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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)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, suffers a mechanical issue during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 28, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmie John`s/Budweiser Chevrolet, prepares to drive during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
David Ragan, driver of the #18 M&M`s Crispy Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, signs the Coors Light Pole board after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, poses with the Pole Award after qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 27, 2015 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS races to a third place finish with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finishes in fifth place in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS pulls into his pit on his way to a second place finish in the Daytona 500 Sunday, February 22, 2015 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by HHP/Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, and Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Percision Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, race three-wide during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag for the running of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 57th Annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 22, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Robert Reiners/Getty Images)
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