By admin | June 5, 2009
By Richard Allen
Over the next few weeks driver Marcos Ambrose has a chance to move higher up in the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings. Throughout the summer months the series will move to locales that could prove to be friendly to the Australian native.
Between now and the end of August there will be races held on two road courses, two races at Pocono, a race in Bristol and a race in Daytona as well as races on the ‘cookie cutter’ type tracks of Michigan and Chicago.
Ambrose cut his racing teeth on road courses and those tracks are his specialty. His one Nationwide Series win came on the road course at Watkins Glen, where the Sprint Cup cars will race on August 9th. There will also be a race on the twisting track in Sonoma, California, where this driver thrilled many in 2008 by putting the Wood Brothers #21 at the front of the pack until mechanical troubles sent him to the garage early.
This week, the series races on the oddly shaped tri-angle of Pocono. This track has, at least to some degree, a few road course characteristics, which could provide Ambrose with a feeling of familiarity even though he has never raced a Cup car there. Also, the series returns to this track in early August, which makes for the quickest turnaround of any track on the circuit. This could help the young driver build a mental notebook for the second trip to Pennsylvania.
Ambrose’s two best finishes of 2009 have come at Talladega and Bristol. Between now and the end of August the series will head to another restrictor plate track in Daytona, which is somewhat like Talladega. And, Bristol returns to the schedule in late August.
And by now, the series has run enough of the 1.5- 2 mile ‘cookie cutter’ tracks that Ambrose should be getting more comfortable with driving and setting a car up for these type circuits.
Marcos Ambrose has so far put together a solid first full season in the Sprint Cup Series. He is currently 20th in the standings with a Top 5 and two Top 10 finishes. The next few weeks offer a chance for this likeable driver to move even higher in the standings and possibly even take his JTG-Daugherty Toyota to victory lane.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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