Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Ambrose Pulls Double Duty at Site of first NASCAR Victory

Watkins Glen, NY (August 5, 2009) – Certain places stand out on a driver’s résumé’ and Watkins Glen International is definitely one that sticks out for Australian driver Marcos Ambrose. Last year, he became a first-time NASCAR race winner taking the checkered flag in the Nationwide Series Zippo 200 driving for JTG-Daugherty Racing owned by Tad and Jodi Geschickter and Brad Daugherty. The victory was exoneration for the Tasmania-born two-time V8 Supercar champion.

“It was a big relief to be able to win my first NASCAR race because I drug my family halfway around the world,” said Ambrose, who passed Jeff Burton’s car with five laps to go. “Then the Cup race on Sunday felt like a win too.”

For his first Cup race at The Glen, he started 43rd and finished third in only his third start. Ambrose’s impressive run with Wood Brothers landed him his career-best finish by crossing the finish line in third-place.

Now, Ambrose is pulling double duty again at the 2.45-mile road course. On Saturday, he climbs behind the wheel of the No. 47 STP Octane Booster Toyota Camry fielded by JTG-Daugherty Racing and looks to repeat with support from his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) crew chief Frank Kerr and his No. 47 Little Debbie® Toyota Racing pit crew.
Then on Sunday, Ambrose aims to supersede his career-best finish matched at Sonoma (Infineon Raceway) this season.

“We have had some great runs on ovals, superspeedways and at a road course,” Ambrose said. “This is only our first year and we are still getting our legs under us. We had no expectations and we are pleasantly surprised at our progress in such a short amount of time.”

Ambrose’s progression is obvious and this past weekend at Pocono Raceway he was on track for another top-10 finish, but he was taken out of contention.

“We finished sixth at Pocono the first time there and we wanted to do better,” Ambrose said. “We were running in the top-10 and moving forward until we were collected in an accident. Not sure what happened there. We were running in the top-10 and all of a sudden David (Reutimann) got turned. I had nowhere to go.”

“If he (Denny) would have checked up just a little, I could have got the Aaron’s Dream Machine straight and we would have been alright,” Reutimann said. “I felt bad for Marcos. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. We both had good cars and would have left there with a solid finish.”

JTG-Daugherty Racing has had a solid first half to their first full-time Cup effort. In 21 starts, they have accrued two top-five, five top-10, and 12 top-20 finishes and currently occupy 18th-place in the NSCS championship standings.

Following Pocono, Ambrose left Monday afternoon straight to Dover International Speedway for a two-day Goodyear tire test.

“I’ve been gone from home since Thursday,” Ambrose said. “I miss my family. It’s tough to be away from home when you have two little ones. I’ll have some time with them on Thursday before we fly out to Watkins Glen.”

This Cup business is new to Ambrose and he is still learning how to adapt to the schedule.

“Racing on the Cup level, you can lose a year of not doing things you like to do because you are so intense at the track and you are traveling around the circuit,” Ambrose said. “When I get my chance, I force myself to get out there and do things. Like this past weekend in Pocono, I took my $20 rafts and went fishing. I was pleased with the rafts, but the rain turned the creek into rapids and the fish weren’t biting. The water was high, but we made it down and back safely. I’m not sure what I will get into at Watkins Glen. I don’t think I’ll have much time.”

In addition to Ambrose running the Nationwide and Cup Series events, he will be kicking up some dirt at Black Rock Speedway in Dundee (N.Y.) Friday night.

"I'll have to have some dirt experience before I run the fifth annual Gillette Young Guns Prelude to the Dream at Eldora Speedway,” Ambrose said. “So, that's what I'm trying to do. We’ll have a lot of fun out at Black Rock.”

Live coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series Zippo 200 at The Glen on Sunday, August 8th kicks off at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Live coverage of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen on Sunday, August 9th starts at 1 p.m. Eastern on ESPN. MRN and Sirius XM Satellite Radio will also carry the events.

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