Sunday, October 30, 2011
Early Contact Made for a Long Day at Martinsville
Marcos Ambrose Racing
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Marcos Ambrose endured a frustrating day at Martinsville, with early race contact relegating the Richard Petty Motorsports driver to a 29th place finish.
The race started well for Ambrose, with the team running as high as second position until being turned around by Juan Montoya, with the damaged car forced to limp to the finish of the 500 lap event.
Despite the result, Ambrose only dropped one position in the standings to 18th, ironically now trailing Montoya by a single point.
"Today was a really tough deal," Ambrose said.
"After the contact with Montoya, it really didn't feel like a hard hit with the wall.
"But it hurt the front of the car badly, and as much as the crew tried, it was never in a position to race hard to the finish.
"Texas is a happy hunting ground for us, we finished sixth there in the Spring, and we will improve on that next weekend."
With qualifying rained out, the field lined up in championship order, which saw the Stanley Ford Fusion start from 17th.
The race was only seven laps old when Dale Earnhardt Jnr spun Kurt Busch in front of the field, with Ambrose's machine one of many to receive damage in the ensuing pile up.
After pitting for repairs, Ambrose took in the restart from 29th on lap 22, with a handy piece of spotting seeing the Australian narrowly miss further contact when cars spun just after the green flag.
The caution allowed the team to attempt further repairs on the car, which dropped Ambrose to 40th on lap 33.
With a possible engine issue remedied under caution, Ambrose found his groove and started to march up the leader board.
When Ambrose stayed on the track under caution for a David Reutimann spin, he found himself lining up for the restart from sixth place.
Ambrose picked off Kurt Busch and David Ragan for position, and after a caution for the wrecked car of Jamie McMurray, he found himself third on the scoring sheets.
An ace restart on lap 97 saw Ambrose jump into second position, but eight laps later he was nosed into the turn three wall after being sent spinning by Montoya.
From there on, the race became a battle of survival, with the damaged car circulating at the back of the pack, finishing 12 laps down on the leaders.
The carnage filled race was won by Tony Stewart, who took the victory after a late race pass on Jimmie Johnson.
Next week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series hits the home stretch with a return to 1.5 mile long oval track competition, with the AAA Texas 500 from the Texas Motor Speedway.
Martinsville 500 Review
1. Tony Stewart (Chevrolet)
2. Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)
3. Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet)
4. Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet)
5. Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
6. Jeff Burton (Chevrolet)
7. Dale Earnhardt Jnr (Chevrolet)
8. Martin Truex Jnr (Toyota)
9. Carl Edwards (Ford)
10. Ryan Newman (Chevrolet)
29. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Standings (After race 33 of 36)
1. Carl Edwards (Ford) 2273 points
2. Tony Stewart (Chevrolet) 2265
3. Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet) 2252
4. Brad Keselowski (Dodge) 2246
5. Matt Kenseth (Ford) 2237
6. Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet) 2230
7. Kyle Busch (Toyota) 2216
8. Kurt Busch (Dodge) 2215
9. Dale Earnhardt Jnr (Chevrolet) 2200
10. Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet) 2197
18. Marcos Ambrose (Ford) 862
Australian NASCAR TV Guide
All times in Australian Eastern Standard Time, check local guides for details
Monday October 31st
12:00pm- Martinsville 500, SPEED + SPEED HD
7:00pm- Martinsville 500, SPEED + SPEED HD
Tuesday November 1st
7:00am- Helluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen, SPEED + SPEED HD
9:00am- Daytona 500, SPEED + SPEED HD
Wednesday November 2nd
8:00am- Martinsville 500, SPEED + SPEED HD
10:00pm- Martinsville 500, SPEED + SPEED HD
Thursday November 3rd
6:00am- Martinsville 500, ONE HD
Friday November 4th
8:00am- Martinsville 500, SPEED + SPEED HD
Saturday November 5th
1:00am- Martinsville 500, ONE HD
2:00pm- AAA Texas 500 Qualifying, SPEED + SPEED HD
9:30pm- AAA Texas 500 Qualifying, SPEED + SPEED HD
Sunday November 6th
8:00am- AAA Texas 500 Practice, SPEED + SPEED HD
9:00am- AAA Texas 500 Qualifying, SPEED + SPEED HD
Monday November 7th
1:00am- AAA Texas 500 Qualifying, SPEED + SPEED HD
6:00am- AAA Texas 500 LIVE, ONE HD, SPEED + SPEED HD
AAA Texas 500 Preview
Texas Motor Speedway
Track Distance: 1.5 miles/ 2.41 kilometres
Track Type: Intermediate Quad Oval
Crowd Capacity: 159,585
Marcos Ambrose Results at Texas Motor Speedway
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
2011 (1): 6th
2010 (1): 17th
2009 (2): 15th
2009 (1): 41st (mechanical)
2008 (2): 21st
NASCAR Nationwide Series
2008 (2): 9th
2008 (1): 18th
2007 (2): 30th
2007 (1): 31st
NASCAR Truck Series
2006 (2): 27th
2006 (1): 10th
For further information on Marcos Ambrose, visit marcosambrose.com.