Marcos Ambrose

Marcos Ambrose
Marcos Ambrose
Born 1 September 1976 (1976-09-01) (age 35)
Launceston, TasmaniaAustraliaTasmania
Achievements 1999 European Formula Ford champion
2003, 2004 V8 Supercar champion
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career
117 races run over 4 years
Car no., team #9 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford
2011 position 19th
Best finish 18th – 2009
First race 2008 Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sonoma)
First win 2011 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen (Watkins Glen)
Wins Top tens Poles
1 25 0
NASCAR Nationwide Series career
75 races run over 5 years
2010 position 89th
Best finish 8th – 2007
First race 2007 Orbitz 300 (Daytona)
First win 2008 Zippo 200 at the Glen (Watkins Glen)
Last win 2011 NAPA Auto Parts 200 (Montreal)
Wins Top tens Poles
4 16 4
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career
22 races run over 1 years
2006 position 21st
Best finish 21st – 2006
First race 2006 Kroger 250 (Martinsville)
Last race 2006 Ford 200 (Homestead)
Wins Top tens Poles
0 4 1
Statistics current as of November 11th, 2011.

Marcos Ambrose (born 1 September 1976)[1] is a championship winning Australian racing car driver. He currently drives the #9 Stanley Tools/DeWalt Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports in the American NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ambrose is a dual Australian V8 Supercar champion in 2003 and 2004, having spearheaded Stone Brothers Racing's rise in the sport which saw the team dominate for three years after a five-year drought for Ford teams in the championship.

In 2006 Ambrose relocated to the USA to pursue racing in NASCAR, starting with the Camping World Truck Series; driving a Ford for JTG Daugherty Racing. He moved up to the Nationwide Series in 2007 with the same team; driving the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion for JTG Daugherty Racing,[2] before racing in the Sprint Cup Series with Wood Brothers Racing, first with Fords then Toyotas. Ambrose joined Richard Petty Motorsports in 2011 where after four years in the Sprint cup he scored his first race win at Watkins Glen, becoming the first Australian driver to do so.


Early years

Marcos grew up in Launceston, in Tasmania, Australia, the son of another racing driver, Ross Ambrose and was educated at Scotch Oakburn College. He began racing karts at the age of ten. He won four Tasmanian state junior karting titles and was the Australian karting champion in 1995 in the Clubman Heavy class at the Dubbo circuit in New South Wales driving for Tony Kostelnak racing.

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 Formula Ford chassis builder Van Diemen. Ambrose finished second in the Australian Formula Ford championship in 1997.

In 1998 Ambrose moved to Europe in a bid to reach Formula One, competing in British Formula Ford in 1998 and 1999. In 1999 he won the European Formula Ford Championship. In 2000 he began the season racing in the French Formula Three Championship, before switching mid-season to the British Formula Three Championship.

At the end of 2000 Ambrose did not have the budget to continue in racing in Europe, and returned to Australia. In October 2000 he was invited to compete in a Young Guns invitational race held at the Gold Coast Indy 300. Ambrose won against a host of young drivers in Honda road cars.

He also represented Australia in the 1996 EFDA Nations Cup at Donington Park in England.

2001–2005: V8 Supercars Australia

Ambrose in his Stone Brothers Racing Falcon at Indy 2005

For 2001 Ambrose was signed by Stone Brothers Racing to drive the Pirtek Racing Ford Falcon. Ambrose stunned the V8 Supercar world when he qualified on pole for his first ever V8 Supercar race, supporting the Australian Grand Prix (a non-championship event before the championship season). Qualified on pole again in round three at Eastern Creek Raceway, round 9 at Queensland Raceway and round 11, the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama Circuit.

Ambrose went on to finish eighth in the championship, winning the Rookie of the Year award. He won the fourth round of the season, at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin, although he did not win any of the three races in the round.[3]

The 2002 season saw Ambrose start the season snaring the pole position at Phillip Island before recording his debut race win in the first race. He eventually finished third in the V8 Supercar Championship, including winning the final round at Sandown Raceway.

With a new BA Falcon, Ambrose gave the Ford team a great start to the 2003 season with victory in the first race of the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. He followed this fantastic start with a third career win at Eastern Creek Raceway where he led Ford home to a memorable 1–2–3 at the Sydney track. This was Ford's first clean sweep of the podium since Eastern Creek 1997 and Ambrose’s first round win for the season. After 13 rounds in the 2003 V8 Supercar Series, Ambrose was presented with the driver’s series trophy, 102 points clear of second place.

In 2004 Ambrose claimed three pole positions and five round wins and went into the final round at Eastern Creek Raceway with a virtually unbeatable lead. In the end he collected his second championship in the opening Saturday night race and then went on to clean-sweep the round in record-breaking style in his Pirtek Falcon. This was the first time Ford had won back-to-back titles since 1988–89. Teammate Russell Ingall also drove a superb final round to finish second in the championship, giving Stone Brothers Racing a memorable 1–2 Quinella finish.

Ambrose won the coveted Barry Sheene Medal in 2003 and 2004.

He started 2005 the way he ended 2004 with a clean sweep of the opening round in Adelaide. He remained in the championship lead until Round 10 at the Bathurst 1000 when he was involved in a controversial crash with Greg Murphy approaching The Cutting on the way up 'The Mountain' late in the race. The two drivers, infuriated with one another, shared some heated words after the crash.

Greg's probably going to blame me, because he tends to blame everyone but himself for these kinds of incidents. I knew that I was already 99% past him, I gave him a car-length and a half to go two-wide up into The Cutting, and I just got clean wiped out.

—Marcos Ambrose, on a TV Interview after Bathurst 2005

This crash, combined with a poor performance at the co-hosted (with the Champ Cars) round on the Gold Coast arguably lost him a third straight title. He thereafter supported teammate Russell Ingall's title bid successfully, and the two helped Ford and Stone Brothers Racing take the Drivers, Teams, and Manufacturer's championships. Ambrose finished third in the championship behind Ingall and fellow Ford driver, and good friend Craig Lowndes.

Ambrose is still the only driver to have a round win in every V8 Supercar season he has participated in.

2006: NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

At the first V8 Supercar race of 2005, Ambrose called a press conference on the Saturday morning to announce that he would leave V8 Supercars at the end of the 2005 season to try and make a career in NASCAR.

Ford Motor Company signed Ambrose to participate overseas in the United States with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing in the NASCAR Camping World 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 1 April 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.[4]

Ambrose is the first notable Australian driver in a NASCAR sanctioned event since Dick Johnson in 1990 and Australian based New Zealander Jim Richards in the mid 90s.

Ambrose made history by finishing third in the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway on 2 July 2006. This was the first time a non-American driver has finished in the top five of a truck series event since Canadian Ron Fellows won on the Watkins Glen road course on 26 June 1999. He also took the lead in the opening laps, becoming the first Australian to lead laps in Camping World Truck Series competition. The next week, he made further history by scoring his first pole position for the Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway,[5] and then leading the most laps in the race itself, though he finished 19th.[6] Ambrose scored his second podium result of his debut Craftsman Truck Series season, finishing 3rd in the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway after qualifying 11th.

Ambrose reached as high as 19th in the championship points,[7] but finished the season 21st overall and 3rd in the Rookie of the Year standings, despite having missed the first three races of the year.[2]

2007–2010: Nationwide Series & Sprint Cup Series

Marcos Ambrose during the 2007 Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

For 2007, Ambrose stepped up to the NASCAR Nationwide Series, driving the #59 Kingsford Ford Fusion fielded by Wood Brothers/JTG Racing. In the first two races of the 2007 season, he finished on the lead lap, in 16th and 25th, on tracks he had never previously raced on. In the third race of the season, the Telcel-Motorola México 200, Ambrose finished eighth, his career best at the time. having gained several positions in the last few laps of the race. He followed up his 8th place finish in Mexico City with another top 10, finishing 10th in the Sam's Town 300 in Las Vegas. He recorded a career best Nationwide Series finish of sixth after starting third at Dover in May.

At the 2007 NAPA Auto Parts 200 Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Ambrose was the dominant driver of the day, having led for 37 laps. After a caution period had finished, Ambrose had well-known Sprint Cup regular and Dakar Rally racer Robby Gordon behind him. At turn 3, Gordon successfully made a pass on Ambrose then the yellow flag came out. At the next corner, Ambrose rammed the left-rear of Gordon's car, spinning him out under yellow. Due to a caution being brought out earlier because of a large crash behind them, Gordon rejoined behind Ambrose. NASCAR officials ordered Gordon to move back to 14th position but he refused and was subsequently black-flagged. When they restarted, Gordon ran into the back of Ambrose at turn 2, spinning him around. Ambrose dropped back down the field but recovered to finish in 7th. Following this incident, Gordon made a peace offering to Ambrose in the form of a ride for the Watkins Glen road race, in Gordon's #77 Camping World Ford Fusion. However, qualifying was rained out and the field was set by owner's points, and the #77 did not make the race.[8]

In September, Ambrose skipped a second opportunity to drive the #77 car because his wife Sonja gave birth to their daughter Adelaide on the same day as the Cup race at Dover. Ambrose finished the 2007 season 8th in the points standings, highest of any driver not also competing in the Nextel Cup, and finished second behind David Ragan in the Rookie of the Year standings. On Sunday 20 April 2008 Ambrose was involved in a racing incident with Boris Said in the Nationwide Series event in Mexico. Ambrose admitted "getting into the back" of road course specialist, Said, causing Said to wreck and ruining his chances at a race where Said has consistently finished in the top 10. After the race Said claimed that he was not mad at Ambrose, but wanted to apologize to (Ambrose's) crew chief because it was going to "cost him a car," implying that Said will wreck Ambrose intentionally next time they find themselves on a NASCAR track together. Though Ambrose has repeatedly apologised, in numerous subsequent public appearances Said has not backed down in his threatening of Ambrose, at one point suggesting he would not apologize but preferred to "beat (Ambrose's) arse".

2008 #21 Sprint Cup car

Prior to the 2008 season, Wood Brothers Racing and JTG Racing split into two teams.[9] Ambrose was scheduled to drive for both teams in Sprint Cup competition in 2008. He was going to run twelve races in the #21 car for Wood Brothers and another four in the #47 car for JTG Racing. However, due to various issues he only ran 11 of the 16 planned races. He ran well in the Toyota-Save Mart 350 at Infineon, qualifying 7th out of 47 drivers and was running in the top three, but his #21 spun through the famous Turn 11 hairpin and blowing his transmission, finishing a disappointing 42nd in the 43-car field. He said he felt like beating Elliott Sadler's ass for his involvement in the accident. He attempted to make his second career Sprint Cup start in the Lenox Industrial tools 301 at New Hampshire, but failed to qualify, qualifying 45 out of 45. Again, 43 cars would start, and again, he attempted to qualify the 21 car.[10][11] He also drove the full Nationwide Series schedule. On 15 July it was announced that Ambrose would run the full 2009 cup schedule with JTG Racing with a new partnership with Brad Daugherty. The team will be renamed JTG Daugherty Racing.[12]

Ambrose got his first Nationwide Series win on 9 August 2008 in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen. The next day, he finished 3rd, after starting in 43rd position in the Centurion Boats at the Glen, behind winner Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart.

Ambrose is driving the #47 Toyota in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup series, after forming a technical alliance with Michael Waltrip Racing and Toyota Racing Development.[13] Ambrose also drove the last 4 races of the 2008 Sprint Cup series in the #47 Toyota, after NASCAR agreed to change MWR's car number from #00 to #47.[14] Ambrose entered Homestead with the #47 in the Top 35, earning him a guaranteed start for the first time in his career. However, a bad finish at Homestead put the team back out of the Top 35, so Ambrose would have been required to qualify on time for the first five races of 2009. Eventually, the team earned a Top 35 exemption after a number of teams merged. Ambrose is ineligible for 2009 Rookie of the Year consideration because he ran 11 races in 2008. Ambrose finished 10th in the 2009 Food City 500, despite losing a cylinder with about 100 laps (50 miles) to go. Ambrose would back this Top-10 finish up by posting 4 more in the first half of the season. Ambrose got his second straight Nationwide Series win at Watkins Glen, his second in two years as he held off Kyle Busch for the win. He followed up with a 2nd place in the Sprint Cup race at the Glen and a 3rd in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol.

The 2010 season was a myriad of troubles for Ambrose. Engine problems, unlucky crashes and pit road troubles plagued his racing season. However, in the 2010 Zippo 200 at The Glen, Marcos won his third straight Watkins Glen he held off Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick to win. Since the win, he started to gain some form, recording a top 10 at Atlanta and a top 5 at Richmond.

