Marcos Ambrose OK with NASCAR suspension of Watts
Marcos Ambrose believes NASCAR was fair in levying a four-race suspension against a team member who chased a tire across pit road at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Jimmy Watts, the gas man for Ambrose's crew, begins his suspension with Sunday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Watts was also placed on probation through the end of the year, as was crew chief Frank Kerr, who NASCAR deemed responsible for the actions of the team.
"It was a disaster and I think the penalty is a good one,'' Ambrose said Wednesday during a break in Goodyear tire testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"You can't have guys running on pit lane. You can't have guys running up to the race track surface. It's just not the thing to do. He needs to be an example for others not to do the same, and I think it's a good decision all around.''
"To go after the tire was a quick reaction and obviously the wrong decision,'' Watts said.
Ambrose, a rookie in the Sprint Cup Series, echoed Watts' sentiment.
"Jimmy, he's a great guy, he went on instinct and you can't blame the guy for that,'' Ambrose said. "He just went on a reaction and it was the wrong reaction.''
Ambrose said he wasn't sure what had happened as he passed pit road under caution, but knew it involved his team because of all the flashbulbs he saw going off in his pit box from photographers taking Watts' picture.
"I could tell it was bad,'' he said. "I didn't know if we ran over somebody or our tire rolled into someone else's pit lane.''
"We are a brand new team and we're doing everything we can to try to lock ourselves into (the top 35) and use all our money to survive out there,'' he said. "We don't have money to waste.''