POTENTIAL TOP 10 ESCAPES AMBROSE IN DAYTONA Marcos Ambrose has finished 35th in the Winn Dixie 250 after a charge towards the top 10 was ended by a tyre problem in the late stages of the race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach,...
POTENTIAL TOP 10 ESCAPES AMBROSE IN DAYTONA
Marcos Ambrose has finished 35th in the Winn Dixie 250 after a charge towards the top 10 was ended by a tyre problem in the late stages of the race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida today.
Ambrose started the rescheduled race from 18th in the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion and ran with a steady approach in the first half of the event, setting himself up for a charge to the finish in the second half of the 100-lap event.
The race was going to plan in the final 20 laps, when the Australian moved from a mid-pack position to be in the top 15 and on a charge.
But it was not to be for Ambrose, when under caution on lap 93 he felt a tyre problem. It was decided to bring Ambrose onto pit road to change the tyre.
The stop dropped Ambrose off of the lead lap and down the order from 14th to 35th. Ambrose retains eighth in the NASCAR Busch Series standings and second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.
Kyle Busch won the Winn Dixie 250 ahead of Kevin Harvick and Dave Blaney in a race where nine of the top 10 finishing drivers are also full-time Nextel Cup drivers.
Ambrose will be back in action next weekend in the USG Durock 300 at Chicagoland Speedway in the 20th race of this year's NASCAR Busch Series.
Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion
"It was a really unfortunate thing we had happen in the end there," said Ambrose.
"In the last 10 laps I thought I had a tyre going down, so we came in and changed it.
"It had a hole in it and it was losing pressure, but looking back it was more of a slow puncture and we probably could have finished the race on it.
"It's really unfortunate and I feel for all our guys, but it's just experience and one of those deals.
"We were running so well. It was our usual superspeedway plan, setting ourselves up for the last 25 laps and moving forward.
"We were really moving forward through the pack and I've got to say it's probably the best we've run on a superspeedway.
"I went to warm the tyres up and get them cleaned up on the backstretch there for the last restart. It just didn't feel right. I asked Tad (Geschickter, car owner and spotter) to call the guy behind me to see if it was down and he said 'Yeah I think it's down' and turned out we probably could have got it home.
"We stopped just to be safe and just wrecked a great day. I feel terrible for the team, terrible to let them down like that. I just thought the tyre was down and it wasn't.
"It was a bad day for us in the end. But up to that point we were having a perfect day, just exactly what we're looking for. We were coming to the front, ready to rock and roll.
"We were right there and we were coming. I was going to have a crack at it in those last 20-odd laps. We were coming through and we probably would have had a really good day.
"We will put this one behind us and look to get a good result in Chicago next weekend."
-credit: team australia