Marcos Ambrose finished third in Sunday’s race at Dover but more importantly it moved him back into the top 20 in points. This is critical for Ambrose and the #9 team at Richard Petty Motorsports as they seek a spot in the Chase.
The new NASCAR Chase format allows the two drivers with the most wins not in the top-10 in points to claim one of the two wild card spots. This plays into Ambrose’s hand since there are still two road course events to be run and those just happen to be the speciality of Ambrose.
Last season Ambrose had the event at Sonoma won until he foolishly turned his engine off while going up a hill in what the driver called an “attempt to save fuel”. Fuel that by most accounts didn’t need to be saved in order to complete the event.
The third place finish also validated Ambrose on the oval tracks, matching his career best. It also more importantly put him 11 points ahead of 21st place driver David Ragan in the Chase which could be a big deal if Ambrose does indeed finish the job on a road course this year. Winning at both would almost certainly gain him entry into the Chase.
Richard Petty Motorsports and Marcos Ambrose have a ways to go before they are competitive with organizations like Hendrick, Roush-Fenway, Childress and Gibbs but making steps like last Sunday will go along way if they are to have future success this season.
After-all as long as long as there are tracks that require right handed turns, Ambrose will be a contender for a Chase spot.