Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ambrose Finishes 23rd at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Griffin, Ga. (September 8, 2009) – Marcos Ambrose finished 23rd in his No. 47 Clorox® Toyota Camry after starting 11th at Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday night. Ambrose has finished inside the top-25 18 times this season and his JTG-Daugherty Racing team is currently 17th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series ownership championship standings following 25 races.

It was not the kind of night Ambrose hoped for as he had his hands full with an extremely loose car at the start of the 325-lap event. As he paced himself and tried to hold on to a top 15 position his No. 47 Clorox® Toyota Camry had no grip and was on the verge of spinning out.

“The car just kept getting looser,” Ambrose said.

As Kerr discussed anticipated changes for their first stop, the JTG-Daugherty Racing team caught a break when the first of nine cautions occurred at Lap 36 for the No. 77 car of Sam Hornish Jr. spinning out in Turn 4. Kerr called Ambrose to pit road for four tires, rubbers in the right rear, a round down on the track bar and a packer out of the left front to tighten up the Clorox® Camry.

Leaving pit road Ambrose was scored in 27th place as he took the green flag on Lap 46. With the next caution coming out at Lap 60, Ambrose reported to Kerr that he was still really free. “It had no forward drive,” Ambrose said.

The JTG-Daugherty Racing crew went to work changing four tires, going down a half turn on the track bar and more necessary changes like a packer in the right front. Ambrose restarted from the tail end of the longest line after NASCAR ruled the team lost control of the front right side tire even though it made it to the wall safely. Ambrose restarted 31st on Lap 64.

After all the changes, the car still had no forward drive. Kerr called Ambrose onto pit road at Lap 83 and again at Lap 106 for major adjustments because the car was way too loose and hitting the ground.

“It was worse and we needed a big change,” Ambrose said. “I couldn’t run up top because it was unstable.”

Restarting 25th on Lap 108, the condition of the Clorox® Toyota was still the same and did not seem to adhere to all the changes that were made. A debris caution at Lap 131 allowed the crew to put a round in the left rear and go down on air and change four tires. They needed a basic stop for track position. When the green flag waved, Ambrose was 18th.

At Lap 185, Ambrose headed to pit road once again as green flag pit stops began. With the car remaining loose, the pit crew bolted on four tires and made a wedge adjustment. Only 15 laps later the No. 48 Lowe’s car of Jimmie Johnson spun in Turn 2 bringing out the sixth caution of the race. Ambrose was immediately on pit road for the team to tighten up his Toyota Camry.

“At one point and time the car was coming back to us,” Ambrose said. “But, at that moment it was spinning out. The track was cooler and the car was just way to loose.”

While running in the top 20, Ambrose made more stops at laps 248 and 306.

“It continued to have no grip and was spinning out,” Ambrose said. “The guys did everything they could and the car just didn’t seem to respond to all the changes. They never gave up and kept working hard at it.”

The JTG-Daugherty team went on to finish 23rd in the 25th race of the season. Ambrose completed 324 of 325 laps.

This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Richmond International Raceway. Live coverage of the event on Saturday, September 12th on ABC begins at 7 p.m. ET and MRN Radio.

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