TOP 10 RUN BEFORE ENGINE FAILURE FOR AMBROSE IN TEXAS Marcos Ambrose has shown some of his best speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition before being robbed of the opportunity to capitalise with engine failure in the Samsung 500 at Texas...
TOP 10 RUN BEFORE ENGINE FAILURE FOR AMBROSE IN TEXAS
Marcos Ambrose has shown some of his best speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition before being robbed of the opportunity to capitalise with engine failure in the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas today.
Ambrose started from 11th position and was a top 10 contender for the first half of the race in the debut event of the blue Clorox paint scheme of the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing entry.
The Australian had impressive pace, ran inside the top 10 and looked headed towards a breakthrough result at the fast 1.5-mile speedway.
But around half-race distance, problems began to surface, beginning with a sticking throttle for Ambrose, which saw him drop outside the top 10.
Ambrose persevered with the ailment, but soon more serious problems arose and his engine dropped to seven cylinders. On lap 216 of 334, the engine completely gave way, spelling the second engine-related retirement this season for the 32-year-old.
While the potential was most certainly there for a top 10 finish and the opportunity to jump into the top 20 in the Sprint Cup Series standings, Ambrose unfortunately lost vital ground today and slips seven spots down to 28th in the points.
Ambrose is taking confidence from today's sensational pace and looking to get back on track next weekend when he makes his second Sprint Cup Series start at Phoenix International Raceway in Arizona for the Subway Fresh Fit 500.
Jeff Gordon claimed his first win at Texas Motor Speedway in the Samsung 500 today ahead of team-mate Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle.
WHAT MARCOS HAS TO SAY:
"We've had a lot of engine issues that have really hurt our performance," said Ambrose.
"But you can't blame people who are trying to push the edge in terms of performance.
"We ran strong all day, while the car was running well. But that means nothing if you don't finish so it's very disappointing for us.
"We took a hit in the points. It's not often you have a car that is that good, so to waste it like we did today is just a real shame.
"Our team is strong, we've got great cars. We're better that this, but that's racing. Not every day is going to be your day.
"At least we can walk away saying we were running well. We'll try to get our season back on track over the next few events."
On the sticking throttle --
"It wasn't easy out there," said Ambrose.
"I was balancing between switching the motor off with the kill switch, in case the throttle was sticking too long in the corner.
"I also have a lever above the gas pedal for this kind of situation in case the throttle hangs, I can actually kick the throttle up and get it off that way.
"So between kicking the throttle around and using the kill switch I got around somehow!
"It's part of racing at this level. Not every lap is perfect and you've got issues that come up during the day that you've got to deal with. We had our fair share today but no complaints.
"I'm up here in the top series and competitive, running well, passing good guys and we're a contender every time we run these days."