Las Vegas: Marcos Ambrose preview

LAS VEGAS TRACK CHANGES AN ACE IN AMBROSE'S HAND Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose will take an interesting confidence boost into this weekend's Smith's Las Vegas 300 -- the Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been redeveloped and now resembles the ...

LAS VEGAS TRACK CHANGES AN ACE IN AMBROSE'S HAND

Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose will take an interesting confidence boost into this weekend's Smith's Las Vegas 300 -- the Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been redeveloped and now resembles the speedways where the Australian has enjoyed the most success this season.

Ambrose and the #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 have clearly excelled on the faster 1.5-mile ovals in this year's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. This weekend's 19th event of the season in Las Vegas, Nevada will be the first race held at the revamped Las Vegas venue, with the banking in the turns of the 1.5-mile venue now increased from 12 degrees to 20.

In a city known for its gambling, the odds for Ambrose this weekend have greatly improved. The Team Australia crew have clearly come to grips best with the faster ovals, with Ambrose claiming the Budweiser Pole Award and WIX Lap Leader awards on the 1.5 mile Kentucky Speedway and third place finishes at the 1.5 mile Kansas Speedway and 1.33 mile Nashville Superspeedway.

You could say that with the changes made in the banking at Las Vegas and the increased speeds the redevelopment will bring, Ambrose has been dealt an ace --

This weekend's race will present a level playing field for all drivers, with the redevelopment completely changing the complexion of the venue. With this in mind Ambrose will be pushing for his third top five finish of the season in what will be the former two-time Australian V8 Supercar Champion's 16th NASCAR event.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Marcos Ambrose -- Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150

"My luck depends on my Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford," said Ambrose. "I like my odds."

"There's no question we're more comfortable at the faster intermediate tracks. I've never been to the track at Las Vegas before, but since it's essentially a new track, nobody else has, either. That puts us on level ground with everyone.

"We've always had a great package for the 1.5-mile tracks, so I'm really eager to see how that all plays out. My background is on road courses, so everything is new to me in NASCAR. But the transition has been smooth. Our truck is a lot of fun to drive and it's fast. That really accelerates the learning curve.

"(At the start of the season) I got in the passenger side and started looking for the steering wheel. We drive in the right-side of the car in Australia. Just about everything is the exact opposite of what I'm used to. But it all fell into place pretty quick. A great truck makes it easier."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia

"The changes to the Las Vegas circuit should work in Marcos' favour," said Gore.

"He loves a fast 1.5 mile tracks and hopefully we can see him knocking on the door of another top five finish this weekend.

"They like a drop of fine wine in Las Vegas and a strong result will put our Aussie Vineyards brand in the minds of the expected large crowd. If there is one thing you always know about Marcos Ambrose, it's that he will be giving it everything he has got."

AUSTRALIAN TIMES

Optional Practice
Saturday 23 September 2006
10:00am -- 1:00pm EST

Practice 1
Sunday 24 September 2006
2:00am -- 3:00am EST

Final Practice
Sunday 24 September 2006
3:30am -- 4:30am EST

Qualifying
Sunday 24 September 2006
8:10am EST

Race -- 146 laps
Sunday 24 September 2006
11:15am EST

ABOUT LAS VEGAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Race Distance: 146 laps 219 miles (350 km)
Track Length: 1.5 miles
Degree of Banking in Turns: 20 degrees*
Degree of Banking in Straights: 9 degrees*


    Las Vegas Motor Speedway has been redeveloped since last season, with the banking increased from 12 to 20 degrees in the turns and back straight banking increased to 9 degrees, same as front straight

CRAFTSMAN TRUCK RECORD BOOK
Race Record: David Starr, 2002 (135.394mph/1hr 37min 3sec)
Qualifying Record: Mike Skinner, 2004 (165.320mph/32.664sec)
QDefending Champion: Todd Bodine
Defending Polesitter: Mike Skinner

-credit: team australia

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , David Starr , Marcos Ambrose