Atlanta II: JTG Racing, Ambrose preview

Ambrose moving on to Atlanta GRIFFIN, Ga. (September 1, 2009) -- After a heartbreaking NASCAR Nationwide Series finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday, Marcos Ambrose collects his thoughts and returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the ...

Ambrose moving on to Atlanta

GRIFFIN, Ga. (September 1, 2009) -- After a heartbreaking NASCAR Nationwide Series finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Sunday, Marcos Ambrose collects his thoughts and returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 500-mile event in his No. 47 Clorox® Toyota Camry.

"I'm looking forward to the Atlanta Cup race and putting the Nationwide race behind me," said Ambrose, who finished second in the NAPA AUTO PARTS 200 with the No. 47 Armor All® Toyota Camry. "It was a real shame that I lost the race. Caution after caution, restart after restart we managed to survive. Carl (Edwards) threw everything at me on the last lap. I half defended my position in the last corner and got two tires on the wet line and couldn't slow it up in time. I made a blunder. If it was any other corner or any other lap, I would have got it back, but it was the last lap and I had no time to fix my error. The most devastating part was the one mistake I made happened to be on the last corner."

The weekend prior to a dominating performance starting from the pole at Montreal, Ambrose raised eyebrows at Bristol Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sharpie 500 where he ran up front all night and finished third to victor Mark Martin. It was a race that Ambrose joked he just hoped he would finished, but this weekend he has a different feel for Atlanta.

"Bristol was a breakout race for us," Ambrose said. "I was just hoping we could finish the thing and then we actually ended up being in contention for a win. We have a different mindset for this weekend. The stats don't show it, but I favor Atlanta Motor Speedway. We had a motor blow up there in the spring when we were running in the top-10 and I ran well there last year in my only previous Cup start. We have a good handle on our 1.5-mile program and expect big results."

Surprise performances by Ambrose are becoming frequent as he is becoming one of the regulars talked about in the garage this season. A fourth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway, sixth at Pocono Raceway, third at Infineon Raceway, sixth at Daytona International Speedway, second at Watkins Glen International and a tenth and a third-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway has given Ambrose a sense of belonging and establishment in the premiere division.

"It's about hard work and dedication and it's a great time for me because I'm establishing myself in the Cup Series and getting good results like Bristol a couple weeks ago," Ambrose said. "It's good to be me and good to be JTG-Daugherty Racing."

As Ambrose is honing in on his skills he's also learning to take the good with the bad.

"I've been down the path of making bad decisions when the race hasn't gone my way like Montreal, but I have to remember it is just one race and when you are in contention to win you have to feel good about putting on a good effort," Ambrose said. "At the time on Sunday after the race, I was frustrated, but you try to be professional and represent your sponsors well. Also, our fans would rather not hear us moaning and complaining about how we were dealt a bad hand especially when it was a fair fight to the end. I try to remember to be cool when I'm winning, but I also try to be cool when it's not my turn. It's a fine line between showing true emotion and being like a cardboard cutout and not having any personality."

-credit: mwr/jtgr

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Series NASCAR-CUP