Texas II: Marcos Ambrose race report

BEST CUP RESULT ON OVAL BRINGS AMBROSE CLOSER TO TOP 35 Marcos Ambrose has achieved his best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series result on an oval with a strong 21st place finish in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, ...

BEST CUP RESULT ON OVAL BRINGS AMBROSE CLOSER TO TOP 35

Marcos Ambrose has achieved his best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series result on an oval with a strong 21st place finish in the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas today.

Ambrose narrowly missed a top 20 finish in the 500-mile event, making major inroads in terms of bringing the #47 Little Debbie Toyota Camry of Michael Waltrip Racing back into the top 35 in Sprint Cup owner's points.

The Australian soundly beat the two entries immediately ahead of the #47 entry in owner's points, slashing the gap to the two entries that lie just within the top 35 at present. The #84 entry of Red Bull Racing came home in 33rd in the Dickies 500 today with former Formula One driver Scott Speed behind the wheel, while the #7 of Robby Gordon Motorsports driven by Robby Gordon finished today's race in 36th place.

With two races remaining in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the #47 entry now sits just 44 points behind the 35th placed #84 entry and 60 points behind the #7 entry, both gaps slashed drastically as a result of today's strong run from Ambrose.

The top 35 entries in terms of owner's points after the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks time will be guaranteed a start in the first five races of next season, including the all-important season-opening Daytona 500.

Today's 21st place finish at the fast 1.5-mile speedway came in Ambrose's ninth Sprint Cup start and eclipses his previous best finish on an oval in the top flight of NASCAR of 22nd at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Third place at Watkins Glen International remains the best Sprint Cup finish to date for the 32-year-old.

Ambrose enjoyed a solid run today, starting from 24th position and holding a spot in the top 30 for the entire race. With just over 100 laps remaining Ambrose sat in 25th and at a restart with 89 laps to go he was in 23rd and looking to continue his progress.

At that restart, the slowing car of Elliott Sadler caused havoc, with Travis Kvapil eventually spinning on the frontstretch, directly into the path of Ambrose, who collected Kvapil with his front-left corner and also hit the outside wall. Ambrose pitted for repairs, continuing, only losing a handful of positions.

Ambrose continued on with his damaged car, still maintaining strong pace, moving up several positions in the final stages and narrowly missing a top 20 result, coming in just behind Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Carl Edwards won today's Pepsi 500 ahead of Jeff Gordon and Jamie McMurray.

Ambrose will race in both Nationwide and Sprint Cup competition at Phoenix International Raceway next weekend, as well as pulling 'double duty' in the season finale in Homestead-Miami Speedway in two weeks.

MARCOS AMBROSE:

"This is a good result for us and it means a lot in terms of the points," said Ambrose.

"We had a really good Little Debbie car today and I'm really happy that we got it to the end there, because there were a few close calls.

"The car took a pretty good hit there at the restart when one of the Yates cars spun. I thought the worst for a second but we got it back to the pits and it was only slightly damaged.

"We genuinely had good pace onboard today and I'm really proud of this team for giving me such a good car. It was a blast to run with so many top cars and drivers and hold our ground all day at what is one of the tougher, faster tracks we visit.

"We have two more races to get back into the top 35 in owner's points. This really gives us a good shot at getting the job done. We took a big step here in Texas and need to do the same in Phoenix and Homestead."

-credit: ma/bam

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Robby Gordon , Jamie McMurray , Marcos Ambrose , Scott Speed , Carl Edwards , Elliott Sadler , Travis Kvapil
Teams Red Bull Racing , Michael Waltrip Racing , Robby Gordon Motorsports