The Frontstretch: Marcos Ambrose Driver Diary: A Long Time Coming and Finishing Some Unfinished Business by Marcos Ambrose -- Thursday September 1, 2011

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Indy was a disappointment for us. I actually scuffed the right side of the car up at the start of practice and really set us back for it. It took me a while to get my confidence back. We had a quiet day. We just weren’t quite quick enough and then I broke fourth gear. We were 15th I think when I broke the gear on one of the restarts. The team did an incredible job to switch the gear box around and only lose three laps, but it was just a real shame finishing like that in one of the biggest races of the year.

We went to Pocono and I finished the second Pocono. In the first one I broke a gear box as well, so I was very anxious about that weekend. I was so concerned about the gear that I actually didn’t have the most perfect gear combination to try to protect it in the race pace. We had some brake issues too. Just a quiet day there. We finished 20th.

We went to Watkins Glen next. It was kind of just a perfect weekend. We had a great car from the start of practice. All the work we did during the season on the road course worked out for us. We had a disappointment at Infineon, our package wasn’t very good but it all came back to us at Watkins Glen. It was a hard race at the end there. With our strategy we had to do three stops instead of everybody else’s two, so we had to pass a lot of cars and that made it challenging. Luck went our way and we were able to get the win.

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I had a lot of family there on the Sunday but not on the Monday. Everybody had to leave and go back to Charlotte. My girls have started school and my sister’s brother had a trip to New York planned so everybody disappeared on Sunday night when it rained out and when I got the win it was only me and the team. But it was good to get the win so I won’t complain.

The following weekend we took a trip up to Montreal to run the road course in the Nationwide Series and we finally got that one out of the way too. That was just great. I jumped in with Carl Edwards and we were in helicopters, jets, boats, you name it to get there in time. We actually made it by about ten minutes so it was really close getting from Michigan up there for the race. We had no laps in practice or anything so we had to start from the back of the field. We made it through and got the win so that was awesome, but I’ll tell you it was a really difficult day and I’m just really proud of my team. It was a different team up there. It wasn’t a full time team that was running that car for us. I’m just thankful we were able to pull it off.

When Jacques Villeneuve pulled a crazy move and ran into us I was thinking here we go again, another way to lose this race, but we got lucky with damage. It didn’t do too much damage to the front end so we were able to keep going. We just had to come back through the field because we lost track position. But we came back through and just blame it on the day. We had the fastest car and were able to get back to the lead. It was a pretty cool day and a good experience.

We had a great day going at Michigan. I think we were between eighth and 15th all day. We came into the pits for a green-white-checkered finish and Kevin Harvick ran into the back of me and spun me into my pit stall. We got some damage and finished as the last car on the lead lap, so it was a terrible result after the problem at the end after running so good all day. It’s a real disappointment.

We had a good run at Bristol. We had a good car all night. The race went green for a long time and that place is really tough physically on you. I thought I fought well and was having to hold off Kasey Kahne to finish tenth. I’m pretty proud of that night all together.

The points and the wild card are getting interesting but there’s no use in looking at it too much right now. We have to really wait until we get to the other side of Atlanta to see what’s really happening but if anyone wants Keselowski to do well it’s me. If he gets into the top ten it opens up the second wild card and I feel like we could easily take the spot. But anyone inside the top 20 who wins another race right now could steal that spot anyway so it’s totally random. All I can really do is go down there and race as hard as I can and see what happens.

Today (September 1st) is my birthday. I’m 26 today! I’m not doing anything in particular to celebrate, just chilling out with the kids and family and having a quiet day.

George Miedecke, our late model driver, is doing good. He’s still third in points. He’s run well. He hasn’t got a win so we’re all anxious for him to break through to his first win. I know what it’s like. I’ve waited for a long time and still need one on the ovals and so I feel for him. We’ll continue to support him. He’s has plenty of top fives and pole positions so he’s run well and we’re just waiting for him to break through for that first one.

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