Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ambrose Competes in First Coca-Cola 600

CONCORD, N.C. (May 20, 2009) - - Marcos Ambrose competes in his first Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Sunday in the No. 47 Kingsford® Charcoal Toyota. Last weekend, he earned a respectable 10th-place finish in his first 40-lap NASCAR Sprint Showdown.

“It was a good practice session for us and we learned some things that will help us in the Coca-Cola 600,” Ambrose said. “We’re actually bringing a different Kingsford® Charcoal Toyota with a different setup for this race. It’s the car we raced at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier this season.”

“We figured we wouldn’t bring that car back from the Showdown without some damage so we planned to run a different car for the Coca-Cola 600,” Kerr said. “We missed the setup a little in the Showdown, but we feel like we’re dialed in with this car we’re bringing.”

Prior to racing Saturday night, Ambrose’s only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series experience at the 1.5-mile track was a two-day tire test in March. Even though he’s still honing his skills, the Australian driver boasts that this type of track suits him.

“Lowe’s Motor Speedway really suits my style,” Ambrose said. “It’s just a great place to race and I learned a lot last weekend. I feel like we made some progress. We’ve just got to get into a groove there.”

Ambrose has plenty of time to do that with 600 miles to go on Sunday.

“I’ve never drove a race this long without sharing driving responsibilities,” Ambrose said. “I’m looking forward to racing into the night there.”

Ambrose has had a busy week with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in town for two weeks and today it continues. Ambrose along with Michael Waltrip, David Reutimann, Scott Speed, Michael McDowell and Ryan Truex signed autographs for Fan Appreciation Day hosted by JTG-Daugherty Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. The owners were on hand for autographs too.

Then this evening Ambrose and his crew chief Frank Kerr will go head-to-head against resident house expert Ken Herring for SPEED Channel’s program “Pass Time” at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. There will be a total of 10 passes (one will be a combo round). Ambrose, Kerr and Herring will have a chance to ask each driver one question about their car before guessing the amount of time it will take the car to make a quarter-mile pass. The three will be competing against each other for $2,000.

“I have not had a chance to watch the show, but Frankie has,” Ambrose said. “I guess the cars are chosen the day of the taping and will vary. They are telling us that they will have some excellent cars and drivers. So, it should be real fun.”

“It’s a cool show and it’s going to be nice to see a different side of racing,” Kerr said. “I can’t wait to beat Marcos.”

Live coverage of the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 24th begins at 5 p.m. ET on FOX. MRN and Sirius Satellite Radio will also carry the event.

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