Richmond II: Marcos Ambrose race report

22ND PLACE FOR AMBROSE AT RICHMOND Marcos Ambrose has finished in 22nd place in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia today. Ambrose started from 11th position in the ...

22ND PLACE FOR AMBROSE AT RICHMOND

Marcos Ambrose has finished in 22nd place in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia today.

Ambrose started from 11th position in the #47 Clorox entry of JTG Daugherty Racing and made a strong start to the race with good speed in the opening stages.

But in the middle stages of the race the Australian driver slipped down the order slightly as he worked hard with crew chief Frank Kerr to improve the handling of his car.

Changes at pit stops improved his pace and in the closing stages Ambrose climbed back towards the front half of the field, jumping back onto the lead lap by gaining the 'Lucky Dog' free pass with roughly 20 laps remaining.

Denny Hamlin won the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 ahead of Kurt Busch and Mark Martin at the race where the field for the 2009 Chase for the Sprint Cup was decided, with Ambrose finishing five spots outside the Chase cut-off, still an incredibly strong result in his first full year of Sprint Cup competition.

WHAT MARCOS HAS TO SAY --

"It was an up and down weekend for us but not too bad a day really," said Ambrose.

"We worked really hard on it in practice, then had a surprisingly good qualifying.

"For the race we started out not too bad, but lost our way a little in the middle there.

"Frank (Kerr) and I never gave up on it and got our Clorox car working a little better towards the end.

"We got the Lucky Dog right at the end and didn't have much time to climb back up, but I grabbed a few spots and the car was pretty good, so I'm pleased we ended it on a good note.

"This race at Richmond that sets the Chase field is always an interesting one, so it was good to be a part of it.

"We didn't make the Chase but that was not on our radar in year one. For the rest of this year we want to run well, keep improving and hover around the top 10 as much as we can."

-credit: ma/bam

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Series NASCAR-CUP