BUSCH: Texas II: Marcos Ambrose race report

COURAGEOUS RACE FROM AMBROSE IN TEXAS Marcos Ambrose has soldiered on under trying conditions to finish in 30th place in the O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas today. A combination of driving a damaged race car and...

COURAGEOUS RACE FROM AMBROSE IN TEXAS

Marcos Ambrose has soldiered on under trying conditions to finish in 30th place in the O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas today.

A combination of driving a damaged race car and smoke in the cabin made conditions difficult for Ambrose, making it a courageous effort for the 31-year-old to finish today's race. Nevertheless he soldiered on to finish the event and bring as many points home as possible as he aims to finish in the top 10 in the NASCAR Busch Series in his rookie season.

The Australian had a strong car to start the race from 27th position and was running well when a crash ahead in the early laps resulted in damage to the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion, ending any chances of a second-straight top five for Ambrose.

Ambrose pitted after the contact, coming in for repairs under the caution period that followed Mike Bliss' spin. As Bliss slide down the race track Ambrose braked hard to avoid the wreck, with Brad Blake subsequently running into the side of Ambrose, causing the damage.

The car was never the same after the contact with a bad push off of the corners due to the aerodynamic imbalance caused by the damage. Ambrose made a total of seven pit stops throughout the 200-lap race for repairs and to ensure the car made it to the end of the race.

To make Ambrose's job even more difficult, smoke in the cabin of the car made it hard for him to wrestle the car around the fast confines of the fast 1.5-mile speedway. Ambrose came out of the car tired and with black all over his face, earning pats on the back from his equally hard working #59 crew from Wood Brothers/JTG Racing.

The result drops Ambrose back to ninth in the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series standings and he remains second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings behind fellow Ford driver David Ragan.

Kevin Harvick won today's O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway ahead of Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. 11th place from Carl Edwards was enough to secure the Ford driver the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series championship with two races remaining.

Ambrose will look to get back to the form that saw him score fourth place at Memphis Motorsports Park last week when the Australian races in the Arizona Travel 200 next weekend, the penultimate race in the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series.

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

"The car felt really good right at the start but unfortunately that did not last long," said Ambrose.

"The number 22 (Mike Bliss) lost it and had a wreck and I got on the brakes to avoid him and someone, I think the number 27 (Brad Blake), just didn't see it in time and got me in the door.

"The damage really took away a lot of the sideforce of the car and from there it was a struggle. You spend all those hours developing the downforce and the body for that right-hand-side of the car, so to get damage like that changes the car dramatically.

"It was a trying experience and a tough day for us, because I was confident that we could run strong today.

"It's just disappointing but this is a tough sport and you are always going to get some races that just don't go your way.

"I'm proud of this team. We are always improving and climbing our way up there and today we were tested with all that went on. We made a lot of stops and had a lot of repairs to do over the race and the guys worked hard and kept us going around the best we could and we got to the finish with some points.

"There was some smoke in the cabin during the race and it took a bit out of me. I look like I've been working under the car, not driving it, because I've got black all over my face.

"I'll rest up and be ready to chase a good result at Phoenix, because we had the pace but not the luck today, so let's hope it goes our way next week."

-credit: team australia

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Kevin Harvick , Marcos Ambrose , Mike Bliss , Carl Edwards , David Ragan , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch