NSCS: High Stakes for Marcos Ambrose This Weekend at the Glen


EASTON, Pa. — Back in 2006, a driver from Tasmania, Australia named Marcos Ambrose moved to the United States to put his hopes and racing talent into a NASCAR stock car after years of racing down under.

Winning back-to-back Australian V8 Supercar championships in 2003 and 2004, Ambrose had the confidence and the need for a new challenge. Ambrose made his maiden NASCAR start in the Camping World (previously Craftsman) Truck Series at Martinsville Speedway in 2006 where he finished 33rd.

In his first seven starts of the 2006 season, he wouldn’t score a top-20 finish.

Making the transition to the NASCAR Nationwide Series for the 2007 and 2008 seasons, he would combine to have four top-five and 12 top-10 finishes including a pole at Memphis Motorsports Park in 2007 — and his first of three consecutive wins at Watkins Glen International in 2008.

After an 11-race deal in 2008 with the Wood Brothers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, followed by two full-time seasons with JTG-Daugherty Racing, Ambrose was in need for a change after very little success and no wins.

In the matter of five years, Ambrose turned from an interesting hopeful, to a top driver for a top team, and for the top man of NASCAR — Richard Petty.

Petty would sign Ambrose to drive the No.9 STANLEY Tools Ford in 2011, and entering this weekend’s race, the two are pumped to get their first win in two years – but keeping check of their excitement about their predicted success.

“History has no impact on the future really,” said Ambrose in response to having five wins at the New York road course. “I’ve got to go there this weekend and execute really well and as a team we have to go there with the expectation to do our best and hope it goes our way. There are no guarantees.”

Ambrose will also be taking part in the Nationwide Series’ Zippo 200 on Saturday afternoon for extra on-track practice for Sunday.

“We have had a good record in this race and at this track. I’d love to win again,” said Ambrose. “It will also give me and my pit crew more time on the track as we hope to sweep the weekend.”

With all this talk and attention going into Ambrose — not only sweep the weekend, but to turn his rather slump season around and join his RPM teammate Aric Almirola in the 16-driver chase — everyone can agree that he has more riding on this race than any other in his entire career in NASCAR.

Now it could be worse. Ambrose is no longer looking for his first NSCS win as he accomplished that in 2011. He also has a wealthy amount of experience and success at this track including two NSCS wins, a pole and five top-fives in six starts. But think about how much this would change his entire career if he could win and be apart of the Chase for Championship — especially amid the recent rumors that he may leave NASCAR to return to V8 Supercars in 2015, this could be his final shot at a NASCAR win.

The stakes are very high for the soon-to-be 38-year-old, but never doubt the skill and determination of “The Tasmanian Devil” as he could change the look of the Chase Grid and his career after Sunday afternoon.

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About Zach Catanzareti

Zach Catanzareti serves as a Contributing Writer in the NASCAR department for Rubbings Racing and can be followed on Twitter (@zachracing) for the latest NASCAR updates. A native of Easton, Pennsylvania, he also follows IndyCar and Formula 1.

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