Ford Racing press release
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion, is one of four drivers with an opportunity to win $3 million in the Sprint Summer Showdown Sunday night. Ambrose was part of a press conference this afternoon that talked about his chances for finding victory lane.
MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion – WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO THIS RACE? “It’s just an awesome opportunity to try and win $3 million. My charity is obviously with Richard Petty and the Victory Junction Gang Camp. I’m really excited about trying to win $1 million for them as well as the Sprint voter. This is my first race here for my team and we have an outside chance, but there’s no reason why I wouldn’t take the money if I get to victory lane.”
HAVE YOU TAKEN AWAY AN ATTENTION FOR MARK WEBBER IN AUSTRALIA? “No. It was great to get my first win, but, to be honest with you, we have absolutely nothing to lose here this weekend. If we can snag another win here and win $3 million, it’ll be a bigger story than Mark Webber in F1 for sure. Mark has done great. He’s a fantastic driver and a good friend of mine, so I’m not gonna steal any thunder from him. He deserves all the attention he can get, but NASCAR is definitely gaining a lot of awareness in Australia and winning at Watkins Glen helped a lot.”
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 17 Crown Royal Ford Fusion, has already clinched a spot in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. He spoke about this weekend’s race and what lies ahead during his weekly Q&A session before practice.
YOU’RE GOING TO THE WHITE HOUSE NEXT WEEK. HOW SPECIAL IS THAT TO BE INVITED AND GO? “I’ve been fortunate to be there before and it’s pretty cool, especially the first time I got to go up there. I think it’s the most fun to go as the champion. In my opinion, it’s to honor the champion, so I’m going for Jimmie and NASCAR to help support him and congratulate him.”
THE ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 IS COMING UP. WHAT DO YOU RECALL ABOUT THAT WEEKEND AT DOVER? “It was neat to go to Dover. I remember the week was a very odd week. Katie and I were actually camping up at our property in Wisconsin. We didn’t have a phone or anything up there, so we didn’t really know about it until it all happened. We were like everybody else. We were stranded in Wisconsin, so we ended up driving back because there was no air travel. About Tuesday or Wednesday, I can’t remember when they called it off, but I started getting pretty stressed out about if we could even make it to New Hampshire if we had to drive, so it was a weird week besides the tragedy and everything going on around it. There was certainly a lot of uncertainty across the country with air travel.”
WAS THERE A GREATER FEELING OF PATRIOTISM AT DOVER? “Yeah, there really was. It was neat to go back there and it was cool to see all the fans. It still doesn’t seem like it was 10 years ago. It doesn’t seem that long ago. We all watch TV shows and movies and read books about that kind of stuff, but you don’t really think it’s real or could really happen. Even though it’s been 10 years, it still doesn’t really seem real to a lot of us who weren’t there and part of it.”
WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO BE A PART OF SOMETHING THAT HELPED TAKE THE COUNTRY’S MIND OFF THE SITUATION FOR A LITTLE WHILE? “I don’t know that it really helped take your mind off of it, but I think it was good when everything got back started. They cancelled NFL football games and races. I think once everybody got back to doing some of that stuff it helped a little. Obviously, it doesn’t really help the people who lost loved ones, but I think for the country, you hate to say back to normal, but when things started going on that were normally supposed to be happening and gave them other events to go to or watch, I’m sure that was good for people.”
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEKEND? YOU DON’T HAVE PRACTICE AFTER QUALIFYING. “First of all, I don’t know who in the world came up with these track schedules this year, but they are just the goofiest thing I’ve ever seen. This place especially it’s gonna make it a little more difficult because today when practice gets over it gonna be as close as you get to race conditions, but that’ll be the fastest the track is and they line up qualifying order by how fast your lap is the first practice, so you’re gonna want to think about qualifying, and it’s a track we haven’t been to in a year or tested at, so it’s really unique. If I had it my way, and I was talking to Jimmy about it, we’d probably just work on race practice the whole time and just forget about qualifying. Get the best lap you can on qualifying day and wherever you start you start. It’s a four-hour race and the track is real wide. There are a lot of passing grooves out there, so qualifying is probably less important here than it is in a lot of places we go to. I think trying to hit that race setup that feels good is gonna be difficult to do, but it’s gonna be really important.”