St. Louis: JTG Racing preview

GATEWAY OFFERS NO COMPROMISE FOR AMBROSE, KINGSFORD FORD MADISON, Ill. -- One end of the Gateway International Raceway is narrow, the other wide. The egg-shaped track offers no compromises for Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 Kingsford Match Light...

GATEWAY OFFERS NO COMPROMISE FOR AMBROSE, KINGSFORD FORD

MADISON, Ill. -- One end of the Gateway International Raceway is narrow, the other wide. The egg-shaped track offers no compromises for Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 Kingsford Match Light Ford for this Saturday night's Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250.

You can't concentrate on one end and hope for the best at the other because you'd be too far off," Ambrose said. "You know going there Turns 1 and 2 are going to be tight; Turns 3 and 4 are loose. You try to find a balance so you're all right at both ends. It's not possible to be great, just all right."

The banking in Turns 1 and 2 is 11 degrees; the banking in Turns 3 and 4 is 9 degrees. While it doesn't sound like a big difference, Turns 1 and 2 is more like a u-turn, while Turns 3 and 4 is considerably wider. "It's a challenge, for sure," Ambrose said. "But it's one of the things I like about the place."

JTG Racing has enjoyed success at the 1.25-mile racetrack. Ambrose made his Nationwide debut there a year ago and finished 18th. "It's a very unusual track," said crew chief Gary Cogswell. "Both ends are completely different. It really falls back to the basics. You still have to make the car rotate in the middle of the corners so you have momentum for the run down the straightaways. If anything, you want to lean toward Turns 1 and 2 because it's so tight. If you can get through that corner without a lot of trouble, you can manage Turns 3 and 4."

Ambrose has six consecutive Top-20 finishes to move closer to the Top 10 in the Nationwide standings. He's only 45 points out of the Top 10. "We have some basic goals every year -- to finish in the Top 10 and win races," Ambrose said. "Every week we're getting closer to achieving both. We go to the racetrack every week with a real chance of being competitive."

FAST & FUN FACTS:

- Ambrose is 13th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with three Top-10 finishes in 20 starts for JTG Racing.

- Ambrose has one career start at Gateway. He started 14th and finished 18th.

- 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.

-credit: JTG Racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Marcos Ambrose