The disappointment of finishing second for Marcos Ambrose at Watkins Glen still has to sting even three days removed. WGI is a track Ambrose has owned in both Sprint Cup series and the Nationwide series in recent years.
Ambrose was in position late to score his first win of the season and essentially lock himself into NASCAR playoffs in September.
Instead he had to settle for second as AJ Allmendinger bested him in a side by side battle that wasn’t decided till the checkered flag.
"We still need to win to get into 'The Chase' and that's our approach. The points will fall into place if we run well, but we can't really depend on that. We gave it everything we had at Watkins Glen, came really close but just came up a bit short. Now, we go into these next four races and do everything we can to win.”
The focus now shifts to Michigan International Speedway. While road course racing is Ambrose’s strength the team is hoping momentum from last week can carry over to MIS.
"Michigan is the next race to win, and we're putting our focus there. We have been working to get better at the bigger tracks. We left Pocono with a lot better result, and I think it gives us some confidence. This race has always been a fuel mileage race, a track position race too. So, there are a lot of ways that we can get to the front. We have a good team, and we all want to get that win."
At MIS, he has one pole in 2012 and had one top-five and three top-10 results. Ambrose finished sixth in 2013 at the track and in 2012 finished fifth.
Ambrose sits on the outside looking in on the Chase. He is currently 16th in the traditional points but 50 points behind Clint Bowyer who holds the final spot in the Chase grid.
Ambrose needs to win to get in and hopes that on Sunday all the pieces come together and this team is in position to challenge for the win.
Aric Almirola already has win since he scored it at Daytona in July. Looking for bonus points Almirola, and his team head to Michigan hoping for improvement on their intermediate program.
"We tested at Michigan earlier in the year. I thought that we were pretty good at the test, and when we went back, we weren't as good as we thought we needed to be. We made a lot of changes since that test to try to get better. I think that this weekend's race will be a kind of a turning point for us to find out if some of the changes we made over the last couple of months have improved our program or not. Our focus right now is to lockup a spot in The Chase and hit the ground running starting at Chicago”
This week Eckrich is the primary sponsor on the No. 43 car at MIS. Part of the program is “Operation Inspiration” to thank military members and their families for their sacrifice. In total, Eckrich has raised more than $750,000 in total donations.
In partnership with Operation Homefront and Eckrich, this lucky fan gets to see his design on the famed no. 43.
On the track, Almirola will look to take everything they have learned since June and find themselves in victory lane.