Las Vegas: Marcos Ambrose race report

AMBROSE SALVAGES 20TH WITH STRONG SPEED IN LAS VEGAS Marcos Ambrose has salvaged a solid result after an early clash prevented him from showing his true potential in the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas,...

AMBROSE SALVAGES 20TH WITH STRONG SPEED IN LAS VEGAS

Marcos Ambrose has salvaged a solid result after an early clash prevented him from showing his true potential in the Shelby 427 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada today.

Ambrose recorded a 20th place finish in the 285-lap race, but it could have been an even better day for the Australian if not for an early race incident.

Ambrose qualified in fifth place in Las Vegas, his best ever Sprint Cup Series qualifying performance, but started from rear of the 43-car field as a result of an engine change on Saturday.

When Todd Bodine spun on lap five, Ambrose slowed to avoid the wreck, only to be hit from behind by Elliott Sadler.

Ambrose pitted the #47 Kingsford entry for repairs, losing two laps while his JTG Daugherty Racing crew worked on the damage.

Once two laps down Ambrose was behind the eight-ball but showed impressive speed to work his way towards the front of the pack.

Eventually, Ambrose was right at the point of the field and on lap 168 Ambrose was able to lead the field away at the restart and stay in front of the race leaders. When another caution came out on lap 172, Ambrose was able to rejoin the back of the pack to regain one of his laps.

Ambrose then continued to charge, rising through the pack to reach 20th position by the race finish. The result salvaged some vital championship points after the early setback, but Ambrose and his team could not help but think what could have been given the impressive pace shown throughout the race.

The finish, in what was Ambrose's first Sprint Cup start at Las Vegas, lifted the 32-year-old one spot in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver's standings into 20th position.

Kyle Busch won today's Shelby 427 ahead of Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton.

Ambrose will be back in action next weekend for the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia.

WHAT MARCOS HAS TO SAY:

"We had a very fast Kingsford car today but we couldn't get up to where we belonged once we were two laps down," said Ambrose.

"It was great to have such a fast race car. When the car was at its best we jumped the leaders at the restart and won our lap back by pulling a gap on them.

"It was a great feeling to have a car like that under me but it's also frustrating because on pace we should have been looking at a really big result, but instead we were trying to get laps back after what went on in the early stages.

"We really showed our potential this weekend and this team is superb. Everyone is doing an awesome job, we've had three solid results to start the season and today we showed that we have the ability to really run well."

-credit: ma/bam

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Todd Bodine , Marcos Ambrose , Clint Bowyer , Elliott Sadler , Kyle Busch
Teams JTG Daugherty Racing