AMBROSE RUNS OUT OF FUEL WHILE IN SECOND PLACE WITH TWO LAPS TO GO AT TEXAS Marcos Ambrose has left Texas Motor Speedway pondering what could have been after running out of fuel while in second place on the second-to-last lap of the Dickies 500...
AMBROSE RUNS OUT OF FUEL WHILE IN SECOND PLACE WITH TWO LAPS TO GO AT TEXAS
Marcos Ambrose has left Texas Motor Speedway pondering what could have been after running out of fuel while in second place on the second-to-last lap of the Dickies 500 in Fort Worth, Texas today.
Ambrose was one of the fastest cars all day in the 334-lap race held on the fast 1.5-mile oval aboard his #47 Little Debbie-backed entry from JTG Daugherty Racing.
In the final stages of the race Ambrose, who ran in the top 10 for the majority of today's race, was told by crew chief Frank Kerr to conserve fuel in a bid to try and make it to the finish without the need for a further pit stop -- a situation that most of the field found themselves in.
Ambrose steadily picked off cars as he moved up the order and while Kerr continually updated his driver on the fuel situation and the need to conserve, Ambrose came back with a clear and instinctive reply -- "I want to win!"
In the dying moments of the race Ambrose rose to second place behind Kurt Busch but in a heartbreaking outcome, Ambrose's car ran out of fuel on the penultimate lap of the 334-lap race.
He coasted to pit road to receive a splash of fuel and actually crossed the line to take the chequered flag from pit lane, finishing in 15th position.
Ambrose started from 19th position but as one of the fastest cars on the track, moved up the order and into the top 10 in the first third of the race.
Ambrose rose as high as third to sit behind the Busch brothers Kyle and Kurt, but at around half-race distance he slid through his pit box at a pit stop and then lost time selecting reverse gear.
The hiccup dropped him down to 18th position but again the Aussie had one of the fastest cars in the race and was able to claw his way back through the pack.
With a group of Australian Ambrose fans cheering on from the grandstands as part of a BAM Tours group, Ambrose had one of his strongest races of the year, his first full season in the top flight Sprint Cup Series.
Kurt Busch won today's Dickies 500 ahead of Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth.
Ambrose will start the penultimate race of the NASCAR season next weekend at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona.
WHAT MARCOS HAD TO SAY --
"We gave it a shot," said Ambrose.
"We came up short by a lap and a bit.
"We were close on fuel but if you get within a lap you have to have a go.
"We only needed half a gallon and that was the difference between second and 15th.
"I had a great Little Debbie car. We've been working hard on new development stuff.
"We've had some bad races as we've tried these new things and worked on them but now we're finally getting our heads around it.
"It was a good night and we were genuinely competitive all day. The pace we had and what we've learned here will be really good for our 1.5 mile (oval) program moving on from here.
"Yeah, it's disappointing but we had a good night as well. We rolled dice and our numbers didn't come up.
"I've learned to (save fuel) better. I didn't know how tight we were. I probably could have saved more at the start of the run."