well together last weekend at Texas, running in the top-10 for a large portion of the event until a blown tire late in the race abruptly ended their day. Ambrose and Blickensderfer are looking for better luck at PIR and hoping their results this weekend will do them justice.

The No. 9 car will have a different look at PIR as Black & Decker will return as the primary. The No. 9 Ford Fusion will again showcase two Black & Decker products -the all-new GYRO TM Screwdriver and the MATRIX TM Quick Connect System TM.

Ambrose will make his ninth career start at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. His best start (third) and his best finish (eighth) came in the 2011 fall race. Ambrose sits in 18th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings heading into Sunday's 312-lap event.

Comments from Black & Decker Ford Fusion Driver Marcos Ambrose: "I'm looking forward to going to Phoenix and getting a second chance with Drew (Blickensderfer) this week. I feel like we worked really well our first week together in Texas, but our results didn't show it because of our tire issue at the end. I think Drew and I communicated well, and I'm excited to build on that communication more at Phoenix. I like short-track racing and Phoenix has always been a good track for me. We've got a good little short-track program at Richard Petty Motorsports, and I know my Ford Fusion is going to be fast when we unload. We had a top-10 finish at Phoenix last fall and were running in the top three this spring when we had engine issues with just a few laps remaining. I know I'm capable of running well at the one-mile track and that gives me a lot of confidence going into this weekend. We've also got Black & Decker back on the car, so we are going to try really hard to bring home a great finish for them on Sunday."

Comments from Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on Phoenix: "I really enjoyed working with Marcos in Texas. He communicates well, which allows us to be able to make the appropriate adjustments to improve the car's handling. We didn't have the end result we were hoping for, but overall I felt like we learned a lot and ran a good race. I'm excited to continue the learning process this weekend. Phoenix is a track that Marcos runs well at, so I'm looking forward to getting the Black & Decker car unloaded to see what we've got this weekend.

"The biggest challenge at Phoenix will be judging the track conditions versus the changes we make to the car during practice. The track conditions tend to get better as practice goes on, so it's hard to tell if the adjustments we are making are helping the car or if it's just the track improving. During the race the biggest challenge will be making sure we have good track position. It will be important that we qualify well on Friday so we can start up front and stay up front on Sunday."

Chassis History: The No. 9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 805 for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway. This Black & Decker Ford was run previously this season at Phoenix, Richmond, Pocono and Indianapolis.

Richard Petty Motorsports

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Series NASCAR-CUP
Article type Preview
Tags ambrose, ford, petty, phoenix