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Marcos Ambrose

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Marcos Ambrose
Born: September 1, 1976
Birthplace: Launceston, Tasmania
Awards: none
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Statistics
Car #, Team 9-Richard Petty Motorsports
2011 Sprint Cup Series Position: none
Best Cup Position: none
First Race: 2008 Toyota / Save Mart 350
First Win: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen
Last Win: 2012 Finger Lakes 355 at the Glen none
Wins 2 Top Tens Poles
1 12 0
NASCAR Nationwide Series Statistics
Car #, Team 59-JTG Racing
2007 Busch Series Position: none
Best Busch/Nationwide Position: 8th
First Race: 2007 Orbitz 300
First Win: 2008 Zippo 200 at the Glen
Last Win: 2011 NAPA 200 at Montreal none
Wins Top Tens Poles
4 8 4
NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Statistics
22 races run over 1 year.
Best Truck Position: 21
First Race: 2006 Kroger 250
Last Race: 2006 Ford 200
First Win: none
Last Win: none
Wins Top Tens Poles
0 4 1

Marcos Ambrose (born September 1,1976 in Launceston, Tasmania Australia) is a Australian NASCAR driver of the #9 Stanley Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports for the Sprint Cup Series and occasionally in the Nationwide Series. Ambrose is a Australian V8 Supercar champion in 2003 and 2004.

Ambrose began racing karts at the age of ten. After several Tasmanian state titles, he moved into Formula Ford in 1996. The Ambrose family have a rich history in this formula as Marcos' father Ross Ambrose, along with Ralph Firman Sr, co-founded of Formula Ford chassis builder Van Diemen. Marcos competed in both Australian Formula Ford and British Formula Ford, before stepping up to British Formula Three for a brief period.

When his budget could no longer sustain his career in Europe, Marcos returned to Australia, where he was recruited by Stone Brothers Racing, competing in the Australian V8 Supercar series from 2001 until 2005. With them, he won two championships in 2003 and 2004, the first Ford driver to do so in seven years.

The Ford Motor Company signed Ambrose to participate overseas in the United States with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2006. However, Ambrose had to wait until part way through the 2006 season to begin. NASCAR did not clear Ambrose to race the NCTS' first three races, as they were held on intermediate to high-speed ovals, and like fellow Wood Brothers/JTG Racing driver Bobby East, Ambrose was not cleared to start in the faster races. Ambrose made his Truck Series debut on April 1 2006 at the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway, qualifying 20th and finishing 33rd after being caught up in an incident unfolding in front of him. [1]

Ambrose is the first notable Australian driver in a national NASCAR series event since Dick Johnson in 1990.

Team AustraliaEdit

Team Australia is a multi-levelled motorsport program headed by Australian businessman Craig Gore. It became the naming rights sponsors of Marcos Ambrose’s entry in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2006 after his first race.

Team Australia are already the sponsor of two-car Champ Car, Champ Car Atlantic Championship and Formula BMW teams in the US, alongside several motorsport interests in Australia. The new sponsorship will be weaved into a nation-wide marketing campaign designed to promote quality Australian and Australian-themed products and Australia as a tourism destination.

The new green and gold Ford F-150 truck carries Team Australia, Aussie Vineyards and R. M. Williams signage.

V8-SuperCars in AustraliaEdit

In 2001, while waiting for offers of racing deals, Marcos Ambrose received the then biggest break of his career when he was invited by Ford Automation corporated team Stone Brothers Racing. His sponsors included Red Bull, Kingsford, Ford Automation, and Havoline.

Ambrose stunned the world when he won the pole position in his first ever V8 Supercar Race. He also won poles for other races in the event including the most famous and biggest event of the sport; the Bathurst 1000. Ambrose as a result won rookie of the year and finished 8th in the championship.

In 2002, Ambrose snared the pole spot at Phillip Island Australia's event, and won the first round. In early 2002, Ambrose found himself racing next to a life-long cart racing rival, New Zealand's Greg Murphy. Contact between the two during an event, led to the renewal of their life-long heated rivalry. Ambrose and Murphy made it clear that they never really liked each other after the race ended. Ambrose finished 3rd in the championship.

