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Marcos Ambrose Bidding Bon Voyage to NASCAR on Sunday

Marcos Ambrose Bidding Bon Voyage to NASCAR on Sunday

by November 10, 2014 0 comments

Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images

HOMESTEAD, Fla. — A major chapter in Marcos Ambrose’ storied racing career is six days from coming to a close.

Ambrose, the driver of the No. 9 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has one final start in the Sprint Cup Series laying ahead of him before wrapping up his NASCAR career.

Following this upcoming Sunday’s Ford Ecoboost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ambrose will jet down to Australia to prepare for his move home to his native country to continue his racing career in the series he made his name in – the V8 Supercars series.

The two-time V8 Supercars champion announced in September that he was to leave NASCAR at the end of the 2014 season to race full-time in Australia’s premier touring car series in 2015 in a Team Penske/Dick Johnson Racing Ford.

The native of Tasmania will spend three weeks in Australia to not only finalize his preparation for his return back home, but to make his official return to the V8 Supercars in the series’ season-closing event – the Sydney NRMA 500.

Ambrose will return to the United States on December 10th to finish packing and will then head back to Australia “for good” on the 18th once his children complete the school semester.

Ambrose leaves the Sprint Cup Series with two victories in 226 starts across tenures with Richard Petty Motorsports, JTG-Daugherty Racing, and Wood Brothers Racing. If you ask the 38-year-old how he rates his NASCAR career with one start remaining in it, he views his nine-year career in the United States as a success.

“It’s nothing but [a] success,” Ambrose said on Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway, a track he finished 10th at in Sunday’s Quicken Loans Race Heroes 500. “I really came over with a lot of ambition and determination and managed to make it in a country that has some incredible talent.  There are some great drivers all the away from short track racing at the local level all the way through the Sprint Cup Series.

“I got my breaks along the way and made the most of them and I’m just really, really pleased to have made it and I feel like I’ve made it.  I don’t feel like I’m a B-Class driver out there.  I feel I’m as good as anyone on my day.  I’ve learned the ovals and managed to survive them.”

 The 2011 and 2012 race winner at Watkins Glen says that while he may not have accomplished all he may have wanted to in his near decade-long foray into American stock car racing, he’s still thrilled that he had the opportunity to run with the best in the stock car business.

“It’s been great,” Ambrose continued. “I’ve got some unfinished business in NASCAR, which I wish I could have ticked the box on. Obviously, winning a race on the ovals is tough.  I wanted to make the Chase and we came close, but couldn’t quite make it.  So there are some pieces to the puzzle that I’m missing, but in general I’m just thrilled to have experienced it and my family to enjoy what America is.

“We’ve learned a lot and I’ve learned a lot.  I’ve become a better person overall for it, a better dad, and a better race car driver, so it’s been a great experience for us.  It’s really toughened me up a lot and it’s been fun.”

As to whether or not this end to NASCAR’s career is a permanent one for Ambrose, the Tasmanian is not completely shutting the door on a future opportunity to run in NASCAR again.

“I get asked that a lot, but I really don’t have any plans to come back at this point,” he said. “You never obviously completely close the book like that, but I’m really focused and excited to be going to Australian V8 Supercar Series and I want to do that properly for Roger Penske and Dick Johnson and that’s going to be my focus.”

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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