After making it two-in-a-row at Watkins Glen, Marcos Ambrose thinks he can make it back-to-back victories in 2012.
Last Sunday’s thrilling battle with Brad Keselowski for the win has the amiable Australian thinking that by winning in Michigan this weekend he would also qualify for the NASCAR’s Chase Wild Card.
He has some good reasons for his optimism.
“We have put ourselves within earshot of making the Chase,” said Ambrose during NASCAR’s weekly teleconference. “If we can win one more race we are pretty much locked into the Chase format. After winning at Watkins Glen our only other option right now is to keep winning. We are going to Michigan after being on the pole there in the first race and running top five most of the day, we feel we have a great chance to win that race and lock ourselves in the Chase and that is really our only focus right now.”
While his RPM team is basking in the glory of Sunday’s win the twice champion of the Super V-8 cars knows that the work has just begun. He’s not getting ahead of himself.
“We have to be careful because we just are coming off a road race and for me that is what is expected at a road race,” said Ambrose. “I thought we had a good run at Pocono with a top-10 there and we have momentum, there is no doubt about that. We have to keep that going. Our team has had a lot of really great runs this year and we have had a lot of speed. We have had trouble converting that speed into results. We have had small issues and mechanical problems and driver error and wrong strategy. You name it, we have had it. We have to get our mind off all that and keep our focus.”
That said Ambrose is looking for a way to convert his road course process into checkered flags on ovals.
“The question that keeps coming back to my mind again and again is just like I did this time last year, I can be so commanding and in control on a road course race, competitive all weekend and we knew going into the weekend we had a chance to win and pulled it off.
How do we get that same mindset, feeling and result on ovals? How do we do it straightaway?
Part of my chit-chat with the team – I had lunch with them today and breakfast as well – It is the Spring package when you win a race they give you breakfast which is awesome. I had a chance to chat with them and look at the car we used and talked about the changes we will make going back.
Really most of our talking has been about how we are going to make the Chase and what we need to do as a team to get there. That is what I am focused on and I am excited about it. Every week in NASCAR things are changing and teams are moving. Just because we won a race last week doesn’t change anything we are doing. We have to apply ourselves and hopefully get it right at Michigan to take the pressure off the last three races.”
And who knows? Ambrose just might become the first Aussie to make it into NASCAR’s playoffs.