In 2003, Ambrose started his season by winning Stone Bros. an event in Adelaide South Australia. He then won at Eastern Creek Motorsport Park in Sydney. He clenched his first championship in round 1 of the next event.

In 2004, Ambrose won 4 rounds enroute with an unbeatable lead but his more famous headline of 2004 was again a feud with Greg Murphy;

At the Bathurst 1000, Ambrose dominated the event, but a caution, lost him his speed. As a result of the caution, rival Greg Murphy managed to slip by Ambrose to win the race with about 9 laps left. Murphy's co-winner Rick Kelly ended up being spun out by Ambrose just sight of the chequered flags. After the race ended, Murphy accused Ambrose of aggressive driving and confronted the Tasmanian in a garage. Officials declared that Ambrose did show aggressive driving at Rick Kelly, fining Ambrose $10,000 and putting him on indefinite probation. Ambrose despite the penalty, managed to win his second consecutive V8-Supercar championship being the first Ford driver to win 2 consecutive titles since 1988-89.

In 2005, Ambrose announced his decision to leave the V8-Supercars in 2006, to race his lifetime dream in a life-long desire to be in NASCAR. This made the headlines for many miles in Australia.

Ambrose started out the season hoping to win a third consecutive championship before leaving Australia. He won a clean sweep in Adelaide and was near to winning the 2005 driver's championship until a feud with again Greg Murphy stole headlines across the globe;

At the Bathurst 1000 on a restart with 20 laps left, Marcos Ambrose got slight contact with Greg Murphy who was so enraged with his mortal rival, that in the next turn, Murphy shoved Ambrose violently into the wall. Ambrose barely avoided flying off a cliff in the process but his car was damaged enough that his hopes to win the title ended. The accident also caused cars to jam up behind the accident site and a red flag came out to clean the debris. While the officials rushed to the accident scene, Ambrose and Murphy walked face-to-face shouting at each other. The accident also foiled Murphy's hopes to be the first driver in history to win 3 in a row Bathurst 1000s. Greg Murphy retorted after the event that "Ambrose has an ego problem that we all know about and it reared it's ugly (Expletive) again today. He thinks he is in the right and that everybody should move over for him and that is not the darn case. Ambrose can bugger off and leave I won't care. I won't miss him."

Ambrose just smiled when hearing the interview, saying to reporters "Greg will blame me because he tends to blame anybody but himself for these things. Greg made a mistake in that corner and I managed to get by him for a spot fairly. I was just plain driving down the cutting and I just got clean wiped out, but as usual nothing is Greg's fault in his own world."

During the red flag for the crash, officials parked Murphy's car and team for the rest of the event as a consequence for rough driving. Ambrose received support from fans, officials and drivers in saying that Murphy's move was unwarranted and illegal. Two days later, Murphy also faced a $110,000 fine and was put on probation until December 31st the next year in 2006. This incident cost both Ambrose and Murphy the 2005 title.

NASCAR Truck Series Edit

In January 2006 after a final Christmas in Australia, Ambrose and his family moved to the USA for Ambrose to race in NASCAR. Ambrose was picked up by Tad Geschickter, his wife Jodie Geschickter and Brad Daughtery to drive for JTG-Daughtery Racing in the Truck series for 2006. His sponsors would be TEAM Australia, and Aussie Experience. Ambrose debuted in NASCAR in the truck series Martinsville event and finished 33rd after starting in 20th spot. He started 3rd at Charlotte and then had his first top five at Kansas in 3rd spot. He won a pole spot at Kentucky and finished 3rd in Nashville. He then finished 7th at Las Vegas and announced he would drive the #59 Kingsford Ford Fusion in 2007's Busch series for JTG-Daughtery Racing.

Nationwide SeriesEdit

In 2007, Marcos Ambrose debuted as a NASCAR Busch series driver. 2007 was Ambrose's greatest year in the NBS (Now NNS). Ambrose for 2007-2008 would drive for JTG Daughtery Racing in the #59 Kingsford/STP/Hickory Kingsford Ford.

At Daytona, he finished in 16th place. The next week Ambrose finished in 25th place. The third race at Mexico City found Ambrose record his career best. At Mexico City, Ambrose initially was running in 17th spot for the final laps, but Ambrose managed to reach 8th spot by the time of the checkers. At Vegas he finished in tenth place and finished in a career best 6th spot at Dover.

