AMBROSE PUTS TEAM AUSTRALIA IN TOP FIVE AT TALLADEGA Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose has made an outstanding start to his first superspeedway event by driving to fifth fastest in final practice for the John Deere 250 at ...
AMBROSE PUTS TEAM AUSTRALIA IN TOP FIVE AT TALLADEGA
Team Australia NASCAR Truck driver Marcos Ambrose has made an outstanding start to his first superspeedway event by driving to fifth fastest in final practice for the John Deere 250 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama today.
Ambrose, who yesterday confirmed his move up into the NASCAR Busch Series for 2007 with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, soon came to terms with the daunting and ultra-fast superspeedway.
Today's activities were more about refining the set-up of his Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 for qualifying and the race, but Ambrose still found time to set a quick time, good enough for fifth fastest in final practice.
It was yet another great day for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing, with Ambrose and team-mate Bobby East the two fastest Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders in final practice, with East second quickest.
Earlier in the day Ambrose was 25th fastest in opening practice and 11th fastest in rookie practice.
The Australian, who was a two-time champion in Australia's V8 Supercar Championship Series before becoming the first Australian to compete full-time in NASCAR, is confident that he and the Team Australia crew can get the Aussie Vineyards F-150 to work well in the draft.
The key to superspeedway racing is not only drafting and racing in the pack, but also avoiding the 'big one', the multiple car crashes common to superspeedway racing that can remove a good portion of the field in one accident, making qualifying tomorrow all the more important.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY --
Marcos Ambrose -- Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150
"Today was a bit of a 'muscle-pumping' day here for practice," said Ambrose.
"The important work today was to get your truck working in the draft and make sure you are going to have a strong truck in the race when you are running in the pack.
"Fifth quickest time was good today but the real goal here is going to be getting a top 10 spot in qualifying tomorrow.
"We have a really good truck and the team has done a great job yet again. We've got no problems and everything is looking good.
"This place is flat out as soon as you leave the pit lane. It is all about setting up the truck to run well in the draft and to be comfortable with the vehicle you've got.
"The aim will be to run well but also stay out of trouble and avoid the 'big one' if and when it happens. The truck is good and I'm with a great team so it's all looking good."
Craig Gore -- Team Australia
"Marcos knew it was going to be fast at Talladega but maybe even he was not expecting it to be this quick," said Gore.
"This is a great result on the back of his 2007 Busch announcement yesterday.
"It would be great if Marcos could have a big result for Team Australia at Talladega and we could back that up back here in Australia with a strong showing at Bathurst.
"It would be great if we could be opening some Aussie Vineyards product in celebration on both sides of the Pacific."