Solid start for Aussie duo at Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose is the focus at Watkiins Glen

Marcos Ambrose is the focus at Watkiins Glen

A positive start to the weekend for Australian duo Marcos Ambrose and Owen Kelly during practice for the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen.

The defending two-time race winner at Watkins Glen, Ambrose was second fastest in the first session while he concentrated on race set-up in the final pre-race practice and was 17th on the time sheets.

Being a road course event, qualifying will see cars take to the track in groups of five or six in a quick-fire 5-minute session. The qualifying line-up was set from opening practice and Ambrose has the advantage of being in the final group to take to the track.

Settling into his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut, Kelly was 36th in the opening session, before making an improvement in final practice to be 20th.

“It’s an incredibly competitive field right throughout, so to have my times to where I’m in the mix – I’m pretty happy,” said Kelly.

“The car wasn’t that great off the truck, plus I was learning Watkins Glen and I have never driven a NASCAR Sprint Cup car before – so we had a fair bit to contend with.

“Putting some new tyres on for the second session, the car was a lot better and we missed going out with another better set at the end, which I think there would have been a few more tenths in it, that would have put us up around the top 10.

“The times we did today are pretty respectable against a field as I said that’s super competitive. I’m confident we can make the top 20, maybe even the top 15 in qualifying if everything falls our way – all you can do is go as fast as you can and everything else will take care of itself. Overall, I’m pretty happy with today.”

Friday practice had weather delays, which slashed the on-track time by a combined total of one hour and 45 minutes. It is hoped that the skies will be clear for qualifying and heading into the race on Sunday.

Prior to practice Ambrose attended the pre-race press conference and spoke about the pressure of coming to Watkins Glen and his thoughts of racing with fellow Tasmanian Owen Kelly.

Marcos Ambrose talks about the expectations placed on him at Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose talks about having Owen Kelly in the field this weekend

 

 TIMES: Practice 1 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen

POS

driver

Car #

Make

Sponsor

Best Speed

Best Time

Behind

1

Martin Truex Jr 56 Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 127.238 69.319 Leader

2

Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford Stanley / CTC Jumpstart 125.220 70.436 –1.117

3

Carl Edwards 99 Ford Kelloggs / Cheez-it 125.206 70.444 –1.125

4

Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet Target 124.973 70.575 –1.256

5

Casey Mears 13 Ford GEICO 124.887 70.624 –1.305

6

Kyle Busch 18 Toyota M&M’s 124.752 70.700 –1.381

7

AJ Allmendinger 47 Toyota Scott Products 124.654 70.756 –1.437

8

Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota Peak/Duck Dynasty 124.589 70.793 –1.474

9

Brad Keselowski 2 Ford Miller Lite 124.525 70.829 –1.510

10

Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota FedEx Ground 124.416 70.891 –1.572

11

Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing-Denver Mattress 124.329 70.941 –1.622

12

Dale Earnhardt Jr 88 Chevrolet National Guard 124.273 70.973 –1.654

13

Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Drive To End Hunger 124.175 71.029 –1.710

14

Michael McDowell 35 Ford Dockside Logistics 124.126 71.057 –1.738

15

Greg Biffle 16 Ford 3M / 811 124.098 71.073 –1.754

16

Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Lowe’s 124.080 71.083 –1.764

17

Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet Menards / Splash 124.077 71.085 –1.766

18

Joey Logano 22 Ford Shell-Pennzoil 124.054 71.098 –1.779

19

Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet Caterpillar 123.986 71.137 –1.818

20

Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 123.791 71.249 –1.930

21

Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet McDonald’s/Monopoly 123.574 71.374 –2.055

22

Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet Budweiser 123.484 71.426 –2.107

23

Aric Almirola 43 Ford Smithfield 123.410 71.469 –2.150

24

Boris Said 32 Ford U.S. Chrome 123.393 71.479 –2.160

25

Ron Fellows 33 Chevrolet Canadian Tire 123.264 71.554 –2.235

26

Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17 Ford Best Buy 123.262 71.555 –2.236

27

Max Papis 14 Chevrolet Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 123.248 71.563 –2.244

28

Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet Haas Automation 30th Anniversary 123.226 71.576 –2.257

29

David Ragan 34 Ford Taco Bell 123.030 71.690 –2.371

30

Brian Vickers 55 Toyota Toyota Camry 30th Anniversary 123.028 71.691 –2.372

31

Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota The Home Depot / Husky 122.985 71.716 –2.397

32

David Gilliland 38 Ford Long John Silver’s 122.953 71.735 –2.416

33

David Reutimann 83 Toyota Burger King / Dr. Pepper 122.826 71.809 –2.490

34

Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 122.587 71.949 –2.630

35

Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota Burger King / Dr. Pepper 122.393 72.063 –2.744

36

Owen Kelly 51 Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services Inc. 122.288 72.125 –2.806

37

David Stremme 30 Toyota Genny Light 121.872 72.371 –3.052

38

Victor Gonzalez Jr 36 Chevrolet Mobil 1/IMCA 121.823 72.400 –3.081

39

Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet TBA 121.737 72.451 –3.132

40

Alex Kennedy 19 Toyota MediaMaster 120.546 73.167 –3.848

41

Landon Cassill 40 Chevrolet Interstate Moving Services 118.977 74.132 –4.813

42

Tomy Drissi 87 Toyota The Counselor 118.561 74.392 –5.073

43

Brian Keselowski 52 Toyota Star Coach Race Tours 115.288 76.504 –7.185

 

TIMES: Practice 2 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen

POS 

driver

Car #

Make

Sponsor

Best Speed

Best Time

Behind

1

Carl Edwards 99 Ford Kelloggs / Cheez-it 128.397 68.693 Leader

2

Michael McDowell 35 Ford Dockside Logistics 127.302 69.284 –0.591

3

Clint Bowyer 15 Toyota Peak/Duck Dynasty 127.232 69.322 –0.629

4

Juan Pablo Montoya 42 Chevrolet Target 127.221 69.328 –0.635

5

Brad Keselowski 2 Ford Miller Lite 127.203 69.338 –0.645

6

Jimmie Johnson 48 Chevrolet Lowe’s 127.106 69.391 –0.698

7

Kyle Busch 18 Toyota M&M’s 127.038 69.428 –0.735

8

Brian Vickers 55 Toyota Toyota Camry 30th Anniversary 127.031 69.432 –0.739

9

Dale Earnhardt Jr 88 Chevrolet National Guard 126.768 69.576 –0.883

10

Kurt Busch 78 Chevrolet Furniture Row Racing-Denver Mattress 126.742 69.590 –0.897

11

Greg Biffle 16 Ford 3M / 811 126.655 69.638 –0.945

12

Jeff Gordon 24 Chevrolet Drive To End Hunger 126.628 69.653 –0.960

13

Casey Mears 13 Ford GEICO 126.588 69.675 –0.982

14

Kevin Harvick 29 Chevrolet Budweiser 126.570 69.685 –0.992

15

Denny Hamlin 11 Toyota FedEx Ground 126.535 69.704 –1.011

16

Paul Menard 27 Chevrolet Menards / Splash 126.506 69.720 –1.027

17

Marcos Ambrose 9 Ford Stanley / CTC Jumpstart 126.472 69.739 –1.046

18

AJ Allmendinger 47 Toyota Scott Products 126.468 69.741 –1.048

19

Martin Truex Jr 56 Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 126.466 69.742 –1.049

20

Owen Kelly 51 Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services Inc. 126.415 69.770 –1.077

21

Aric Almirola 43 Ford Smithfield 126.099 69.945 –1.252

22

Ron Fellows 33 Chevrolet Canadian Tire 125.700 70.167 –1.474

23

David Gilliland 38 Ford Long John Silver’s 125.605 70.220 –1.527

24

David Ragan 34 Ford Taco Bell 125.527 70.264 –1.571

25

Jamie McMurray 1 Chevrolet McDonald’s/Monopoly 125.498 70.280 –1.587

26

Ricky Stenhouse Jr 17 Ford Best Buy 125.307 70.387 –1.694

27

Jeff Burton 31 Chevrolet Caterpillar 125.302 70.390 –1.697

28

Kasey Kahne 5 Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 125.291 70.396 –1.703

29

Matt Kenseth 20 Toyota The Home Depot / Husky 124.701 70.729 –2.036

30

Max Papis 14 Chevrolet Rush Truck Centers/Mobil 1 124.698 70.731 –2.038

31

Joey Logano 22 Ford Shell-Pennzoil 124.527 70.828 –2.135

32

Ryan Newman 39 Chevrolet Haas Automation 30th Anniversary 124.100 71.072 –2.379

33

Danica Patrick 10 Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 123.495 71.420 –2.727

34

David Stremme 30 Toyota Genny Light 123.460 71.440 –2.747

35

Boris Said 32 Ford U.S. Chrome 123.417 71.465 –2.772

36

Alex Kennedy 19 Toyota MediaMaster 123.376 71.489 –2.796

37

Victor Gonzalez Jr 36 Chevrolet Mobil 1/IMCA 123.030 71.690 –2.997

38

Dave Blaney 7 Chevrolet TBA 122.999 71.708 –3.015

39

Travis Kvapil 93 Toyota Burger King / Dr. Pepper 122.195 72.180 –3.487

40

Landon Cassill 40 Chevrolet Interstate Moving Services 121.514 72.584 –3.891

41

David Reutimann 83 Toyota Burger King / Dr. Pepper 121.179 72.785 –4.092

42

Tomy Drissi 87 Toyota The Counselor 120.559 73.159 –4.466

43

Brian Keselowski 52 Toyota Star Coach Race Tours 118.072 74.700 –6.007

 

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