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Ambrose takes second consecutive pole

Marcos Ambrose evidently enjoyed his first ever pole position so much last weekend that the Aussie promptly did it all over again on Friday at the Sonoma road course.
Buoyed by setting the fastest Sprint Cup pole position in a quarter of a century last week at Michigan International Speedway, Marcos Ambrose showed that it was no fluke as he made the most of a rare road course outing for the series at Sonoma, California to claim his second consecutive pole.

"I am really thrilled for today," said Ambrose, who made his name in Australian V8 sportscars before moving to the US to take up the challenge of NASCAR. "I put a lot of effort into this race and everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports and the whole Stanley team have been rock solid behind me for the road course program.

"I am glad we could convert the effort into a great result," he added. "It is only one lap and we have to do a lot more on Sunday but at least we can go home and say we had the fastest car."

Compared to last week's over-200mph laps at the repaved Michigan oval, the speeds at Sonoma were under half that - but no less demanding on the cars and drivers all the same.

"I was more nervous running 90mph than I was running 200," he admitted. "You just have to be really precise with your marks and very aggressive and carry momentum through these tight corners."

Ambrose's crew chief Todd Parrott was positively gushing in his praise of his driver's performance in qualifying on Friday afternoon.

"I think what this man did today was incredible," he said. "I sat there on pit wall and watched the Sprint Vision and was in awe of that lap. It was just incredible. I have seen a lot of qualifying laps here but that was one of the smoothest, easiest looking laps I have ever seen. I am really proud of him."

Car owner Richard Petty, on the other hand, was characterisically more down to earth about the whole endeavour and not getting carried away - especially as the team has performed well at Sonoma before only to lose the race win opportunity.

"Winning this week was not as unexpected as what last week was," he said. "I tried to tell him and I didn't want to put any pressure on him for when he did come out here. I guess everything went good. Anytime you can sit on the pole it is good but the big deal now is getting ready for the race.




Related Pictures

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Marcos Ambrose, right, talks things over with Joey Logano on pit lane before qualifying at Sonoma on Friday, June 22, 2012. (Photo Credit: By Robert Laberge, Getty Images for NASCAR)
Marcos Ambrose and team owner Richard Petty celebrate his Coors Light Pole Award with their crew at Sonoma on Friday, June 22, 2012. (Photo Credit: By Tom Pennington, Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford, poses with his team before his last race, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Hertz Ford, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, who is in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 21st position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Newman is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS, who is in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 5th position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. Harvick is 4th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings.(Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, qualified for 2nd position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined on the front row by Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS who won the Pole position. Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Championship Four final phase of the Chase, won the pole position Friday, November 14, 2014 for Sunday`s final NASCAR Sprint Cup race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. He will be joined by Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS on the front row. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ParkerStore Chevrolet, poses with the Keystone Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS finished in 2nd place Sunday, November 9, 2014 in the final Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Gordon just missed out being in the Championship 4 finale next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, speaks to the media after failing to advance to race for the championship in the season finale after the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 9, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Chase Elliott at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. July 12, 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch celebrates pole position at Phoenix International Raceway. November 8 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 7, 2014 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet SS, who is not in the Chase, qualified for 15th position Friday, November 7, 2014 for Sunday`s final Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. Johnson won the NASCAR race last week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS, who is in the Chase, qualified for 20th position Friday, November 7, 2014 for Sunday`s final Eliminator 8 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Christa L Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)

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