Homestead: Marcos Ambrose race report

AMBROSE SHOWS SPEED BUT PROBLEMS STALL SEASON FINALE Marcos Ambrose has, for a fleeting moment, starred in the season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida today. But overall it was a disappointing end to a great...

AMBROSE SHOWS SPEED BUT PROBLEMS STALL SEASON FINALE

Marcos Ambrose has, for a fleeting moment, starred in the season-ending Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida today.

But overall it was a disappointing end to a great season for Ambrose, with mechanical gremlins ruining his race.

Ambrose started from third position at the 1.5-mile speedway aboard his #47 Little Debbie-backed entry of JTG Daugherty Racing.

Ambrose showed great speed early and on lap 10 he passed polesitter and points leader Jimmie Johnson for lead the race for four laps.

But soon Ambrose was forced make an unscheduled pit stop for a tyre puncture, then later, he returned to the garage area after his car lost power, his crew working to change the car's carburettor.

It was a case of what could have been for Ambrose, who enjoyed strong car speed over the course of the race, despite being many laps down.

Ambrose was eventually classified in 35th position, enough to hold onto 18th position in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings, the highest placed first year driver this season.

In 2009, Ambrose scored four top five, seven top 10 and 19 top 20 finishes from 36 points races and also qualified in the top 10 on six occasions.

The Australian scored a best result of second on the Watkins Glen road course and a standout third place finish on the tough Bristol Motor Speedway half-mile oval, Ambrose proved that he has what it takes this season.

In two road course Nationwide Series appearances, Ambrose scored victory for the second-straight year at Watkins Glen and was second in Montreal, Canada.

WHAT MARCOS HAD TO SAY ON SEASON 2009--

"It's just been a great year for the #47 Little Debbie JTG Daugherty Racing team in the Sprint Cup Series," said Ambrose.

"We didn't expect that we would be in position to finish in the top 20 in points because we were just hoping to finish in the top 30.

"We have exceeded our expectations and we have been very competitive. We have seven top-10 finishes, but were so close to having more. We had at least three 11th-place finishes that with a bit of luck would have been top 10s. But, it doesn't really matter. We've done plenty this year."

"Our team is growing and our results this year prove that. I'm a lot more confident as a driver and secure in myself that I can do the job. All those things will play a part. You can't guarantee you are going to move forward. It's a challenging world we live in. We are very focused on understanding that not every step is going to be forward and sometimes you may take a step backwards.

"(Next year) we want to win a race and make the Chase.

"Sure, it's a lofty goal, but I think it's achievable if everything goes well. I think we are worthy of it and can do it. We know we gave away 300 points before the Chase started and we were about 200 points behind in the end.

"I'm looking forward to refreshing my mind and body by getting back into training and forgetting about going in circles for a while. I'm looking forward to joining my family in Australia and starting a new year in NASCAR."

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jimmie Johnson , Marcos Ambrose