9 MARCOS AMBROSE, Ford

Team: Richard Petty Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: 17th, 49 points out of a spot in the Chase. Gained two spots last week.

WATKINS GLEN RECORD: Two wins and five top-three finishes in six races.

LOOKING AHEAD: Ambrose knows this weekend is his best bet to win a race this year and qualify for the Chase. "Obviously, I'm very comfortable at a road course, and I just love Watkins Glen," said Ambrose. "I love the area, the track and going to victory lane there. I know what I need at this track as far as the setup of the car, the feel of the car, and it's something I can communicate back to Drew (Blickensderfer, crew chief). I don't need to a lot of direction and can really tell the guys what adjustments to make so we have a good car on Sunday. We just always feel like we're capable of being up front and competing for the win."

LOOKING BACK: After struggling during the first half of the race, Ambrose rallied in the final 50 laps to finish 14th. "If you had asked me at the start of the day would I take a top-15 finish, I would have said yes," said Ambrose. "But it was just a little frustrating there at the end. We had some issues (the car got stuck in third gear and Ambrose was forced to pit during the final caution for repairs), and we let a few spots go. But we'll keep digging and keep working on it."

ETC.: Ambrose realizes that pit strategy is always a main ingredient in determining which team wins a road course race. "Even if you have the best car, which does help, nothing is handed to you," said Ambrose. "You need the best strategy, good pit stops and have everything fall in place. It takes a whole team, more than just the driver to win."