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Six Quick Questions - Marcos Ambrose


1. How are you adjusting to life in the USA, particularly as you are in the 'Deep South"? The trucks, the food, even the way the locals talk?

It's going great. We have bought a little house and have rented a nice RV for the year, so we are not short changing ourselves on accommodation and comfort. You spend a bunch of time on the road right across the US so you see a mix of personalities in the different regions. Charlotte, where we are based is a nice city with a mix of old south and new north, quite a mix. The people here are very friendly and we have been welcomed by almost everybody we have met. I have learnt a few new choice phrases too, but all in all we have had a very smooth transition and are having a lot of fun.

2. What about the racing scene, is it as you expected? How do you explain the scale to people at home in Australia?

Well, to be honest, even I did not appreciate the scale of NASCAR. The team I drive for Wood Brothers JTG Racing, has over 60 race vehicles for this season. I am on a relativly small deal and I will have up to 10 Race trucks to use for the year (I have already used up one after my last race crash). It is impossible to explain how different this form of racing is - so I don't really bother to try! I just tell my friends that they need to come over and see it for themselves. I do honestly feel a little intimidated by the size and intensity of this deal here.

3. You're racing a pickup truck, but it's not like the Brute Ute's we have in Australia. Can you talk us through the truck?

It is basically a NASCAR cup car with a different body on it. At most tracks they are almost the same speed as a cup car, they have a slightly smaller engine but more down force than a cup car so it is very even on performance. They run around 700 horsepower and corner with more G force than a V8 Supercar, so the are fast machines.

4. What about the first two races, which have both ended with crashes? How tough is it for you?

Not too bad really. It is not a perfect situation but with such a big transition it was never going to be easy. Both crashes were not caused by me - I basically got caught up in somebody else's crash (I should call them a wreck now). In both races we were running with the main pack and were very competitive. 2006 was always going to be a learning year and inexperience was going to get me in a little trouble. It would have been great to finish the first couple to get some momentum, but my first goal is to get experience and settle in without doing anything stupid - so far so good. Of course I can't crash every race for very long or I will get the sack, so hopefully we can get some finishes soon.

5. How long do you think it will be before you get out of the danger zone, and maybe become a contender?

Give me six months before we get too excited

6. Now you are there, does Nascar still feel like the right move after two championships in V8 Supercars? Can you see yourself becoming and winner and also moving up to the top-level Nascar stock car championship?

Yes to both. It is by far the best decision I have made in my racing career. Whichever way it works out , It will have been a blast. I am not the sort of guy to do the same thing every year, so for my career I needed to change and re challenge myself again. Life in general is all about change too, as a family we are experiencing a new country and a new way of life for a while. We miss Australia a bunch, and look forward to returning home after this journey, but while it lasts we intend to make the most of it.

STORY ENDS

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