LAUNCESTON'S Marcos Ambrose has claimed pole position for tomorrow's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Watkins Glen International road course in New York State.
Ambrose is aiming for his third Sprint Cup win at the track and has been installed as a firm favourite.
The lead Richard Petty Motorsports team driver has claimed just three poles in three seasons of Sprint Cup racing but has won five times at Watkins Glen with three wins in the second tier Nationwide Series.
Ambrose had to apologise to his pit crew after his frustration with the handling of his No. 9 Ford Fusion car during practice saw him lose his temper.
``I did apologise to my team and that's because I did lose my cool a little bit yesterday. I was just frustrated with the second practice,'' Ambrose told reporters.
``It just didn't feel like we made enough progress and I was just worried for the race and for qualifying. I know we were fast during the practice, but I just didn't feel like it was feeling right for me.
``They did a good job to calm me down and not overreact to what I was saying and made some small adjustments for today and they've worked out really well.''
Ambrose clocked a top speed of 128.241 miles per hour in his qualifying lap.
``It was a great lap. It wasn't perfect. It wasn't the cleanest lap I could have done, but it certainly carried a lot of momentum and it was enough to get the job done,'' Ambrose said.
Fellow Tasmanian Owen Kelly, making his Sprint Cup debut at Watkins Glen, qualified in 23rd place for the Phoenix Racing team in the Watkins Glen field of 43 cars.
Ambrose is currently in 22nd place in the 2013 Sprint Cup series and will be hoping for a good result to boost his standing.
``I'm looking forward to the race and feel like we have as good a chance as anybody to win and go three in a row,'' he said.
The race is being telecast live tomorrow on ONE starting at 2am (Tastime).