NASCAR notes: Dirt version' for Legends cars

Australian driver Marcos Ambrose has become one of NASCAR's best road racers, but he has let some likely road-course victories slip through his fingers.

The most notable was in the recent Sprint Cup race at Infineon Raceway, where he stalled his car while leading the race under caution in an attempt to save fuel. He also has experienced late-race disappointments at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, where NASCAR’s Nationwide Series will race this weekend.

He has finished seventh, third and second in the past three races there, but had a chance to win them all. In 2007, he tangled with Robby Gordon while leading late. In 2008, he led a race-high 27 laps, but was caught speeding on pit road. Last year, he lost the lead to eventual winner Carl Edwards in the final corner.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing because we should have won Montreal multiple times, but this time no dramas,” Ambrose said in his team’s weekly release. “We’re going there to win, and I’ll keep racing there until we do win.”

Trucks standings

NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series will race Friday at Chicagoland Speedway, and points leader Todd Bodine leads runner-up Aric Almirola by 211 points in the championship standings.

But 39 points behind Almirola is Timothy Peters, who won the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway and is riding a string of six consecutive top-10 finishes.

“I just hope we can keep our momentum going,” Peters said on a NASCAR teleconference this week. “Chicago is a place that I have always enjoyed in the past, going in there and testing for the teams that I've driven for, and we had a good run there last year. I hope that we can go in there and capitalize on it for sure.”

Peters also said that he’s not too optimistic about overtaking his friend Bodine in the points race.

“It’s his to lose,” he said. “Hopefully we can gain on him but definitely to beat him ... you never want to wish any bad luck, but he's going to have to have some bad luck right now. They are on their game.”

Legends cars

Bruton Smith, chairman and CEO of Speedway Motorsports, Inc., and former NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham, now CEO of Ray Evernham Enterprises, are getting down and dirty with Legends cars.

The two have worked together to produce a dirt version of the Legends cars. It will be designed by Evernham. Legends cars, produced by a Smith-owned company, are scale models of 1930s and '40s Ford and Chevrolet coupes that are raced mostly on short asphalt tracks such as the quarter-mile circuits at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Now the Legends cars are poised to go back even closer to the sport’s grass-roots level.

"The local tracks around the country are where the stars of the sport get their start, and we need to create the opportunities that inspire young racers today and hone their talents for tomorrow," Smith said in announcing the new car. "Grass-roots racing is a passion of mine and of Ray's, and through this partnership we can give back to our roots and support the future of grass-roots racing."

The series will start at East Lincoln Speedway in Stanley, N.C., a track owned by Evernham. The circuit will expand to other dirt facilities.