CONCORD, N.C. – Heading into the final race of the 2012 season Marcos Ambrose is looking for a weekend of consistency. Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer has had a couple of weeks to settle in at Richard Petty Motorsports and he and Ambrose are hoping for a solid top-10 finish in Homestead to give the No. 9 team a boost of momentum for 2013.
The No. 9 team has endured multiple changes over the past two months, but Ambrose and crew feel as if they are on the right track to a successful end to the season. A good finish this weekend will be a great boost of confidence for the off-season and that is exactly what the Black & Decker crew is expecting to accomplish on Sunday.
Black & Decker will return as the primary partner of the No.9 Ford fusion for its fourth and final showing of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Ambrose will make his fifth career start at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. His best start (third) came in 2009 and his best finish (26th) came in the 2010. The Australian native was on pace to score his career-best finish at the 1.5-mile track last season until mechanical issues took him out of contention early. Ambrose sits in 18th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings heading into Sunday’s season finale.
Comments from Black & Decker Ford Fusion Driver Marcos Ambrose: “I’m really looking forward to going to Homestead. It’s always a thrilling weekend with it being the season finale and the atmosphere at the race track is full of excitement. I’m really focused on trying to end our year on a high note, and I think we’ve got a shot at it this weekend. Of course we’d like to be able to get a win on an oval this season, but considering all the changes we’ve had the past couple months, I’ll be happy with a solid top-10 finish. I really want to give the No.9 team a boost of momentum heading into the off-season. All of my new guys have worked really hard these last 10 Chase races and I can’t thank them enough. It’s been a learning process, but I feel like we’ve come a long way since we started in Chicago. I’m really going to give it my all to get a solid finish for my guys on Sunday.”
Comments from Crew Chief Drew Blickensderfer on Homestead: “I’ve had a couple of weeks to work with Marcos now, and so far I really like what I see. He’s determined to run well and win races, and anything less in unacceptable. That’s the kind of drive and determination that makes a good racecar driver. I’m kind of disappointed that the season is coming to an end since I’ve only been with RPM for a couple weeks, but I’m definitely looking forward to 2013 and getting to work with the No. 9 team more.
“We are really looking to end the season with a strong finish this weekend. We’ve got a great group of guys on this No. 9 team and it would be a nice boost of confidence to carry with us throughout the off-season and into the start of 2013. Homestead has some long straightaways, so it’s going to be important that Marcos gets off of the corners well and carries a lot of speed down the straights. We’re going to need some good Ford horsepower from our Roush-Yates engine shop this weekend. The track’s got multiple racing grooves so as the day progresses Marcos can move around to get the most out of his Black & Decker Ford.”
Chassis History: The No. 9 RPM team has prepared chassis No. 703 for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This Black & Decker Ford has not been run previously this season at a race, but was tested in Nashville last month.