CONCORD, N.C. – Coming off their second top-15 finish of the season, Marcos Ambrose and the No. 9 Stanley Ford team wasted no time getting back onto the track this week. The team spent Tuesday and Wednesday at the Sonoma Raceway in California preparing for the June event. Ambrose is always a consistent threat to win the event which could quickly propel him into Chase contention.
But, the team has shown plenty of capabilities to be in the Chase discussion before June. In the first 10 races, the team has started inside the top-five in three of these events. They have proven to be very competitive in race events with only bad luck ending top-10 runs. After a 14th-place finish at Talladega and moving up two spots to 21st in the championship, the team is now ready for a solid run at Darlington.
Amrbose has four starts at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in the Sprint Cup Series. He tallied his best start of sixth in 2011 and finish of ninth last season, both with Richard Petty Motorsports and the No. 9 team. The Australian driver also has two Nationwide starts under his belt, including a best start of fourth and finish of 10th.
Comments from Stanley Ford Fusion Driver Marcos Ambrose: “This was a busy week for our Stanley team. We went out west to test at Sonoma. We really want to have everything go perfect when we go back to race, and the test will help us prepare for June. But, we want to have a few wins before that too. We have shown the speed. We have the resources, and the team is working hard. We survived Talladega and now get to a track where the driver and car really make a huge difference.
“We have worked really hard to piece together decent finishes after bad luck hits us during the race. So many times this season we have come back from some sort of damage, and it shows how strong our team really is. If we can get a string of good runs put together, we’re going to be in a good spot.
“Darlington is a tough track. Last year, we finished ninth, and that was a very hard earned top-10. Handling is so important at Darlington. We will have to work really hard on Friday to find a good setup and speed for Saturday’s race.”
Comments from Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on Darlington: “We keep showing perseverance week in and week out. Our car last week may not have looked pretty, but the guys did a great job of piecing it back together after two incidents to give Marcos a car that could finish in the top-15. Darlington is a fast track where handling is very important. We’ll work really hard in practice on Friday to get the car where it needs to be for Marcos on Saturday.
“The test at Sonoma was important for us. We all know that Marcos will be a favorite out there, and we want to give him the best Ford possible. It’s a technical road course that demands a good car. Our goal is to get it locked in for June.”
Chassis History: The No. 9 team has prepared chassis No. 842 for Darlington. Ambrose previously drove this chassis at Auto Club Speedway earlier this year.