Watkins Glen: JTG Racing/Ambrose preview

Ambrose Wants the Old Saying 'Third Time's a Charm' to Ring True at the Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 3, 2010) -- At Watkins Glen International, Marcos Ambrose and his JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota team finished third in 2008, second in 2009...

Ambrose Wants the Old Saying
'Third Time's a Charm' to Ring True at the Glen

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 3, 2010) -- At Watkins Glen International, Marcos Ambrose and his JTG Daugherty Racing Toyota team finished third in 2008, second in 2009 and now they are poised for their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory with the No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota on Sunday.

"We have unfinished business and we have our best chance to win this weekend," said Ambrose, who announced last week that he will depart the team at the end of the season. "We'll be a player. We're really applying ourselves and sticking to the fundamentals. We're just going to have to wait and see how it all plays out. I'm proud of what we have accomplished as a team in our five year journey, but it would be very special to all of us if we can sneak a win in on Sunday."

He was close last year, but two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart trumped the Australian driver to pull into victory lane for a fifth time at the 11-turn, 2.45-mile road course. Ambrose is aware the 37-time winner will have the hand to beat once again.

"It is going to take us beating Tony Stewart," said Ambrose, who has two NASCAR Nationwide Series victories at the Glen and goes for his third on Saturday in the Zippo 200. "He has won so many times there. We have to match up against him and shadow his lap times and have a good strategy to stay in contention."

In June, Ambrose and his JTG Daugherty Racing team participated in a two-day Goodyear tire test along with Hendrick Motorsports' driver Jeff Gordon and Richard Childress Racing's driver Jeff Burton. Gordon had some nice comments about Ambrose after the two swapped rides for a few laps during the test.

"I learned two things there at the test," Gordon said. "One is that when Marcos Ambrose goes really fast through the road courses, it's not just his race car. He's just really fast. He got in my car and went really fast. I got in his car and went slow. He's a good guy and a heck of a road-course racer."

Crew chief Frank Kerr agrees and he is taking the same car Ambrose tested at Watkins Glen International and raced at Infineon Raceway.

"We feel confident that we have a good shot at winning on Sunday with the same car we raced at Sonoma," Kerr said. "Last year, we were close and Marcos is so good on these road courses. This is Marcos' third visit to Watkins Glen and this time around we're looking to improve by one position."

Ambrose dominated in the closing laps at Sonoma, but finished sixth due to losing the lead under caution when he turned his engine off to conserve fuel and didn't maintain the caution speed. It's something that is on Ambrose's mind.

"Sure, I still have nightmares about it," Ambrose said. "I prefer not to talk about it anymore though. It's in the past and we are focused on doing well the rest of the season and finishing with the same winning attitude we started with five years ago."

In the immediate future, Ambrose is eager to see how the racewill play out with the new safety enhancements.

"Watkins Glen has made some great changes and I give them a lot of merit," said Ambrose, who is referring the new SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction) barriers, the grass areas that were paved to provide better traction to bring a car to a stop, moving back the guard rail system 25 feet and so forth. "The fans are going to see a fast and safer race because there will be fewer cautions and delays. Also, it helps promote more side-by-side racing. It will be a great show."

-source: jtg racing

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Marcos Ambrose
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Hendrick Motorsports , JTG Daugherty Racing