Martinsville II: Marcos Ambrose preview

AMBROSE RETURNS TO SCENE OF NASCAR DEBUT AT MARTINSVILLE For the first time in his short NASCAR career Australian Marcos Ambrose will race on a speedway for the second time when the Team Australia driver races in the Kroger 200 this weekend in...

AMBROSE RETURNS TO SCENE OF NASCAR DEBUT AT MARTINSVILLE

For the first time in his short NASCAR career Australian Marcos Ambrose will race on a speedway for the second time when the Team Australia driver races in the Kroger 200 this weekend in Martinsville, Virginia.

Ambrose made not only his first NASCAR start, but also his oval racing debut at the famous Martinsville Speedway on April 1 earlier this year, qualifying 20th and finishing 33rd after becoming the innocent victim of someone else's incident.

Almost six months on Ambrose revisits the half-mile oval having announced earlier this month that he will continue to race with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing next season, moving up into the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series in the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion.

Despite traveling to America as a NASCAR rookie after two-consecutive championships with Ford in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series, Ambrose and the Team Australia crew have quickly comes to grips with the competitive NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series with a pole position and three top 10 finishes, including two third place results.

Ambrose is confident he will benefit from a previous race experience at the flat oval. While most of the field grew up on tight short tracks, Ambrose has no previous oval experience prior to 2006, ensuring the Tasmanian-born driver will take comfort in finally getting the opportunity to race in somewhat familiar surroundings.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

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

"When I first came over to NASCAR I thought it would be places like Martinsville that would suit me, but it has turned out to be the opposite," said Ambrose.

"I've gone really well on the big, fast speedways. I feel I haven't performed quite as well as I would have liked on the short tracks this season and Martinsville is the last chance for me to get a top 10 on a short track this year.

"Martinsville will be the first track I have run for the second time. I feel we were running reasonably well in the race there in April but couldn't close it out. We got caught up in someone else's accident.

"I'd really like a strong top 10 finish here this weekend and I think that a good result is a definite possibility. There wasn't much we could do in April when the wreck happened in front of us other than qualify a bit better and run closer to the front, so that is a goal for this weekend."

Craig Gore -- Team Australia

"We are still trying to work out how Marcos managed to get through that last-lap crash at Talladega a couple of weeks ago," said Gore.

"I am sure Marcos will enjoy returning to a track where he has race before this weekend.

"It is a big weekend for Team Australia with two cars in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the Gold Coast in Queensland, two V8 Supercars also competing on the Gold Coast and Marcos flying out flag back in the US at Martinsville.

"The great thing is that everyone is also interested in Team Australia's involvement in the other categories.

"Now he has 2007 sorted out with his Busch drive, I am sure we will see Marcos settle in and really enjoy the last five races of the season, which start in Martinsville this weekend and run on consecutive weekends until the final race in Miami."

-credit: team australia

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Marcos Ambrose