Phoenix II: MWR/Ambrose preview

Ambrose Set To Make 100th NASCAR Start at Phoenix AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 4, 2008) -- This weekend Marcos Ambrose is prepared to pull double-duty again as he attempts to qualify the No. 47 Little Debbie® Toyota Camry with Michael Waltrip...

Ambrose Set To Make 100th NASCAR Start at Phoenix

AVONDALE, Ariz. (November 4, 2008) -- This weekend Marcos Ambrose is prepared to pull double-duty again as he attempts to qualify the No. 47 Little Debbie® Toyota Camry with Michael Waltrip Racing for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) event and competes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) event in the No. 59 Kingsford entry with JTG-Daugherty Racing one day prior.

Saturday's NNS race will mark the Australian driver's 100th NASCAR start as he currently has 9 NSCS starts, 68 NNS starts and 22 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts (NCTS). He embarked upon his debut in NASCAR joining forces with JTG Racing and Wood Brothers. In 2007, he made history becoming the first non-North American driver to finish in the NNS top 10 championship standings with JTG-Daugherty Racing. This season he recorded his first NNS victory at Watkins Glen International and a career-best NSCS finish of third-place at the same venue in only his third start.

"It's hard to believe that I have run a combined total of 99 races," said Ambrose, who made his first NASCAR start at Martinsville Speedway in a Craftsman Truck entered by JTG Racing in 2006. "I hope one day to make my 1,000th NASCAR start as Michael Waltrip did recently. That's a big accomplishment."

This weekend Ambrose is focused on improving upon his ninth-place finish last Saturday in the No. 59 Kingsford Nationwide entry and his 21st-place finish in his No. 47 Little Debbie® Toyota Camry.

"We had a good weekend in Texas and we look to build on our performance at Phoenix," Ambrose said. "I'm fortunate to have the opportunity to run both Series thanks to JTG-Daugherty and Michael Waltrip Racing. Track time is really important, but at the same time the cars handle so differently. There's not much that you can crossover from the two."

Ambrose has not run a Cup race at the one-mile tri-oval, but he has competed in three Nationwide Series races and his best finish is 15th in 2007. He also has a 15th-place finish in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck at Phoenix.

"Phoenix International Raceway is really unique," Ambrose said. "I've run well there in the past in both the Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series. I feel like it's a track on the schedule that I will be stronger at."

Entering Phoenix, the No. 47 Little Debbie® Toyota Camry is only 44 points out of 35th-place in the NSCS owner points standings. They were 80 points out before the race at Texas Motor Speedway and have sliced their points deficit almost in half.

"I'm not sure if we will be in the top 35 after Phoenix, but we are definitely putting the heat on," Ambrose said. "We've just got to stay out of trouble this weekend and do as well as we can and see how the points fall in the end. It's going to come down to the last race at Homestead-Miami Speedway."

Ambrose is making only his 10th Cup start this weekend and third with Michael Waltrip Racing. The team that is currently in place will be with Ambrose and JTG-Daugherty in 2009 as they compete full-time in the NSCS.

"I am just really starting to get comfortable with the guys and getting more confidence behind the wheel each week," Ambrose said. "Having more experience with the team will help us be that much better. I need to keep doing what I have been doing and that's continuing to learn, trying to be consistent and finishing the race."

-credit: mwr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Marcos Ambrose
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing