AMBROSE TOP ROOKIE IN PHOENIX AND RISES TO EIGHTH IN POINTS Marcos Ambrose has toughed out a tremendous result to finish in 15th place and as the top rookie in the Arizona Travel 200 at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona ...
AMBROSE TOP ROOKIE IN PHOENIX AND RISES TO EIGHTH IN POINTS
Marcos Ambrose has toughed out a tremendous result to finish in 15th place and as the top rookie in the Arizona Travel 200 at Phoenix International Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona today.
The result won Ambrose his sixth Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award for the season and saw the Australian jump Greg Biffle to reclaim eighth place in the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series standings with one race remaining next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.
It was a victory for persistence and hard work for Ambrose and the #59 crew from Wood Brothers/JTG Racing. Ambrose was only able to qualify the Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion in 38th position as he struggled to get a solid set-up on the car for the tough one-mile oval.
Ambrose, crew chief Greg Conner and the entire crew never gave up and worked on the car with every pit stop, eventually giving the 31-year-old a car that he was able to drive forwards and reach the top rookie position.
A decisive moment came on lap 132, when Ambrose was hanging tough as the first car one lap down. When a caution came out Ambrose jumped back onto the lead lap and with further improvements and set-up changes at each pit stop he was able to pass cars and work his way into the top 20.
In the end Ambrose had the pace to hold out fellow Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Brad Coleman in a green-white-chequer finish to take his sixth rookie prize, reward his team's hard work and never-say-die attitude and give the entire team a boost of confidence heading into the season finale next weekend.
Marcos Ambrose -- Aussie Vineyards-backed #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion
"It just goes to show you that you never, ever give up," said Ambrose.
"That was our worst qualifying result of the year and we knew we had a tough day ahead of us and we just had to keep working at it.
"We made more changes in that first 100 laps than I think we have made in a race before.
"The guys stuck with me and we got it done in the end.
"I was hanging it right out there trying to keep myself in a position to get the lucky dog and get back on the lead lap.
"This result gives us every chance of finishing in the top 10 of the championship after next week's final round at Homestead and that was one of the goals at the beginning of the season.
"There were not too many smiles on our faces at the end of yesterday, but we had a few grins around the place when the chequered dropped today.
"The other positive thing is that we all learnt a lot today and that has been the case all season.
"Bring on Miami and bring on 2008."
-credit: team australia