AMBROSE SHOWS HIS CLASS ON UNLUCKY NIGHT FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA AT INDY Marcos Ambrose has finished 22nd in the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana today, but it was almost a great deal better for the...
AMBROSE SHOWS HIS CLASS ON UNLUCKY NIGHT FOR TEAM AUSTRALIA AT INDY
Marcos Ambrose has finished 22nd in the Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Indiana today, but it was almost a great deal better for the Australian and the Team Australia NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series outfit.
Ambrose again showed that he is improving with every race and had the #20 Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience on a charge in the later stages of the event, only to be hampered by another truck's accident while running in around 15th position.
The Team Australia driver qualified in 19th for today's race and settled into the race pace in the early stages. Still in only his 12th NASCAR race, Ambrose continually worked on the set-up of the Team Australia truck, making a set-up change at every pit stop.
By the latter stages the Tasmanian-born driver was in the groove and looking at improving his position in the field, having found more confidence in the set-up of the Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience truck as the race wore on.
But on lap 185 of the 200 lap race, Robert Richardson made contact with another truck on the front straight and lost control, spinning into the side of Ambrose's #20 Team Australia entry and pushing it up into the wall in Turn 1.
Ambrose made two pit stops under the subsequent caution period to rectify repairs to the #20 Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience truck and in doing so remained on the lead lap. Thanks to the swift efforts of the Team Australia crew, Ambrose was able to finish in 22nd position and gain a further 97 points for his championship tally.
Rick Crawford won today's Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly Raceway Park, the 15th race in the 2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, ahead of Dennis Setzer and Ron Hornaday.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Marcos Ambrose -- #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience Ford F-150
"We had a 200-lap race tonight and I think we did about 199 pit stops," said Ambrose.
"One of the problems for us tonight was that this was a one day race meeting and you do all your set-up on the truck during the day.
"Then when the race rolls around it is night, so we really made a lot of changes to the truck tonight during the race because the track is completely different at night. We made a lot of pit stops and always kept changing the set-up to get it better. If we had a race tomorrow we would be set.
"As we improved the Aussie Vineyards truck's set-up we managed to get up into around 15th position. On the front straight two trucks ahead of me got together, one had a tank-slapper and spun up into me and hit me up into the wall.
"We managed to pull a fender off and get the truck going to stay on the lead lap and finish in a respectable position, so I have to take my hat off to the crew for some slick pit work in the dying stages there.
"Over half the trucks here tonight finished with damage, it's just the way it is over here on the short tracks. Sometimes you can't help what happens in front of you, so you just have to make the most of what you've got.
"We did more laps tonight on a short track and gained more confidence. We'll just keep pressing on and look to the next event in Nashville.
Craig Gore -- Team Australia
"It was an amazingly tough deal for Marcos to be on target for a top 15 result and then be caught up in someone else's accident," said Gore.
"It would have been a great result for him to get the Team Australia truck that high on such a traditionally tough short track. Marcos and the team showed what persistence and teamwork is all about tonight.
"He was left with no where to go when those two trucks got together with 15 laps to go, but that's racing.
"It's fair to say that Marcos's learning curve reached new heights tonight and he again turned plenty of heads with his performance in the #20 Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience truck.
"There are plenty of people in Indianapolis tonight who now know about Team Australia and Marcos Ambrose."