Richard Petty Motorsports will be looking to move up the standings as the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series heads to the ‘World’s Fastest Half-Mile’, Bristol Motor Speedway.
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 DeWalt Ford, currently lies 16th in the Sprint Cup standings, but believes that he can repeat the success of his last visit to Bristol, where he finished in fifth place.
“Bristol will be the first time we race the Gen-6 car at a half-mile track.” said Ambrose. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the cars race there. I think it will be a really exciting and aggressive race. I really like Bristol. You are up on the wheel for all 500 laps of the race. That’s the kind of racing I like and really excel at. It is definitely one of the tracks that fits my style of racing.”
The Food City 500 will be Ambrose’s ninth race at Bristol, where he has previously posted two top-fives and four top-tens, with an average finishing position of 16.5.
“The last few weeks have been tough.” he admitted. “The cars have not been as good as we know they can be. I know the guys are back at the shop working their butts off, so we can have a good finish this weekend. We fell back to 16th in points last week and have got to get back up in the top-12. The only way to do that is post good finishes and get some wins.”
The Nationwide Series visits the circuit for the Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 300, and Reed Sorenson will be looking for a strong finish to his second race for Richard Petty Motorsports.
Sorenson, filling in for the injured Michael Annett, has a wealth of experience at the .53-mile circuit, including a third-placed finish at his track debut in 2005, one of his three top-ten finishes in his 11 Nationwide starts at Bristol.
“We didn’t have as much practice time going into the race last weekend with the rain.” said Sorenson on heading into his second Nationwide race with Richard Petty Motorsports. “I felt like we gelled pretty quickly, but it takes some track time to really get to know each other. Going into this weekend, I feel like Philippe [Lopez, Crew Chief] and the crew have a better idea of what I am looking for in the car and I know how they operate. That will help us a lot this weekend.
“I enjoy racing at Bristol. It is a challenging track which makes it fun. I have seen success there but have also got caught up in some wrecks. It’s important to race clean to be there at the end. Hopefully, we can keep the fenders on the Flying J Ford and get a good finish.”