AMBROSE, No. 59 KINGSFORD FORD READY TO TACKLE THE MONSTER MILE Dover's tough one-mile layout presents a lot of challenges for the No. 59 Kingsford Hickory Charcoal Ford. The all-concrete racing surface, mixed with 24-degree banking and a ...
AMBROSE, No. 59 KINGSFORD FORD READY TO TACKLE THE MONSTER MILE
Dover's tough one-mile layout presents a lot of challenges for the No. 59 Kingsford Hickory Charcoal Ford. The all-concrete racing surface, mixed with 24-degree banking and a treacherously narrow exits in Turns two and four will keep the JTG Racing team pushing ever-so-close to the brink.
"Whenever you run on the edge, it makes for a long day," Ambrose said. "That's what makes Dover such a challenge. It's a really aggressive racetrack. It's a gnarly place."
Crew chief Gary Cogswell said it's difficult to get enough traction in the corners to feel any sense of comfort. With so many fast cars in the race, the main event (Saturday, 3 p.m., ESPN2) is essentially a 200-lap sprint race with no breaks.
"You can't run 99 percent for most of the race and turn it on 100 percent at the end like you used to," Cogswell said. "It's 100 percent all the time. If you try to save the car, you will get one lap down.
"We go into the race knowing there's no comfort level. If things get too comfortable, it means we're giving up speed. To be successful, you have to be on the attack for all 200 laps. There's plenty of time after the race to rest."
A 14th-place finish last Saturday at the Lowe's Motor Speedway left Ambrose in 14th in the Nationwide Series point standings. The race team now embarks on a streak of 15 consecutive weeks of racing, the longest of the season without a break. Preparation and consistency are the keys to surviving that stretch, Cogswell said.
"The upcoming schedule will make or break a lot of teams," he said. "Starting this run at Dover doesn't make it any easier. The track is so narrow it's easy to get caught up in somebody else's mess. The last thing you want is to get behind right off the bat for this tough 15-race stretch, but that won't change the way we're approaching the race. Our plan is to treat it like 200 qualifying laps. We have to keep the car on the edge the whole day. Anything less is too slow."
Ambrose believes he still can find his own comfort zone during Saturday's race -- up front.
"It's funny, the guys who run up front seem to be comfortable doing it," he said.