Australian Marcos Ambrose has had another tough day at the office in the latest round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, when successive flat tyres ruined his day at Dover's infamous Monster Mile. Ambrose qualified his JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota...
Australian Marcos Ambrose has had another tough day at the office in the latest round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, when successive flat tyres ruined his day at Dover's infamous Monster Mile.
Ambrose qualified his JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota Camry in 26th position in the 43 car field, and he was full of optimism coming into the race after posting strong times over long stints in the final practice session leading into the race.
After a solid start and setting lap times as quick as the leaders in the opening encounters, the crew swung into action and started fine tuning the car during the first round of pit stops, when Sam Hornish Jnr crashed on lap 54.
An extended period of clean racing saw green flag pit stops take place on lap 128, with Ambrose jumping ahead of four cars after a slick service, finding himself in 17th place on the race track.
The race however unraveled for Ambrose on lap 157 when a flat tyre sent the car into the wall between turns three and four, with a pair of pit stops under his own caution flag seeing the car return to action in less than pristine condition.
A near identical tyre failure on lap 225 saw the car make contact with the same wall, with the resulting damage ruling the car out of the race.
"The Monster Mile has a reputation for eating up cars, and today just wasn't going to be our day," a disappointed Ambrose said post-race.
"It's such a shame for the team; we were hanging in there and making definite progress and looking to score a good result."
"We're having a fairly rough run at the moment, but just a little bit of good luck will really turn our season around, we know that we have the package to get the job done."
Kyle Busch was the eventual race winner, taking a sweep of the Sprint Cup and Nationwide races at Dover International Speedway for the weekend.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now returns to the home of JTG Daugherty Racing, Charlotte in North Carolina for two weekends of racing, starting out with the Sprint All-Star Race and Showdown next weekend.
With one million dollars on the line for the race victory, the All-Star Race is one of the highlights on the NASCAR calendar, despite being a non-championship event.
Race entry is by invitation only, and is open to Sprint Cup race winners from the 2009-10 season, former series champions and All-Star Race winners from the past 10 years, as well as the top-two finishers from the Showdown and the winner of a popular fan vote.
Heading into the final few days of voting, Ambrose remains within the top-ten fan picks, with voting open on the NASCAR website, www.nascar.com/promos/allstar/2010/vote/, until an hour before the main event next Sunday morning Australian time.
"I think we can really turn our season around at Charlotte, and I would dearly love to be a starter in the All-Star Race," Ambrose said.
"There's no pressure to score points, so you are just there gunning for the win, there's no holding back.
"Obviously we're very proud of all of the fans getting out there and supporting us in the voting until now, and hopefully we can keep the momentum going and get voted into the race."
The popular vote has been used for the past six All-Star Races, with Kasey Kahne scooping the pool in 2008 by winning the million dollar pay day after qualifying via the fan vote.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series second successive outing in Charlotte the following weekend will see the running of the Coca Cola 600, and a return to full championship mode.
-source: marcos ambrose PR