Kansas: Marcos Ambrose race report

STRONG RUN BY AMBROSE IN KANSAS Marcos Ambrose has enjoyed a strong run to finish just outside the top ten during the Kansas Lottery 300 at the Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series today. After qualifying 16th fastest Ambrose made a...

STRONG RUN BY AMBROSE IN KANSAS

Marcos Ambrose has enjoyed a strong run to finish just outside the top ten during the Kansas Lottery 300 at the Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series today.

After qualifying 16th fastest Ambrose made a solid start to the 200-lap race and was running inside the top 20 for the majority of the opening half of the journey, which was plagued by a number of caution periods.

Once he was able to settle into a rhythm aboard the #59 Kingsford Tailgate at Home Ford Ambrose began to claw his way up the order to break his way into the top ten.

In a race that had no less then 14 drivers who were also competing in tomorrow's Sprint Cup race, including Ambrose, and eight drivers who are in contention for the 'Chase for the Cup' Ambrose was making some solid movement towards the front.

Such was the strategy and speed shown by Ambrose that as the final round of pit stops cycled through on lap 154 he found his way at the head of the pack when the caution flag came out for an incident involving Kyle Busch.

This is the first race Ambrose has led since he held the top spot for five laps at Watkins Glen International. He has led a total of 44 laps in six races this season.

Once Ambrose completed his stop he returned the track in ninth spot and had his sights set on securing another top ten result to ensure he maintained his spot inside the top ten in the Nationwide points standings.

Over the closing stages Ambrose battled with the likes of JTG Daugherty Racing team-mate Kelly Bires, Joey Logano and Mike Bliss before crossing the line in 11th place, the fourth race in a row that he has finished 16th or better.

Today's race was won by Denny Hamlin, the ninth Nationwide win of his career, ahead of Clint Bowyer and David Ragan.

With five races remaining in the series, Bowyer leads the points ahead of Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski. Ambrose is tenth.

Ambrose will be in action again tomorrow when he contests the NASCAR Sprint Cup race, the Camping World 400 presented by Coleman, at the Kansas venue. He will start from the outside of the tenth row, the best qualifying effort on an oval in his seventh Sprint Cup start and his second for JTG Daugherty Racing.

MARCOS AMBROSE:

"I was running a different car today which we haven't run and I'm really pleased with how it performed," said Ambrose.

"For the first half of the race the aim was just to stay on the lead lap and get to know the car a bit more before moving up the order as the race progressed.

"While today's result was good it could have been really good with a bit more knowledge on the car.

"We would have loved to have got a top ten out of it but just got a little tight at the end. But it was a strong day for us, a strong weekend really. We're just trying to lock ourselves in that top ten in points.

"We got a little lucky on the way the caution fell for us. We were planning to lead a lap anyway and then come in the next lap and it worked out great.

"We've just got to keep soldiering on here and keep racing hard to make sure we stay inside the top ten in points.

"As for the Cup side of things it feels a bit like the David and Goliath story, we've got a part-time crew with only two cars but we've made the most of our opportunities and got a good lap in during qualifying. Tomorrow's aim will be to again get as much experience as I can and I think we're in pretty good shape to get a solid result as well."

-credit: ma/bam

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Marcos Ambrose , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Brad Keselowski , David Ragan , Denny Hamlin , Kelly Bires , Joey Logano , Kyle Busch