NO. 9 TEAM DRIVER
Birthday: Sept. 1, 1976
Hometown: Launceston, Tasmania
Current Residence: Kannapolis, N.C.
- Two wins in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Watkins Glen International (2011, 2012)
- 15 Top-Five finishes
- 33 Top-10 finishes
- Won NASCAR Nationwide Series event in Montreal Canada (2011)
- Three-consecutive Nationwide Series wins at Watkins Glen International (2008-2010)
- Won consecutive titles in V8 Supercar Series (2003-2004)
- 2001 V8 Supercar Series Rookie of the Year
- Won 1999 British Formula Ford championship
The son of a race car driver, Marcos Ambrose had racing in his blood. Raised in Launceston, in Tasmania, Australia, Ambrose began racing karts at the age of 10 and won over 10 state karting titles before becoming the Australian karting champion in 1995. He remains the only driver to have a victory in every V8 Supercar season in which he has participated.
Ambrose moved into the Formula Ford ranks in 1996 and finished second in the Australian Formula Ford championship hunt the following year. With hopes of someday reaching Formula One, Ambrose traveled to Europe and competed in British Formula Ford in 1998 and 1999, winning the European Formula Ford Championship in 1999. Following that successful season, Ambrose began racing in the French Formula Three Series before switching mid-season to vie for the British Formula Three championship.
Ambrose returned to Australia at the conclusion of the 2000 racing season and his big break came late that year. Signed with Stone Brothers Racing to drive the Pirtek Racing Ford Falcon, Ambrose took the V8 Supercar world by storm and qualified on the pole in his first career V8 Supercar race. He went on to score several more pole positions that year en route to an eighth-place finish in the championship standing and Rookie of the Year honors.
The 2002 season saw more of the same. After earning the pole for the season opener, he recorded his first career V8 Supercar victory in that same race. He took the win in the final round at Sandown Raceway on his way to a third-place championship effort.
Armed with a new BA Falcon in 2003, Ambrose started the season off strong with a victory in the first race of the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide. He followed it up with a win at Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney, Australia. After 13 rounds complete in the season, Ambrose was crowned the Series Champion, 102 points ahead of second place.
Ambrose earned three pole positions and five round wins en route to his second V8 Supercar Series Championship in 2004. The following year, he remained in the championship lead until a crash in round 10 forced him to settle for second place. He drove to a third-place effort in 2006 and remains the only driver to have a round victory in every V8 Supercar season in which he has participated.
Ambrose made the decision to move to the United States and try his hand in NASCAR in 2006. With assistance from Ford, Ambrose’s first foray into NASCAR was with Wood Brothers/JTG Racing in 2006. Behind the wheel of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck, Ambrose made his debut on April 1, 2006 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. His talent was evident almost immediately when he finished third at the Kansas Speedway event in July. He also scored a pole position and another third-place finish that season and finished third in the Rookie of the Year standings, despite having missed the first three races of the season.
Ambrose and his Wood Brother/JTG Racing team made the jump to the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2007. Ambrose nearly won the event at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Canada and finished second in the Rookie of the Year battle after posting six Top-10 finishes.
Ambrose ran full time in the Nationwide Series again in 2008 and drove to his first NASCAR victory on the road course at Watkins Glen International in August in his 59th career series start. He also made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut that season and raced in 11 events, securing a third-place finish in Watkins Glen along the way.
Ambrose concentrated his efforts on NASCAR’s premiere series in 2009. Driving for JTG-Daugherty Racing, the Tasmanian driver continued his success on the road courses, but earned a fourth place finish on the high banks of Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway and a sixth-place effort at Pocono (Penn.) Raceway. Ambrose put together an impressive rookie season that year and scored four Top-five and seven Top-10 finishes in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition.
2010 was a frustrating season for the 34-year-old driver although he was able to score two Top-five and five Top-10 finishes along the way. In August, Ambrose announced that he would join Richard Petty Motorsports in 2011.
The Australian driver had a breakout year in 2011, scoring his first-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Watkins Glen International in August. That same week Ambrose went on to win in the Nationwide Series in Montreal. Ambrose ended the 2011 season in 19th position in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, scoring five top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
2012 marked another stellar year for Ambrose and proved to be his best season to-date competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In June, he scored his first Cup Series career pole at Michigan and earned his second-consecutive pole position the following week in Sonoma. Ambrose again claimed the trophy at Watkins Glen International, in what many consider to be the most exciting finish of the 2012 campaign. Finishing the season 18th in the Series point standings, Ambrose ended the year with three top-five and eight top-10 finishes.