Phoenix II: Marcos Ambrose qualifying report

AMBROSE QUALIFIES 18TH FOR PHOENIX CUP RACE Marcos Ambrose has achieved his best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying performance on an oval by qualifying 18th for the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona...

AMBROSE QUALIFIES 18TH FOR PHOENIX CUP RACE

Marcos Ambrose has achieved his best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying performance on an oval by qualifying 18th for the Checker Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona today.

Ambrose was the second fastest of the entries that had to qualify for the race on speed, with AJ Allmendinger the fastest in 13th place.

The strong qualifying performance by the Australian ensures that he will make his 10th Sprint Cup start in Phoenix on Sunday, starting the #47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry of Michael Waltrip Racing from the ninth row.

Earlier in the day Ambrose was 30th fastest in Sprint Cup practice, but Ambrose and crew chief Frank Kerr were confident of improvement before qualifying, with set-up adjustments paying dividends.

Ambrose will also make his 100th NASCAR start tomorrow in the Hefty Odor Block 200 aboard the #59 Kingsford Tailgate Ford Fusion of JTG Daugherty Racing.

Ambrose was 28th fastest in the opening NASCAR Nationwide Series practice session held at the one-mile Phoenix oval today, as he aims to finish the season in a top 10 points position. Ambrose elected to sit out the second practice session held to concentrate on Sprint Cup qualifying.

Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson will start the Checker Auto Parts 500 from pole position ahead of Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch.

MARCOS AMBROSE:

"The qualifying run was really good," said Ambrose.

"You know, you just drive so tight when you've got to get the car in on speed.

"You just really let loose and really go for it, but you just have to be on that conservative side to make sure you get in the show.

"I'm happy with our qualifying, I feel like we've got a good car for Sunday.

"In some respects, I feel like it hurts me running both cars here at Phoenix, because the two cars are so different here.

"I actually didn't run the second practice in the Nationwide car just so I didn't get those bad habits before I stepped into the Cup car.

"It's a balance, sometimes it works for you and sometimes it doesn't. I think here the two cars are so different I just prefer to keep them separate.

"I'm getting to know this team and they are understanding what I need to go fast and everything so it's a good combination. We're just growing into each other and it's going to be a lot of fun."

-credit: ma/bam

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Marcos Ambrose
Teams JTG Daugherty Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing