Marcos Ambrose has missed out on another strong finish in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series by finishing 23rd in today's incident packed New Hampshire 200 in Loudon, New Hampshire
Ambrose showed strong pace aboard the Team Australia/Aussie Vineyards Ford F-150 but was denied the chance to translate the form into a top 10 result when forced to pit under green to fix a loose wheel.
Ambrose had earlier continued his strong form from practice yesterday to qualify the Aussie Vineyards F-150 in 14th position. The performance marked a fantastic qualifying session for the Wood Brothers/JTG Racing operation, with Ambrose's team-mate Bobby East qualifying third, giving the Ford squad the two highest qualified rookies for the race.
Ambrose had a steady start and was running inside the top 20 when he pitted under green flag conditions to fix the loose wheel. Once three laps down, Ambrose and the Team Australia crew used the remainder of the race to gain experience and fine tune set-up in what is still a learning year for the NASCAR rookie from Tasmania, Australia.
The #20 Aussie Vineyards F-150 showed good speed in the latter half of the race, allowing Ambrose to slot into the pack and run comfortably with the pacesetters. The track time was beneficial for Ambrose and despite a lower than expected finish, driver and team have gained more knowledge and confidence for next week's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"We had a competitive truck today and could have run around the top 10 no problems," said Ambrose.
"Early on we had a loose wheel, so we had to pit under green to fix it. We missed the pit box and had to go around again so we had a 'double problem' then. From there it became a test for us because we were trapped two or three laps down.
"We've made some progress and we had a reasonable qualifying, so now we just look ahead to the next race and put this one behind us.