AMBROSE HAS TOP 10 FINISH SLIP THROUGH HIS FINGERS AT MARTINSVILLE Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose was unlucky to miss his fourth top 10 finish of his rookie NASCAR season at the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia...
AMBROSE HAS TOP 10 FINISH SLIP THROUGH HIS FINGERS AT MARTINSVILLE
Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose was unlucky to miss his fourth top 10 finish of his rookie NASCAR season at the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia today.
Ambrose made another forward step in his NASCAR career today, showing his best form yet on a short track. Ambrose ran with the top ten after qualifying fourth but a puncture late in the race forced Ambrose to make an unscheduled pit stop, ruining any chance for a standout result on a short track.
Ambrose ran with the leaders early in the race and quickly settled into a rhythm, saving his truck for the end of the race. A four-tyre pit stop put the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 back in the pack but Ambrose was soon climbing back up the order.
An incident with David Ragan and Bobby East on lap 115 again set the two-time Australian V8 Supercar Champion back, but Ambrose continued to show that he has progressed a long way since his NASCAR debut at Martinsville in April and was on the verge of his first top 10 result on a short track with 20 laps remaining.
A hit from behind gave Ambrose a puncture of the left rear tyre, the tyre eventually delaminating and forcing Ambrose to pit with 14 laps remaining. Ambrose recovered to be 25th and two laps down by the end of the 200 lap event.
Today's Kroger 200 was won by polesitter Jack Sprague after defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Champion Ted Musgrave was black-flagged for a restart infringement while leading.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Marcos Ambrose -- #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150
"We were going really well and we were running towards getting a top 10 result," said Ambrose.
"We came in and changed all four tyres and went all the way back to about 33rd and had the pace to come right back up to 12th. We got turned around and still managed to get back up there. The pace of the Aussie Vineyards F-150 was really strong today
"Late in the race there we got hit from behind and it punctured the tyre and then it delaminated so we had to come in to change it. It was a good finish gone because we had such a good truck.
"It was really good to run at that pace here and that's a good sign for our short track program. It felt good to be running so strong but it's disappointing we didn't get the result we deserved."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia
"I think Marcos definitely made some further ground on the short track this weekend," said Gore.
"The Aussie Vineyards truck was almost certain of a top 10 finish if Marcos hadn't been hit from behind causing the puncture.
"The short tracks were the next box that Marcos had to tick off and he certainly made some major ground on that this weekend.
"Bring on Atlanta."
2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Points -- After Round 20 -- Marcos Ambrose did not compete in the first three rounds of the championship.
-credit: team australia