Team Australiaâ€™s Marcos Ambrose has produced another fantastic third-place finish in todayâ€™s 16th round of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the all-concrete Nashville track in Tennessee.
Ambrose qualified 11th earlier in the day and only briefly ran outside of the top 10 for the entire race in a performance which has again shown that he his starting to come to grips with oval racing in the US.
The former two-time Australian V8 Supercar champion collected his first top three finish in Kansas last month and a week later collected his first pole at Kentucky.
After struggling a little the last couple of weeks on some of the championshipâ€™s tougher short tracks, Ambrose bounced back on the fast 1.3-mile (2.08km) Nashville track.
By lap 37 he was in second place in this Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 and he then moved into the lead on lap 63 after race leader Ron Hornaday Jr cut a tyre.
On lap 73 he led the field by 4.7 seconds, but a yellow flag caution period resulted after debris was spotted in turn one.
Ambrose traded places with the top six drivers over the last third of the race and was lucky to avoid fourth-placed Rick Crawford when he hit the fence hard six laps from home.
The incident brought out a track record-equalling ninth caution flag for the race.
With a two-lap dash to the chequered flag, Ambrose sat in fifth.
Johnny Benson took advantage of a heated battle between Mike Skinner and Todd Bodine in the final two laps to win.
Second-placed Bodine made contact with leader Skinner to take the lead. Skinner retaliated on the final lap, spinning both out of contention and allowing Johnny Benson to squeeze through for the win.
Jack Sprague followed through for second and Ambrose raced him to the line for third and to again be the leading Ford finisher and rookie.
Ambrose actually got in front of Sprague down the back straight on the final lap, but did not have the momentum to make the complete pass and was forced to settle with third.
Bodine eventually finished eighth, while Skinner crashed at turn three and was eventually ruled 17th.
Todayâ€™s result jumped Ambrose from 30th to 26th in the championship and lifted his season earnings to $US155,813.
Ambrose now heads to Bristol Motor Speedway in 10 days time.
WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY â€¦
Marcos Ambrose â€“ #20 Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards/Aussie Experience Ford F-150
"I love NASCAR, what a great sport! What great racing, that's why I came 13,000 miles. I just love racing these trucks," said Ambrose.
"I have a fantastic team, they give me a great truck week in, week out. It's great to give something back to them.
"I knew that we had a better truck on the long run. We're just trying to be conservative on our setups and let me get the experience.
â€I knew I was looking out for my front-right tyre because I could see other guys really getting tight and they were coming back to us, and then the cautions came and that's what we needed. I knew it was going to be on.
â€œYou're never going to get Skinner and Sprague and Bodine together on a green-white-checkered and not have some kind of carnage out there.
â€œI knew the only way I was going to get around them was to get to the bottom and stay there and hope they were going to spatter the race track, and that's exactly what happened.
â€œThird for us is as good as a win; that's just a great day. We were top Ford and top rookie. I led a lot of laps and it's just been a great experience.
â€œItâ€™s great to give everyone involved with the Team Australia program a result like this. I think this proves that our first podium result was not an accident and that with some momentum we could push for a race win by the end of the season.â€
2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Points â€“ After Round 16
â€“ Marcos Ambrose did not compete in the first three rounds of the championship.
1: Todd Bodine 2454; 2: Johnny Benson 2310; 3: David Reutimann 2260; 4: Ted Musgrave 2215; 5: Rick Crawford 22199; 6: Jack Sprague 2152; 7: Terry Cook 2148; 8: David Starr 2140; 9: Ron Hornaday Jr 2139; 10: Dennis Setzer 2139; 26: Marcos Ambrose 1249.
MARCOS AMBROSE FAST FACTS
â€“ Ambrose has earned $155,813 in 13 starts this year
â€“ Born in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
â€“ Ambrose won two consecutive V8 Supercar Series Championships in Australia in 2003 and 2004 for Ford
â€“ Drives the No. 20 Ford F-150 for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing in 2006
â€“ Achieved his best result when he finished third at Kansas Speedway on July 1 in only his ninth NASCAR event. Also finished third in round 16 in Nasvhille
â€“ Ambrose is one of only two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Raybestos Rookie of the Year contenders to score a top three finish this season
â€“ Became the first Australian to lead laps in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series
â€“ Is the first non-American driver to finish in the top five of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event since Canadian Ron Fellows won on the Watkins Glen road course on 26 June 1999
â€“ Ambrose won his first Budweiser Pole in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at Kentucky Speedway on July 8
â€“ Ambrose is the first non-Amercian driver to win a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pole since 26 June 1999 when Ron Fellows of Canada qualified first at Watkins Glen International.
â€“ This was the first pole for the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing team and the first pole for crew chief Gary Cogswell.
â€“ Ambrose has now qualified in the top 10 for five of his 13 NASCAR starts to date
TIPS FOR AUSTRALIAN FANS
There are several websites relating to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series where you can follow Ambroseâ€™s progress.
The best three we have discovered so far are the official NASCAR.com site, truckseries.com and woodbrothersracing.com
You can register for Track Pass on the NASCAR site which will give you access to radio broadcasts, in-car audio and video of most races for a fee, but you will need a US credit card (so ring a mate!)
You can get a free lap-by-lap written commentary of the races on truckseries.com by going to the trackside area of the site. There are also pre and post race audio interviews.
There are two other websites that have radio coverage of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races, www.wysham.com and www.radiocoloradonetwork.com
WAG363: AUII LTD Supercharged 363 Dart Stroker [Supercharged 363 LTD Build]
|4.9 EF Futura||
Are the trucks racing at the glen ths year? Busch race was on last night... but i recon marcos would dominate on the road tracks!!
Looks like the devil is going places.
I promise..... I will never die.
|Who is online|
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest