Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ambrose Campaigns For Position In Sprint All-Star Race

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - - While Marcos Ambrose’s No. 47 Kingsford Charcoal® Toyota Camry team trains for the fifth annual NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge on Thursday night at Time Warner Cable Arena, the Australian driver readies for his first NASCAR Sprint Showdown at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Saturday night.

“I’m looking forward to all the events that lead up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star weekend,” Ambrose said. “Sprint puts on an awesome event before their Showdown and All-Star races that showcases the pit crews and this year I’m proud that my No. 47 Kingsford Charcoal® Toyota Camry team has qualified for the Pit Crew Challenge. They deserve to be there because they have earned it. They’ve done an incredible job this year. We’ve come out of the box strong and have maintained a top-20 position in the points. I’ll be there Thursday night to cheer them on.”

Following the head-to-head top-24 pit crew competition, Ambrose’s fate for the Sprint All-Star Race at 1.5-mile quad-oval will be determined in a 40-lap NASCAR Sprint Showdown preliminary. The race winner and runner-up along with a driver selected by a fan vote will advance to the 25th-annual Sprint All-Star Race. The Concord, N.C. event will feature 50-, 20- and 20-lap segments, followed by the 10-lap finale (see below for format).

“It would really mean something to me to get into the main race because I have a special affinity to Lowe’s Motor Speedway,” Ambrose said. “It’s the first 1.5-mile track I ran (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2006) in my NASCAR career. However, I don’t know what to expect because it will be my first time in that type of format. Frankie (crew chief Frank Kerr) and the JTG-Daugherty Racing team are bringing our best piece to try and make the race. I have to race my way in because I haven’t been in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series long enough to get voted in. That’s the way you want to do it - - race your way in.”

“We will try aggressively to get to the front because only the top two spots transfer,” Ambrose continued. “If anything, this is a great way for me to gain experience for the Coca-Cola 600.”

In March, Ambrose participated in a two-day Goodyear tire test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway with Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard. He hopes that extra time on the track will help him during the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 on May 24.

“Like an old record, I’ve never raced in a Cup car at Lowe’s and the Goodyear tire test really helped me get some laps there in the Kingsford Toyota,” Ambrose said. “We feel good about this weekend and next. Last weekend at Darlington Raceway, I didn’t feel good about that place. I always thought Darlington was going to be a problem race for me and I just didn’t think I was going to finish. Being the prophet that I am, I didn’t finish very well and ended up 33rd. Now, I’m really pumped for the rest of the season as we get to some of these standard 1.5-mile tracks that I like.”

All-Star Format compliments of

The annual All-Star Race brings together NASCAR's best under the lights at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., as a prelude to the following week's Coca-Cola 600, annually held on Memorial Day weekend.

The race includes:

• Race-winning drivers from the previous and current Cup Series seasons.

• Cup Series champions from the past 10 years who are active drivers and have competed in at least one series event during the previous or current season.

• Past winners of the All-Star Race.

• Two drivers who qualify for the premier event by finishing first and second, respectively, in the Showdown (formerly the Open).

• One driver who joins the All-Star Race field by winning the Fan Vote.

The All-Star Race's format:

• Segment 1 -- 50 laps with a mandatory green-flag pit stop on Lap 25 at which time teams must pit and take four tires. Following the end of Segment 1, the caution flag will be displayed for an optional pit stop.

• Segment 2 -- 20 laps with the caution flag displayed at the end of the segment for an optional pit stop.

• Segment 3 -- 20 laps with a 10-minute break at the end of the segment. Teams may make normal adjustments to their cars during this break. The finishing order after the third segment determines the final starting positions for the final segment.

• Segment 4 -- 10-lap shootout with only green-flag laps counting.

Note: The Pit Crew Challenge is directly linked to the All-Star Race, as the finishing order in the Pit Crew Challenge decides the selection order of pit stalls for the All-Star Race.

On Saturday, May 16, live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Showdown begins at 7 p.m. ET on SPEED followed by the Sprint All-Star Race at 8:30 p.m. ET.
The events will also air on MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.

No comments:

Post a Comment