NASCAR’s Marcus Ambrose will drive with Michael Shank Racing at the 51st Grand Am Rolex 24 later this month.
Ambrose had been listed as tentative, depending on whether regular Shank pilot Ozz Negri could fully recover from a mountain bike accident which left him with n injured ankle. Finally, though Negri seems to be recovering apace, team owner Michael Shank decided to sign Ambrose, deciding he would be an asset whether Negri was ready or not.
“We couldn’t have been happier with how quickly Marcos gelled with everyone on this team,” Shank said in a press statement. “Obviously he’s very fast in the car, but he was also great out of it. That’s hugely important for a race like this--you need to have everyone pulling in the same direction. He fits that perfectly.
“We are incredibly lucky to have someone like him interested in racing for us. Ozz is coming back quickly, but we wanted to go ahead and commit to having Marcos with us now.”
Ambrose tested the #60 Shank Riley Ford at at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 last weekend, along with the rest of the driving crew: John Pew, NASCAR’s AJ Allmendinger, and IndyCar’s Justin Wilson—which piloted the #60 to victory in the 2012 Rolex 24. The #60 Shank Riley Ford was third-quickest at the Roar. Its sister car, the #6, which finished third in 2012, was quickest in the three-day test.
“I had a good time with the Mike Shank guys this weekend,” said Ambrose, who has two NASCAR Sprint Cup victories to his credit. “I’m here for Ozz, and for Michael Shank Racing, just trying to get through a difficult time with Ozz’s injury. I’m only here to help.
“I feel privileged to be with this team, it’s a championship team. It’s a lot of fun to be in this car, it’s beautiful and the speed really flies out of this car! I feel really comfortable behind the wheel and I just want to help anyway I can.”
Ozz Negri is busy doing physical therapy, making sure he is fit and ready to take a turn in the car.
“The biggest thing for me is to not do anything that keeps this team from winning the race again,” Negri, explained. “It was hard to watch everyone test this weekend, but I still was very proud of the results. We’ve been working very hard on our set ups and it was good to see such a strong test.“Marcos is a good guy and has the right attitude with this team. I’m happy to have someone like him as my teammate and hopefully I can contribute to another big result in a couple of weeks.”
Michael Shank Racing hopes to have all its drivers back and ready to defend its 2012 win at the 51st Grand Am Rolex 24, Jan. 26–27. Tickets are available now though the Grand-Am.com website.
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