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This Week in Ford NNS Racing: Marcos Ambrose and Colin Braun

Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose
April 15, 2008 - Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 59 Kingsford Ford Fusion, is in 17th place in the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings heading into this weekends race at Mexico City. Ambrose, a two-time V8 Supercar champion in Australia, says hes looking forward to returning to a road course this weekend.

MARCOS AMBROSE No. 59 Kingsford Ford Fusion YOUVE RACED AT THAT TRACK BEFORE. I have once. Its always exciting to go to another country. The crowd there is pretty loud. Its an exciting place to race. Im excited to get back there. I feel like Im going back to my old haunts with the road-racing deal, so were going to have a good weekend there. So, Im looking forward to turning this season around, hopefully with a win or a at least a top-five.

WHAT ABOUT THE FANS THERE? Ive raced around the world, a bunch of places, and there are crazy fans everywhere, and the Mexicans are up there amongst them. They enjoy the party, they enjoy the cars going fast and the action, and theres a few Mexican drivers in there, too, so it adds to the mix.

IN THE PAST, YOUVE CUT A LOT OF LAPS ON ROAD COURSES. Yeah, its a chance to get back on a road course. Im really excited to be road racing again, just for the fact that were going to be okay, and we can turn our season around. Weve had a really good build-up, I guess, but we havent had any stand-up performances yet, so Im hoping Mexico is going to be it.

ARE THERE ANY ELEVATION CHANGES AT THAT COURSE? Its dead flat, lots of changes of direction. And cars that arent used to turning right have trouble there. So, it makes us road-ringers look pretty good.

CAN YOU ASSESS YOUR SEASON AND WHERE THE TEAM IS HEADING? Weve underperformed so far this year, and were trying to turn that around desperately. Its confidence, its people around you and its just getting the runs on the board and growing. I feel like Ive been treading water here since the start of the season, and Im looking forward to making it better.

EACH TIME YOU RETURN TO A TRACK, THAT SHOULD HELP, TOO, SHOULDNT IT? It helped [last] weekend at Phoenix, and its going to help at Mexico, its going to help everywhere. The sophomore slump got me pretty good for the first five races, and Im looking forward to getting out of that quicker than I fell in it because I fell in it pretty fast. Im real comfortable with my Kingsford team and the guys. Were gelling well together. Weve got a good group of people around us, and now its just a matter of us just doing the hard work and getting some confidence back and getting those results we need.

Colin Braun
Colin Braun
Colin Braun takes to the wheel of the No. 16 3M Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race this weekend at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City. Braun, a fulltime driver of the No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford F-150, has five years of road course racing experience before joining Roush Fenway Racing. While racing in the Rolex Grand Am Daytona Prototype Series, Braun earned one pole and two second-place finishes at the two-and-a-half-mile, eight-turn road course.

COLIN BRAUN No. 16 3M Ford Fusion YOU STARTED RACING ON ROAD COURSES; THIS WEEKENDS RACE HAS TO BE EXCITING FOR YOU. Im really excited for the opportunity. I really enjoyed driving the CitiFinancial Nationwide car in Nashville. I learned a lot there and I enjoyed that. But Im certainly looking forward to getting on a road course and seeing how these cars race. I had a blast, we went and tested at VIR a few weeks ago and really enjoyed driving these cars on the road courses. Im looking forward to going to Mexico City which is probably one of my favorite road course tracks to go to and seeing what we can do.

THIS IS ONE OF THE NATIONWIDE RACES WHERE A LOT OF THE ROAD-COURSE RINGERS ARE COMING. THERE WILL BE A LOT OF COMPETITION FOR YOU. Oh, its going to be tough. It certainly is going to be tough. A kind of a neat thing is that I know that Max Papis will be in the race, Boris Said is going to be in the race, Scott Pruett is going to be in the race. Those are guys that I raced against back in the Grand Am Series. So it will be neat to see some of those guys again and some of my friends there and get a chance to race against those guys. Instead of being teamed up with Max Papis, I finally get to race against Max Papis. It should be pretty exciting to get the chance to race against all those guys. Those guys have raced in the Nationwide Series the last couple of years in Mexico City, so they have a little bit of leg-up of experience on me, but I know were bringing a fast car and I know the 3M people are pretty excited about it and so am I.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN LEARN FROM THE ROAD COURSE THAT WILL HELP YOU WHEN YOU MOVE BACK TO THE NO. 6 TRUCK AT KANSAS SPEEDWAY, EVEN THOUGH THATS AN OVAL? I think it might be a little bit difficult because its an oval but certainly just the race craft. How these guys race and how they set up passes and things like that, I think are going to come in handy. For me, the more laps I can do driving a stock car on any kind of oval or any kind of road course, the more laps I can do sitting in a race car always makes me a better driver. Thats going to be a big help.

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