BUSCH: Memphis: Marcos Ambrose race report

FOURTH FROM POLE IN MEMPHIS GIVES AMBROSE BEST BUSCH SERIES FINISH Marcos Ambrose has achieved his best NASCAR Busch Series result with a sensational and hard fought fourth place in the Sam's Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park in ...

FOURTH FROM POLE IN MEMPHIS GIVES AMBROSE BEST BUSCH SERIES FINISH

Marcos Ambrose has achieved his best NASCAR Busch Series result with a sensational and hard fought fourth place in the Sam's Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tennessee today.

Earlier in the day Ambrose scored his first NASCAR Busch Series pole position, making it a breakthrough day for the Australian driving the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing.

The effort came on the rough and tough Memphis short track, showing that Ambrose is developing into a driver who excels in all disciplines of the sport.

Ambrose ran second in the early stages of the race but switched to a slightly different strategy when he made his second pit stop on lap 95, earlier than many other frontrunners.

Later in the race that slightly earlier second stop meant that the Australian had to make a further pit stop while leading the race, while others were able to stretch their final fuel run to finish the race with just two pit stops. Ambrose led 20 laps during the race, the third best laps led figure in today's race.

The stop with 84 laps to go dropped Ambrose to 24th place but gave him a fresh set of Goodyear tyres, leading to a masterful drive from the 31-year-old.

Ambrose carved through the field, up into the top 10 within 20 laps of making the stop. Ambrose made his way past Nextel Cup driver Jamie McMurray with 22 laps to go to grab sixth and then climbed into the top five when he moved by Scott Wimmer with eight laps remaining.

A caution late in the race brought about a 'green-white-chequer' finish, effectively creating a two-lap sprint to the finish in the caution-filled event that featured 25 cautions.

Through the final two corners Ambrose moved down the inside of Jason Leffler, who won at the similar short track in Indianapolis in July, and successfully grabbed fourth place right on the finish line.

Ambrose's speed and progress through the field won him the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award, passing 36 cars throughout the race.

The result tops Ambrose's previous best finish of sixth at Dover in June and this first top five for Ambrose adds to the four top 10 finishes he scored in Mexico City, Las Vegas, Dover and Montreal.

This finish now gives Ambrose and his #59 Kingsford crew a fresh dose of confidence and momentum heading into the final three races of the season, with the next race the O'Reilly Challenge on November 3 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion:

"We got that top 10 that we were after and the pole was a bonus," said Ambrose.

"We had a really strong car all day. We didn't have the strategy that these guys did. But for our car, I think things worked out for the best.

"I fought all day and kept cool all day with all those cautions. We had a pretty straight day there. I'm really pleased with the crew and myself.

"I really feel like I've grown as a driver on short tracks. I feel like I've got more confidence when I come back to these kinds of places. All around, it's been a great day.

"Once every now and again a short track is okay. But I prefer the mile and half or two mile ovals, that's the bread and butter out there."

-credit: team australia

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Leffler , Jamie McMurray , Marcos Ambrose