Fontana II: Marcos Ambrose qualifying report

AMBROSE QUALIFIES 16TH IN CALIFORNIA Marcos Ambrose will start 16th in tomorrow's Camping World 300 after a strong performance in qualifying at California Speedway in Fontana, California today. The Australian had a productive day in the ...

AMBROSE QUALIFIES 16TH IN CALIFORNIA

Marcos Ambrose will start 16th in tomorrow's Camping World 300 after a strong performance in qualifying at California Speedway in Fontana, California today.

The Australian had a productive day in the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion, posting the 20th fastest time in final practice earlier in the day.

Ambrose, who will celebrate his 31st birthday on Saturday, was the highest-placed driver in today's qualifying to not race full-time in the NASCAR Nextel Cup and the second-fastest Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender behind David Ragan.

Ambrose and his crew worked at improving the set-up of the car throughout the day and are confident they have a strong package ahead of tomorrow's event, the 27th in this year's NASCAR Busch Series.

Denny Hamlin will start the Camping World 300 from pole position ahead of Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch.

Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion

"We have the car working well here at California and 16th is a good qualifying effort," said Ambrose.

"This track is a Michigan-style of track because two miles is pretty big. We've brought the same car we ran at Michigan two weeks ago and I have a good idea about the aero package on it, so I'm just excited about getting out there.

"Hopefully, the car will be balanced for us. We were a little unbalanced at Michigan on the aero side, so if we get that right, we'll just have to deal with the heat and the lack of grip.

"It's going to be a slippery track so it will make for an interesting race and set-up will be crucial. It's very hot here so the heat will be another factor to take into account. This is like an Eskimo hanging out on the Sahara desert, it's so hot.

"California Speedway is big and fast, so if you get in trouble you're gonna get in trouble in a hurry.

"We're playing with the big boys here and we can run close to them week in and week out with the improvements we're getting week in and week out.

"It's just fantastic. I'm happy with that lap. I gained a second from practice. You can't get much more than that without risking bending the car so I'll take it.

"I crashed here getting up to speed in qualifying in the spring. I didn't even get to third gear and I spun it out so I've already made improvement because we finished qualifying in one piece.

"We keep gaining on this deal, getting better and better every week. I'm excited. I think we've got a chance to keep improving, keep getting better. We're playing with the big boys now. There's no easy solution from here on.

"I actually haven't raced on my birthday, so maybe it'll be good luck for me."

-credit: team australia

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kasey Kahne , Marcos Ambrose , David Ragan , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch