MILWAUKEE MILE GETS FULL AMBROSE ATTENTION Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose will be looking to cement himself in the NASCAR Busch Series top 10 in the AT&T 250 at the Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin this weekend. The Milwaukee Mile, the oldest ...
MILWAUKEE MILE GETS FULL AMBROSE ATTENTION
Team Australia's Marcos Ambrose will be looking to cement himself in the NASCAR Busch Series top 10 in the AT&T 250 at the Milwaukee Mile in Wisconsin this weekend.
The Milwaukee Mile, the oldest continually operational speedway in North America, is the site of Race 17 in the NASCAR Busch Series and Ambrose will be looking for a strong finish and points haul in the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion.
Ambrose was originally to pull 'double duty' this weekend in both the NASCAR Busch car at Milwaukee and in an Aussie Vineyards Ford in the NASCAR Nextel Cup event at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
With Ambrose positioned well inside the NASCAR Busch Series top 10 and the Raybestos Rookie of the Year title within reach, it has been decided to delay the talented Australian's Nextel Cup debut until August 12 at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.
The Watkins Glen event will be better suited for Ambrose to pull 'double duty' and race both Busch and Cup races, with both events at the same circuit that weekend. This also allows for pit crew and personnel to assist both entries.
Ambrose's schedule for this weekend, with Race 17 of the NASCAR Busch Series at the Milwaukee Mile in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the Cup race in Sonoma, California some 2150 miles away, would have seen Ambrose miss all of practice and qualifying for the Busch event and only fly in for the race on Saturday night.
Ambrose will still head to Sonoma for some pre-event sponsorship appearances for Aussie Vineyards and Raley's Supermarkets -- with both brands set to be highlighted on the #60 car of road racing specialist Boris Said in this weekend's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.
Ambrose is now totally focused on the set-up challenge that the century old Milwaukee venue holds for drivers and teams. With only 9.25 degrees of banking in the turns it is crucial to have good grip and car set-up to carry speed through the corners.
Ambrose started ninth and finished 18th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at the one-mile venue last year and will look to improve on that solid performance on his second visit to the traditional venue this weekend.
The Australian currently sits eighth in the NASCAR Busch Series points standings and is second to fellow Ford driver David Ragan in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings.
Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion
"Milwaukee is a different sort of race track to what we normally run," said Ambrose.
"It's very flat and it's quite a unique place. The entire venue has lots of tradition but from a driver and team's point of view it the challenge of setting the cars up that takes most of our attention.
"It was a tough decision not to race in Sonoma, but I am completely behind the rescheduling.
"In one respect it's obviously unfortunate that we will not run the Aussie Vineyards Ford Fusion at Infineon. We had a really positive test a couple of weeks ago and had a car prepared that was capable of doing a really good job.
"But we really need to focus on our Busch team and doing the best for our sponsors. We are an emerging team that likes to do things right, so this is the best way to go.
"Milwaukee is a tough place to set up the car and handling is very important there on such flat corners. Without much banking you've really got to have a well handing race car to make sure you are able to carry good speed through the corners.
"It's important to get the set-up right to run well there. We will be pushing to keep the current momentum going this weekend, because this team is really doing a great job at the moment with both our Busch Series cars."
Craig Gore -- Aussie Vineyards
"It's unfortunate for Marcos to miss the opportunity this time around but we'll look to capitalise on the extra preparation time before Watkins Glen in August," said Gore.
"Everyone involved in the program has been especially pleased with Marcos' efforts and his education in all forms of NASCAR will continue.
"Team Australia and Aussie Vineyards will complete its planned commitments with Raley's Supermarkets this weekend and we look forward to having Marcos as part of the pre-race marketing activities.
"Marcos will now be able to put his full attention towards the Busch Series program of which Aussie Vineyards is also a sponsor, and when the time comes for Marcos' Cup debut at Watkins Glen in August he can benefit from running both categories on the same track on the same weekend."