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Ambrose Scores Best Bristol Finish with 19th

Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose has jumped into the top 20 in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with 19th in a rain-shortened Sharpie Mini 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee today.

The finish is the best for Ambrose in his four starts at the tough half-mile race track on a day where the Australian ran with the lead pack and showed strong car speed in the #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion.

The Australian started from 18th in today’s event after Friday’s two practice sessions were cancelled due to rain. Qualifying this morning was replaced with a 90-minute practice session, with the starting order set by 2007 Owner’s Points for the third time this season.

Ambrose was 22nd in practice this morning, boding well for this afternoon’s race.

Ambrose ran strong at the start of the 300-lap event at the intimidating track, running well and progressing into the top 10 approaching the 100-lap mark.

Soon after, Mike Bliss checked up in front of Ambrose and the 31-year-old clipped Bliss, sustaining slight damage to the front of the Kingsford car. The damage was taped up during the second series of pit stops for the day.

After the halfway point Ambrose was making good progress and up to 19th position as the leading duo of Clint Bowyer and Kasey Kahne put the Australian one lap down. A few laps later rain began to fall on Bristol Motor Speedway and the race was red flagged on lap 171.

Bowyer was declared the winner ahead of Kahne and David Reutimann, as the rain stoppage came after the halfway point in the 300-lap race.

Ambrose will be back in action next weekend on March 22 in the Pepsi 300 at Nashville Superspeedway, race six in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series.

Marcos Ambrose - #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion
“I’m pleased because I made it past lap 100 without tearing the fenders off,” said Ambrose.

“I’ve tried hard here in the past, but I haven’t done a very good job of it. We’re really excited about how we went today.

“We wanted this race to restart because we feel like we’ve got something for them. I felt really comfortable in the car today and I think our team is really moving forward.

“We’re being aggressive and racy out there and that’s what you’ve got to do at Bristol. You’ve got to grab it by the teeth and not let go.

“I’m way more in control at Bristol now than one year ago. I feel like I’ve got some rhythm here and I’m able to absorb everything that’s going on in some chronological order at least in my head to not get too spun out, and that’s really hard to do here because everything is happening so fast.

“You’ve got to really know what’s important and what’s not. You’ve got to be able to run a really loose race car and ignore it. That’s the way it works.”

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