By Brian Wiggins
There may be no better driver on road courses in NASCAR than Marcos Amrbose.
A two-time champion in Australia’s V8 SuperCar Series which season consists of road course racing on a regular basis, Ambrose knows the ins and outs of road course racing in a heavy powered car.
So, when he came to NASCAR and began contending for wins at road courses from the beginning, it really wasn’t a shock to anyone considering his past experiences.
The question them came, “When is Marcos going to win on a road course?”
That day looked as though it would come in June,2010 at Sonoma.
Ambrose had the dominant car on the day, leading 35 of 110 laps on the day, and looked to be well on his way to victory. But while shutting his car off under caution to save fuel, Ambrose’s car stalled, forcing him to lose the lead and fall back into the top-10.
That race was something that Ambrose admitted haunted him for a while, that was until he finally broke through last year at Watkins Glen to take his first Cup Series win.
Sometimes in racing, drivers feel as though a track “owes them one” when something like what happened to Ambrose happens.
Not Ambrose, though.
“This is not a guarantee here and this track doesn’t owe me anything. I am going to have to go earn a win if I am good enough on the day.” said Amrbose on Friday at Sonoma. “All I can do is my best and I am really proud of how my Stanley team and Richard Petty has rallied around me and given me the tools I need to keep improving on the race track.”
The 2011 season was somewhat of a turning point for Ambrose. With the move to Richard Petty Motorsports, Ambrose not only picked up his first Cup win, but also showed massive improvement on ovals.
That improvement shined through again last weekend at Michigan where Ambrose grabbed the pole and the track record, carrying that momentum into Sunday’s race and finishing ninth, making a possible wild card Chase birth a real possibility.
But, Ambrose isn’t necessarily aiming for a win as much as consistency heading into Sonoma.
“You see the form is really swinging for us. We are looking to get out of here with a really strong day,” said Ambrose. “We need a top-five to kick start the start of the run to the end and we are looking for that. I am not looking here to win or else, I am looking here to continue the trend we have had over the last few months.”