Bristol: Marcos Ambrose preview

BRISTOL SIGNIFICANT FOR AMBROSE AND TEAM AUSTRALIA Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose will be looking for a strong short track finish at Bristol Motor Speedway this Wednesday at what is a significant venue for the Australian...

BRISTOL SIGNIFICANT FOR AMBROSE AND TEAM AUSTRALIA

Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose will be looking for a strong short track finish at Bristol Motor Speedway this Wednesday at what is a significant venue for the Australian NASCAR rookie.

In 2003 Ambrose, who was on his way to winning his first of two Australian V8 Supercar Championships at the time, visited Bristol to watch NASCAR action at the spectacular short track. While at Bristol he met with representatives from Ford Racing, as well as Eddie and Len Wood of Wood Brothers Racing.

Three years on Ambrose now drives the Team Australia Ford F-150 for the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing operation in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. On this occasion Ambrose comes to Bristol buoyed after his second third place finish of the year at Nashville, a result that lifted him to fourth in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings despite missing the first three rounds of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

While Ambrose has quickly come up to speed on the faster speedways in the Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience F-150, the short tracks have not been as kind so far for the Australian.

Ambrose is confident that the Team Australia Ford F-150 will make a step up in short track form at the fast and tight Bristol Motor Speedway, the venue that proved a catalyst in Ambrose's switch to NASCAR for 2006.

After a strong run at the short O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, where Ambrose was set for a solid result before being involved in someone else's incident in the latter stages, the Team Australia driver is aiming for a top 10 result at Bristol.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Marcos Ambrose -- #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience Ford F-150

"The track at Bristol is pretty intimidating," said Ambrose.

"I came here as a spectator three years ago. It's very daunting, very difficult. At the same time, I'm really eager to give it a go. I know there's going to be a lot of contact during the race. Hopefully we can stay out of most of it.

"It's no secret we've had some trouble on the short tracks. We've had good trucks there, but we seem to get in a lot of trouble there - most of it not of our own doing.

"There are no goals other than top 10. I want to get in some laps, continue to learn and be aggressive in the banking. We need a top 10 finish on a short track.

"That's the next step in our learning process. We finished on the lead lap in our last short track race (at Indianapolis), so now we need to build on that. The next step in a top 10 finish."

"We've come a long way this year. But as a driver, it's never good enough until you win. It's been great to get some good finishes, but there's still so much to learn. The learning curve is still steep, but it's not as steep as it was earlier this year."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia

"I think Marcos is about to embark on one of the real highlights of his career to date when he competes in Bristol on Thursday morning Australian time," said Gore.

"Bristol is really one of the true spectacles in world racing, with 160,000 people crammed in around a half-mile oval circuit.

"I don't think there is any way that Marcos could not get a buzz out of competing there and it's great that Team Australia, all our sponsors and all Australians can be along for the ride.

"Marcos's short track learning curve will again get another tweak on the tight Bristol layout and I am sure he will take it all in his stride."

-credit: team australia

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Marcos Ambrose