By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
It’s no secret that Marcos Ambrose hasn’t been able to match his success from his rookie season in 2010. Ambrose talked about his troubled season in a NASCAR teleconference on Tuesday.
“Well, it’s been a really tough season, no doubt about it.” Ambrose said. “We’ve had a couple of non-finishes finishes with mechanical problems. We’ve had a points penalty, 150-odd points there a few races back which hurt us in the points title. We’ve had a lot of non-finishes for crashes, some my fault, some not. So we’ve got a lot of things going on.”
The Aussie makes no bones about it, the rough season has definitely put a strain on his confidence.
“Sure my confidence has been hit, our team confidence has been hit.” Ambrose explained. “We had a breakout season last year.”
However Ambrose says the fact that he drives for a single-car team, had him coming into the season thinking realistically. He knows it’s very difficult to compete to the level of say a Hendrick Motorsports.
“We always were trying to keep in check the expectation because we knew that 2010 was going to be a challenge just knowing our position for a single-car team, getting constant support from Michael Waltrip Racing.” Ambrose said. “So we feel independent that we have troubles of every independent team that’s trying to run out there on the racetrack against super teams.”
However I fully expect Ambrose to not only compete with the “Super Teams” this week, I expect him to turn around his entire season, and I expect him to win the race.
As we all know Ambrose’s expertise is road courses. He came from the Australian V8-Super Car Series, which is contested on road courses and showcases cars that drive very similarly to the COT. So obviously heading to Infineon has Ambrose feeling better after a 16th-place finish at Michigan last week.
“That race (Michigan) is what it is. If you get caught up in someone else’s problems, so be it. You just put your best foot forward and try to apply yourself.” Ambrose explained. “So I think a race like Sonoma this weekend, I’ll be breathing a little easier knowing that it’s my forte. It’s what I’ve grown up doing. I should have as good a chance of any of running at the front.”
I’m a firm believer that in order to win one, you have to lose one first. Ambrose has had two great runs thus far in his career at Infineon.
In 2008 Ambrose made it inside the top-five before getting spun out. Ambrose would climb back through the field in that race, before finally having a broken transmission end his day. However he impressed everyone with that strong performance.
Last year Ambrose started third and finished third, and had a very competitive day, however it was more eventful of a day than it seems. Ambrose had to start shotgun on the field, after an incident in practice the day before the race. Despite starting the event in the back Ambrose methodically picked his way back to a third place finish.
So Ambrose has lost two already, this track definitely owes him one. Add that to the fact that he hasn’t cashed anything out of the luck bank thus far this season, and you have a recipe for success. Mark my words this weekend the planets will align, and Marcos Ambrose will be standing in victory lane at the end of the day.