No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion
• Marcos Ambrose started the race at Pocono Raceway from the seventh spot
• Ambrose finished the 500-mile NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in the 34th position
• Unofficially, Ambrose sits in 21st position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
Race Summary: Starting the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway from the seventh position, Marcos Ambrose fought a tight race car in the early laps of the 500-mile event.
After slipping back several positions in the first 18 laps of the race, crew chief Todd Parrott called the No. 9 Stanley Ford into the pits for a trackbar adjustment, four fresh tires and fuel during a competition caution period on Lap 19. Several teams elected to take only two tires during their pit stops to gain track position, which resulted in Ambrose restarting in the 21st position.
Continuing to fight a tight condition, Parrott again called Ambrose to the pits for a routine green flag stop on Lap 44. The crew made air pressure and spring rubber adjustments and added four fresh tires and fuel to the car in an attempt to remedy the Stanley machine’s handling issues.
After running several laps, Ambrose relayed to Parrott and the crew that the changes made during the previous pit stop had helped the car to roll better through Turn 3. Running consistent and competitive lap times, Ambrose began to move through the field and was running in the 14th spot by Lap 60.
Pitting on Lap 69 for the second round of green flag stops of the day, the Richard Petty Motorsports crew went to work on the Stanley Ford making air pressure and wedge adjustments and adding fuel and four fresh tires. Again, Ambrose let the crew know the car seemed to be handling even better after that last set of adjustments.
With just over 100 laps to run in the 200-lap event, Ambrose communicated to the crew that the No. 9 had lost third gear and the car was becoming extremely tight. Coming into the pits on Lap 94 for adjustments, Ambrose realized the car had lost first and second gear as well, and he lost valuable time on pit road as the crew had to push the car to get it going after the stop. Having only fourth gear to work with, Ambrose quickly went a lap down as he struggled to get the car up to speed after pitting.
Coming to the pits again on Lap 122 for fuel and fresh tires, Ambrose relayed to the crew the clutch had broken on the No. 9 machine and Parrott made the call to take the car to the garage on Lap 124 for repairs. Working hard to fix the Stanley car, the RPM crew got Ambrose back on track on Lap 170. Ambrose was able to finish the remaining 30 laps of the race, allowing him to pick up two positions in the finishing order to end the day in the 34th spot.
Ambrose now sits in the 21st spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings heading into the 15th race of the season at Michigan International Speedway next weekend.
No. 43 Medallion Financial Ford Fusion
• AJ Allmendinger started in the 28th position Sunday afternoon at Pocono Raceway
• Allmendinger finished the 200-lap event at the 2.5-mile tri-oval in the 25th position
• Unofficially, Allmendinger sits in 18th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
Race Summary: AJ Allmendinger lined up in the 28th spot for the start of the 500-mile race at Pocono Raceway on Sunday afternoon. An early caution period enabled Allmendinger to communicate to crew chief Mike Shiplett that the Medallion Financial Ford was tight on entry in the turns and loose in the center and exiting the turns. Shiplett called for chassis adjustments and four fresh tires and fuel during the first pit stop of the day, which came on Lap 10.
Restarting in the 40th position, Allmendinger relayed to Shiplett and crew the changes made during the previous pit stop had not helped the handling of the car, and the Medallion Financial Ford had no grip and was sliding all over the racetrack. Shiplett continued to make adjustments to the car during the ensuing pit stops to help remedy the car’s handling issues, and after a routine pit stop under green on Lap 65, Allmendinger let his team know the No. 43 machine was driving better. At the halfway point of the race, Allmendinger had worked his way back up through the field and was running in the 23rd position.
As the laps wore on, Allmendinger began to fight more and more with the handling of the Medallion Financial Ford and couldn’t seem to get it to turn through the center of the corners. Shiplett instructed his Richard Petty Motorsports crew to make an array of chassis adjustments during the next several pit stops to help correct the condition. Trouble in the pits due to the rear air gun exploding during the seventh pit stop of the day, coupled with handling issues, caused Allmendinger to fall a lap down in the later stages of the 200-lap event.
Though Shiplett and crew worked to correct the handling issues during the final pit stops of the day, Allmendinger was unable to get his lap back and crossed the finish line in the 25th position when the checkered flag flew.
Allmendinger fell two positions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings following the race in Pocono. He now holds down 18th place heading to Michigan International Speedway next weekend.