Homestead: JTG Racing/Ambrose race reort

AMBROSE, KINGSFORD, JTG DAUGHERTY RACING ENJOY TOP-10 FINISH HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Marcos Ambrose lost the battle during last Saturday's Ford 300, but he won the war in the Nationwide Series final point standings. Ambrose blew a tire with in...

AMBROSE, KINGSFORD, JTG DAUGHERTY RACING ENJOY TOP-10 FINISH

HOMESTEAD, Fla. -- Marcos Ambrose lost the battle during last Saturday's Ford 300, but he won the war in the Nationwide Series final point standings.

Ambrose blew a tire with in his No. 59 Kingsford Tailgate at Home Ford Fusion and that sent him caroming into the wall with 16 laps remaining in the season-finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. But despite the accident, Ambrose and JTG Daugherty Racing came away with a 10th-place finish in the standings.

"We really wanted to finish the season on a strong note, but the tire popped and that was it," Ambrose said. "We got some damage early in the race and that got us a couple laps down. Later, the tire let go and sent us into the wall again.

"It's really disappointing to wreck a car in the last race, but we accomplished everything we wanted in the point standings. Our goal all year was to get JTG Daugherty Racing, Kingsford and all our great partners into Victory Lane and to finish in the Top 10. We did both, so it's hard to come out of this without a smile."

Ambrose bounced off the wall during practice, but the Kingsford team made repairs before the race. The driver from Tasmania started 25th.

"If you're looking at the big picture, Homestead was a complete success," said crew chief Gary Cogswell. "We didn't want to come here and wreck a car and finish 31st, but you have to take the good with the bad, I guess. It's been a successful season, especially with the way the team rebounded from a slow start.

"When you finish the year, you always want to make sure you were better than when you started. I think everyone on this Kingsford team can look in the mirror and know this is a much better team now than when we started."

Ambrose, who will take Kingsford with him next year to the Sprint Cup Series, said he was humbled by the experience. Not only did he have consecutive back-to-back Top-10 finishes, he's feeling more comfortable since moving from a successful career in the Ford V8 Supercar Series.

"This has been a lot harder than I expected," he said. "NASCAR is bigger, better, badder than I expected. To accomplish what we have has been incredible. I feel like I'm a little more accepted here. It's still intimidating, a real challenge. But we've come a long way and had a lot of fun."

-credit: jtgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Marcos Ambrose
Teams JTG Daugherty Racing