Marcos Ambrose has brought home a 19th place finish from the latest round of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Loudon, with the DEWALT Ford Fusion working hard on the tough one mile oval.
In a race where overtaking was at a premium, the Richard Petty Motorsports crew worked hard on Ambrose's car throughout the 301 mile long race.
The result sees Ambrose move up a position in the season standings to be 18th after 19 races.
"At the end when I was told that we finished 19th, I was honestly surprised; we felt a lot faster than that result," Ambrose said.
"It was a tough deal, it's hard to make up positions around here, and we need to keep working on our flat track program.
"Still, the DEWALT Ford Fusion is improving with every outing, and we now have a week off to think about the Brickyard. It's always a highlight of the year; I can't wait to get out there."
Starting from 20th position, Ambrose made a solid start to run in 17th place after seven circuits, but when the first round of green flag stops occurred on lap 65, the number nine machine was situated 19th.
A debris caution slowed the field for the first time on lap 88 of 301, with Ambrose only receiving fuel and a chassis change in the subsequent pit stop.
Taking the green flag from 16th, Ambrose ran for a stint in 15th position after a hectic restart, but faded as the run progressed, pitting from 17th under racing conditions.
On lap 189 the second debris caution for the day flashed on, with Ambrose staying out, taking a wave around back onto the lead lap.
Restarting under threatening skies, Ambrose held station in 19th position, before making another green flag pit stop on lap 229.
When David Reutimann blew his engine shortly after Ambrose's service, the Australian was able to join back onto the tail of the lead lap by taking advantage of another wave around.
Seeing in the restart from 21st, Ambrose quickly moved up into 19th position, the same place he held at the chequered flag.
The race was won by Kasey Kahne, over Denny Hamlin and Clint Bowyer.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now has a rare weekend off before the Brickyard 400, which is headlining the new "Super Weekend" at the Indianaopolis Motor Speedway. For the first time ever, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the Grand-Am sports car series will also be racing at the legendary facility.
Loudon 301 Race Results
1. Kasey Kahne (Chevrolet)
2. Denny Hamlin (Toyota)
3. Clint Bowyer (Toyota)
4. Dale Earnhardt Jnr (Chevrolet)
5. Brad Keselowski (Dodge)
6. Jeff Gordon (Chevrolet)
7. Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)
8. Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet)
9. Greg Biffle (Ford)
10. Ryan Newman (Chevrolet)
19. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)
NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings (after 19 of 36 races)
1. Matt Kenseth (Ford)- 707points
2.Dale Earnhardt Jnr (Chevrolet)- 691
3.Greg Biffle (Ford)- 667
4.Jimmie Johnson (Chevrolet)- 656
5.Denny Hamlin (Toyota)-628
6.Kevin Harvick (Chevrolet)- 622
7.Tony Stewart (Chevrolet)- 618
8.Martin Truex Jnr (Toyota)- 617
9.Clint Bowyer (Toyota)- 614
10.Brad Keselowski (Dodge)- 613
18. Marcos Ambrose (Ford)- 495