Marcos Ambrose's frustrating NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season hit another wall today, when his Kingsford Toyota Camry finished the Coca Cola 600 against the unyielding Charlotte Motor Speedway concrete. Unhurt in the accident, Ambrose endured a...
Marcos Ambrose's frustrating NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season hit another wall today, when his Kingsford Toyota Camry finished the Coca Cola 600 against the unyielding Charlotte Motor Speedway concrete.
Unhurt in the accident, Ambrose endured a trying day with an unresponsive car, before ending the longest race on the NASCAR calendar 36 miles short of the scheduled 600 mile distance.
"It's a shame for all of the team, last weekend here in Charlotte we had a really strong car, and we were hoping to carry that form through to the 600, but it wasn't to be," Ambrose said.
"We were constantly chipping away at it throughout the night, we tried everything in the text book, but nothing wanted to work for any length of time.
"We've got to keep our chins up, Pocono next weekend is another race, we went well there last year with a sixth place finish, so we know how to get the job done."
After starting the 400 lap race from the outside of the 17th row, Ambrose made a strong start to advance up the timing sheets in the opening exchanges, before the handling of the car dropped away.
Following on from a green flag stop on lap 49, the caution flags waved 13 laps later when Juan Pablo Montoya spun, with Ambrose taking the opportunity to change only two tyres, a move which didn't agree with the balance of the car.
Ambrose's race was literally turned around on lap 90, when he tagged the wall on the front stretch, before pitting three times under his own caution period to affect repairs.
Restarting the race in 31st position, but still on the lead lap, a long stretch of clean running saw another round of green flag pit stops on lap 147.
The field slowed once again when title rivals Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson came together in front of the pits, by which stage Ambrose was a lap down on the race leaders.
With further cautions for debris on lap 213 and another Jimmie Johnson incident on lap 275, Ambrose found himself in the 'Lucky Dog' free-pass position to move back onto the lead lap, which he was able to take advantage of on lap 300 when Robbie Gordon hit the wall.
Ambrose then moved up as high as 17th position, before the handling of the car once again deteriorated prior to the final round of green flag pit stops with 40 laps to go.
Despite having good pace towards the end of the race, Ambrose went a lap down before the car finally got away from him with only a handful of laps remaining, making heavy contact with the turn two wall.
The race was won by Penske Racing Kurt Busch, taking out the Charlotte double after winning the Sprint All-Star Race last weekend.
-source: marcos ambrose PR