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This Week in Ford NBS Racing: Marcos Ambrose

Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose
 
February 12, 2007 - Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, will begin his second full season in the series with JTG Racing when the green flag drops for Saturday’s Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway. Ambrose spoke about his hopes for the season and where DIS sits on his list of favorite race tracks.

MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion – “I just can’t wait to get started. Our team has got so much to prove this year. I want to demonstrate and show that I belong in this sport and that means winning races and being a contender week-in and week-out. We’ve had a year where we were OK. We finished OK in points and we had all of that rookie stuff to lean on as an excuse, well now it’s time to go. I feel like I’m ready. I feel like the team is ready. We’ve just got to get out there and get started. This last week has been difficult because you’re ready to go, but there’s nothing happening and there’s nothing to talk about. You want to stop talking and start racing.”

ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE INCREASED WORKLOAD IN NATIONWIDE AND CUP? “Yeah, the more the better. The more races I can do, the better I’m gonna be and that’s why I came to America. I’ve come here to race in NASCAR and if I can race 100 times a year, that’s what I would do. Right now we’ve got about 12 races on the Cup schedule and a full Nationwide schedule. If we can push that out to even more races, I’ll take it. I’ll take all the races I can get because I know that’s what you need to do to be successful in this sport. You have to do a lot of racing. You have to be very comfortable in the machinery at high speeds and the only way to do that is by experience.”

WHAT’S YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF DAYTONA INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY? “My first experience was to drive in the venue and look at it and it’s a daunting place. It’s a fabulous race track. It’s got so much history here and it really is quite an intimidating track to drive on for the first time. The track is actually a lot more slippery and tighter and bumpier than I ever predicted. It really is a handful just to hold onto it, but I think this race track is probably my favorite.”

WHILE GROWING UP IN AUSTRALIA DID YOU HEAR ABOUT DAYTONA AND WHAT IT WAS ALL ABOUT? “Any race fan knows about the 500. They know about Daytona and they know that it’s a seriously fast and exciting racing. I’m a little bit of a history buff, so I’ve always looked back at old magazines. My dad had all the old racing magazines from the sixties and seventies and back then there were crowds of 100,000 here watching these cars go around, so I knew all about the sport and that’s why I eventually came. I knew about it probably more than most and when I get here it’s pretty special.”

WAS IT WHAT YOU EXPECTED THE FIRST TIME YOU CAME HERE IN PERSON? “You build these things up in your head and I expected it to be a special place and it is. To race on it, I think, is even more special. It’s not just about the venue, it’s about the history and the feel of the place and to actually know that you’ve driven on such a famous race track.”

Marcos Ambrose was honored by Melbourne, Florida, and recognized as Mayor of the Day. Ambrose will set his political life aside this weekend where he’ll compete in the Camping World 300 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday.

HARRY GOODE, MAYOR OF MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – “On behalf of the City of Melbourne, I’d like to welcome Marcos Ambrose from Tasmania, located south of Australia. Marcos, who is competing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series took time out of his racing schedule in Daytona to join us this morning. As a NASCAR fan, I jumped at the opportunity to name Marcos “Mayor for a Day” in Melbourne. In honor of Marcos being Mayor for today, I have suspended all red light traffic cameras in Melbourne. This should allow Marcos to tour the area quickly and not be unnecessarily detained by our police department. Best wishes to you, Marcos, on the upcoming series. The folks in Melbourne, Florida will be rooting for you. Please accept this certificate and key to the city. I hope you enjoy your stay and please visit us again.”

“I received a note this morning from Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia John So. He was pleased to hear that Marcos was being recognized by his city’s namesake in the United States.”

JOHN SO, LORD MAYOR OF MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – “It’s fantastic that Mayor Harry Goode has proclaimed Marcos Ambrose as the Mayor of the Day in Melbourne, Florida. Marcos is achieving great things in NASCAR in the United States and doing Australia proud. I wish him all the best in Daytona this weekend. I hope he enjoys his time in Melbourne, Florida, and trust he will be back in Melbourne, Australia, to visit our great city in the near future.”

Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose
MAYOR MARCOS AMBROSE, driver of the No. 59 Kingsford Ford Fusion – “Thank you, Mayor Goode and Mayor So. It is an honor to be recognized as the Melbourne, Florida, Mayor of the Day. I can honestly say that I’ve never been given such a title. I noticed that your staff calls you ‘Your Honor’ does that mean my crew can call me that this weekend? I really appreciate this title and will serve the people of Melbourne to the best of my ability.”

“On behalf of my team, JTG Racing, Kingsford and Ford Racing, Mayor Goode, I would like to make you an honorary pit crew member. We hope to see you at the track and we’ll trade jobs there, too.”

ON RACING AT DAYTONA – “I’m really looking forward to getting back on track this season. We had a great test in Daytona and Las Vegas last month and we’ll use what we learned to improve our standings from last season. I have a new crew chief in the Nationwide Series, a fellow Aussie Walter Giles. He was a great help in testing and we’ve put together a solid plan to run near the front and capture a few wins this year.”

ON BEING MAYOR – “This is truly a unique experience. Mayor Goode and his staff gave me a few tips on being a solid leader. Communication is key in being a leader and a race car driver. The Mayor and his staff work really hard to keep the city running day to day. Mayor Goode has a terrific staff that advises him and he serves his community very well.”

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