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Marcos Ambrose 6th at Michigan

NASCAR - Brooklyn, MI

Marcos Ambrose and the No. 9 DEWALT Ford team had one of their best performances Sunday afternoon in the Pure Michigan 400 at the Michigan International Speedway. Starting from the 26th position, Ambrose and the Drew Blickensderfer-led team gained 20 positions to finish sixth. It’s the team’s fourth top-10 finish this season. Ambrose made it a top-10 sweep for the weekend after racing the STANLEY Ford to seventh in the Nationwide race in Mid-Ohio on Saturday.

Ambrose now has 37 top-10 finishes in his Sprint Cup Series career and gave Richard Petty Motorsports their 94th top-10 finish in 478 starts.

It took a little while for the race to finally go green on Sunday as three cautions in the first 20 laps slowed the pace. There were a total of seven cautions in the race. Ambrose and the team took advantage of the third caution to come down pit road for fuel and a trackbar adjustment to help tighten his car. At the time, Ambrose had moved from 26th to 21st and felt the car was fast other than the loose condition. The team made the adjustment and restarted 27th.

On a long fuel run, Ambrose showed that his lap times were as fast as anyone. Although he was loose into the turns and tight in the center, he climbed into the lead on Lap 47 before having to pit for fuel one lap later. The team made a slight adjustment and took four tires. After pit stops cycled through, Ambrose was running 20th on Lap 56.

The caution flew, and Ambrose came down pit road on Lap 72. This is when Blickensderfer made a call for only two right-side tires to give Ambrose track position. He moved up to 12th on the restart and was still fast on Lap 75. During this fuel run, Ambrose raced in the 14th position and held his ground with the two tires. This allowed the team to really make a move to the front in the second half of the race.

On Lap 107, Ambrose made a pit stop under green and got four tires and another trackbar adjustment. With less than 90 laps left in the race, Ambrose was back to 13th, and on Lap 135, the caution came out while running in the same position. Again, the team elected to keep the track position and only take two tires. They restarted in 11th.

With less than 50 laps to go, Ambrose raced into eighth before pitting for fuel on Lap 158. With now only 40 laps left, Blickensderfer told Ambrose it was like a “Trophy Dash” and to head to the front. The team restarted 12th and moved into the top-10 when the final caution came out on Lap 174. The final run, Ambrose climbed up to sixth where he finished the race.

Ambrose is now 22nd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup driver point standings. “We had a good day,” said Ambrose. “I’m really proud of Drew for calling a great race. We didn’t start where we wanted, but he had us running near the top-10 all day and we had a good finish. The car was fast on long runs, and we passed a lot of cars today.”

Marcos and the No. 9 Stanley team will head to the mountains to tackle the short track Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the famed Saturday night race. The race will be televised live by ABC and broadcast live on SIRIUS/XM NASCAR and PRN Radio.

Race Results:

1. Joey Logano

2. Kevin Harvick

3. Kurt Busch

4. Paul Menard

5. Clint Bowyer

6. Marcos Ambrose
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