Pocono: Marcos Ambrose preview

UNIQUE MILESTONE FOR AMBROSE IN POCONO Marcos Ambrose will complete a unique milestone at the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania this weekend. Ambrose will make his debut at the 2.5-mile triangular speedway, meaning that...

UNIQUE MILESTONE FOR AMBROSE IN POCONO

Marcos Ambrose will complete a unique milestone at the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania this weekend.

Ambrose will make his debut at the 2.5-mile triangular speedway, meaning that he will have competed at every venue on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.

The Australian participated at a Sprint Cup test day at Pocono last season with JTG Daugherty Racing and crew chief Frank Kerr.

AMBROSE DRAFTED IN FOR JEFF GORDON AT ELDORA BEFORE RAIN OUT

Marcos Ambrose made a quick trip to Eldora Speedway in Ohio on Wednesday night, drafted in to replace Jeff Gordon in the Prelude to the Dream.

The event, held using Late Model speedway cars, is hosted by Eldora owner and current Sprint Cup points leader Tony Stewart.

Gordon opted out of the event due to a on-going back injury, giving Ambrose the chance to race alongside some of NASCAR's biggest stars around the fast half-mile dirt speedway.

Ambrose has only raced on dirt on only a handful occasions, all since he moved to the United States to pursue a career in NASCAR, several times driving cars owned by friend Ken Schrader in similar celebrity-style events.

Some of the other entries in the Prelude to the Dream include David Reutimann, Ryan Newman, drag racing champion Ron Capps, Kasey Kahne, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Stewart himself.

In the end the event, which is screened via Pay-Per-View on US network HBO, was postponed until September 9 due to rain.

Proceeds from the pay-per-view revenue are donated to four military charities, the Wounded Warrior Project, Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Operation Homefront and Fisher House.

MARCOS DONS COACH'S HAT AT VIR ROAD COURSE TEST

Ambrose donned his 'Coach's Hat' this week when he tested at the Virginia International Raceway road course with Michael Waltrip Racing stablemate David Reuitmann.

Reutimann, who already has a race win and a pole position to his name this season, is a major contender for the Chase for the Sprint Cup this season.

With two road course events in the coming months, Ambrose spent time with Reutimann, who has a background in oval-track speedway racing, passing on some of his vast knowledge of road course racing.

The team even had a two-seat stock car present to allow Ambrose to assist Reutimann on driving technique, with clear improvement visible at the end of the day.

Ambrose also tested the #47 Little Debbie machine that he will take to Infineon Raceway for the first road course event of the season later this month.

KEEP AN EYE ON TNT RACE BUDDY

US television network TNT will telecast the next six races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.

As part of TNT's coverage, NASCAR.com will host the popular Race Buddy program to enhance the television coverage, with additional camera angles and statistics free-of-charge.

Both TNT and NASCAR.com are a part of the Turner Corporation.

Wherever you are in the world, be sure to hit NASCAR.com and try Race Buddy when you watch this weekend's Pocono 500.

WHAT MARCOS HAS TO SAY:

On Prelude to The Dream at Eldora (quotes prior to rain out)

"I'm jumping into the deep end because I don't have dirt experience like most of these drivers do," said Ambrose.

"There's a little pressure and I'm a bit nervous, but I'm going to do my best and finish well. I'm thankful that Tony asked me because it's an incredible event he puts on annually. I know I'm going to have a lot of fun racing with those guys."

On the Pocono 500

"I was able to shake down a car there last year," said Ambrose.

"It's just a different track like no other on the circuit. When you are going fast down the straight-aways, you have got to be precise on exit speeds.

"It's a hard track and I don't know what to expect."

AND A WORD FROM #47 CREW CHIEF FRANK KERR

On Tuesday's road course test at VIR

"Marcos is the best road course racer I have ever worked with and he was really fast at VIR," Kerr said.

"We have a great package for the Little Debbie car at Sonoma. We got in everything we wanted to try at the test and Marcos was also able to work with David (Reutimann).

"We had a two-seater up there and Marcos gave David a few tips on hand positioning and shifting.

"David picked up a lot of time on his laps while we were there. It was a beneficial test for both Marcos and David. We all learned a lot from each other."

-credit: ma/bam

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Ron Capps , Kevin Harvick , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Marcos Ambrose , David Reutimann , Clint Bowyer
Teams JTG Daugherty Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing