Marcos Ambrose · Thursday March 17, 2011
Daytona was obviously very disappointing for us. We got caught up in a lap 25 crash. Absolutely not necessary for that time of the race, so we just got a very bad start. We were all feeling the pressure heading to Phoenix, and we bounced back well. We had a strong day and ran in the top 15 all day. We finished 16th in the end on strategy. We got out of cycle with the rest of the field. I felt like it was a really good day for us. We worked well as a team and we’re getting to know each other and all those good things. I drove well and I think the team and I really started to find out our bugs. We got to Las Vegas and had a great weekend. We qualified on the front row, ran top 10 all day and deserved our top 5 finish.
It’s really early to tell if we’re finding our rhythm just yet. We’re working well as a team. One of our goals was to get through these first three races and get ourselves a solid start. We’ve got car speed clearly, we showed that at Las Vegas. We’re really working on our consistency week to week, and that’s going to come with good bonding of our team and more time together.
I didn’t really do anything on the West Coast this year. I flew back between each race. I’ve got my family back in Charlotte and the team environment is so new I just want to be close to them so I flew back with them. It’s good.
I haven’t really done anything interesting over my off-weekend. I had some friends over. We’ve done some gold digging with the gold boat and that was successful. We’re enjoying the warmer weather coming to us. It’s been a strange time to have an off week. You just feel like you’re getting started on the season. It was a really busy offseason getting everything ready. You get geared up to go and then three weeks in you’re told to sit and rest for a week. It’s an odd feeling.
It could be a momentum breaker to some. I think for us it’s allowed our team to get caught up. We had a good Las Vegas car, so I guess if you’re going to have an off week it’s good to have a good race leading up to it so you can enjoy it.
Bristol has been really good to me historically. It’s a track that I’ve done well at. I’ve got a brand new setup under the car, so I don’t really know what to expect. It’s my first short track race with this team so it’s going to be really important to get a good run out of ourselves and get a good qualifying spot. I like the track. I think it’s a great venue and one of the premier events of the season for me. I really enjoy it. At the same time, I want to do really well and soak up the atmosphere here. I’m still very mindful of getting the first five races out of the way and getting ourselves set in points. We want to stay somewhere close to the top 12 for the championship and get ourselves a good base.
Since it’s a new team with new setups, it’s almost as if everything is all new to me this year. It’s something that we have to really get through the first few races here to get a sample of all the styles of cars they build. It’s just going to take time. It was great to run well at Las Vegas. It took some of the pressure off all of us, and now we can hopefully just enjoy going back to 1 ½ mile speedways knowing we’ve got a good baseline setup. But we’ve got the short tracks at Bristol and Martinsville coming up, and California is a 2-mile speedway, so that’s still unknown to me. I feel good about the direction we’re heading though.
I’ve started a late model team too. We’ve called it Marcos Ambrose Motorsports and my driver is George Miedecke. We finished second last Saturday night on the off week. That was fun too, to see the brand new team and see it do so well. It was really enjoyable. He’s going to do the full UARA championship in 2011. We’ve partnered up with Jamie Yelton, who runs a very successful team in the Carolinas to work on the cars and build them for us and run the team. We’re really excited to be part of it. We’re in it to win it. I think he’s got a good shot at it. He finished second on Saturday night, so that was a good showing for him. He’s got a lot of talent, so I want to try and help him get to where he wants to go.
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