BUSCH: Charlotte: Marcos Ambrose preview

AMBROSE BACK IN ACTION AT HOME RACE IN CHARLOTTE After a rare weekend off Team Australia driver Marcos Ambrose will jump back into action in the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina...

AMBROSE BACK IN ACTION AT HOME RACE IN CHARLOTTE

After a rare weekend off Team Australia driver Marcos Ambrose will jump back into action in the Carquest Auto Parts 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina this weekend.

Ambrose tested the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion at the 1.5-mile speedway last week as a part of the final NASCAR Busch Series open test of the season.

Ambrose posted top 10 times at the test at Lowe's Motor Speedway, which is situated in Charlotte, the home of much of the NASCAR industry including Wood Brothers/JTG Racing as well as the base for Ambrose, his wife Sonja and young daughter Tabitha.

As well as his recent test experience, Ambrose has had one very memorable previous race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The famous track was the venue of Ambrose's third-ever NASCAR event, where the Australian shocked the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series field to qualify in third position on May 19 last year.

Unfortunately inexperience got the better of Ambrose on that occasion as he crashed out on lap four, but this weekend the Australian has 34 NASCAR starts to his name and sits just 15 points out of the top 10 in the overall NASCAR Busch Series standings.

The race was also the debut event for Aussie Vineyards and Team Australia in NASCAR, with Ambrose piloting the #20 Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 for the first time. That successful relationship continues to this day, with Aussie Vineyards and Team Australia branding adorning Ambrose's Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Busch Series and Team Australia and Ambrose joining forces to make their NASCAR Nextel Cup debut on June 24 at Infineon Raceway.

This weekend's 13th race in the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series starts a streak of 16-straight race weekends for Ambrose and the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal crew, with the NASCAR Busch Series racing every weekend between now and September 7.

Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion

"We learned a lot during our test at Lowe's Motor Speedway last week and had a good car by the end of the two days," said Ambrose.

"The team is making great progress. We've been showing a lot of speed and I'm sure we can carry that into this weekend's race, which is the home race for almost the entire NASCAR community.

"The key at Charlotte is to find a way to carry good speed through the middle of the corner and get a good run accelerating off of each corner. It's a big challenge, but we really started getting a handle on it at the test.

"There are a group of people coming from Australia to Charlotte this weekend on my first official tour. NASCAR's popularity is really growing 'Down Under'. These fans will be treated to something really special. We hope this becomes an annual thing.

"This weekend starts our busiest time of the year with a lot of racing coming up for us. I'm really looking forward to it. I love racing every weekend and it's one of the reasons I absolutely love NASCAR."

Greg Conner -- Crew Chief, Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion

"Charlotte is one of the most important races of the year," said Conner.

"It's about two miles from our shop and I believe every team in Saturday's race is based within 50 miles.

"To me, there's a better reason to perform well at Charlotte. It's the most-difficult track to figure out because it changes during the race. You really have to chase the set-up all night long. To win that battle is more important than bragging rights."

-credit: teams australia

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Marcos Ambrose