Ambrose and No. 47 Little Debbie? Toyota Team Sets the Bar Higher for Auto Club Speedway FONTANA, Calif. (February 17, 2009) -- Marcos Ambrose prepares for this weekend's Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway looking to build upon his momentum...
Ambrose and No. 47 Little Debbie? Toyota Team Sets the Bar Higher for Auto Club Speedway
FONTANA, Calif. (February 17, 2009) -- Marcos Ambrose prepares for this weekend's Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway looking to build upon his momentum after a solid 17th-place finish behind the wheel of his No. 47 Little Debbie? Toyota Camry. The result was impressive considering it was his first-ever Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.
"It's a nice way to kick off the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season," Ambrose said. "Now, we turn our focus to Auto Club Speedway and even better results. We're setting the bar even higher."
Unlike Daytona, the Australian driver has raced a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car at Auto Club Speedway. After starting 40th in the August race, he completed 249 laps to finish 32nd in the No. 21 Little Debbie? entry fielded by the Wood Brothers.
"I did finish a Cup race out there last year, so I have some experience at that track," Ambrose said. "Auto Club Speedway is a track with great character. We had a solid weekend at Daytona and hope for a smooth race this weekend."
The Daytona 500 weekend went smoothly for Ambrose, but there were three very important things missing that continue to be absent -- Marcos's wife Sonja and their two children, Tabitha and Adelaide. They've stayed behind in Australia when Ambrose returned to the States in January. They will return to America in March, but in the mean time, the family has found different ways to keep up with Ambrose's progress.
"They've been watching me on television back home in Australia," Ambrose said. "During the race, Sonja is able to listen into the radio communication between me and my Little Debbie? JTG-Daugherty Racing team on the computer thanks to NASCAR.com. I can wish them well and say hi before the start of a race and that's incredible. Also, we have a web cam set up so I can see the children and talk to my wife Sonja on a daily basis. I miss them, but we've found unique ways to stay in touch constantly. I am really looking forward to them coming back in a couple weeks."
As Ambrose's family supports him from Down Under, the Australian driver and crew chief Frank Kerr are looking to deliver stronger results at Auto Club Speedway.
"We finished in the top 20 and now we will aim for a top-15 finish," Kerr said. "Then we'll go after a top-10, a top-five and ultimately, a win. Obviously, you aim to win every week, but you have to crawl before you walk. This weekend, the biggest thing we will focus on is shock combinations because the track is getting rougher. We'll do a lot with shock combos and bump stops. That's really important this weekend."
"Frankie's right," Ambrose agreed. "Shock packages are essential. I'm grateful I have some laps there in a Cup car as well as four Nationwide races under my belt. At least I know what the place looks like and the character of the track. We hope to leave there with a strong finish."