Phoenix II: Marcos Ambrose race report

ELEVENTH FOR AMBROSE ON STRONG DAY IN PHOENIX Marcos Ambrose has enjoyed a strong showing at Phoenix International Raceway this afternoon with 11th place in the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 in Arizona today. It is the best finish for...

ELEVENTH FOR AMBROSE ON STRONG DAY IN PHOENIX

Marcos Ambrose has enjoyed a strong showing at Phoenix International Raceway this afternoon with 11th place in the Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 in Arizona today.

It is the best finish for Ambrose since he finished third at Bristol Motor Speedway in August.

After starting from 21st position Ambrose had solid car pace aboard the #47 Little Debbie-backed entry of JTG Daugherty Racing and late in the race the Australian sat in the top 10.

On the verge of scoring his eighth top 10 finish of the season, Ambrose was passed by Michael Waltrip Racing stable-mate David Reutimann in the closing stages of the 312-lap journey, forced to settle for 11th place and his 19th top 20 finish of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Jimmie Johnson extended his Sprint Cup points lead by winner in Phoenix today ahead of Jeff Burton and Denny Hamlin.

Ambrose has one race remaining in his first full season at Sprint Cup level with the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend.

WHAT MARCOS HAD TO SAY --

QUESTION: How was your run today?

"Not bad. There's nothing worse than finishing 11th because we had a good car and we just burnt the right rear off there on the last run trying to stay in front of Jeff Gordon.

"It was just a strong day. Our team is learning, we're growing and we're getting better and better. We're going to be a contender next year and that's really exciting for us."

QUESTION: Do you think you've made an impression this year?

"Well, we ran great at Texas and we ran well today, so we're really excited for our future. I was worried I pinched the 88 (Dale Earnhardt Jr.) down there to spin him out but I think he spun on his own oil which makes me feel a lot better because I would hate to hurt all of those (Dale Earnhardt) Jr. fans out there.

"We had a strong day, just not quite enough there at the end. I'm really proud of my guys and really proud of where we're going and I'm excited. I think 2010 is going to be a great year."

QUESTION: Are you already looking forward to 2010?

"I am, but I'm also looking forward to the break. You need time to reflect on the season and get your body and your head back in shape for the following year and I need it.

"I'm getting really tired. My family is back in Australia right now, so I'm excited to see them and hopefully I've only got seven or eight days until I get to see them. I love NASCAR racing - it's what I live for."

-credit: ma/bam

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Michael Waltrip , Jimmie Johnson , Marcos Ambrose , David Reutimann , Denny Hamlin
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing