Ambrose in 2012
September 1, 1976 |
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
|Achievements||1999 European Formula Ford Champion
2003, 2004 V8 Supercars Champion
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career|
|191 race(s) run over 6 year(s)|
|Car no., team||No. 9 (Richard Petty Motorsports)|
|Best finish||18th (2009, 2012)|
|First race||2008 Toyota/Save Mart 350 (Sonoma)|
|Last race||2013 Ford EcoBoost 400 (Homestead)|
|First win||2011 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen (Watkins Glen)|
|Last win||2012 Finger Lakes 355 at The Glen (Watkins Glen)|
|NASCAR Nationwide Series career|
|76 race(s) run over 6 year(s)|
|Car no., team||No. 9 (Richard Petty Motorsports)|
|Best finish||8th (2007)|
|First race||2007 Orbitz 300 (Daytona)|
|Last race||2013 Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 (Mid-Ohio)|
|First win||2008 Zippo 200 at the Glen (Watkins Glen)|
|Last win||2011 NAPA Auto Parts 200 (Montreal)|
|NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career|
|22 race(s) run over 1 year(s)|
|Best finish||21st (2006)|
|First race||2006 Kroger 250 (Martinsville)|
|Last race||2006 Ford 200 (Homestead)|
|Statistics current as of November 17, 2013.|
Marcos Ambrose (born September 1, 1976) is an Australian racing driver. He drives the No. 9 DeWalt/Stanley Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports in the 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 United States to pursue racing in NASCAR, starting with the Camping World Truck Series. He moved up to the Nationwide Series in 2007, and later the Sprint Cup Series in 2008. In 2011, he earned his first Cup Series win at Watkins Glen International, becoming the first Australian driver to win in the highest level of NASCAR.
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. 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.
V8 Supercars Australia
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.
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.
He started 2005 the way he ended 2004 with a clean sweep of the opening round in Adelaide. He remained in the championship lead and was near to winning the championship 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 walked out and argued to applause from the fans. Both of them infuriated with one another, shared some heated words after the crash. Murphy said that Ambrose had an ego problem and would not be missed, to disapproval reaction from fans and officials while Ambrose quoted after the race was finished with his title hopes;
|“||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 Craig Lowndes.
Ambrose is still the only driver to have a round win in every V8 Supercar season he has participated in.
At the first V8 Supercar race of 2005, Ambrose called a press conference on the Saturday morning to announce to the top staff and fans that he would leave V8 Supercars at the end of the 2005 season to try and make a career in his lifelong dream racing organization NASCAR.
In 2005 Ambrose signed his deal to compete under NASCAR and 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 to start his career. 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.
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, and then leading the most laps in the race itself, though he finished 19th. Ambrose finished 3rd in the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway after qualifying 11th.
Ambrose reached as high as 19th in the championship points, 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.
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 at 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 and 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 sped back behind Ambrose. NASCAR officials declared that Gordon's pass was far too fast and ordered Gordon to move back to 14th position but he refused and was subsequently black-flagged. When they restarted with 2 laps to go, Gordon intentionally ran into the back of Ambrose at turn 2, spinning him around. Although the win slipped away, Ambrose dropped back down the field but recovered to finish in 7th. Following this incident, Gordon apologized and 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.
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, Gary Cogswell 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. Even though NASCAR said that Boris just wrecked himself by getting loose, and that Ambrose has repeatedly apologized, 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) ass".
However later that year at Watkins Glen when Marcos Ambrose was leading the NNS race, in the final five laps he took the lead and with 2 laps left he raced behind the bumper of a lapped Boris Said. Ambrose's crew chief Gary Cogswell ordered Ambrose to not pass Said believing that Said still had a grudge against them after Mexico City. The fans, Ambrose, his team and among other NASCAR drivers were surprised when Boris Said did not commit his revenge before Ambrose later won the race. To this day Said has not explained why he did not crash Ambrose when he had a good chance and it still remains unknown why Said did not perform his revenge.
Prior to the 2008 season, Wood Brothers Racing and JTG Racing split into two teams. 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 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. He also drove the full Nationwide Series schedule.
He almost won the 2008 Napa Auto Parts 200, dominating again like in 2007 but when a thunderstorm blew the track, Ambrose tried to slow for a pit stop. Nonetheless his car slid across pit road too fast unable to stop because of the waters; thus he earned a black-flag for a pass-through penalty. He ended up third in the final results behind race winner Ron Fellows.
Ambrose got his first Nationwide Series win on 9 August 2008 in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen after his heartbreak at Montreal the previous week (See above). 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. 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. 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. The following week Ambrose dominated the Nationwide race at Montreal, but on the final lap, he was passed by Carl Edwards when Ambrose jumped over the curb too high, and Carl Edwards zipped past him for the win. Marcos Ambrose nearly won the 2009 Sharpie 500 at Bristol but with 7 laps remaining Ambrose was passed by Kyle Busch and Mark Martin when encountering lap traffic. Ambrose barely held off Greg Biffle for third and was crying in joy when he finished his first best oval track finish in 2009.
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. After nearly winning the NSCS race at Sonoma but being penalized Marcos mutually parted ways with JTG-Daughtery Racing after 2010.
Ambrose announced on 17 August 2010 that he signed a multi-year deal with Richard Petty Motorsports to drive the #9 Stanley/DeWalt Power Tools Ford Fusion. He finished 37th in his first race with the team at the Daytona 500, after being crashed out of contention in a 15 car wreck in turn 3 on lap 29. 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. In August, Ambrose won the rain delayed Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen on August 15 to rack up his first career Sprint Cup Series win 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 an emotional 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 final point standings.
Ambrose returned to Richard Petty Motorsports for 2012. In February he almost won the Budweiser Shootout with bump-drafting help from Keselowski; but lost the lead just as he took the white flag to Tony Stewart and eventual race winner Kyle Busch. Ambrose said after the race that despite losing the Shootout the race was his best performance on a restrictor plate track (although he also had several top-tens at previous plate races, such as a 4th place finish at Talladega in the spring 2009 race).
Ambrose started the season with a 13th place finish in the Daytona 500, and in the spring races, collected six top-twenty finishes and two top-ten finishes. In June, he posted the fastest qualifying speed in NASCAR competition in 25 years, winning his first career Sprint Cup pole in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway at a speed of 203.241 miles per hour (327.085 km/h), the third fastest pole speed ever in NASCAR. Ambrose finished ninth in that race.
The following week, Ambrose won the pole at Infineon Raceway but only led about 10 laps before he had to pit thus putting him in the top ten for the rest of the day. He finished 8th.
Returning to Watkins Glen, Ambrose started fifth and dominated part of the race but was passed in a three-wide move by Kyle Busch with 20 laps remaining. When the white flag was about to wave he saw that Busch was slipping in oil; in the entrance to the esses he and Brad Keselowski passed him; Ambrose then saw that Keselowski was slipping in oil too and he took the lead in the final turn, holding off Keselowski for the second time in a row and defending his win from the previous year. Ambrose was very emotional about his win due to his father seeing it on television in a hospital for an illness and due to his luck that day. The win moved Ambrose up one position in the standings from 18th to 17th. Ambrose still has promised the racing world for a future oval win since his #1 goal currently is to prove he can win at places other than road courses.
His victory caused local company Mac Tools to offer Ambrose multi-year sponsorship which Marcos' boss, Richard Petty, approved of. Mac Tools will sponsor Ambrose in a few races for 2012 and throughout 2013.
To start the 2013 season, Ambrose had 11th place finishes in both the Sprint Unlimited and the Budweiser Duel. Ambrose drove in the top ten for a part of the Daytona 500 but when Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart crashed out of the race, Ambrose slowed down to avoid being involved in the accident thus causing him to drive for the rest of the race in the top twenty. He finished in 18th place. He also recorded an 18th place finish at Phoenix and a 22nd place finish at Las Vegas.
Ambrose was on his way to a good finish in the NRA 500 at Texas Motor Speedway before being crashed with Jeff Burton and finishing a lap down. Then, a couple weeks later he had a terrible day at Richmond International Raceway when his engine failed early and he finished 42nd. He recovered for a 14th place finish at Talladega having one of his greatest 2013 finishes.
