AMBROSE, KINGSFORD GET MORAL VICTORY AT MICHIGAN BROOKLYM, Mich. -- Sometimes victories don't lead to the Winner's Circle. Just ask Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 Kingsford with Hickory race team. A 12th-place finish in last Saturday's Carfax...
AMBROSE, KINGSFORD GET MORAL VICTORY AT MICHIGAN
BROOKLYM, Mich. -- Sometimes victories don't lead to the Winner's Circle. Just ask Marcos Ambrose and the No. 59 Kingsford with Hickory race team.
A 12th-place finish in last Saturday's Carfax 250 at the Michigan International Speedway was far from the team's ultimate of winning, but it sustained three months of momentum for JTG Daugherty Racing and kept the team on track for a Top 10 finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series point standings.
"It was pretty good," Ambrose said of his Ford Fusion. "We just couldn't get track position when we needed it. That's all. It was a track position race. When you got behind somebody, it washed out the front end. It was real difficult to pass, especially when you were in a pack of traffic. We made up as much ground on the track as possible, and we made up even more on pit road. So overall, it was a successful day. The way the race played out, a 12th-place finish is the most we could have expected."
Ambrose, who won his first Nationwide Series race a week earlier at Watkins Glen, N.Y., started 21st. He got the car as high as 11th in the final 50 laps, but settled for his 11th consecutive Top-20 race.
"When you go to the racetrack, you're No. 1 priority is to win," said crew chief Gary Cogswell. "We might not be happy with finishing 12th, but we're certainly satisfied. Marcos drove a smart race. No matter how good you are, nobody wins every week. Good teams, however, make the most of their situations. We did that. It's days like this that defines a Top-10 team."
Ambrose is 10th in the standings, 23 points from ninth place and 60 from eighth place.
"We put so much downforce in the car we sacrificed a little speed," Ambrose said. "That made it difficult to pass. There's a fine line between comfort and speed. Our Kingsford car really handled well in traffic, but we didn't have enough speed to get through it. But still, it was a good day for our team, and a good day for the points.
"Ambrose will move to the Bristol Motor Speedway for Friday night's Food City 250. "Hopefully we can get out of Bristol with the same kind of effort we had at Michigan," Ambrose said. "If we do, it will be another victory for this race team."