Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 59 Kingsford Ford Fusion captured his first NASCAR Busch Series pole this afternoon at Memphis Motorsports Park. Ambrose clocked at time of 22.901 seconds at 117.899 mph.
In his first Busch Series start ex-CART and IRL star Dario Franchitti will start third.
MARCOS AMBROSE – No. 59 Kingsford Ford Fusion – DID YOU KNOW YOUR FUSION WAS THAT FAST? “Yeah, we had a good package yesterday and it but it’s been six months of hard work for us to get to this point. They brought a brand new car for me and we’re trying to improve it and get it better. It’s nice to actually deliver something for the guys. Getting the pole doesn’t matter. We’ve proven that our short track program is getting better and I’m getting better too."
YESTERDAY YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU’D LIKE A TOP-10 FINISH THIS AFTERNOON, DOES THIS ADD TO YOUR CONFIDENCE? “Yeah, I just want a top-10, get out of here and move on."
TALK ABOUT YOUR QUALIFYING LAPS. “We’ve worked really hard on our short track program. We thought we had a really good piece coming here. We felt comfortable in practice yesterday, but when you get out there and deliver in these cold conditions, the second lap was going to be the one. I thought I blew it on the second lap. I slid up into [turn] one too fast and it stopped and I got around it and we snagged the pole. It’s just a great result. I feel so proud of my guys. I’m proud of Kingsford Charcoal for supporting us through a pretty tough year so far. We want to win this race. We want to do the very best we can and get back into contention for the rookie points. I know it’s an outside chance for us to be [David] Ragan, but we have a chance at it. And if we can get a win today, it’s going to help us on that course. It’s a great surprise for us. We’ve been working really hard for the last six months on our short track program. We’re building our team. We’re getting better on the intermediates. We’ve had everything but the pole this year. We’ve had second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth. So finally to get that top spot, it feels like I’ve accomplished something this year. It’s a real nice surprise for us. I’m really proud of my guys. We’ve been working diligently over the last six months here to improve our situation. We’ve had bad days, but today I’ve just got to thank my team and thank Kingsford for supporting me and putting me in this car. Being a rookie in the Busch Series these days isn’t easy. I just want to thank everybody. It just feels like I’ve actually given them back something at least to talk about for a little while. Let’s not get carried away. We want to win the race today. We’ve got a race to win; qualifying means nothing to us, really for the points. We’re hanging in there for the rookie of the year deal and if we can come home with the crazy streak here, we just might be able to do something. We want to finish the season off strong and build for 2008. We’re with Kingsford next year in the Busch Series in the 59 car, so we really working towards that."
DID RUNNING HERE IN THE TRUCK SERIES HELP YOU FIND THE LINE? “Not as much as the Cup guys staying over in Atlanta. I think that helped us more than anything (laughs). I’m just really proud to say we snagged the pole and I’m getting better on the short tracks. They’ve been kind of a bogey track for me just in results, so it’s great to finish that now. We can finish talking about that I don’t know how to drive a short track. We’ll try to win this race today and I look forward to next year. I feel like our short track program will be good for next year. Our intermediate track is good already and speedways are a gamble. But our road course race is good too. We have a good chance to really do something special next year. I think this is a big step in the right direction for us."
HOW IS YOUR COMFORT LEVEL ON SHORT TRACKS? WAS THAT THE LAST PIECE OF THE PUZZLE FOR YOU? “It really has been difficult for me to get my head around the short tracks. It’s just the way the race is run, the way you’ve got to overdrive ‘em to get a lap time out of them. I feel like I’ve improved some and the car has improved some. We’re going to be a lot better than we were at the start of the season."
DO YOU HAVE THE RACE SET-UP IN THE CAR? “We tried to, as much as we could to have a race package. It’s tough at these impounders, but today was all about getting heat in the tires and I tried to abuse them as much as I could getting up into [turn] one on the first lap and on the out lap, getting up to speed lap. I’ve got it set up into [turn] one and we snagged a lap time."
|23||35||Bobby Hamilton Jr.||Ford||115.651||23.346||-0.445|
|30||156||Danny O'Quinn Jr.||Chevrolet||115.134||23.451||-0.550|
|42||28||Robert Richardson, II+*||Chevrolet||110.007||24.544||-1.643|