It has been a trying 2013 so far for Richard Petty Motorsports driver Marcos Ambrose. During the off-season there was uncertainty whether Ambrose would return to the Sprint Cup Series or go back home to Australia. He came back, but the results have not been what he or his team expected.
He comes to the Sonoma Raceway looking to change his luck and make a run at a wild card spot. There’s no better place than a road course to cure his team’s poor finishes. So far he has only two top-10 finishes and no top-5 finishes, something he expects to change Sunday.
“I’m very mindful that we’ve had a terrible year and this is a really good opportunity to get your year back on track, so certainly there is added pressure there. I would love to be top 10 in points coming into this weekend and just rolling through like a normal one, but it’s not for us. We need to turn our year around and this is a good opportunity for us, so we’re looking to break out and have a good weekend if we can. That does add pressure, but that’s just part of the job,” Ambrose told reporters Friday from the California track.
Three years ago Ambrose had a victory all but locked up, until a miscue at the end of the race gave the victory to Jimmie Johnson. Ambrose, to his credit, took that defeat in stride and still does not dwell on the past and adds no pressure to himself this weekend.
“It’s just another race. This track has certainly eluded me for the victory. Some things were in my control and some have been outside, but this track is tough. It’s not gonna give it to you and we feel like we’ve got as good a shot as anyone here to win it,” commented Ambrose.
Ambrose led the way in the first practice, laying down a lap of 76.173 seconds and will look to keep up the speed in qualifying later today. After that he will turn his attention to finishing there Sunday. You can catch the action on TNT starting at 3 PM EST.