Las Vegas: Marcos Ambrose preview

AMBROSE FEATURED ON NEW LITTLE DEBBIE RACE CAR BROWNIES -- Marcos Ambrose is a big part of Little Debbie's latest product, the Little Debbie Race Car Brownies. Ambrose appears on the packaging for the brownies, which all carry the number 47,...

AMBROSE FEATURED ON NEW LITTLE DEBBIE RACE CAR BROWNIES --

Marcos Ambrose is a big part of Little Debbie's latest product, the Little Debbie Race Car Brownies.

Ambrose appears on the packaging for the brownies, which all carry the number 47, the number of the Little Debbie NASCAR machine.

The Race Car Brownies join a long list of treats that keep the #47 crew going over a race weekend, with an assortment of Little Debbie snacks always on hand in the #47 hauler, including Nutty Bars, Oatmeal Crème Pies, Marshmallow Pies, Zebra Cakes, Glazed Donuts and of course Honey Buns, a Marcos Ambrose favourite.

"I've always been a big fan of the Honey Buns, but I think that the Race Car Brownies might be my new favourite," said Ambrose.

Ambrose is the face of Little Debbie in the United States, appearing in television commercials and in-store promotional material alongside 'Sydney' the koala.

MARCOS BACK IN KINGSFORD COLOURS IN LAS VEGAS --

Marcos Ambrose returns to familiar colours this weekend for the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ambrose will make his third start for the season and his first in the colours of Kingsford Charcoal, who has been the major sponsor of Ambrose's Nationwide Series car for the past two seasons.

The Australian will debut the striking new Kingsford 'flame' livery in what will be Kingsford's debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Ambrose ran the Little Debbie livery on the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing entry for the first two races of the season, part of the team's marketing and sponsorship programme that will see four different major sponsors rotate liveries across the 36 points races this season.

CREW CHIEF FRANK KERR HAS RACER'S EYE HIMSELF --

Marcos Ambrose certainly doesn't have to tell #47 JTG Daugherty Racing crew chief Frank Kerr how hard it is out there on the race track -- he's been there, done that, got the trophy.

Kerr is a legendary Sprintcar driver from the mid-west, a multiple All-Star Circuit of Champions winner who boasts a record the envy of even some of the sport's greats.

Between 1990 and 2000, Kerr ran 886 A-Main races, winning an amazing 10 percent of those for 88 victories. He finished in the top five in 50 percent of his A-Main events and in the top 10 in 79 percent of those feature races.

After hanging up the helmet, Kerr turned to off-track endeavours and moved to Charlotte to begin work in NASCAR. Kerr was the crew chief for David Reutimann at Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007, before moving to JTG Daugherty Racing to become Marcos Ambrose' crew chief for that start-up, part-time Sprint Cup operation in 2008.

With JTG Daugherty Racing forming a technical alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing this year, Kerr has been reunited with MWR and is a major part of the operation as he guides Ambrose through his first full-season in the top level of NASCAR.

ROOKIE BATTLE WORTH COMPARISON IN 2009 --

While 2009 is Marcos Ambrose's first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, he is not a candidate for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award at Sprint Cup level.

NASCAR rules state that to be eligible for the award, a driver must not have more than seven starts to their name in that particular series. As Ambrose made 11 Sprint Cup starts last season, he is ineligible for the award.

But Ambrose is not alone, with Aric Almirola, driver of the #8 car for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, also ineligible for the 2008 rookie title for the same reason.

Eligible drivers carry a Raybestos Rookie of the Year badge on their race suit and a decal on their front guard (or fender), but drivers such as Ambrose and Almirola will still run bright yellow 'rookie stripes' on their rear bumper at tracks they are racing at for the first time at Sprint Cup level.

Ambrose finished third in the 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings for the NASCAR Camping World (formerly Craftsman) Truck Series, and was second behind David Ragan in the 2007 Raybestos Rookie of the Year award for the NASCAR Nationwide (formerly Busch) Series.

WHAT MARCOS HAS TO SAY:

On the track --

"Las Vegas is one of the faster one-and-a-half mile ovals we go to and it's a great facility," said Ambrose.

"We just don't know how our 1.5-mile package perform until we roll out in Las Vegas.

"Last weekend in California we had a 2.0-mile speedway that is reasonably flat, so you do need something different underneath you for the 1.5-mile tracks, which dominate the schedule.

"We'll see how we go. Hopefully we will have a good package. We learned a lot in California, so hopefully we can put that to good use in Las Vegas."

On the race --

"We've probably got just one more week of being cautious," said Ambrose.

"If we can have three solid results in the first five races that should guarantee us a pretty solid position in the championship.

"If you can finish 20th every week then your going to finish between 15th and 12th in the championship. So if we can finish around 20th, we'll consider that a great year.

"I just want to mix it up a bit and be in the middle of the pack to start this season and we've done that in these first two events.

"We'll just keep doing the same things for at least one or two more events before we turn the heat up."

-credit: ma/bam

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Marcos Ambrose , David Reutimann , David Ragan , Aric Almirola
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , JTG Daugherty Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing