Loudon: Ambrose, JTG Racing preview

AMBROSE, KINGSFORD LOOK FOR SOME MAGIC AT NEW HAMPSHIRE LOUDON, N.H. -- Marcos Ambrose knows it takes more than a fast car and flawless preparation to be successful at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It takes a little magic. The flat...

AMBROSE, KINGSFORD LOOK FOR SOME MAGIC AT NEW HAMPSHIRE

LOUDON, N.H. -- Marcos Ambrose knows it takes more than a fast car and flawless preparation to be successful at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. It takes a little magic.

The flat one-mile oval, known as the "Magic Mile," presents one of the biggest challenges to the NASCAR Nationwide Series. But Ambrose, who will drive the No. 59 STP/Kingsford Ford, said JTG Racing thrives under difficult situations.

"The ovals are just a huge challenge, you know, something I haven't been able to master yet," Ambrose said. "There's nothing purer than driving a stock car on an oval. The car doesn't want to turn very well for you, and the speeds are high and the car is sliding around, you've got to be comfortable in your own skin, running that fast, with the banking and everything, and the people around you. "It's just exhilarating. It's a lot of fun."

Crew chief Gary Cogswell said a driver has to put aside his instincts and put a lot of trust into the car at New Hampshire. The flat banking and long straightaways keep a car on the edge, especially as everyone fights for the inside groove.

"It takes a leap of faith to hit those corners at 100 mph," Cogswell said. "It's a real challenge to make the car comfortable, especially the exits of Turns 2 and 4. You can only do so much to the car. The rest has to come from the driver."

Ambrose will be doing double-duty again this weekend. He made his Sprint Cup Series debut last week at Sonoma, Calif. This week, he only needs to travel between the Sprint Cup and Nationwide garage areas at New Hampshire.

Not only does Ambrose have to hustle to find speed in the Kingsford Ford Fusion, he also has to qualify the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing for Sunday's race.

"Driving both cars has been a dream come true for me. I love to race, and believe me, running two races on the same weekend is everything a racer wants."

Along with a little magic.

FAST & FUN FACTS:

- Ambrose is 13th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with three Top-10 finishes in 17 starts for JTG Racing.

- Ambrose has one career start at New Hampshire. He started 27th and finished 30th there last year.

- 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. He will attempt to qualify the No. 21 Ford for Wood Brothers Racing at New Hampshire.

-credit: JTG Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Marcos Ambrose
Teams Wood Brothers Racing