Bristol: Marcos Ambrose race report

OUTSTANDING TENTH PLACE FOR AMBROSE IN BRISTOL Marcos Ambrose has driven to his best-ever Sprint Cup result on an oval at arguably the toughest track on the NASCAR circuit with an outstanding 10th place finish in the Food City 500 at...

OUTSTANDING TENTH PLACE FOR AMBROSE IN BRISTOL

Marcos Ambrose has driven to his best-ever Sprint Cup result on an oval at arguably the toughest track on the NASCAR circuit with an outstanding 10th place finish in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee today.

Ambrose had a strong weekend at the Bristol 'bull-ring', known as the world's fastest half-mile, and in front of a sell-out crowd of over 160,000 fans he recorded his first top 10 finish of the season aboard the #47 Little Debbie entry of JTG Daugherty Racing.

The Australian driver qualified in 13th position and showed strong pace all day, even leading the field at one point during the race -- the first time Ambrose has led a lap in Sprint Cup competition, earning five bonus points in the process.

The sensational result sees Ambrose rise four spots in the points to now sit in 24th place in the series standings.

Third place at the Watkins Glen International road course in New York last year remains the best Sprint Cup finish for Ambrose from 17 starts in the top level of NASCAR.

Kyle Busch won today's Food City 500 ahead of Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson.

Ambrose will be back in action next weekend at another short track venue when he runs the Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

WHAT MARCOS HAD TO SAY --

"We ran great all day," said Ambrose.

"Frank Kerr my crew chief has just helped me so much. He's just getting me back on track and giving me good cars and good equipment.

"We've got a great group around us this year with the alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing.

"I've got to thank all of those guys too. They've given us everything they've got and I feel like that is important that both players are equal.

"I'm just so thankful to everyone to give me the chance to really get in the Sprint Cup Series.

"We're doing it and we're right in the middle of it. We lost the number two and number four cylinders today so we were running on six at the end, but somehow we brought it home.

"We've just been working away at it. We've been sneaking up there getting more confident. We've had good runs every single race this year.

"We've just had problems. Problems during the race -- like we blew an engine at Atlanta and then we had some other issues with our deal at Vegas and here we are.

"We're finally hitting our form and showing everybody what we have got.

"I just can't wait to start hitting these tracks the second time. This is my very first COT race at a short track, first time at Bristol in a Cup car and I'm just really excited with the result today and hopefully it leads to better things.

"It's just great. I'm really keen to try to break that mentality thing of a road racing guy. I know I'm good on road courses, but I want to be good at every single track we go to and today was a big step to really validate why I'm here on a full-time Cup ride.

"Just really excited for my guys. I'm just so proud of them for giving me a great car today and for just working so hard.

"We're going to celebrate tonight because it feels like a win to us considering the adversity that we had today,

"But we've got next week to worry about on Monday and we've got to really focus on that and hopefully our season will get stronger and stronger and show everybody why we're here and that we mean business.

"It just feels great to be up there racing with those guys, passing Jeff Gordon. I mean, he's just a hero of mine. I've watched him forever and just admired him so much.

"We're there in the middle of it. I'm getting a few bumps here and there and I'm bumping a few guys. It's just a lot of fun.

"I'm learning the craft and hopefully these kinds of runs will help me cement my reputation in the series with my fellow drivers to know that I can do it when I'm on form."

-credit: ma/bam

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Jimmie Johnson , Marcos Ambrose , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch
Teams JTG Daugherty Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing