BUSCH: Michigan: Marcos Ambrose race report

RESPECTABLE 19TH A STRONG RESULT FOR AMBROSE IN MICHIGAN Marcos Ambrose has turned in a strong performance to finish 19th in the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan today. Ambrose qualified an outstanding sixth...

RESPECTABLE 19TH A STRONG RESULT FOR AMBROSE IN MICHIGAN

Marcos Ambrose has turned in a strong performance to finish 19th in the Carfax 250 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan today.

Ambrose qualified an outstanding sixth for race 25 in the NASCAR Busch Series and ran well all day in the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion.

Ambrose circulated in the top 15 for the majority of the race distance in a solid performance from both he and his Wood Brothers/JTG Racing crew at the fast 2.0-mile speedway.

In the final laps Ambrose dropped some positions as his car developed understeer problems and ran 'tight', eventually coming home a respectable 19th in a quality field including over 20 top-flight Nextel Cup stars.

The Australian was very pleased with today's result, where Ambrose was the fourth-highest finishing non-Nextel Cup driver. Importantly, Ambrose finished well ahead of Stephen Leicht and Bobby Hamilton Jr, the drivers immediately ahead of the 30-year-old in the NASCAR Busch Series standings.

Ambrose, who maintains eighth in the overall standings, is now a mere 11 points behind Leicht in the standings and 76 behind Hamilton Jr.

Ambrose also edged closer to David Ragan in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings by beating home the young Ford driver today.

Denny Hamlin won today's Carfax 250 ahead of Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick, with Nextel Cup drivers taking 15 of the top 20 positions.

Ambrose will face an entirely different challenge next week, racing in the Food City 250 at the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway.

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

"This result may not look that great on paper but I am really pleased with how things have gone today," said Ambrose.

"We have made huge progress, come here with a brand new body and made a definite step forward in competitiveness.

"Our car ran a little tight all weekend but we just kept working at it and working at it and got it better with every session.

"I think that in terms of these fast sort of ovals we are literally 95 percent of the way there. We have done a lot of work and have now got to the stage where our next step of improvement is going to get us to a level where we can do some really good things.

"We are making gains and there is more to come. I'm looking forward to the rest of the year because I think this team has worked really hard to get to this point and the potential is there to make some massive gains before the end of the season."

"I'm super-happy with the way this car was feeling today in terms of handling, even though we couldn't dial that last little bit of understeer out of it.

"We will now give it a bit of a rub and a tweak and take it to California in two weeks time, which is a similar track to Michigan, and with a better car there we could really do some great things.

"I'm just really excited about the last part of this season and today actually wasn't a bad day for us at all.

"I love getting back on the ovals. If I didn't do another road race, it wouldn't make me upset at all. I mean, I love this oval stuff so much that, for me, the road courses are now a distraction."

-credit: wbr/team australia

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Matt Kenseth , Kevin Harvick , Marcos Ambrose , David Ragan , Denny Hamlin