2012 Homestead: Marcos Ambrose NASCAR Sprint Cup Race Recap
Marcos Ambrose has rounded out the 2012 NASCAR season on a high note, with a strong run in the season ending Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway to finish 13th aboard the Black & Decker Ford Fusion.
With pole position winner Joey Logano reverting to a backup car for the race, Ambrose effectively held the pole position, which he converted into a solid early lead.
Mid-race handling issues were overcome late in the event, but with an extended green flag stint to round out the race, Ambrose was forced to coast over the finish line with a dry fuel tank.
The result sees Ambrose finish the season point standings in 18th place, an equal best ever result for the Australian.
"We were off with the car handling in the middle part of the race, but we finished 13th and we'll take it," Ambrose said.
"We've got a foundation to work off for next year.
"We've got some work to do, but I feel optimistic about the future and looking forward to 2013."
Leading the field to the green flag, Ambrose took advantage of his front row starting position to hold down the top spot for the first 14 laps.
After battles with Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Clint Bowyer, Ambrose settled in fourth position in the run up to the opening round of green flag pit stops.
Following the service, Ambrose held down sixth position on lap 54 of 267, with grip hard to judge as one end of the race track was covered in shade.
The handling of the car degraded until the first debris caution waved on lap 78 with Ambrose sitting in 12th position.
A solid pit stop by the Richard Petty Motorsports crew saw Ambrose return to the track in tenth, which became eighth after a smart restart.
However, the handling of the car was not conducive to quick lap times, and Ambrose fell back until a second debris yellow slowed the field.
In 18th spot for the restart, it wasn't long before the pace car returned to the track when Ricky Stenhouse Jr slapped the wall.
From there on, Ambrose drifted around the high-teens, as the race became strung out under green flag conditions.
As laps ticked down, the number nine Ford had to save two laps of fuel.
Running out within sight of the chequered flag, Ambrose managed to coast over the finish line on the lead lap in 13th position.
Last week's sparring partners Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer finished first and second, with the championship victory going to Brad Keselowski, after Jimmie Johnson suffered mechanical issues late in the race.
With the announcement that Ambrose will return to Richard Petty Motorsports next year, season 2013 merchandise is beginning to appear on the www.marcosambrose.com online store, including the schedule t-shirt. The store offers affordable and prompt shipping worldwide.
Ford EcoBoost 400 Results
1. Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet)
2. Clint Bowyer (Toyota)
3. Ryan Newman (Chevrolet)
4. Kyle Busch (Toyota)
5. Greg Biffle (Ford)
6. Martin Trux Jr (Toyota)
7. Aric Almirola (Ford)
8. Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet)
9. Kurt Busch (Chevrolet)
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr (Chevrolet)
13. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings (Final after 36 of 36 races)
1. Brad Keselowski (Dodge)- 2400 points
2. Clint Bowyer (Toyota)- 2361
3. Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)- 2360
4. Kasey Kahne (Chevrolet)- 2345
5. Greg Biffle (Ford)- 2332
6. Denny Hamlin (Toyota)- 2329
7. Matt Kenseth (Ford)- 2324
8. Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet)- 2321
9. Tony Stewart (Chevrolet)- 2311
10. Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet)- 2303
18. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)- 950
Australian TV Guide
Times in AEDST, check local guides for details.
Monday November 19th
7:00pm- Ford EcoBoost 400, SPEED + SPEED HD
Tuesday November 20th
5:00am- Ford EcoBoost 400, ONE HD
Thurday November 22nd
1:05am- Ford EcoBoost 400 Qualifying, ONE HD
2:00am- Ford EcoBoost 400, ONE HD
5:00pm- Ford EcoBoost 400, SPEED + SPEED HD
Friday November 23th
12:00am- Ford EcoBoost 400, SPEED + SPEED HD
Saturday November 24th
6:00am- Ford EcoBoost 400, ONE HD
Monday November 26th
4:00am- Daytona 500, SPEED + SPEED HD
7:00pm- Daytona 500, SPEED + SPEED HD