Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ambrose Takes on New Hampshire Fresh off Career-Best Finish

LOUDON, N.H. (6/23/09) - - Marcos Ambrose and the No. 47 Little Debbie® JTG-Daugherty Racing team travel northeast to New Hampshire Motor Speedway fresh off a strong third-place finish at Infineon Raceway. The result moved the team into 18th place in the championship standings.

All season long Ambrose has been within striking distance of the top-12 drivers vying for a coveted position in ‘The Chase.’ However, Ambrose sporting a neon-yellow stripe on his bumper and his crew chief Frank Kerr have not had any expectations of being a Chase contender. They have repeatedly stated that it is not a realistic goal since they only have 18 total starts together with JTG-Daugherty Racing. But with Ambrose’s recent top-five finish, Kerr’s thoughts have slightly changed.

“We really are just getting started in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," Kerr said. "But if we keep going on this stride, we have a shot at making The Chase. Now, that would be a Cinderella story.”

The 32-year-old seems to be forming a case to make ‘The Chase’ as he approaches the first of 10-events that will determine the field for a championship bid. He is not changing his tune even though he has earned two top-five, four top-10, and 10 top-20 finishes. He is just 213 points out of 12th place entering Loudon.

“I think Frankie may have got caught up in the moment after finishing third,” Ambrose laughed. “I don’t forget that I have that rookie stripe on the back bumper. For us to make it into the top 12 is really not a realistic goal in my opinion. Everything would have to fall perfectly in place for us. I just want to look good out there and run in the top 10. The points will follow after that.

“Honestly, at the beginning of the season we were just worried that we weren’t going to make it in the top 35,” continued Ambrose. “We’ve quickly moved past that. We are locked in the top 20 and we are proud. I feel like if we don’t focus on the top-12 points, we will do even better. We just need to focus on each race and not worry about points. We’re going to enjoy it and not put any additional pressure on us.”

Some of Ambrose’s hesitation is because he lacks Cup experience at places like Loudon.
“Loudon will be interesting,” said Ambrose, who has two NASCAR Nationwide Series starts and one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Loudon. “We really haven’t been to flat track since Phoenix. We really don’t know what to expect and you really never know. You can have a break out race like Bristol (Motor Speedway) and Martinsville (Speedway) or a tough race like we had at Michigan (International Speedway).”

Regardless of the outcome this weekend, the JTG-Daugherty team is pleased with what they have accomplished in such a short amount of time.“All of us at JTG-Daugherty Racing are thrilled with how the teams are running,” Ambrose said. “Every week, at least one of us is doing well. It’s a great feeling to be able to see results from all of the hard work and also to see that the guys at the shop feel good about what we’re doing. I wanted to experience what NASCAR is about and so far, it has been quite a ride.”

This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Live coverage on Sunday begins at 1:30 p.m. ET on TNT. The event will also air on PRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite.

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