Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ambrose Fishing for Victory at Pocono

LONG POND, Penn. (July 28, 2009) – Marcos Ambrose has scored three top-10s in the last seven races and one of those events includes the Pocono 500 where he finished sixth in June at Pocono Raceway.

“We delivered a strong top-10 finish at Pocono earlier this season,” Ambrose said. “Our package was good and we are making it better from what we learned. This weekend we have a great looking new design on our Toyota Camry with to help create awareness about their internet-based racing service to fans. We are looking to deliver a strong finish for them.

On Tuesday, - a motorsport simulation company - announced they will serve as a single-event primary sponsor for the JTG-Daugherty Racing No. 47 Toyota Camry entry during the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500.

“Our partnership with Marcos to help introduce iRacing to Australia and New Zealand has gone extremely well,” said Steve Myers, iRacing’s executive producer. “So, when this opportunity with his NASCAR team, JTG Daugherty Racing, became available, we jumped at it. With NASCAR-sanctioned online racing being introduced to the iRacing service in less than six months, this seemed like a great way to introduce ourselves to the more than 80,000 NASCAR fans who will attend the race in person and the several million more who will be watching on ESPN.”

Ambrose is optimistic about returning to Pocono Raceway this time with and looks to build on his two top-five and five top-10 finishes.

“I’m optimistic, but I was when we started the race at Indy (Indianapolis Motor Speedway) too and we did not have the finish we desired,” said Ambrose, who finished 22nd. “We’ve learned there are no guarantees in this business, but this has been a strong year for us. Every good event we have from here on out will be a bonus. We are just looking for that breakout race though. Who knows when it is going to happen? It could be Pocono or it could be Watkins Glen International. You just never know.”

“We did miss a chance at Indy,” Ambrose continued. “We qualified 11th and ran inside the top-15 and then it somehow slipped through our fingers. At the end of the race, I’m racing back there racing for a 21st or 22nd-place finish with Jamie McMurray and you know he’s no slouch. Our sport is just that tough.”

Sitting 254 points out of 12th-place in the championship points standings, Ambrose knows where he stands in The Race to the Chase with six races remaining.

“It’s slipping away a little bit,” Ambrose said. “I’m looking at the cars in front of us and it’s virtually impossible to gain points on them. They are all running well and they’ve got experience and momentum on their side. We just want to focus on our job and keep finishing in the top-10 and see how it plays out. We have an outside shot at the very best. For me, I’m going into Pocono and Watkins Glen to win it. If we win a race, things may look different. We are just focused on race by race.”

Ambrose does not want to think about points.

“I don’t want to think about points my first year in NASCAR,” Ambrose said. “For me in racing, the more I think about it, the worse I go. I just put my helmet on and I don’t get ahead of myself. I look back at my previous racing in Europe when I would qualify fifth and wake up in the middle of the night thinking how I was going to pass them all in Turn 1. Then I would start the race and end up taking all four wheels off of it thinking that was really a stupid idea. From those early days of learning about racing, you can’t predict anything that happens around you. You have to drive in the moment. That’s what I try to do. I don’t get bogged down with points or strategy. I just drive it as fast as I can.

“This sport is easy to let the highs get too high and the lows get too low and then you start worrying about the wrong stuff,” Ambrose continued. “It’s all about race by race, lap by lap and driving it as fast as you can and see how it works out.”

To free his mind from worry, Ambrose is adventurous and this weekend at Pocono it is no different.

“I hope I’m here next week because I have a Marcos Ambrose outdoor adventure special in Pocono,” Ambrose said. “The last time we went to Pocono we went trout finishing and we couldn’t find good spots because we didn’t have access. So, this trip I’ve actually bought two $20 rafts from the sporting store and we are going to float down from one bridge to the next. The problem is, they are $20 rafts with a 200 pound frame. I’m not confident I’m going to make it before I put a hole in it. If I don’t make it back, you know why. Having a canoe is too professional. I like to do it the hardest way possible.”

Live coverage of the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 on Sunday, August 2nd begins at 1 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. Also, MRN and Sirius XM Satellite Radio will air the event live.

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