2011: Sprint Cup Series & Nationwide Series

Marcos Ambrose's 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car

Ambrose announced on 17 August 2010 that he signed a multi-year deal with Richard Petty Motorsports to drive the #9 Stanley/Dewalt tools ford fusion. He finished 37th in his first race with the team, the 2011 Daytona 500, after being involved in "the big one". He did finish the race. He went on to have an impressive race at Phoenix running in the top 10 for most of the day. Ambrose, driving the #9 Stanley Ford Fusion, won the rain delayed Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen on 15 August 2011 to rack up his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Victory by passing Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch with two laps to go. Ambrose further vindicated his road course abilities, backing up under a week later by taking victory at Montreal in the Nationwide Series, during the NAPA Auto Parts 200. The 2011 season continued to be his career best as he recorded 5 top 5 and 12 top 10 finishes. Ambrose finished the 2011 season 19th in the points.

Career results

Season Series Position Car Team
1996 Australian Formula Ford Championship 4th Swift SC95K Ford Swift Racing Cars
1997 Australian Formula Ford Championship 2nd Van Diemen RF97 Ford Marcos Ambrose
1998 British Formula Ford Championship 5th Van Diemen RF98 Ford Van Diemen
1999 British Formula Ford Championship 3rd Van Diemen RF99 Ford Van Diemen
Formula Ford Euro Cup 1st Van Diemen RF99 Ford Tony Kostelnak Racing
2000 French Formula Three Championship 12th Martini Mk.79 Sodemo-Renault Mygale
British Formula Three Championship 16th Dallara F300 Mugen-Honda Alan Docking Racing
2001 Shell Championship Series 8th Ford AU Falcon Stone Brothers Racing
2002 V8 Supercar Championship Series 3rd Ford AU Falcon Stone Brothers Racing
2003 V8 Supercar Championship Series 1st Ford BA Falcon Stone Brothers Racing
2004 V8 Supercar Championship Series 1st Ford BA Falcon Stone Brothers Racing
2005 V8 Supercar Championship Series 3rd Ford BA Falcon Stone Brothers Racing
2006 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 21st Ford F-150 Wood Brothers/JTG Racing
2007 NASCAR Busch Series 8th Ford Fusion Wood Brothers/JTG Racing
2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series 10th Ford Fusion JTG Daugherty Racing
2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 18th Toyota Camry JTG Daugherty Racing
2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 26th Toyota Camry JTG Daugherty Racing
2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 19th Ford Fusion Richard Petty Motorsports

See also


  1. ^ Marcos Ambrose Career Statistics
  2. ^ a b "AMBROSE HAS TOP 10 RESULT SLIP AWAY IN MIAMI" (Press release). Marcos Ambrose. 18 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  3. ^ "2001 SCS Round 4 Overall Hidden Valley Raceway – 13/05/2001". VESRIX Vee Eight Supercar Statistics. Retrieved 2006-11-21. 
  4. ^ "Ford Race Notes: Martinsville". 1 April 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  5. ^ Charles Krall (8 July 2006). "Ambrose on Kentucky Truck Pole". Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  6. ^ "Another Huge Day for Ambrose in Kentucky". 9 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  7. ^ "NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Official Driver Points Following Race 24 – Phoenix International Raceway – November 10, 2006". 13 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-18. 
  8. ^ [1][dead link]
  9. ^ Wood Bros Racing, JTG Racing split teams
  10. ^ "Jayski'sŽ NASCAR Silly Season Site – Sprint Cup Team News and Links – #47". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  11. ^ "Jayski'sŽ NASCAR Silly Season Site – Sprint Cup Team News and Links – #21". Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  12. ^ "Daugherty to become part-owner of JTG Racing, field full-time Cup team – Racing – ESPN". 16 July 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ Official Release (24 October 2008). "Ambrose to close out '08 under Waltrip umbrella – Oct 24, 2008". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2010-07-10. 

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mark Skaife
Winner of the V8Supercar Championship Series
2003 & 2004
Succeeded by
Russell Ingall
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Barry Sheene Medal
Succeeded by
Craig Lowndes

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Look at other dictionaries:

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