Marcos Ambrose had his breakout race at Montreal's inaugural event and gained public notice by the NASCAR fans and Cup series drivers. In that race, Ambrose led 37 laps out of 75 but found his race coming to a bizarre heartbreak. With 2 laps left in the event, popular driver Robby Gordon drove by Ambrose for the lead. Kevin Harvick caused controversy when he intentionally wrecked driver Scott Pruett on the restart, causing a caution to come out. During the first few seconds of the caution, Ambrose drove into Robby Gordon's back bumper shoving Gordon until Gordon spun out. Robby Gordon drove back up front under yellow but NASCAR said that Gordon made an illegal pass and told him to restart in 14th place. Gordon was infuriated by the order since he believed he was supposed to restart in 1st or 2nd. Gordon was black-flagged on the restart, but instead of serving the penalty, Gordon tapped Ambrose in the back bumper sending the #59 into a spin.

While Gordon kept driving on the track unscored, Kevin Harvick controversially avoided penalties for wrecking Pruett, to go on and win the race. Ambrose recovered for a 7th place finish. After the race ended, Ambrose said "I forgive Robby. I am just devastated for my guys. But since I've been given a chance to race the greatest drivers ever if I have the worst day I will not be mad." The next morning, NASCAR disqualified Gordon from his first place finish at Montreal, and parked Gordon for the Cup series race at Pocono for actions detrimental to the sport, wrecking another driver intentionally, defying orders from the race director, and celebrating like he won the event on the track. The next morning on his website, Robby Gordon wrote "I want to start my day by sincerely apologizing to Marcos Ambrose, his sponsors, the #59 team, my sponsors, fans, and to NASCAR for any part I played in this weekend's chaos in the Busch series at Montreal. I accept the penalty and we understand why we got today's parking."

To make up for this incident, Robby Gordon offered Marcos a car for the Cup series race ay Watkins Glen event the next weekend, numbered as 77. Marcos accepted but because of rain, Marcos did not qualify.

Ambrose finished 6th in the final standings for the Busch series which was renamed to the Nationwide Series; but his sponsors Kingsford Coal, Clorox, and Kleenex were greatly infuriated when Ambrose was told that despite his NNS standings finish, he did not win the 2007 NNS rookie of the year.

In 2008 Ambrose started his year slowly. At Mexico City, Marcos Ambrose finished in second place but was involved in an accident with road course specialist Boris Said. On lap 56, Said got loose in turn 2 of the restart. Ambrose who was right next to Said went by but Said's uncontrolled car caused Said to wreck. An irate Boris Said blamed his accident on Marcos and under yellow pointed his finger towards Marcos Ambrose' #59 Ford. NASCAR said that Boris just wrecked himself and did not penalize either of them. Said repeatedly vowed to get even nonetheless, throughout the rest of the season.

At Watkins Glen, Ambrose took the lead of the NNS event with 5 laps left after Jimmie Johnson ran out of gas. Ambrose pulled ahead of drivers Dario Franchitti, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Kevin Harvick but was nervous in the final 3 laps when he found himself behind a lapped Boris Said. However to his sponsors, fans and his own, surprises, Boris Said did nothing to perform revenge for what happened at Mexico City. Said later admitted in late 2008 that he got over the Mexico City stuff. Ambrose won his first NNS race that day as all the fans applauded for him remembering his heartbreaks like at Montreal in 2007 among others. His win made him the first ever Australian to win in NASCAR but the third foreign drivers to win, behind other road course aces Ron Fellows & Juan Pablo Montoya.

At Montreal, Ambrose was expected to be the guy to win and get redemption from 2007's heartbreak at the track. This was the first race held during rainstorms and rain tires were used. Ambrose got by Scott Pruett, on lap 13 and dominated yet again. On lap 41, as it became clear that the race would soon end due to the rain, Ambrose was leading during pit stops. Ambrose however was black-flagged by NASCAR for speeding on pit road, on lap 44. Ron Fellows took the lead winning the rain-shortened race, having only driven 48 laps. Ambrose finished 3rd as his best Montreal result.

