AMBROSE CHASING FLAT TRACK FORM IN NEW HAMPSHIRE Ambrose to be cheered on by Ford Australia President Tom Gorman at New Hampshire this weekend Marcos Ambrose is on a mission to show better flat track form in the Camping World 200 at New ...
AMBROSE CHASING FLAT TRACK FORM IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
Ambrose to be cheered on by Ford Australia President Tom Gorman at New Hampshire this weekend
Marcos Ambrose is on a mission to show better flat track form in the Camping World 200 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon, New Hampshire this weekend.
The Australian was 15th in last weekend's AT&T 250 at the Milwaukee Mile, a one-mile oval with limited banking. This weekend's 18th race in the NASCAR Busch Series in Loudon is at a venue labelled 'the magic mile', a similar configuration oval, giving Ambrose the opportunity to push for improved flat-track results in the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion.
It has been the ovals with less banking that have offered the biggest challenge for Ambrose. Set-up is crucial at these venues, so Ambrose is keen to get to Loudon this weekend to put to use what was learnt from a tough weekend in Milwaukee to continue his NASCAR improvement and conquer New Hampshire.
Ambrose continues to post consistent finishes and continues to post results that see him retain a spot in the top 10 in the NASCAR Busch Series standings. Ambrose currently sits seventh in the overall standings and is second to David Ragan in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.
Ambrose will have a special guest in his corner this weekend in New Hampshire. Ford Australia President Tom Gorman will be present at New Hampshire this weekend and will be there to cheer on Ambrose, who was a two-time Australian V8 Supercar Champion for Ford before moving to the United States to pursue a career in NASCAR.
Gorman sat next to Ambrose back in March of 2005, when Ambrose announced his intention to embark on the world of NASCAR. Gorman was fully supportive of Ambrose's decision and this weekend the driver of the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion would like nothing more than to repay Gorman's faith and support with a strong finish at Loudon, which will Ambrose's 40th race in NASCAR.
Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion
"We are definitely looking at putting in a better performance than Milwaukee," said Ambrose.
"The aim is to be posting top 10 results in these races and capitalise on opportunities when they present themselves.
"We are very keen to get to New Hampshire this weekend to put in a better performance. The track at Loudon is similar to Milwaukee in that it's fairly flat through the corners, so you are depending on good car set-up to get you through the corner, as the banking is minimal.
"It's going to be great to show Ford Australia President Tom Gorman around this weekend. He had a lot of faith in me when back when I made my decision to look to NASCAR and I can never thank him enough for his support.
"I hope I can give him a good result this weekend."
Q: MILWAUKEE WAS A FLAT TRACK AND LOUDON IS FLAT; HOW DO YOU LIKE RACING ON THE FLAT TRACKS?
MA: "I have some trouble running on these flat, big tracks like Milwaukee and Loudon. And even the short tracks that are flat, I'm having a bit of trouble on. So, I'm really looking forward to trying to get the monkey off my back and get a good run.
"Having a good run at Milwaukee was important to us and Loudon is going to be important for us as well, to really try and have a strong run there. We're doing great in points but Loudon is fast and flat.
"As a driver it's one of the most difficult tracks because you're on the edge the whole time around the corners because the car isn't really underneath you because you don't have the banking to help you."
Q: BUT YOU WERE A TWO-TIME V8 SUPERCAR CHAMPION. WEREN'T MOST OF THOSE ROAD COURSES ON FLAT SURFACES?
MA: "Yes, they were flat. I thought when I first came over here that the flat tracks would be where I was going to be good and the banking would be where I would struggle. It's been the opposite way around."
Q: WHY DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH THE FLAT TRACKS?
MA: "I can't answer that. I have no idea whether I just haven't quite figured it out yet or I haven't been able to tune the cars right.
"I think another thing is that you have more races on the bigger banking ovals because there are more of them. So you have more of a chance to learn what you need to do; whereas, I think we've only been to four or five genuine short tracks or flat tracks since I have been racing here, so I guess I just haven't had enough time on them."
Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT THE OVAL RACING?
MA: "I love the banking. I love the speed. Charlotte, Texas, California, Atlanta, they get your attention and that's what I came here for is the banking and the high-speed ovals. I'm really enjoying it here."
Q: THE TEAM MENTIONED YOU HAVE A SPECIAL GUEST COMING TO LOUDON.
MA: "Yes! We have a very special person coming out to Loudon, the President of Ford Australia, Tom Gorman; he's on holidays.
"We've built a good friendship over the years when I was racing at home. And I'm real excited to run well for him in New Hampshire. He is going to come and hang out with us for the weekend. I've got my fingers crossed so I don't look like a chump.
"It was a big decision for Tom to let me go because I was the premier driver in Australia there, current champion and had won two championships in a row. For him to give me the 'time out', I guess, to come over here at take a crack at it was huge.
"I've got a lot to thank him for and I really want to show him what I'm doing over here to demonstrate that I can run well here and represent Australia well and our part of the Ford Motor Company.
"Ford Australia is not as big as Ford U.S. by some margin but they're doing their own cars and their own things really well and it is great for Tom to make the journey here and would be great for me to run well while he is here."