Australian racer Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 Stanley Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series said, “past history is no guarantee at the future” at Watkins Glen International. Ambrose answered questions from the media during a press conference in the track’s Media Center on Friday morning, August 8 ahead of the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen.
Asked by yeahstub.com’s Rochester Motor Sports how past wins at the Glen inform strategies for the current weekend, Ambrose replied:
“You know what you need from the race car to get to victory lane and that inner confidence to do what you need to do. My past history is no guarantee at the future. That is the way I look at it. Each weekend is unique to itself and this weekend in particular, already there are some different angles that we haven’t had to deal with before, like the new ride height and downforce rules as well as fuel mileage and how that comes into play which will be different compared to last year.”
He continued, “There are a lot of subtle differences that we will have to factor in. I don’t take any past history as any guarantee of success; that is for sure. You do know what it takes to win, though, and that does give you a bit of confidence.”
Both of Ambrose’s Sprint Cup wins, in 2011 and 2012, happened on the road course at Watkins Glen. In 2013, Ambrose also ran strong, but Kyle Bush ended up in Victory Lane.
Ambrose will also race the Nationwide Zippo 200 race on Saturday in addition to the Cheez-It 355 on Sunday. Asked by another media representative what he can learn for Sunday in racing on Saturday, he replied, “It is nice to get the cobwebs out early and get on the track early and get after it. It is good for me to get a few more laps on the track. There isn’t much you can carry over, though. It is a different set of rules. It is the same tire, so tire pressure maybe. Even the brakes are different because you aren’t going as fast to need to slow down as much. There is very little to cross over but it is fun to have a second race here. I have won three Nationwide races here in a row and I am going to try to make it four.”
The Aussie was one of the drivers who came to the Glen earlier to test. According to the “Elmira Star-Gazette,” Ambrose commented during testing that the Glen race might be his best chance to make it into the Chase. For those who are already in the Chase through a win this season, he said, the Glen is almost a throwaway event, but for racers like him and A. J. Allmendinger who also came earlier to test, “it’s a really important race. It’s probably going to be our best chance to make it in.”
Asked by another member of the press on Friday how he would define a success for the weekend, Ambrose answered, “We have to be careful because we are 17th in points. If we get away with a top five and we get closer — I think you need to be about 13th in points to feel like you have a shot to make the Chase — then we could say it has been a solid day, but really we have come here to try to win. At the same time, winning is very difficult in this series, so you have to be proud of putting effort in. For me, if I have a good day and drive the very best I can and get out of here with a top five, I will take it as a decent day, but we have come here to win.”
The green flag for the 2014 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen is scheduled to drop at approximately 1:00 p.m. local time. The race will go 90 laps and run the “short course” of the iconic road circuit (without the boot section), a distance of 220.5 miles.