Michigan: Marcos Ambrose race notes

AMBROSE QUALIFIES SECOND - FINISHES 26TH Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose continued to add to his list of "firsts" in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck career when he started today's Michigan 200 from the front row. Ambrose qualified second behind...

AMBROSE QUALIFIES SECOND - FINISHES 26TH

Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose continued to add to his list of "firsts" in his NASCAR Craftsman Truck career when he started today's Michigan 200 from the front row.

Ambrose qualified second behind Mike Skinner after showing tremendous speed in his Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 truck.

The former two-time Australian V8 Supercar champion elected to start the race from the front and not from the back of the field has he had done for the previous two events.

He drove a conservative race, but was still in sixth position after 10 laps of the 102-lap race.

Ambrose had dropped back to 19th by mid-race, but managed to peg back three spots by lap 70.

He was sitting 18th place when he ended up loosing all his gears except fourth and he dropped back to 29th.

Ambrose managed to regather another three spots before race end to officially finish 26th. The gearbox drama robbing him of his best NASCAR Craftsman Truck finish.

"The qualifying run was obviously very pleasing. We were wide open out there and to run any faster we would have had to have taken some drag off," said Ambrose.

"We were able to run up front with the leaders at the beginning of the race, then a group of cars went high, I was left on the bottom and kind of dropped back.

"Later in the race we lost all gears but fourth and struggled with that for the rest of the time.

"We learned a lot here at Michigan and it was a fun place to run and we were able to get some great experience for the rest of the season.

"Our Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 was real good at the start, we just weren't able to get the finish we were looking for."

Team Australia concept creator, Queensland businessman Craig Gore, was delighted to see Ambrose's qualifying time flash up on his computer screen in the early hours of Sunday morning back in Australia.

"To have the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards truck on the front row is a fantastic thing for everyone involved in this program and we have to thank Marcos (Ambrose) and the guys at Wood Brothers/JTG Racing for their efforts," said Gore.

"For Marcos to achieve that in his first appearance at a two-mile super speedway is pretty amazing and I am sure there are plenty of people in pit lane keeping an eye on him.

"The race results will come, but it was important for him to finish today and stay on the lead lap, which he did, despite his mechanical dramas."

Today's race was won by Johnny Benson from Ford legend Mark Martin and Bobby Labonte. Championship leader Todd Bodine and Matt Crafton made up the top five.

Ambrose continues to sit in 33rd position in the championship and has earned a total of $US62,703 from his seven races.

The next round of the championship will be the Milwaukee 200 at the Milwaukee Mile next Friday night -- Saturday morning Australian time.

-www.teamaustraliamotorsport.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Johnny Benson , Matt Crafton , Marcos Ambrose