FULL SPEED AHEAD FOR AMBROSE, KINGSFORD TEAM AT PHOENIX AVONDALE, Ariz. -- For the first time all year, Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 Kingsford Tailgate at Home race team have a little cushion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. But that...
FULL SPEED AHEAD FOR AMBROSE, KINGSFORD TEAM AT PHOENIX
AVONDALE, Ariz. -- For the first time all year, Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 Kingsford Tailgate at Home race team have a little cushion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. But that doesn't mean the team will slow down.
Ambrose heads into Saturday's Hefty Odor Block 200 at the Phoenix International Raceway with a 116-point lead over 11th-place in the standings. To clinch a spot in the Top 10 to fulfill the team's most-lofty goal, Ambrose essentially can play it safe.
But don't count on it.
"We got where we are by racing hard and that's what we're going to keep doing," Ambrose said. "When we show up at the racetrack every week, we're looking to put ourselves in position to win the race. You can't do that by playing it safe. We're going to Phoenix with every intention to run in the Top 10, be in contention to win and see how things play out. The points will work themselves out."
Ambrose's JTG Daugherty Racing-prepared Ford Fusion has finished in the Top 20 in 18 of his last 19 starts. Included in that run was a victory at Watkins Glen International which helped the team realize its other goal.
b^0x001cWe've had a good season, but we're not done yet," said crew chief Gary Cogswell. "If you try to take it easy in this business you'll get run over. We're going to be full speed ahead at Phoenix and Homestead. That's the only way we know how to race."
Actually, Ambrose is in good position to improve his spot in the standings. He's 10th, only eight points from ninth and 51 from eighth.
"Our goal when we started the season as to win a race and finish in the Top 10," Ambrose said. "We're close to accomplishing both. But let's face it: ninth is better than 10th; eighth is better than ninth. We can't slow down now. There will be plenty of time to take it easy in the off-season."