Loudon: Marcos Ambrose race notes

STRONG PACE BUT LITTLE REWARD FOR AMBROSE AND TEAM AUSTRALIA IN LOUDON Marcos Ambrose has missed out on another strong finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series by finishing 23rd in today's incident packed New Hampshire 200 in Loudon, New ...

STRONG PACE BUT LITTLE REWARD FOR AMBROSE AND TEAM AUSTRALIA IN LOUDON

Marcos Ambrose has missed out on another strong finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series by finishing 23rd in today's incident packed New Hampshire 200 in Loudon, New Hampshire.

Ambrose showed strong pace aboard the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 but was denied the chance to translate the form into a top 10 result when forced to pit under green to fix a loose wheel.

Ambrose had earlier continued his strong form from practice yesterday to qualify the Aussie Vineyards F-150 in 14th position. The performance marked a fantastic qualifying session for the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing operation, with Ambrose's team-mate Bobby East qualifying third, giving the Ford squad the two highest qualified rookies for the race.

Ambrose had a steady start and was running inside the top 20 when he pitted under green flag conditions to fix the loose wheel. Once three laps down, Ambrose and the Team Australia crew used the remainder of the race to gain experience and fine tune set-up in what is still a learning year for the NASCAR rookie from Tasmania, Australia.

The #20 Aussie Vineyards F-150 showed good speed in the latter half of the race, allowing Ambrose to slot into the pack and run comfortably with the pacesetters. The track time was beneficial for Ambrose and despite a lower than expected finish, driver and team have gained more knowledge and confidence for next week's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

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

"We had a competitive truck today and could have run around the top 10 no problems," said Ambrose.

"Early on we had a loose wheel, so we had to pit under green to fix it. We missed the pit box and had to go around again so we had a 'double problem' then. From there it became a test for us because we were trapped two or three laps down.

"We've made some progress and we had a reasonable qualifying, so now we just look ahead to the next race and put this one behind us.

"There were a lot of cautions today and when you are trapped laps down like that, the worst thing you can do is get in the way of the leaders. At the restarts the lap cars start on the inside, so it's just a matter of letting the leaders by and finding a spot where you can run comfortably.

"We ran strong in the race today and once we let the leaders by we ran comfortably in the pack at a strong pace, but there is not much you can do when you are trapped a few laps down. We learned a lot again and we are looking forward to next week."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia

"The early mishap prevented Marcos and the team from getting another top 10 result today," said Gore.

"He certainly proved that he had the speed to match it with the guys inside the top 10 but unfortunately he was not able to convert that speed into a good result.

"The good thing for Marcos and the team is that it is only a few days to the next race. They are in good form and they will get the opportunity in Las Vegas next week to get back on top."

-credit: www.teamaustraliamotorsport.com

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Series NASCAR-TRUCK