Nashville: Marcos Ambrose Friday notes

AMBROSE EIGHTH IN NASHVILLE PRACTICE Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose has made a strong start to this weekend's 16th round of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the all-concrete Nashville track in Tennessee today. Ambrose was 19th in the ...

AMBROSE EIGHTH IN NASHVILLE PRACTICE

Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose has made a strong start to this weekend's 16th round of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the all-concrete Nashville track in Tennessee today.

Ambrose was 19th in the opening practice in his Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards F-150, topped the time sheets in the 12-truck rookie session and was then eighth fastest of 35 trucks in the final practice and was the fastest Ford driver.

The final practice was cut short by rain with the maximum amount of laps from one driver (Erin Crocker) being just 17.

Ambrose managed to squeeze in 10 laps and notched his quickest time of 30.277 seconds on his final rotation of the 1.3-mile (2.08km) circuit at an average speed of 158.497mph (253.595kph).

Jack Sprague topped the time sheets with a time of 29.957 seconds in his Toyota and was followed by Bill Lester (29.975) and Timothy Peters (30.689).

The day was not without incident with both Kraig Kinser and Bobby Hamilton Jr badly damaging their trucks in separate accidents.

After two rounds learning the tight and tough nature of short track racing in Memphis and Indianapolis, Ambrose is enjoying being back on a faster and longer speedway this weekend.

It is on 1.5-mile ovals that Ambrose has shone so far this season. The Australian drove the Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience F-150 to third place at Kansas, and then qualified in pole position the next week in Kentucky, bringing he and the Team Australia truck to the attention of the NASCAR fraternity.

Nashville Superspeedway is 1.333 miles in length and is one of only three all-concrete speedways on the NASCAR schedule. Ambrose is looking forward to the fast and challenging layout, which is made of 5734 cubic metres (7500 cubic yards) of concrete.

There will be qualifying and a 200-mile (321.87km) race tomorrow.

WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --

Marcos Ambrose -- #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience Ford F-150

"The Nashville surface is certainly different to a lot of what we have raced on this season, but I am getting the hang of it," said Ambrose.

"We certainly improved the Team Australia truck a lot as the day went on and it was disappointing the rain came in the final session when it did.

"We need to start aiming for solid top 10 runs from now on and we have made a good start here.

"Qualifying will be interesting tomorrow with just a couple of laps to put what we have learnt into practice."

***

Craig Gore -- Team Australia

"When you look at it, today was one of Marcos' best starts to a race weekend in the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards truck," said Gore.

"He certainly improved in every session and might have even been higher than eighth if the rain had not come in the last run.

"With a bit of luck on our side, I think we can finish with a terrific result tomorrow and we can celebrate with a nice bottle of Aussie Vineyards product."

-credit: www.teamaustraliamotorsport.com

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Jack Sprague , Marcos Ambrose , Bill Lester , Erin Crocker , Kraig Kinser , Timothy Peters