Gateway 250, Gateway International Raceway, Madison, Illinois
18 July 2007
Marcos Ambrose will be aiming to put a run of bad luck behind him at his second start at Gateway International Raceway in the Gateway 250 in Madison, Illinois this weekend.
Ambrose currently lies 10th in the NASCAR Busch Series standings and second in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year points. After a run of poor luck Ambrose is focused on gaining a strong finish in #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion to get his fortunes back on track.
Ambrose made his second-ever NASCAR start at Gateway International Raceway in last year’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, but a blown tyre from another competitor ended the Australian’s chances early.
The 30-year-old has shown solid speed over the past month of racing and will be looking to turn that speed into vital points at the unique Gateway layout, where the two ends of the speedway feature different configurations of corner and banking.
Marcos Ambrose – #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion
“Gateway is a very odd track with two very different styles of corners,” said Ambrose.
“Turns one and two are very tight while at the other end turns three and four are fairly open and flat which makes it a difficult track to set up for.
“Over the last three weeks we seem to have gotten ourselves into a bit a slump with three less than average finishes. It’s time to turn this form around and work on getting back towards the front.”
Below is a Q&A with Marcos Ambrose ahead of this weekend’s Busch Series 250 at Gateway International Raceway, courtesy of Ford Racing USA.
Q: YOU RAN ONCE AT GATEWAY IN THE TRUCK SERIES.
MA: “That’s right. I’ve had one race there. About 50 laps in, someone blew a front-right and came across the track and knocked us out. So, I haven’t had that many laps there, but it was fun.”
Q: HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO HAVE AT LEAST SEEN THE TRACK ONCE BEFORE?
MA: “Chicago was a brand-new track for me last weekend. We learned the first session, just trying to get dialled in – and that’s the hard part.
“You know you’re going to waste a session; it’s better this year, with the rookie practices you get a little bit of catch-up, but it’s tough. I think the biggest issue right now is the Cup cars coming into the Busch series here and they get an hour to practice before they qualify.
“We sleep on it, stew on it, come out and try to put a lap down. So, it’s tough because you don’t know the condition of the track or anything.”
Q: HOW ARE YOU ADAPTING TO THE LONGER SCHEDULE?
MA: “I love it. I just can’t believe I’m actually doing it, racing every week. I’m having a lot of fun.”
Q: DO YOU EVER MISS TURNING RIGHT, LIKE YOU DID IN THE SUPERCAR SERIES BACK IN AUSTRALIA?
MA: “Never. I turn right, but I don’t like it now. If I’m turning right, it’s big trouble.”