SOLID SUPERSPEEDWAY DEBUT BRINGS AMBROSE 17TH AT TALLADEGA Marcos Ambrose has come away from his first race at a superspeedway with a solid finish after today's John Deere 250 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. Ambrose finished in...
SOLID SUPERSPEEDWAY DEBUT BRINGS AMBROSE 17TH AT TALLADEGA
Marcos Ambrose has come away from his first race at a superspeedway with a solid finish after today's John Deere 250 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.
Ambrose finished in 17th position and was the second-highest finishing Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender.
The Australian drove a smart race in the #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 and was in the lead pack on the final lap when a crash sent trucks in all directions.
Ambrose managed to get through the wreck to finish 17th. Ambrose qualified 30th after running a conservative qualifying set-up and was into the top 20 by lap 30 in the 94-lap race.
The Team Australia driver held his nerve and circulated around 20th position for the majority of the race, ensuring he would be in a good position for the closing stages.
Moving up the order in the final laps proved difficult for Ambrose, with his truck not working well on the low line, forcing him higher up the track.
The two-time Australian V8 Supercar Champion managed to avoid a final lap incident between Mike Wallace, Derrick Cope and others to collect 17th position, the sixth top 20 result of his debut NASCAR season.
Ford veteran Mark Martin won today's John Deere 250 ahead of Mike Skinner and Ted Musgrave.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Marcos Ambrose -- Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150
"I got through the last lap unscathed but I don't know how," said Ambrose.
"We were just cruising around for about 80 percent of the race and just slowly worked our way up the order to around 15th by the end there.
"Early on we were just cruising around and everything was pretty good. It certainly got hectic towards the end but we came through. We got past the crash and there were people hitting things everywhere.
"I need something to calm my nerves. That was out of control.
"I went right underneath it (the crash). I saw the #40 (Derrick Cope) go in. He went in pretty hard, bounced up in the air and started pirouetting. I either went underneath him or went to the bottom of him, I'm not sure. But I'm just glad I got through it.
"We really just fiddled around there until the last 30-odd laps. We fiddled around there and stayed at the back and we just wanted to get to the last 30 laps without doing anything silly.
"When it was time to go, the truck would only really run on the middle and top groove. We tried to run the bottom but got bogged down every time. Whenever I wanted to move forward I had to run the middle groove and that's three wide and that's never a good place to be.
"We had a good day. I thought we were pretty close there at the finish. It looked like we were five or six back from the lead on the outside groove, but that's still 18th when you're three wide."
"It was a good day and I gained a massive amount of experience. The result was OK, but it could have been a little bit better.
"It was a really hard race for me. I drove well and we ran a confident race and came away with a good result for our first race at a superspeedway."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia
"Marcos took a conservative approach to today's race and was rewarded with another strong finish," said Gore.
"He has proved that he can now race consistently on ovals of all different shapes and sizes.
"I look forward to watching him run over the last five rounds of the championship."