ROAD COURSE GIVES AMBROSE OPPORTUNITY FOR LEG-UP IN NATIONWIDE SERIES Marcos Ambrose sees his first road course race for 2008 as a chance to gain a 'leg up' in this year's NASCAR Nationwide Series in the Mexico Corona 200 at the Autodromo ...
ROAD COURSE GIVES AMBROSE OPPORTUNITY FOR LEG-UP IN NATIONWIDE SERIES
Marcos Ambrose sees his first road course race for 2008 as a chance to gain a 'leg up' in this year's NASCAR Nationwide Series in the Mexico Corona 200 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City this weekend.
Ambrose currently lies 17th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings in the #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion. The 31-year-old, a two-time Australian V8 Supercar Champion, was eighth after eight races last season in his rookie year and Ambrose is determined and working hard on getting the momentum back into his 2008 assault.
The Australian's prowess on road courses is well known, highlighted by a standout performance in the controversial event at Montreal in Canada last August, where he led the majority of the race only to be taken out in the final stages.
In Mexico this weekend Ambrose will be looking for his first top 10 finish of the season and a strong result to push him up the series points standings.
Last year at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Ambrose was running in the lead bunch and on a charge when he was turned around by another car, before staging a fast recovery to finish in eighth.
With many road course specialists in this weekend's event it will not be smooth sailing for Ambrose and his JTG Racing crew, but the potential is certainly there for the #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion to challenge for an exceptional result.
Q & A with Marcos Ambrose - #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion
Q: YOU'VE RACED AT THE MEXICO CITY TRACK BEFORE.
MA: "I have once. It's always exciting to go to another country. The crowd there is pretty loud. It's an exciting place to race. I'm excited to get back there. I feel like I'm going back to my old haunts with the road-racing deal, so we're going to have a good weekend there. So, I'm looking forward to turning this season around, hopefully with a win or at least a top-five."
Q: WHAT ABOUT THE FANS THERE?
MA: "I've raced around the world, a bunch of places, and there are crazy fans everywhere, and the Mexicans are up there amongst them. They enjoy the party, they enjoy the cars going fast and the action and there's a few Mexican drivers in there, too, so it adds to the mix."
Q: IN THE PAST, YOU'VE CUT A LOT OF LAPS ON ROAD COURSES.
MA: "Yeah, it's a chance to get back on a road course. I'm really excited to be road racing again, just for the fact that we're going to be okay and we can turn our season around. We've had a really good build-up, I guess, but we haven't had any stand-up performances yet, so I'm hoping Mexico is going to be it."
Q: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE COURSE?
MA: "It's dead flat, lots of changes of direction. And cars that aren't used to turning right have trouble there. So, it makes us road-ringers look pretty good."
Q: CAN YOU ASSESS YOUR SEASON AND WHERE THE TEAM IS HEADING?
MA: "We've underperformed so far this year, and we're trying to turn that around desperately. It's confidence, it's people around you and it's just getting the runs on the board and growing. I feel like I've been treading water here since the start of the season, and I'm looking forward to making it better."
Q: EACH TIME YOU RETURN TO A TRACK, THAT SHOULD HELP, TOO, SHOULDN'T IT?
MA: "It helped last weekend at Phoenix and it's going to help at Mexico, it's going to help everywhere. The sophomore slump got me pretty good for the first five races and I'm looking forward to getting out of that quicker than I fell in it because I fell in it pretty fast.
"I'm real comfortable with my Kingsford team and the guys. We're gelling well together. We've got a good group of people around us and now it's just a matter of us just doing the hard work and getting some confidence back and getting those results we need."