AMBROSE ON POLE FOR KENTUCKY NASCAR TRUCK SERIES RACE Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose has again put the NASCAR world on notice by qualifying his ...
AMBROSE ON POLE FOR KENTUCKY NASCAR TRUCK SERIES RACE
Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose has again put the NASCAR world on notice by qualifying his #20 Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 Truck on pole for the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky today.
The Tasmanian driver becomes the first rookie this season to capture a pole in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the first Australian to achieve a pole position in the category.
Ambrose recorded a time of 30.522 seconds around the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway at an average speed of 176.922mph (284.728km/h).
When in Victory Lane to collect his Budweiser Pole Award, Ambrose, a two-time Australian V8 Supercar Champion, held the Bud Pole flag upside-down in reference to his native Australia, which his Americans NASCAR friends often joke as being on the 'upside-down side of the world'.
The race will begin at 10.15am Australian Eastern Standard Time and is 150 laps in duration.
FACTS ON AMBROSE'S POLE
-- This is Marcos Ambrose's first Budweiser Pole in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
-- This is the first time a Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate has won the pole since November 2004 when David Reutimann captured the No. 1 starting position at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
-- Ambrose's best previous start was second last month at Michigan International Speedway.
-- Ambrose is the first foreign-born driver to win a series pole since June 26, 1999 when Ron Fellows of Canada qualified first at Watkins Glen International.
-- This is the first pole for the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing team and the first pole for crew chief Gary Cogswell.
NOTE TO AUSTRALIAN FANS: Ambrose will appear in a post-qualifying television interview with Greg Rust on Network Ten's RPM program this afternoon at 3.30pm (check your local guides).
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
MARCOS AMBROSE -- #20 TEAM AUSTRALIA/AUSSIE VINEYARDS F-150
"It's just great for the guys and great for the team," said Ambrose. "I've got so many people to thank for getting me over here. Ford Australia and Tom Gorman (President of Ford Australia), and Dan Davis from Ford of America in the racing department to drag me halfway across the world. The team bosses, the Wood Brothers and Tad Geschickter, I just want to thank them for giving me the chance to compete on the ovals over here.
"I've got some great equipment and a fantastic team behind me. They're making me look better than I could have possibly hoped for in my rookie year. We're just trying to get me used to oval racing, and to get a pole so early in my NASCAR career is more than I expected.
"To get a pole, I've always been a pretty strong qualifier and I really don't know why. It scares me a little."
"We had a strong race at Kansas and we're using the same truck here," said Ambrose. "It's the same set-up basically. We've rolled it out and tinkered with it just a bit to suit this race track. We had a nice, late draw and we knew that was going to help us some, but I didn't expect the pole. Anything in the top 10 would have been fantastic."
"At least I get to control the start of the race tonight," said Ambrose. "If we can just circulate inside the top 10 and keep racking those laps up and getting the experience that we need, that's all that we can ask for. I'm happy running at the front there with those guys because they're very experienced and they're very professional and I feel safer running at the front than what I do in the back because it's just chaos in the back. I'm still learning how to race these trucks in traffic, but we're making ground on it."
CRAIG GORE -- TEAM AUSTRALIA
"This is yet another great achievement for Marcos and the Team Australia program," said Gore. "It's fantastic to see Marcos coming to grips with things in NASCAR so quickly and it will definitely be something to remember when the Aussie Vineyards #20 lines up at the front of the pack for the race later today.
"This is exactly what the Team Australia program is all about; Australian drivers and Australian companies getting noticed on the world stage.
"I can't say enough about how well Marcos is driving at the moment and my hat goes of to him and the whole team for yet another great performance."
Race -- 150 laps
Sun., July 9, 2006 10:15am EST