Marcos Ambrose has completed his first ever official NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania today. The two-day test comes ahead of Ambrose competing in the Heluva Good 200 at Dover International Raceway in...
Marcos Ambrose has completed his first ever official NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania today.
The two-day test comes ahead of Ambrose competing in the Heluva Good 200 at Dover International Raceway in Race 14 of the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend in the #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion.
Ambrose drove JTG Racing's brand new #47 Ford Fusion NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car at the 2.5-mile speedway over the two-day test, following a shakedown of the car at Nashville Superspeedway in Lebanon, Tennessee last week.
This is the first serious test for Ambrose of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car on an oval, with his only previous experience in Cup cars coming on road courses, both in testing and a single practice session at Watkins Glen International last year.
Ambrose is scheduled to run four races for JTG Racing with Little Debbie as the #47 car's primary sponsor, starting with the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27. As a new Sprint Cup team and entry with no 2008 Owner's Points, Ambrose will have to qualify on speed to make the race.
Ambrose and his JTG Racing crew were pleased with the early signs from their Cup car. With the new car still in the initial stages of its development, Ambrose and his crew are working steadily at improving their package over the coming months.
Ambrose was the 58th fastest car yesterday in the sole session held as rain stopped the second session. Today Ambrose showed improvement, running 60th fastest in the first session before jumping up the charts to be the 35th fastest car in the afternoon session and the fourth fastest Ford.
The Australian driver will head into this weekend's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover off the back of some solid results in the #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion recently. Ambrose was 14th at Lowe's Motor Speedway last weekend and 10th the previous race at Darlington Raceway.
Dover has been a strong venue for the 31-year-old in the past, with Ambrose finishing sixth after qualifying third in the corresponding race last season.
QUOTES - MARCOS AMBROSE
"It's certainly been a busy few weeks for both myself and the crew at JTG Racing," said Ambrose.
"JTG Racing has its first Cup car ready to go and it's an exciting time, but in this test improvement and learning was the key rather than outright speed. We are under no illusions as to how tough it is running with the best teams and drivers in the business.
"The test allowed us to see how our #47 Ford Fusion works and it was good to have my first laps around Pocono. It's a huge track with long straights so in that way it's a good place to test as it's similar in some ways to Indianapolis.
"There is lot to learn in a lot of ways. This is my first test of the new Cup cars on an oval and there are a few things that you need to learn to get them to work.
"This is a very exciting challenge for me because running Sprint Cup racing is ultimately what I came here to do. It's an enormous challenge and it's a thrill to be in the same garage as these guys testing a brand new Cup car.
"Dover is a great track and I'm looking forward to this weekend's race. I really enjoy being in the car a lot and I'm quite happy to be jumping out of one car and almost straight into the Kingsford car for Dover.
"If you can get your car working well, Dover is one of those tracks you can really drive hard and in the past we've been able to run well there.
"So the plan is to have a crack at a really strong result there this weekend, because I want to get the Kingsford car back in the top 10 in the Nationwide Series points."