AMBROSE HAS SEVERAL OPTIONS IN KINGSFORD FORD AT DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Marcos Ambrose has two plans for Friday night's Winn-Dixie 250 at the Daytona International Speedway. Plan A is to qualify the No. 59 Kingsford/Matchlight Ford up ...
AMBROSE HAS SEVERAL OPTIONS IN KINGSFORD FORD AT DAYTONA
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Marcos Ambrose has two plans for Friday night's Winn-Dixie 250 at the Daytona International Speedway. Plan A is to qualify the No. 59 Kingsford/Matchlight Ford up front and stay there throughout the NASCAR Nationwide race. Plan B is to fall back, stay out of trouble and make a charge to the front after the final pit stop.
"If you get up front, you want to stay there," Ambrose said. "Otherwise, we'll play it smart. Our cars are good enough to get through traffic in the final segment. The biggest challenge at Daytona is to stay out of trouble until then."
Traffic created by three-wide racing can be treacherous at Daytona, especially during the summer when the 2.5-mile racetrack loses grip in the heat. Restrictor plates, however, make it possible to make up a lot of ground when two or more cars hook up in the draft. Because of that, Ambrose isn't worried about either strategy.
"If you get a good drafting partner, you can get up through traffic pretty quick," he said. "If you pick the wrong partner, you can go straight to the back. You spend most of the race trying to figure out who to draft with, who not to draft with. When it's time, you go."
Ambrose is 13th in the Nationwide Series standings. He knows if he's not involved in any of the multi-car accidents that are common at Daytona, he should inch closer to the To 10.
"We've got a good car for Daytona," said crew chief Gary Cogswell. "It's our last restrictor plate race of the year, so a lot of guys will be willing to take more chances. But if you're not around at the finish, you can't win. The car's good enough to come from just about anywhere to the front. The secret is to wait until it's time."
The easiest way to attack Daytona is to be up front, Ambrose said. But the team will concentrate more on the race setup. "The car will race good," Ambrose said. "That's the most important thing. Our cars have always raced good at Daytona. Restrictor plate racing is all about timing. You have to know when to go, know when to fall back. We'll figure a lot of it out as we go."
Which could lead to a Plan C.
- Ambrose is 13th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings.
- Ambrose has three career starts at Daytona. His best starting position came at last year's Winn-Dixie 250 at 18th; his best finish came in the 2006 February race at 16th.
- Kingsford has the longest current-running sponsor relationship with the same Nationwide Series team, dating back to the 1998 season.
- Ambrose is a two-time Ford V8 Supercar Series champion, a road-racing series in Australia. He won 27 races in that series.
- Ambrose will make 12 selected appearances in the Sprint Cup Series this season, including four starts for JTG Racing.