AMBROSE PREPARES FOR ORP WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS CLERMONT, Ind. -- For Marcos Ambrose to enjoy success this weekend, he's going to need a lot of help from his friends. Not only will Ambrose drive his familiar No. 59 Kingsford...
AMBROSE PREPARES FOR ORP WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS
CLERMONT, Ind. -- For Marcos Ambrose to enjoy success this weekend, he's going to need a lot of help from his friends.
Not only will Ambrose drive his familiar No. 59 Kingsford Match Light Ford in Saturday night's Kroger 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park, the popular driver from Tasmania will attempt to put JTG Racing into its first Sprint Cup Series race a day later at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Robert Pressley, a longtime driver and mentor at JTG Racing, will practice the car at ORP. The team did the same thing last month when Ambrose made his Cup debut at Infineon Raceway in Northern California.
"We pride ourselves in being one big family at JTG," Ambrose said. "We all pull together, especially at a time like this. Robert has always been there for me and Kelly (Bires). He's a true racer with a tremendous amount of experience, especially on short tracks like ORP. With his help, I think our Kingsford team will be in good shape."
Ambrose will spent Friday and Saturday getting JTG Racing's new Cup team off the ground 10 miles away at the Brickyard. While he's trying to race his way into that starting lineup, Pressley will be getting the car ready for Saturday night's main event. Ambrose is scheduled to be at ORP in plenty of time for the Nationwide Series race.
"I still love being in the race car," Pressley said. "The cars seem to evolve every week, but the basics never change. My job is to make the car comfortable for Marcos. I have a good idea what he likes. We plan to build a lot of adjustability into the car so they have a lot of flexibility with their setup once the race starts."
Crew chief Gary Cogswell isn't worried about getting a car ready for two different drivers. "Like Robert said, the basics never change," he said. "You're looking for a balance. You want the car to turn in the middle of the corners so the driver can be accelerating off the corners, not taping the brakes. Robert is a classic short-track driver. I'm really excited to get his input."
Ambrose comes into the Kroger 200 with a 12th-place ranking in the Nationwide Series standings and a seven-race streak of Top 20 finishes. He's convinced the Kingsford team will only improve on their run of success. "It only takes a couple laps to get the feel for the car, especially on a short track," Ambrose said. "We're not giving up much at all. The way I look at it, we're gaining a lot because Robert can probably make us think about new things."
- credit: jtg