DOVER, Del. (September 21, 2010) – – As the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship continues at Dover International Speedway with Denny Hamlin in first, Marcos Ambrose and JTG Daugherty Racing have a chase of their own seeking a victory in the premiere division before the curtain closes on the 2010 season.
“Nine races remain and we are chasing after our first victory,” said Ambrose, who is 25th in the drivers points standings. “There are not many races left and we are competing against the top 12 championship contending teams that have saved the best for last. It’s going to be tough, but we’re up for the challenge.”
Ambrose, who is piloting the No. 47 Bush’s Baked Beans Toyota Camry on Sunday, was on the right path these past couple of weeks. One top-five and two top-10s in a row made the Australian driver optimistic entering New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend, but a 30th-place finish at the 1.058-mile track surprisingly interrupted his streak.
“We had a tough time at New Hampshire and didn’t expect our weekend to go the way it did,” Ambrose said. “It just wasn’t our day and we struggled with handling. We are looking to bounce back at Dover.”
Now, the Monster Mile has crept up on the 36-race schedule where Toyota drivers swept the weekend in May with Kyle Busch winning both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races (and Aric Almirola picked up the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory). Ambrose’s best NASCAR Sprint Cup Series finish in a Toyota Camry at the 24-degree banked concrete oval is 14th (9/27/09).
Last time out at Dover, two right front cut tires sent Ambrose sailing into the outside retaining wall twice, which ultimately knocked him out of the race and forced him to settle for a 36th-place finish.
“During the May race, we cut down two tires and it was a shame our day ended early,” Ambrose said. “The car was too damaged to continue on.”
Ambrose has finished 32nd, 20th, 14th and 36th (accident) respectively at Dover in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He also has four starts at the Delaware track in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with a best finish of sixth-place (6/2/07).
“Dover is great, but I will admit that it is a really tough place to race,” Ambrose said. “My first time racing a Cup car there was a bigger challenge than I ever imagined and I went a few laps down. Over the years, I’ve got a good handle on it. I love the place and it on my top three list of favorite tracks.”
It is also a favorite track of JTG Daugherty Racing co-owners Jodi and Tad Geschickter, who will be making a detour to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. before arriving in Dover. The Walter Reed Army Medical Center is the hub of the Walter Reed Health Care System, which provides comprehensive health care for more than 150,000 soldiers, other service members, family members and retirees.
“We look forward to going to Dover and this time the trip will be extra special for me and my husband Tad because we have the opportunity to stop and make a visit at Walter Reed Army Medical Center thanks to NASCAR,” Jodi Geschickter said. “We both know it will be an overwhelming experience. We are grateful and humbled to have the opportunity to tell these brave men and women how much we appreciate their service to our country. Truly, we’ll never understand the depth of their sacrifice. It will be our privilege to spend the day with the troops.”
Live coverage on ESPN of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday begins at 1 p.m. ET. MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite will also air the event.