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Ambrose Scores Top 10 in Tough Darlington Race

Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose has claimed his second top 10 finish of the 2008 season and his first on an oval with a hard fought 10th place in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.

Ambrose toughed it out in a demanding race at the track known as ‘Too Tough To Tame’, coming home strong in the first race on Darlington’s new surface.

Ambrose started from 20th position in the #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion and maintained track position early. The Australian ran a long first stint and was one of the last cars to pit, resulting in Ambrose leading a lap on lap 64.

Seconds before Ambrose was to make his first pit stop the caution flag came out, a stroke of luck for Ambrose that allowed him to pit under yellow.

Ambrose was in 15th position at the restart and maintained a top 20 position for the rest of the race, despite sustaining repairs at each of his pit stops to continue to repair slight right side damage, a common occurrence at Darlington.

After a brief red flag stoppage, Ambrose was in 13th position at the restart with 13 laps remaining. A crash at the restart triggered by Mark Martin’s car running out of fuel caused carnage but Ambrose drove well to avoid damage and survive the wreck.

Ambrose came home strong and was setting some of his fastest laps of the race in the last part of the event, finishing in 10th in a ‘green-white-checker’ finish right behind ninth placed Jason Leffer.

Tony Stewart won today’s Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway ahead of fellow Sprint Cup drivers Clint Bowyer and David Reutimann.

Ambrose will participate in the official NASCAR Nationwide Series test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina on May 12-13 before a rare off-weekend.

The Australian’s next race will also be at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, with the Carquest Auto Parts 300 on May 24.

Marcos Ambrose - #59 Kingsford Hickory Ford Fusion
“We got a bit of damage early but it was a night when plenty of people got a lot more damage than we did,” said Ambrose.

“We fought the car all night and kept making small repairs at our stops and it was at it’s best towards the end of the race.

“This track is so tough that it’s really about fighting the conditions rather than the competitors. That’s what we did for a lot of the race tonight.

“We deserved to finish where we did tonight. We had a really good run in the Kingsford car and we were at the front when it matters in the last part of the race.

“This is a great result for our team and I’m looking forward to testing at Charlotte this week for the two day test there and then running well there for our next race in two weeks time.

“We’ve had a lot of bad luck this year so it was good to have some good luck go our way. That’s what happens in this game, some times things go your way and other times they keep going against you. So you’ve just got to keep fighting and be up there in the front when things go your way.”

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