60 MINUTES TO FOCUS ON AMBROSE NASCAR CAREER
Australian motor racing fans will get a unique insight into the world of NASCAR and the life of Aussie ace Marcos Ambrose when 60 Minutes resumes on the Nine Network early in 2009.
A 60 Minutes crew, headed by reporter Peter Overton, were treated to a 'fly on the wall' experience with Ambrose during last weekend's final round of the 2008 NASCAR season at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Florida.
The crew began their experience at Ambrose's home in Charlotte, North Carolina last week where they spent some time with his wife Sonja and two young daughters, Tabitha and Adelaide.
Ambrose then treated them to an afternoon of gold panning at the site of North America's first gold discovery at Reed Mine just outside of Charlotte -- gold prospecting is one of Ambrose's sources of relaxation in his otherwise hectic life.
The crew also watched on as Ambrose took care of some corporate commitments with a photo shoot with team sponsor Bush's Beans and then gave the group a tour of the impressive Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) facility at Mooresville, NC.
Ambrose will race an MWR-prepared car in next year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the JTG Daugherty Racing.
"60 Minutes is such an iconic program in Australia and I have been a fan for many years so to have Peter Overton here with his crew was a little surreal," said Ambrose.
"The weekend was not a fantastic one from a results perspective, but NASCAR worked with us to give them the best experience possible so they could really see what this great sport is all about.
"I think we have converted them and hopefully the story next year will help convert plenty more."
Overton, who is regarded as one of Australia's most experienced journalists, came away from his first NASCAR race impressed with the whole show.
"Marcos is a very impressive bloke, right up there with Greg Norman in regards to Australian sports people I have had the pleasure of interviewing," said Overton.
"In a short space of time he is not only cutting it, but performing in one of the toughest arenas in world sport.
"NASCAR? Well, only in America is all I can say. It is huge."
Ambrose returned home to Australia this week for a well-earned break with family and friends.
His 2009 racing commitments will begin with the Daytona 500 in Florida on February 15, kicking off the 36-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.