In the Coca-Cola 600, Ambrose reached a top ten spot in an unusual style. On the final lap, Carl Edwards was about to hold off Ambrose for the tenth spot, but got loose in the final turn to the finish line, causing Ambrose to slip by to steal the tenth spot and lock Edwards out of the top ten finishers. This fight for tenth place resembled a reverse style of Ambrose's race at Montreal in 2009 which ended with Edwards getting by him on the final lap.
At Sonoma, Ambrose led the first laps of the race getting by pole sitter Jamie McMurray at the start of the race. He finished in 7th place. At Loudon Ambrose fought Kevin Harvick in the opening laps for a top ten spot. In a corner, Harvick rammed Ambrose' right rear causing Ambrose to spin out. He finished in 33rd spot.
At Watkins Glen, Ambrose won the pole after breaking the track record with a lap speed of 128.241 miles per hour (206.384 km/h), breaking the previous record held by Juan Pablo Montoya's speed of 127.020 miles per hour (204.419 km/h). Ambrose led 51 laps but on lap 60, he pitted under caution he restarted in 15th and never recovered. With 3 laps left while running in 8th place Ambrose tangled with road course rival Max Papis ending his hopes to win 3 in a row Glen races. Ambrose was visibly upset with Papis in the aftermath, furiously tossing his steering wheel at the in-car camera, tossing his helmet hardly through his window; and pointing his finger at Papis when Papis came by under caution. Ambrose finished 31st. Had he won, Ambrose would have joined Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin as the only drivers in NASCAR history to win three consecutive races at the Glen.
Ambrose made a Nationwide Series return at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course's Nationwide Children's Hospital 200. Ambrose had to start in the back as he did not qualify the car. Ambrose made it up to third, but was then spun out numerous times, falling to 16th. He rallied to finish in 7th place but was spun out by Parker Kligerman after the checker flag for previous contact in the race.
Motorsports career results
- Marcos Ambrose Career Statistics
- "Ambrose has top 10 result slip away in Miami" (Press release). Marcos Ambrose. 18 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
- "2001 SCS Round 4 Overall Hidden Valley Raceway – 13/05/2001". VESRIX Vee Eight Supercar Statistics. conrod.com.au. Retrieved 2006-11-21.
- "Ford Race Notes: Martinsville". TruckSeries.com. 1 April 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
- Charles Krall (8 July 2006). "Ambrose on Kentucky Truck Pole". TruckSeries.com. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
- "Another Huge Day for Ambrose in Kentucky". TruckSeries.com. 9 July 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
- "NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Official Driver Points Following Race 24 – Phoenix International Raceway – November 10, 2006". TruckSeries.com. 13 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
- [dead link]
- Wood Bros Racing, JTG Racing split teams
- "Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site – Sprint Cup Team News and Links – #47". Jayski.com. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- "Jayski's NASCAR Silly Season Site – Sprint Cup Team News and Links – #21". Jayski.com. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- "Daugherty to become part-owner of JTG Racing, field full-time Cup team – Racing – ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- [dead link]
- Official Release (24 October 2008). "Ambrose to close out '08 under Waltrip umbrella – Oct 24, 2008". Nascar.Com. Retrieved 2010-07-10.
- Pistone, Pete (16 June 2012). "Michigan track record for Marcos Ambrose". Eye on NASCAR. CBS Sports. Retrieved 2012-06-16.
- Associated Press (2013-08-10). "Marcos Ambrose wins Cup pole". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- "Misfortune and a late crash end Marcos Ambrose's hopes of a third-straight Watkins Glen NASCAR win". Fox Sports. August 12, 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-02.
- Fox Sports (2013-08-12). "Misfortune and a late crash end Marcos Ambrose's hopes of a third-straight Watkins Glen NASCAR win". The Courier-Mail. Retrieved 2013-08-12.
- Associated Press (2013-07-10). "Ambrose to run Mid-Ohio Nationwide race for Petty". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "Nationwide Children's Hospital 200". NASCAR. 2013-08-17.
- "Marcos Ambrose". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
|V8 Supercar Champion
|Awards and achievements|
|Barry Sheene Medal