BUMP AND GRIND OF BRISTOL BECKONS FOR AMBROSE Marcos Ambrose will tackle one of the smallest and toughest race tracks in NASCAR when the Australian races in the Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee this weekend. Bristol is a...
BUMP AND GRIND OF BRISTOL BECKONS FOR AMBROSE
Marcos Ambrose will tackle one of the smallest and toughest race tracks in NASCAR when the Australian races in the Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee this weekend.
Bristol is a significant stop off on the hectic NASCAR trail of races for the 30-year-old from Launceston, Tasmania.
Ambrose visited a NASCAR race at Bristol in 2003 while on his way to winning his first of two Australian V8 Supercar Championships. While at Bristol he met with representatives from Ford Racing, as well as Eddie and Len Wood of Wood Brothers Racing.
Four years after a humble weekend in the stands with a friend, Ambrose now drives the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing and lies an outstanding seventh in the NASCAR Busch Series standings.
The Sharpie Mini 300 will be one of the wildest races of the season, as the Bristol venue turns on its usual mix of fast, close and hard racing around the 0.533-mile (858 metre) short track that features 36 degree banking through the corners.
Bristol represents the first short track of the season in this year's NASCAR Busch Series. As Bristol is the sixth race of the season automatic entry to the 43-car field is now reserved to those in the top 30 in Owner's Points, something Ambrose's remarkable start to the season has ensured.
The Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion lies eighth in the Owner's standings and an outstanding seventh in the Driver's Standings as well as running in second place in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year points.
Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion
"Bristol is our first short track of the year and it's going to be wild," said Ambrose.
"It's easy to come to Bristol and feel intimidated, but it's a challenge and as a racing driver you always love a challenge.
"We've had some good form this year so far but we haven't been to anywhere below a mile and a half in length yet, so it's going to be a different thing for us this weekend.
"From the start I knew that getting a good start to the season and cementing the car in the top 30 in points after five races was going to be very, very important.
"Now we have done that so the hard work continues to keep the #59 Kingsford car in the top 10 in the points. The team is doing an outstanding job everywhere we go so there is no reason why we can't keep improving with every race.
"I remember the weekend I first came to Bristol back in 2003 and saw the massive world of NASCAR with my own eyes. Now that I'm a part of it I appreciate every second of it and I am so grateful to everyone that has helped me get to this point."