Nascar – Frustration For Ambrose In Michigan

August 22, 2011


Marcos Ambrose‘s dream NASCAR week ended in frustration today, with a late race pit lane incident costing the Richard Petty Motorsports driver the chance at a top finish in the Pure Michigan 400.


Ambrose’s Stanley Ford Fusion was a car worthy of finishing in the top-ten, but contact with Kevin Harvick under a late race caution relegated the Australian to a 27th place finish.


“That was frustrating,” Ambrose said.


“We had a good car and we were top-ten for a lot of the day, (but) we just kept getting tighter and tighter.


“We had a hole in the grill that really hurt us, and we ended up turned around in the pit lane there at the end, so that hurt us too.


“It was just a very frustrating day.”


After qualifying in 16th position on the demanding Michigan International Speedway, Ambrose moved himself forward in the early running, gaining five spots to sit in 11th when the first caution of the race appeared on lap 29 of 200 for debris.


Pitting for four tyres, Ambrose swiftly moved into tenth position ahead of Kyle Busch on the lap 35 restart, with the Stanley Ford running in ninth place before the second caution of the race, which appeared when Bobby Labonte spun on lap 53.


Restarting from 14th on lap 58, Ambrose resumed his forward progress in the lead up to the next scheduled pit stop on lap 88.


Following a full service, Ambrose had the quickest car on the race track, running up to 13th position, before another debris caution appeared just after the halfway mark of the race.


Electing to take on only two right-hand-side tyres during the stop, Ambrose resumed racing from seventh position.


After showing initial promise, the handling of the car soon went awry, with Ambrose drifting back to 15th prior to a scheduled stop on lap 139.


Ambrose was running in 11th position when the fourth caution of the day appeared on lap 168 when Dave Blaney coasted to a halt on the race track, with the final round of scheduled pit stops leading to a long green flag run towards the finish.


The complexion of the race changed with four circuits remaining when Kurt Busch smacked the wall after suffering a flat tyre.


As Ambrose was diving to the pits to take on new tyres of his own, he was tapped by Kevin Harvick, which spun the car around, and sending the Australian to the tail end of the field.


In a green-white-chequered flag overtime finish, Ambrose was unable to make inroads on the lead lap cars, and was classified in 27th at the conclusion of 203 laps.


The race was won by Kyle Busch.


Next week, Ambrose will continue his quest to secure a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, with the running of one of the must-see events on the NASCAR calendar, the night race at Bristol Motor Speedway.




Pure Michigan 400 Review


Race Results


1. Kyle Busch (Toyota)


2. Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)


3. Brad Keselowski (Dodge)


4. Mark Martin (Chevrolet)


5. Ryan Newman (Chevrolet)


6. Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet)


7. Kasey Kahne (Toyota)


8. Clint Bowyer (Chevrolet)


9. Tony Stewart (Chevrolet)


10. Matt Kenseth (Ford)


27. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)




NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Standings (After race 23 of 36)


1. Kyle Busch (Toyota)- 799 points


2. Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)- 789


3. Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet)- 760


4. Carl Edwards (Ford)- 760


5. Matt Kenseth (Ford)- 759


6. Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet)- 739


7. Ryan Newman (Chevrolet)- 725


8. Kurt Busch (Dodge)- 722


9. Dale Earnhardt Jnr (Chevrolet)- 700


10. Tony Stewart (Chevrolet)- 694


23. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)- 593

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