Watkins Glen: Ambrose, JTG Racing preview

AMBROSE'S VACATION DRIVE CONTINUES IN STP FORD WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Saturday's Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International is more than a race on the Nationwide Series schedule for Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 STP Ford. It's like being on ...

AMBROSE'S VACATION DRIVE CONTINUES IN STP FORD

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Saturday's Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International is more than a race on the Nationwide Series schedule for Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 STP Ford. It's like being on vacation.

The two-time Ford V8 Supercar Series champion from Australia is at home on a road course. Added with last week's race at Montreal, the last two weeks have been like being on vacation. "I feel like I'm on a Mediterranean holiday," Ambrose said. "I feel the stress and strains of an oval track because I haven't quite mastered the trade. But here (on a road course) I feel comfortable in my surroundings. I know that if I do my job as I should that we should have a decent day."

Ambrose finished third at Montreal last week after leading a race-best 27 of 48 laps. Watkins Glen brings a different kind of challenge, but one that Ambrose likes. The 2.45-mile, 11-turn track that used to host Formula One races is known for speed and passing zones.

"It's just a flowing track," Ambrose said. "It's got a lot of history to it. It's known as one of America's finest race tracks, as far as road racing goes. It's got a lot of character. The corners have good banking on most of them. The track is in a beautiful location in America. It's just a nice place to be.

"The fans, by the looks of it, they have a history of going there. They really know what they're doing when the get there and who they're following.Watkins Glen is a unique race track and the people go there to watch road racing which is nice too." Crew chief Gary Cogswell will use the car from the Montreal race. The team needed to drain water from the interior after torrential race shortened the race at Canada. Watkins Glen will require a few more adjustments, but most of the speed will come from his driver.

"You still have to stick to your basics, but when it comes to road racing, the most important ingredient is the driver," Cogswell said. "Marcos has an amazing ability to find a rhythm on a road course, and a lot of that comes with his comfort level."

Ambrose also will attempt to race in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race for Wood Brothers Racing. That team also hopes to take advantage of Ambrose's road-racing skills.

"I have a confidence in myself that I should do ok if I could just do what I do well," he said. "It's nice to have that feeling of security going into Nationwide Series qualifying because we're locked into the field by the point standings. There's more pressure in the Cup deal because we're not locked in there. You only get one lap in the Cup deal, but it's as easy as it's going to get when you're trying to do it they way we're doing it. It feels good. I enjoy it for the experience. I like Watkins Glen. It's a good, fun place to be. Hopefully, the weekend goes well."

As the final road course race of the season, Ambrose's vacation drive will be complete. Next week he gets back to work on the oval at the Michigan International Speedway.

-credit: jtgr

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