27 Jun 2008
Marcos Ambrose will be in the #21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion this weekend in Loudon, New Hampshire attempting to qualify for his second consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race and his first on an oval.
Ambrose made his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut last weekend on the road course at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
The Australian will also continue his campaign in the #59 Ford Fusion of JTG Racing in the 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series, also at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Ambrose and Wood Brothers Racing co-owner Eddie Wood talk about running on the flat oval at Loudon.
MARCOS AMBROSE – #21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion
Q: NOW THAT YOU HAVE A CUP RACE UNDER YOUR BELT, IS THERE ANYTHING LESS YOU HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHEN YOU GET TO THE TRACK ON FRIDAY?
“Not a lot. There’s something about just knowing what to expect: directions to the drivers’ introductions, the meeting, the fans on Sunday – even the track on a Sunday is different. So, I guess that helps me. But each week, there’s no guarantee and there’s always that pressure of having to qualify.”
Q: WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT NEW HAMPSHIRE? WITH IT BEING A FLAT TRACK, IS IT SIMILAR TO THE MILWAUKEE MILE, WHERE YOU RACED IN THE NATIONWIDE SERIES LAST WEEKEND?
“Maybe it is. I feel like it’s a track that I’ve run okay at. It’s a hard track to set up for. We’ve only got an hour and a half in the Cup deal to get the car right – probably got about 15 laps. You’ve got to be right off the truck, and hopefully we’re going to be close.”
Q: YOU’VE SAID IN THE PAST THAT YOU LIKE RACING ON OVALS MORE THAN ROAD COURSES, WHICH IS WHAT YOU GREW UP ON. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THE OVALS THAT YOU LIKE SO MUCH?
“The ovals are just a huge challenge, you know, something I haven’t been able to master yet. There’s nothing purer than driving a stock car on an oval. The car doesn’t want to turn very well for you, and the speeds are high and the car is sliding around, you’ve got to be comfortable in your own skin, running that fast, with the banking and everything, and the people around you. It’s just exhilarating. It’s a lot of fun.”
Q: YOUR GOAL WHEN YOU CAME TO NASCAR WAS TO RACE AT THE CUP LEVEL. YOU MADE YOUR DEBUT LAST WEEK, AND YOU’VE ALSO COMPETED AT THE NATIONWIDE AND TRUCK LEVELS. WHAT’S BEEN THE BEST PART OF REACHING THAT GOAL?
“I don’t know, yet. I’ll look back at it in time. I always set high aspirations for myself, and I feel pretty good that I’ve made it this far in motorsports, and I just want to hang on as long as I can here at this level. It’s an elite level, it’s the very best in the business of anywhere in the world, and it’s a big challenge.”
EDDIE WOOD – Co-Owner, #21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion
Q: MARCOS AMBROSE NOW HAS ONE RACE ON HIS RESUME’. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT HIM AS A DRIVER?
“He’s very focused, and very talented.”
Q: HE SAID HE LIKES THE CHALLENGES OF OVAL COURSES…
“He’s used to road courses, I guess, that’s kind of the norm for him, and the ovals would be the challenge, I’m sure. Any kind of racing is a challenge, but having never done it until he came to the States – he’s adapted very well, and understands it and works at it, so he’ll be just fine.”
Q: NEW HAMPSHIRE IS A FLAT TRACK. WHEN YOU HAVE LESS EXPERIENCE ON OVALS, IS A FLAT TRACK MORE DIFFICULT TO ADAPT TO?
“I think the flat tracks are harder to drive and get around. They’re harder to set up for. I think you can miss on the set-ups on banked tracks [and not be hurt as much]. Banking is kind of forgiving, a little bit, and a lot of that kind of takes care of itself. But I really I think that the flat tracks are harder to get a round. We’ll have to have our act together [this] week, for sure.
Q: SO, ON A FLAT TRACK, YOUR MARGIN OF ERROR IS REDUCED?
“It’s probably half on a flat track. It takes a different set-up. We’ve struggled on flat tracks recently, but we’ve got some new stuff we’re working on, so, hopefully, we’ll be fine.”
Q: YOU ALSO SPOT FOR THIS TEAM DURING PRACTICE. HAS THE TRANSITION TO A NEW DRIVER BEEN DIFFICULT?
“Not a lot, because everybody kind of does it the same way. You have different terminology for different wording – like ‘inside,’ ‘almost there,’ ‘quick hole,’ that stuff. It comes pretty quickly.”