AMBROSE READY TO GIVE BRISTOL HIS ALL Marcos Ambrose is determined to give the Food City 250 his all on the high banks of the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee this weekend. Ambrose currently has the Aussie...
AMBROSE READY TO GIVE BRISTOL HIS ALL
Marcos Ambrose is determined to give the Food City 250 his all on the high banks of the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee this weekend.
Ambrose currently has the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion in seventh position in the overall driver's standings in the NASCAR Busch Series with 10 races remaining in the 2007 season.
The Australian is only 11 points behind seventh place Stephen Leicht and also has David Ragan in his sights in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.
Bristol is arguably the toughest track in NASCAR and it was this venue that Ambrose visited in 2003 to get a feel for the sport he was aiming his career towards. You can understand how the Australian felt in awe of the experience, with the Bristol half-mile boasting a capacity of 160,000 fans, while Ambrose's home state of Tasmania has a total population of around 485,000.
Ambrose rented a 'Minnie Winnie' (small motorhome) in Charlotte and drove to the World's Fastest Half-Mile. He camped on the property to learn more about the fan culture of NASCAR and to take in the action at one of NASCAR's most popular tracks.
Now racing at Bristol, Ambrose is still on a learning curve on the shorter tracks, but while he hasn't received the finishes he has hoped for at Bristol, he remains excited about his return to the tough track. In fact, he loves the challenge so much, he now favours oval racing to road course racing.
Despite the inexperience on ovals, Ambrose continues to hold his own against some of NASCAR's biggest names. He currently sits eighth in points, but is fourth among drivers not competing in the Nextel Cup Series on a full-time basis.
Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion
"I knew a lot of people had trouble seeing how a little Australian could make it in NASCAR," said Ambrose.
"I wanted to come over and understand the culture of NASCAR back in 2003, and if you are going to watch a NASCAR race, you need to go to Bristol.
"Bristol is insane. It is everything NASCAR, multiplied by 10. The crowd is in your face. The banking is in your face. The excitement is high. You get dizzy; you forget where pit road is. It is everything exciting about NASCAR.
"We didn't get a chance to test at Bristol since the resurfacing, so we are going to go there brand new. It is really racy, and from all accounts, it should be wilder than before with the new surface.
"The transition to the ovals and NASCAR has been tricky. You are racing every week, and if you are doing poorly, it can get you down. That is why I came across; I wanted to race every day if I could.
"The thrill, the anthem, the jets, the crowd; it is an awesome deal and to be able to experience that side of the sport makes it worth it. I love the ovals. To experience the crowds and intensity and car count; I couldn't go back to racing on the road courses."
-credit: team australia