Indianapolis: Marcos Ambrose preview

AMBROSE LOOKS TO GIVE JTG FIRST CUP START AT INDY Marcos Ambrose will attempt to qualify for his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event and the first for JTG Racing when the Australian aims to start in the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor ...

AMBROSE LOOKS TO GIVE JTG FIRST CUP START AT INDY

Marcos Ambrose will attempt to qualify for his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event and the first for JTG Racing when the Australian aims to start in the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indiana this weekend.

Ambrose will pull 'double duty' once again this weekend, racing in both the NASCAR Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup race on the same weekend in the same city, but at two very different tracks.

Ambrose will drive the #47 Little Debbie Ford Fusion for JTG Racing in Sprint Cup duties with Frank Kerr as crew chief. As the JTG entry is a debut effort it carries no owner's points and will have to qualify for the race on speed, one of 12 cars entered who are outside the top 35 in 2008 Owner's Points.

If Ambrose qualifies for the Allstate 400 it will be his first Sprint Cup race on an oval, a debut that would come on one of the fastest oval venues on the schedule with the long Indianapolis straights providing high top speeds. Ambrose and the JTG Racing crew prepared for the challenge of Indianapolis by attending the official Sprint Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway in May, as Pocono is a similar track to the Brickyard.

Ambrose turned heads in his Sprint Cup debut at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California last month, topping practice, qualifying seventh and running as high as second before gearbox failure sidelined his debut with Wood Brothers Racing in the #21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion. 1988 Sprint Cup champion Bill Elliott will aim to qualify the #21 car this weekend at Indianapolis.

Ambrose will drive his regular car, the #59 Kingsford Ford Fusion, in the Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park, also in Indianapolis, Indiana. In contrast to the fast and wide expanses of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, O'Reilly Raceway Park, also in Indianapolis, is a small 0.686-mile oval known for close, tough racing.

After last weekend's race at Gateway, Ambrose jumped to 12th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings, and with the next two races after ORP both on road courses in Montreal and Watkins Glen, Ambrose is in a strong position to continue his climb towards a top 10 points position over the coming weeks.

QUICK FACTS ABOUT INDIANAPOLIS:

Geoff Brabham is the only Australian to ever compete in the Allstate 400, formerly known as the Brickyard 400, qualifying 18th and being classified in 38th in the inaugural NASCAR event at the famed speedway known at 'The Brickyard' in 1994.

Australians Sir Jack Brabham, Vern Schuppan, Geoff Brabham, Ryan Briscoe and Will Power have all raced in the Indianapolis 500, with Schuppan recording the best finish of an Aussie so far with third place in 1981.

QUOTES - MARCOS AMBROSE

"It's a big thrill to be competing at a place like Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Ambrose.

"When it comes to motorsport, there are only a few places in the world that come close to the Brickyard in terms of prestige, history, tradition.

"One thing I've always got a buzz out of my whole career was being able to tick off the really big tracks around the world and to say I've raced there. To race at Indianapolis would be my biggest yet. In the world of motorsport it's just massive.

"We are just gearing up our Cup team at JTG Racing and it's going to be a big challenge. We've got a brand new car and a brand new crew so it's a big challenge but we are all working really well together.

"This will be the first race for JTG at Cup level. You're up against big teams with the best drivers with a lot of resources so we've got our work cut out for us but we'll do our best and see where we can run.

"It's going to be good. I've never driven at the Brickyard but I'm really looking forward to it. It's a very, very fast track, about the fastest that we go to. There is no test at Indy this year but we ran our car at the Pocono test a little while back and that's a similar sort of track with long, fast tracks and not much banking, so that helps.

"It will be a busy weekend racing both the Little Debbie car in Cup at the Brickyard and the Kingsford car at ORP in Nationwide, but the two track are in the same city so it's going to be a lot easier than the Sonoma-Milwaukee deal."

- credit: bam media

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bill Elliott , Marcos Ambrose , Vern Schuppan , Ryan Briscoe , Jack Brabham , Will Power , Geoff Brabham
Teams Wood Brothers Racing