AMBROSE RECOVERS TO FINISH 26TH AT BRISTOL Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose has recovered from a mid-race incident to finish 26th at today's O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Ambrose qualified in the top 10...
AMBROSE RECOVERS TO FINISH 26TH AT BRISTOL
Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose has recovered from a mid-race incident to finish 26th at today's O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Ambrose qualified in the top 10 for the sixth time this season in his 14th NASCAR start and ran in the top 10 for the opening stages of the race.
The Tasmanian had a hard fought battle for 10th position with NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series leader Todd Bodine for much of the early stages before pitting under caution on lap 28.
After his pit stop Ambrose ran inside the top 20 before the #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 was turned around by Sammy Sanders, sending the truck into the Turn 2 wall.
The incident dropped Ambrose to the rear and from this point the former two-time Australian V8 Supercar Champion worked to recover positions lost, eventually finishing 26th, two laps down.
Fellow Ford F-150 driver and NASCAR legend Mark Martin won today's race at Bristol from series leader Bodine and defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Ted Musgrave. The next event is the New Hampshire 200 on September 16 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
It was a tough day for the Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates, with the best finishing rookie Erik Darnell, who finished in 18th place to extend his rookie lead.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Marcos Ambrose -- #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience Ford F-150
"That's was a pretty wild race," said Ambrose.
"It's just a real shame. We had a good qualifying position and we thought we had a good race truck, but it came and got us there.
"Bristol is a tough, tough race track, probably the most aggressive, high banked, fast, crazy race I have ever been in.
"We qualified great. We qualified in the top 10. We were holding on there early on, I just couldn't get a handle on the race truck. We were pretty free getting into the corners, pretty loose, and I knew I was going to get pumped and shoved around, it was just a matter of when, not if.
"We lost a couple of laps there in the pits and had to work on that and then we got trapped two laps down. We actually ran nearly as fast as the leaders when we got clean air towards the end of the race, but it was too little, too late.
"When you are sliding back in the pack you are always going to get a hard time. You've got to be the aggressor out there. You've got to have a car that can move forward, not go backwards. That will come with time; this is my very first experience here.
"I'm proud of the team and I'm proud of what we've achieved. We qualified top 10 in my first start here and that's pretty good. We ran fast when we were running.
"I'm a lucky boy and I'm in a great deal. I've got a great support network around me with this team and with Ford Motor Company and it is just pretty cool to be part of it.
Craig Gore -- Team Australia
"Bristol is a very tough race track and while I am sure Marcos would have liked a better result, there is no doubt he has learnt a lot today," said Gore.
"To qualify in the top 10 on his first visit to Bristol is yet another great performance for Marcos and the Team Australia crew. The race was a tougher deal, but he showed pace in the Aussie Vineyards truck and came away with a result and some handy points.
"Marcos has come a long way this season and the pace he has shown at Bristol is another step in his development. Marcos and the Team Australia crew can enjoy a small break now and prepare for the next stage of the season."
2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Points -- After Round 17 -- Marcos Ambrose did not compete in the first three rounds of the championship.