After 2008, for 2009; Ambrose was only given 2 races a year to run for the NNS season, to concentrate on his Sprint Cup hopes. Ambrose was renumbered 47 by his team. Ambrose has not raced a NNS season full-time since 2008.

At Watkins Glen, Ambrose won his second consecutive race at Watkins Glen after a controversial but legal pass on dominant driver Kyle Busch. At Montreal 2 weeks later, Ambrose dominated the race again leading 60 laps of 75. However because of a mistake in the final turn, Carl Edwards slipped by Ambrose to steal the win.

In 2010, Ambrose at Watkins Glen, won a third consecutive NNS race leading 60 laps of 90. At Montreal, Ambrose was given the car he won at the Glen with, for the race. Ambrose yet again dominated but suffered electrical problems with about 15 laps left. After the Montreal race, Ambrose announced a new Cup deal for Richard Petty Motorsports; ultimately deciding to part ways with JTG-Daughtery Racing after 2010.

In 2011, Ambrose only ran one race; at Montreal Ambrose spun out because of contact from Jacques Villeneuve. However this time luck went with Ambrose because in the waning laps, Ambrose led and passed by the final turn's curb successfully on the final lap to win the Montreal race after 5 years of trying and 5 years of frustration.

In 2013 Ambrose made a return to the NNS in the inaugural race at Mid-Ohio Raceway. Marcos Ambrose finished in the top ten but was spun out by driver Parker Kligerman who blamed Ambrose for an accident.

Sprint Cup Edit

In late summer 2007 after popular NASCAR driver Robby Gordon was penalized and parked for a Cup race by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Ambrose from a win at Montreal, Gordon offered to provide Ambrose a car sometime in 2007 for an attempt at making Ambrose's first Sprint Cup start. Ambrose attempted the 2007 Centurion Boats at the Glen at Watkins Glen International in the #77 Camping World Ford for Robby Gordon Motorsports but failed due to qualifying being rained out. He is attempting the 2007 Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. In September 2007, Gordon repeated the offer, but Ambrose declined at the last second to see his wife give birth to their daughter Adelaide. In 2009 Marcos will race for JTG-Daughtery Racing and will drive the number 47 car with sponsorship by Kingsford,Little Debbie, Clorox and Bush's Baked Beans. Ambrose is locked in for the 45 team's closesure.

In 2008, Marcos Ambrose made his Cup debut, driving for Wood Bros. Racing at Watkins Glen. There, Ambrose ran in the top five. With 25 laps left, he was spun out by Elliott Sadler. An irate Ambrose growled after the race that he wanted to beat Elliott Sadler's (Expletive) for the accident. Sadler later apologized. Ambrose announced that 2008 would be his last full-time NNS season before he would reduce 2009's NNS season to 2 races (Watkins Glen & Montreal); to concentrate on his Cup series hopes. After the Sonoma race, Ambrose raced 10 more Cup races, having his greatest finish of the year at Watkins Glen in 3rd place.

In 2009, Ambrose drove the Cup series full-time for JTG Daughtery Racing in the #47 car. At Talladega, Ambrose avoided a chaotic last lap including Carl Edwards' horrific crash to cross the finish line in 4th place. Ambrose finished in 6th place, at Daytona in July, avoiding Kyle Busch's heartbreaking last lap accident. At Sonoma, Ambrose started in 3rd place and finished in 3rd place. At Bristol, Ambrose had an impressive finish of 3rd place. Ambrose said after that race that that 3rd place finish felt like a win to him and his team.

In 2010, Ambrose had a slow start to the season. At Sonoma, Ambrose had his first impressive run of the year, nearly winning his first NASCAR Cup series win. With 7 laps left in the race, a caution came out for Brad Keselowski spinning out into a pull-over site. In turn 1, Ambrose stopped his car to save fuel losing 6 spots. Under yellow, Ambrose eventually refired and drove back to first place aside future winner Jimmie Johnson. However in a similar situation to the Robby Gordon feud at Montreal in 2007; his stopping on the track failed to maintain caution speed. Ambrose was put in 7th spot for the restart. Ambrose finished 6th and said after the race "I understand the rules. I am just disappointed for my guys. It's NASCAR's house and I shall always follow the rules. I don't agree with it, I don't like it and that is only because I've lost the race."

