Milwaukee: Marcos Ambrose preview

AMBROSE TO SOAK UP MILWAUKEE HISTORY The Milwaukee Mile is the oldest continually operating motor speedway in the world and Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose is one of the newest drivers to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series -- they both come ...

AMBROSE TO SOAK UP MILWAUKEE HISTORY

The Milwaukee Mile is the oldest continually operating motor speedway in the world and Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose is one of the newest drivers to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series -- they both come together this Friday night (Saturday morning Australian time).

Ambrose will contest the Milwaukee 200 in his Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 and is looking forward to the challenge of racing on the legendary 1-mile (1.6km) oval.

"Tradition is one of the most fantastic things about motor racing and there is no shortage of it at Milwaukee," said Ambrose.

"They were running races at this place eight years before they started racing at Indianapolis. If only the stands could talk, I am sure we would have some fantastic stories.

"It is pretty cool to be an Australian and heading to a track like this which has hosted the biggest names in the business. Parnelli Jones, AJ Foyt, Jimmy Clark, the Unsers, Andrettis, Nigel Mansell and Dale Earnhardt Jr have call cut laps at Milwaukee.

"I've watched a lot of races from there on television.

"And I've got other races on video. Of all the tracks on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule in the first half of the year, this is the track I've looked forward to the most."

Ambrose, a rookie from Tasmania and part of the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing's driver development program, will be making his eighth career start in the truck series.

Ambrose said the flat corners most resemble the road courses in Australia where he won two consecutive V8 Supercar Championships in 2003-04 for Ford. He looks forward to using that experience on Friday.

"Our goal in the first few races was to run laps and learn as much as we can," Ambrose said.

"We've finished four races in a row and now it's time to move our goals to the next step. Now we can start looking at performance. We've proven in the last few races we belong in this sport, so now we can start concentrating more on our finishing positions.

"I'm glad we're taking that next step at Milwaukee. I remember watching last year's Busch Series race from Milwaukee and the last few Champ Car races. I already feel like I know the track."

Ambrose qualified on the outside pole last week at the Michigan International Speedway and ran among the leaders during most of the race. While he was frustrated with a 26th-place finish caused through a mechanical problem, he was pleased with the overall effort that resulted in a lead-lap finish.

"We ran all 200 miles at Michigan, and now we're looking to run all 200 miles at Milwaukee," said Ambrose.

"For the first half of the year, we're going to tracks I've never seen before so everything is a learning experience. At the same time, we're all still racers. We want results." Ambrose continues to sit in 33rd position in the championship and has earned a total of $US62,703 from his seven races.

Marcos Ambrose Fast Facts

* Marcos Ambrose will be making his eighth career start in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

* Ambrose has earned $62,703 in seven 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.

AUSTRALIAN TIMES

SATURDAY, June 24, 2006
2:00am -- 3:00am -- Practice
3:30am -- 4:00am -- Rookie Practice
4:00am -- 5:00am - Final Practice
8:30am - Qualifying (2 laps)
11:15am - Race (200 laps) -- 200 miles (320km)

ABOUT MILWAUKEE MILE

Race Distance: 200 laps (200 miles) (320km)

Length: 1-mile (1.6km)

Degree of banking: 9.25 degrees

Degree of banking in Straights: 2.5 degrees

-www.teamaustraliamotorsport.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Nigel Mansell , Parnelli Jones , Marcos Ambrose