BUSCH: Mexico City: Marcos Ambrose qualifying notes

Ambrose To Start Debut Nascar Road Course Race From 12th Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose has qualified in 12th place for his NASCAR road course debut at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City today. Ambrose set a time good enough for...

Ambrose To Start Debut Nascar Road Course Race From 12th

Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose has qualified in 12th place for his NASCAR road course debut at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City today.

Ambrose set a time good enough for a sixth row start in tomorrow's Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200, also qualifying as the second fastest Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender. Ex-Formula One star Juan Pablo Montoya qualified as the fastest rookie.

The Australian encountered some traffic on his first flying lap in qualifying, setting him back slightly in his pursuit of a fast lap time. NASCAR road course qualifying differs from the oval system of single car runs. In Mexico this weekend cars were split into eight groups for qualifying, with Ambrose and the Aussie-Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion in the second-to-last group to run based on practice times yesterday.

Ambrose is in exceptional company in the front part of the field, with former Champ Car race winner Scott Pruett qualifying on pole position. Noted NASCAR road racers Ron Fellow and Boris Said are sixth and seventh respectively.

Mexico also has a strong contingent of road course drivers participating, with Carlos Contreras qualifying second, former Champ Car star Michel Jourdain Jr one place ahead of Ambrose in 11th and local hero Adrian Fernandez qualifying in 17th.

The total prize pool for the Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200 is US$2,512,372 (A$3,169,785).

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

"I'm learning the track and still learning these stock cars, so I am progressing a lot from session to session this weekend," said Ambrose.

"We didn't have a bad run in qualifying. We're going to have a solid race car and all signs point to a pretty good package. It's a long race so being close to the front is the main thing.

"I'd like to be better than I am, but that's racing. It's nice to know road course racing and to feel comfortable when we're here. We would like to go better than we have so far but it's race day that counts.

"It's going to be an exciting race with a big crowd expected, so it will obviously be a big deal for all of the Mexican drivers. You don't want to knock off (Adrian) Fernandez. That would be bad news.

"It's going to be tough racing out there, but that's just road course racing. You have to defend your spot sometimes to get a bit of a clear track and make them work hard to get past you."

-credit: taus

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya