Dover II Post Race
Ambrose Finishes the no. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion in 32nd
Dover, Del. (September 21, 2008)- Wood Brothers Racing put on a good showing at Dover International Speedway with driver Marcos Ambrose in the no. 21 Little Debbie Ford Fusion. Ambrose worked his way up to as high as 13th position from 29th in the Camping World RV 400. Unfortunately, an incident on pit road put the team two laps down from the leader, then an accident on the track caused damage to the grill that led to more laps down. Thereafter, the team did everything to work as hard as they could to try and gain back lost laps. Yet in the end, the 21 team completed the 400 lap event in 32nd place.
Marcos Ambrose took the green flag in 29th when on the first lap the caution came out. Marcos reported that the car was good, yet being too early to pit, Crew Chief David Hyder decided to keep Ambrose out on the track where he restarted on lap five in 26th. Just as the race started to get going under green, another caution occurred only five laps later and Marcos reported that the car was tight off the corner but loose in the corner. Hyder still believed that it was too early to pit; Marcos stayed out on the track and the race resumed on lap 15. Caution on lap 64, allowed for the team to make adjustments on the car for the persisting "tight-in/loose off” condition. The 21 crew also put on four fresh tires and filled the tank with fuel. Marcos restarted on lap 69 in 29th.
On lap 77, he reported, "Loose in, really, really loose in" As green flag laps continued for a longer run, on lap 109, Hyder radioed to Marcos, "Race the race track, you're doing a good job." The team decided to make a green flag pit stop on approximately lap 145 however, the caution came out again on lap 142 and the team was able to make a pit stop for more adjustments. The 21 pit crew made a fast stop in 13.8 seconds that included the adjustments and putting on four tires and fuel.
Marcos battled with the no. 15 car for the spot that would be the first car one lap down. Hyder told Marcos to get around the 15 and he said, "You're doing a good job, we just need to get our lap back and get back into this race." Marcos finally won the lucky dog position and when the next caution flag flew two laps later, he was able to pass the leader to put the no. 21 on the lead lap. "That's what we needed, now we can get back in this thing,” Hyder said.
On the next caution, the team did not pit. When the race restarted, Marcos was in the 16th spot. The car was still not handling to Marcos' liking, so Hyder called for a pit stop when the caution occurred on lap 185, the 21 crew put on four tires and fuel and made another adjustment. He restarted on lap 190 in 22nd position.
As teams began to make green flag stops, Marcos moved from 17th up to 13th when Hyder decided to make their green flag stop on lap 272, but Marcos’ radio communications were not working properly as he couldn’t hear the crew chief. He came down pit road early and the swift crew got into place. When he got into the pit box, they made adjustments and put on four tires and fuel. Unfortunately, the pit crew lost control of the rear tire and it rolled into the next pit stall. Nascar called Marcos back to pit road immediately for a pass through penalty which put the no. 21 down two laps from the leaders and scored in the 25th spot.
On lap 285, Hyder discovered that there was a large hole in the grill of the no. 21 car, when the yellow flag came out on lap 292, Hyder called him into pit to repair the grill damage. The crew assessed the damage and added a piece of sheet metal to cover the hole. They sent the no. 21 back to the track to prevent losing another lap and came back in to finish the repair. Marcos restarted on lap 298 in the 30th position.
Green flag laps continued until on lap 325 when Marcos radioed to the crew that the water pressure, water and oil temperatures were through the roof and the motor was overheating. Marcos still having communication issues could not hear if Hyder ordered him to come to pit road or not. He did come immediately to pit road and Hyder had the crew remove the sheet metal that was blocking the damaged grill that also hindered air flow to the engine and caused the overheating issue.
During the last 75 laps, the team worked hard to keep adjusting the car to make it better. Marcos ran in the 32nd spot where he would take the checkered flag five laps down from the leader.
Marcos commented on the race, “We really had a good car. I’m proud of Davide Hyder and the guys for giving me a good piece. I was running in 13th for a little while there and we just had some unfortunate incidents that took us out of the running.” He added, “I came in to pit too early and that locked us up in the pits-it’s just one of those things. Then Tony Raines spun and I ran into the back of him and punched in the nose. It’s unfortunate; we really did have a chance at a good run."
Wood Brothers Racing and the no. 21 Motorcraft Ford Fusion will head to Kansas Speedway with Bill Elliott back behind the wheel for the Camping World RV 400 on Sunday, September 28th.
Photo by Dorsey Patrick Photography