News & Media


Ambrose on a hot streak as road races approach

June 04, 2011, Mark Aumann, NASCAR.com

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Scores most points in past three Cup races, moves up six spots in standings

When it comes to scoring the most points in the past three Cup races, Marcos Ambrose probably isn't on most fans' short lists. But his 111 points over that span is one better than Carl Edwards and two more than Kevin Harvick, which puts him in pretty good company.

Ambrose led 18 laps at Charlotte and finished sixth, his fourth top-10 finish of the year -- and only one fewer than he recorded in all of 2010. Combined with his third at Dover, it's the first time the native of Tasmania has posted back-to-back top-10 finishes since Atlanta and Richmond last fall.

"There's no guarantee [this will continue]. We've just got to be smart and not get carried away with our recent success."

--MARCOS AMBROSE

That recent hot streak has moved Ambrose from 23rd to 17th in the points, and erases some of the disappointment at restrictor-plate tracks in 2011. He finished 37th at Daytona and 32nd at Talladega.

"We've been running good everywhere," Ambrose said Saturday before his qualifying run at Kansas Speedway. "We've just been a little unlucky to start the season on superspeedways.

"There's no guarantee [this will continue]. We've just got to be smart and not get carried away with our recent success. We've turned a corner. We're confident as a team. And that's a big thing in racing."

The strength shown by Ambrose and teammate A.J. Allmendinger is somewhat surprising, considering Richard Petty Motorsports' recent woes. The team needed an injection of cash during the offseason after a tumultuous 2010 that saw Elliott Sadler threaten a lawsuit to keep his ride, Kasey Kahne jump ship in the fall and the operation shrink from four to two cars.

Ambrose, who signed with Petty in August, watched much of that unfold from a distance. But now that he's in the driver's seat of the No. 9 Ford, he's feeling more and more comfortable in his new surroundings.

"We're enjoying our racing and I'm brand new to the RPM team," Ambrose said. "And it's just taken a little while for us to get to know each other. I'm excited. We've got some good momentum but we've got to keep it going for a few weeks. We don't want to get carried away with it."

Much of Ambrose's success seems to be mirrored by that of teammate A.J. Allmendinger, who finished fifth last weekend.

"He's a great driver and we've got great stuff to work with," Ambrose said. "It's just a great combo right now."

Ambrose Statistics

(past three races)
RaceStartFinishPts.Pos.
Dover18328120
Charlotte24632017

Kansas has not been one of Ambrose's better tracks. In three previous starts, his only lead-lap finish came when he wound up 14th in 2008. And he'll roll out 35th for Sunday's STP 400. But pardon him for looking a little bit ahead, especially with tracks like Infineon and Watkins Glen still to come this summer.

"I'm definitely looking forward to the road races," Ambrose said. "We've got some good races coming up for us, no doubt. But any week, we can strike.

"I feel great for here, I feel great for any one and a half mile race track. We've been running really well on them. And we've got the fingers crossed that we can just stay smart and keep out of trouble."

Ambrose gave away what appeared to be a sure win at Sonoma last season when he stalled the engine while trying to conserve fuel under caution during the final laps of the race. However, with the new Chase wild card scenario, a victory anywhere for Ambrose -- be it on a road course or an oval -- would be huge for his postseason hopes.

"We'll take the wild card," Ambrose said. "We'll take whichever way we can. All our focus right now is running at top-10 speed, and if we can keep doing that consistently, we'll have a chance to step up and be a Chase contender."

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