Nascar – Ambrose Charges Home At New Hampshire

July 18, 2011

Nascar

Marcos Ambrose claimed his sixth top-ten NASCAR Sprint Cup Series result for the season today at New Hampshire Speedway, charging from 31st position to ninth in the 55 lap run to the finish.

Ambrose had earlier led the race, but a loose wheel forced a late race change of strategy for the Richard Petty Motorsports crew.

The result was the best by any Ford driver in the race, and sees the Australian rise a place in the points standings to sit provisionally in 21st.

“It was a great effort by the team, we really had to fight hard out there today, ninth is a solid result,” Ambrose said.

“Todd (Parrott, crew chief) dialed the car in nicely throughout the day, and it was at its best at the end of the race.

“We conserved fuel when we had to, and with so many cars running of gas out at the finish, it proved to be important.

“I’m proud of DeWALT for their continued support, and I can’t wait to get to Indianapolis.”

After starting from 22nd position, Ambrose dropped back to 24th by the time the first caution appeared on lap 30 of 301, with the number nine machine restarting from 27th after a full pit service.

The second caution flashed on 30 laps later when series points leader Kyle Busch smacked the wall, with Ambrose lining up from 16th at the resumption of racing.

Cautions on laps 100 and then on 144, when Brad Keselowski found the wall, allowed the team to swing into action, adding fuel, tyres and handling adjustments.

Throughout these cautions Ambrose was saving fuel for the run to the finish, with the DeWALT Ford Fusion lining up from 11th on the lap 150 restart.

The cautions however continued to come thick and fast, with the amber lights flashing on laps 161 (debris), 171 (Denny Hamlin spin) and 184 (Mark Martin spin).

Ambrose’s stop under the seventh caution saw him relegated to 28th for the lap 188 restart, a strategic move that gave the team the opportunity to schedule only one further regulation service.

The eighth caution of the day appeared on lap 216, with Ambrose staying out and restarting from second position alongside Joey Logano.

Ambrose aced the restart to jump into an uncontested lead, which he held for four laps until the ninth caution appeared when Brian Vickers crashed on the front straight.

The caution created an opening to complete the team’s final scheduled stop; however a loose rear wheel forced the team to pit again on under caution on lap 240 when Jimmie Johnson spun.

Restarting from 31st, Ambrose had his work cut out for him, but he put his head down and picked off the opposition one-by-one, as the race ran clear to the finish.

As the chequered flag neared, several other teams ran short of fuel, with Ambrose making it by the helpless Kurt Busch after the final corner to claim ninth.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has a rare weekend off being heading to the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 18th annual running of the Brickyard 400.

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