AMBROSE RUNS RIGHT ON THE PACE IN LAS VEGAS TESTING Marcos Ambrose has posted top 10 times and run right on the pace at the second official NASCAR Nationwide Series test of the preseason at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada ...
AMBROSE RUNS RIGHT ON THE PACE IN LAS VEGAS TESTING
Marcos Ambrose has posted top 10 times and run right on the pace at the second official NASCAR Nationwide Series test of the preseason at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada today.
Ambrose drove two JTG Racing Ford Fusions in the test over the two-day test, with the best times coming from his 'A car' after posting the 10th fastest time in today's morning session followed by 14th place in the afternoon session.
The Australian driver was pleased with the set-up progress on both of JTG Racing's #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusions over the two-day test, with much to learn for the team heading into the first race of the 35-event season at Daytona International Speedway on February 16.
Ambrose has placed great importance on building a strong repour with new crew chief Walter Giles, who joined JTG Racing at the start of 2008 from Dale Earnhardt Incorporated. After the first two tests of the season, Ambrose and Giles are both pleased with the progress of the team and the development taking place.
The stable of Nationwide Series Ford Fusions at JTG Racing have also undergone significant work and upgrades over the off-season, with the Las Vegas test giving Ambrose and his team the opportunity to sort their new package on a 1.5-mile speedway, a style of track that is common in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule.
A new engine rule has been implemented for the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series, with a spacer distributed by NASCAR at all non-restrictor plate events to be fitted between the carburettor and intake manifold. The rule is aimed at lengthening engine life by reducing horsepower in the name of cost-cutting for Nationwide Series teams.
With the change in horsepower levels teams will have to adjust to subtle differences in speed, with Ambrose and his crew already seeking to modify the aerodynamics of the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion to compensate for the new rule.
Ambrose and the NASCAR Nationwide Series field will embark on the first race of the 2008 season in the Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida on February 16.
Marcos Ambrose -- #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion
"Everything went well for us here in Las Vegas, especially on the second day when we really started to get on top of things," said Ambrose.
"We are still working at tuning and understanding our new cars. We've made some major adjustments and improvements on our cars from last season to this year and we are just working at finding the best set-up for them.
"It's also important that Walter and I get to know each other and learn how we each work and communicate. The crew chief-driver relationship is very important and so far I couldn't be happier with how it's going.
"With the new engine spacer rule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this year, it's changed things a bit because everyone has lost a significant amount of horsepower, almost 100 horsepower.
"It's the same for everyone, so there is no problem with it at all, but with the speeds changing we've had to rethink some things in terms of our cars. Here in Vegas we probably had too much drag on our cars so that is something we have learned in testing that we will know all about by the time we begin racing.
"All in all I am very happy with how our team went for these two days in Vegas. It's a lot of fun working with such a great bunch of guys and as a driver it's great motivation to be surrounded by great people who are putting in an incredible amount of effort into our racing program.
"I'm happy with the direction we are taking and I can't wait for Daytona."
-credit: team australia