Loudon: Marcos Ambrose race report

KINGSFORD TEAM, AMBROSE, HANG TOUGH AT NEW HAMPSHIRE LOUDON, N.H. -- The strategy for Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 STP/Kingsford Ford was simple last Saturday during the Camping World RV Sales 200. The team wanted to stay out of trouble, use...

KINGSFORD TEAM, AMBROSE, HANG TOUGH AT NEW HAMPSHIRE

LOUDON, N.H. -- The strategy for Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 STP/Kingsford Ford was simple last Saturday during the Camping World RV Sales 200. The team wanted to stay out of trouble, use good pit strategy and get out of the New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a Top-15 finish.

They got all that -- and more.

Ambrose drove JTG Racing to a 14th-place finish at The Magic Mile to remain 13th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings. b^0x001cSometimes you have a 15th-place car and it takes everything you've got to finish in the Top 15," said crew chief Gary Cogswell. "We're never completely satisfied when we don't finish in the Top 10, but we got all we could. We're taking our STP/Kingsford car home in one piece, and we can work on it a little bit before the next race. We finished on the lead lap and gained some points. We made the best of it."

New Hampshire is well-known for its lack of grip, especially at the exit of Turns 2 and 4. Ambrose said his Ford Fusion had trouble with front-endtraction as he prepared forthe long run down the straightaways. "It was a reasonable day for us," he said. "We fought hard and had a good strategy and stayed out of trouble, which is one of the things you want to try and do before the start of the race. It would have been nice to get a Top-10 out of it, but we'll take 14th and move on."

The last two tracks on the Nationwide schedule have been on flat, one-mile ovals. Ambrose also finished 16th at Milwaukee, signaling a significant improvement with the team's flat-track program. "We're hanging in there," Ambrose said. b^0x001cWe took our program to the next level. The challenge now is to take it to the next step."

Ambrose will drive a different car out of the JTG Racing stables at next Friday's Winn-Dixie 250 at the Daytona International Speedway. The team has cars built to fit the different nuances of each track. "We've got a good car for Daytona," Ambrose said. "We'll take the car we used at Milwaukee and Loudon back to the shop and get it ready for the next short track."

Ambrose now is 10 points from 12th place in the standings, and 144 from the Top 10.

"Top-10 is one of our goals," Ambrose said. "We've been moving in that direction. As long as we keep doing what we're doing, we'll be fine."

-credit: jtgr

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Marcos Ambrose