Kansas: Marcos Ambrose preview

AMBROSE READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP IN KANSAS Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose is ready to take the next step in his NASCAR career this weekend at his ninth event in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in Kansas. Ambrose has ...

AMBROSE READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP IN KANSAS

Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose is ready to take the next step in his NASCAR career this weekend at his ninth event in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in Kansas.

Ambrose has shown his potential with some superb qualifying performances, qualifying in the top 10 three times already this season the best of which was second at Michigan. So far the two-time Australian V8 Supercar Champion has been content with finishing races and gaining valuable miles and experience. But now the Australian is seeking to take the next step in his NASCAR journey.

Ambrose was pleased with his best result to date last weekend in Milwaukee, where he finished 18th. With that now behind him, the Tasmanian is now setting his sights on bettering that result by working on a set-up that will see his Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 truck perform at its best in the final 50 laps of the race.

No longer content with merely finishing, Ambrose will be pushing to get his Aussie Vineyards truck further towards the front by the end of this weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 in Kansas. The race will represent the next step in the rookie seasons of both Ambrose and the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing crew. The team has finished 911 of the last 920 laps and has been running at the end of the last five races. More importantly, Ambrose has been among the top 20 for many of those laps.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

MARCOS AMBROSE -- TEAM AUSTRALIA FORD F-150

"When we started, our only goal was to finish races and run laps," said Ambrose.

"We've been doing that. Now we're thinking more of performance. That's a big step forward.

"We've been running up front more frequently and we're trying to build on that. We get better and better each race. We want to continue that trend at Kansas."

"It starts with the Aussie Vineyards Ford truck itself. Gary (Cogswell, crew chief) and everyone else on this team have given me a good truck every week. We're doing a good job of taking what we learn on the track and making the truck better. Although Gary and I have only been together for two races, we've been able to communicate without any problems.

"The entire race is a learning experience. You're learning what the truck likes, what the truck doesn't like. You use that information for the last run. You want your truck to be at its best at the end of the race. That's going to be our focus this week."

CRAIG GORE -- TEAM AUSTRALIA

"Marcos has obviously come out of the last couple of rounds with boosted enthusiasm and an ever-growing knowledge base, which is just fantastic," said Gore.

"Every track he goes to is obviously a new experience where he needs to develop another part of his skillbase. At the same time, his NASCAR racecraft improves every time he is behind the wheel and that can only lead to better and better results for the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 truck."

Marcos Ambrose Fast Facts

-- Ambrose will be making his ninth career start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

-- Ambrose has earned $73,043 in eight starts this year

-- Born in Launceston, Tasmania

-- Ambrose won two consecutive V8 Supercar Series Championships in Australia in 2003 and 2004 for Ford

-- Will drive the No. 20 Ford F-150 for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing in 2006

TIPS FOR AUSTRALIAN FANS

There are several websites relating to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series where you can follow Ambrose's progress.

The best three we have discovered so far are the official NASCAR.com site, truckseries.com and woodbrothersracing.com

You can register for Track Pass on the NASCAR site which will give you access to radio broadcasts, in-car audio and video of most races for a fee, but you will need a US credit card (so ring a mate!)

You can get a free lap-by-lap written commentary of the races on truckseries.com by going to the trackside area of the site. There are also pre and post race audio interviews.

2006 CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS -- After Round 11 -- Marcos Ambrose did not compete in the first three rounds of the championship.

AUSTRALIAN TIMES
Practice 1
Sat., July 1, 2006
12:40am -1:40am EST

Rookie Practice
Sat., July 1, 2006
3:00am -3:30am EST

Final Practice
Sat., July 1, 2006
3:30am-4:30am EST

Race
Sat, July 1, 2006
4:15am EST

ABOUT KANSAS SPEEDWAY
Location: Kansas City, Kansas
Race Distance: 167 laps 250.5 miles (403.14km)
Track Length: 2.0 miles

-www.teamaustraliamotorsport.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Marcos Ambrose