Shortly after the Daytona event in July, Marcos Ambrose announced that he would be leaving JTG-Daughtery Racing to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2011. At first it was believed that Ambrose was determined to give up his NASCAR career and return to race the V8 Supercars in Australia; Ambrose denied this rumor and stated that while he would consider returning to Australia, he was likely to return to the Cup series in 2011.

At Watkins Glen in August 2010, Marcos Ambrose started in 11th place. The race was mostly a battle between him and Juan Pablo Montoya. Ambrose after a long exciting battle, got by Montoya for the lead, but after a caution in the waning laps, lost the lead to Montoya who pulled away to win the race. While Marcos Ambrose fought to try to catch up with Montoya, Kurt Busch zoomed out of nowhere in the final turns to steal second place. Ambrose ultimately finished in 3rd place.

Richard Petty Hires Marcos Ambrose

In late 2010, Ambrose announced his new deal to drive for 7-time Daytona 500 winner and 7 time NASCAR cup Champion, Richard Petty, in the #9 Stanley/Dewalt Tools Ford for a multi-year extension replacing Kasey Kahne. At the 2011 Daytona 500 Ambrose finished in 37th, after being caught up in an accident. After Daytona, Ambrose showed impressive runs in the spring races. As it got closer to summer, Ambrose made a series of top ten or top five finishes surprising many.

At Sonoma, Marcos Ambrose' goal was to get redemption from his 2010 heartbreak at Sonoma. Ambrose did show some redemption, finishing in 5th place.

At Watkins Glen, Ambrose started the race in third place. Ambrose led 21 laps of the race, but being outran by Kyle Busch for the most laps led. On the final restart with 2 laps left, Ambrose was in third spot behind Busch, and Brad Keselowski. In turn 1 on the restart, Busch wheel-hopped too far, allowing Keselowski and Ambrose to get by. In the inner-loop Ambrose got by Keselowski who was unable to force the Australian champion into a mistake. The next time by, Ambrose took the white flag and with it his first NASCAR Cup series win unchallenged. Just after the checkers, a caution came out because Boris Said had previously tapped David Ragan causing a horrific pile-up in turn 2.

In a similar performance to his NASCAR victory at the Glen, the next week at Montreal, Ambrose led the final 5 laps unchallenged to his first Montreal victory ever, after 5 years of frustration (In 2007, Ambrose lost through contact with Robby Gordon; in 2008 he was penalized for speeding issues; in 2009 he was passed by Carl Edwards on the final lap and in 2010 he suffered battery problems).

Ambrose' 2011 season is so far his greatest NASCAR season of his career.

In 2012, Ambrose was slower than 2011. At Daytona in the Budweiser Shootout, Ambrose almost won his first oval track NASCAR Cup victory leading with 2 laps left in the race. After Ambrose led to the white flag, Tony Stewart and Kyle Busch got by Ambrose for the lead. Ambrose finished in third place as his best Daytona finish at that point.

At Sonoma, Ambrose won the pole, leading the first laps; but after caution #1 Ambrose lost his speed, finishing in 8th place.

At Watkins Glen in 2012, Ambrose led 8 laps during the race. With 16 laps left, Kyle Busch zoomed by Ambrose and Brad Keselowski for the lead. With 2 laps left, Busch slipped in oil when taking the white flag. Eventually Busch spun out from the oil, and contact with Keselowski. Ambrose in a repeat of 2011's race, after an exciting last lap battle with Keselowski, won the race, his second NASCAR Cup victory both at Watkins Glen.

In 2013, Ambrose slightly improved his performance. Ambrose at Sonoma, finished in 5th place like in 2011.

At Watkins Glen, Ambrose was looking to win 3 consecutive Watkins Glen races. Ambrose led 51 laps against the second greatest car of Kyle Busch. However a pit road mistake led Ambrose to lose the race lead and restart a caution in 15th place. Ambrose never recovered. While Busch went on to win the race, Ambrose while racing road course rival Max Papis, was spun out by Papis. Ambrose was visibly furious, tossing his steering wheel at the in-car camera, tossing his helmet through his window and pointing towards Papis as the field came by under caution. Papis later apologized.

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