Nascar – Ambrose Lacks Top Gear At Indy

August 1, 2011


The famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway didn’t smile on Marcos Ambrose today, as a broken fourth gear curtailed his charge to the front in the Brickyard 400.


Despite a swift gearbox change by the Stanley Tools crew, Ambrose lost three laps on the leaders to finish in 34th position, with the result leaving him 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings.


“It’s a shame we had the gearbox problem, we had overcome some earlier problems to put ourselves back into contention,” Ambrose said.


“The race was decided on fuel consumption, and I think we would have had something for them at the finish.


“We’ll bounce back from this, Pocono next week will be a good track for us, and I can’t wait to get out there.”


After starting 21st, Ambrose hovered around that position in the early running, before rising as high as ninth place during the opening round of green flag pit stops.


Ambrose took that first stop on lap 27, seven laps prior to a caution for debris, with his second stop under the yellow seeing him line up from 24th for the restart.


Unfortunately the Australian had to make an unscheduled stop shortly after the resumption of racing, with the Stanley Ford Fusion one of several cars that required the front grill to be cleaned of loose grass to prevent overheating.


Running a lap down, Ambrose worked hard to get ahead of David Gilliland just prior to the second caution on lap 50, earning the lucky dog free pass back onto the lead lap.


After stopping under the caution, Ambrose lined up at the rear of the pack, but he put his head down to be 22nd before his next green flag pit stop on lap 79.


A debris caution on lap 95 saw the Richard Petty Motorsports crew swing into action with a two tyre pit stop, which allowed Ambrose to restart from 20th.


The fourth caution appeared on lap 112 when Kyle Busch smacked the wall, with Ambrose’s race unraveling on the restart, when the gearbox lost fourth gear.


Fortunately for Ambrose, the fifth caution period flashed on lap 120, which allowed the crew to swing into action, changing the gearbox back in the garage with a total time loss of only three laps.


In the run to the finish, Ambrose stopped off for a splash of fuel before passing Jeff Burton, eventually being classified in 34th.


The race was won by debutant victor Paul Menard, who fended off the advances of a hard charging Jeff Gordon in the race to the chequered flag.


The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Pocono next weekend with the running of the Good Sam RV Insurance 500, with Ambrose set to return behind the wheel of the DeWALT Ford Fusion.


Brickyard 400 Review


Race Results


1. Paul Menard (Chevrolet)


2. Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet)


3. Regan Smith (Chevrolet)


4. Jamie McMurray (Chevrolet)


5. Matt Kenseth (Ford)


6. Tony Stewart (Chevrolet)


7. Greg Biffle (Ford)


8. Mark Martin (Chevrolet)


9. Brad Keselowski (Dodge)


10. Kyle Busch (Toyota)


34. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)

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