After a weekend off, Marcos Ambrose and the No. 9 Stanley Ford team are ready to get back to racing in Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500 at the .526-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Ambrose has secured three top-15 finishes at the paper clip track in his eight career starts, including a 15th-place finish last spring. With his strong road course skills, Ambrose knows how to conserve his brake package to be able to drive aggressively at the end of the 500-lap race.
He hopes to lean on that knowledge to capture the team's first top-10 this season this weekend.
Comments from Stanley Ford Fusion Driver Marcos Ambrose:
"Martinsville is a tough track and takes some aggressive driving to make a pass. You really have to be up on the wheel every lap and have a car that has a lot of grip. Most important, however, are the brakes. The track is so flat that they really get abused. You have to take care of them, and I lean on some of my knowledge to make sure we're fast at the end of the day.
"Something new for us is having Drew (Blickensderfer) with us as well. He has a good history of putting good setting ups in his cars at Martinsville. Friday's qualifying will be important for us. If we can get a good starting position, we won't have to use our equipment up to move through the field. We can go easy at the beginning, so we can get aggressive at the end.
"Strategy is also really important here. You can take gambles early on to help with track position. Between Drew, myself and the whole team, I think we can put together a good finish this weekend and move back up the standings."
Comments from Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on Martinsville:
"Martinsville is a tricky track, but I think it plays right into Marcos' driving style. The track is very tough on equipment since you have to use so much brake to get around the corner. Marcos is an expert when it comes to braking. We will have to get him a good starting position, and I think we'll be on point for a good finish."