MARCOS AMBROSE - No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS YEAR? "I'm one of 43 drivers who think they're gonna in the Daytona 500 and think they're gonna win the championship. What makes us different? I think, for me, 2011 was all about change. I wanted a fresh start. I wanted to work with a new group of people and shake things up and try to get the most out of myself and we've done that. I'm looking forward to driving for Richard Petty Motorsports. We've got great sponsorships with Stanley and DeWalt to partner up with in 2011, so we're fully funded. We've got a great technical partnership with Roush Yates and the engine program over there, so we've got a lot of really good stuff going on. Todd Parrott, he's a championship crew chief and he's won the Daytona 500, so I feel really good about the situation just hope I can make the most of it."
WHAT ARE THE KEYS TO YOUR SUCCESS? "I've got a lot of determination and I'm very stubborn as well and I think that's helped me persevere through the tough times. Not every day is a good day. I did a lot more winning before I came to NASCAR than since I've been here because the competition is so fierce and it's an incredible form of racing. It's something I'll take with me forever. It's a dream job and a dream chance to be here and compete and I think just my passion for racing and my dedication to my chosen sport and field has held me in good stead, and I've had a lot of luck. It takes a lot of luck to get to where I am."
DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE SAYINGS? "I'm a man of action. I love to do things. I'm not a guy who sits around on a computer. I'm not a guy who sits around the house. I've got to be doing something and, for me, racing is all about that. We're living life in the fast lane and we're mixing it up and it's passion and aggression and commitment and somewhat skill to get around these tracks, and it's just great to be part of this sport."
HOW HAVE YOU ADJUSTED TO THIS TEAM? "A lot better than other teams because I've obviously I'm racing against other people, but we've got some communication issues. I like to talk Australian and my crew chief talks North Carolinian (laughing). It's a little bit different, so we've got some issues there to deal with, but I'm getting along well with my guys. It's taking its time to get to learn each other and it's a work in progress, but Richard Petty Motorsports went through a lot of change at the end of last year. I feel like our team is a great small team that is really gonna bounce back well. I'm excited for it. I feel a lot of responsibility to deliver for the sponsors, for my team, for members who stayed committed to the program and to the King. I'm driving for the King and that comes with a unique responsibility as well."
DO YOU HAVE A PLAN FOR THIS YEAR AS FAR AS A COURSE OF ACTION? "Not really. At this point you get paid to race cars. You're meant to know what to do. They're not gonna tell me what to do. I know what I need to do out there. I can tell you straight up we're gonna try to win the Daytona 500 and we're gonna get a good points base to get through the fifth race and build up a championship run if we can. We've got to be consistent. We're gonna take our chances when they come, but not be crazy out there. For me, it's a solid start. Obviously, the Daytona 500 is a unique deal where we're not considering the Daytona 500 a championship race just because you want to win it so bad. We'll see how it all goes and just get through the first part of the season smart and then get to know each other and build up a base."
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THIS WEEK IN GENERAL? "It's good that I'm here talking about it. That's a good thing. I'm here to be part of the sport and to see NASCAR reinvigorate itself into a new year. It's always refreshing and nice to be a part of it. It's exciting. There's such media attention. I heard today that there are more sponsors today back in the sport than last year and there's more commitment. That's always a good thing. We're here to talk about the good things in NASCAR and a new season is upon us. Hopefully, we can stop Jimmie Johnson."
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT DALE EARNHARDT SR. WHEN HE WAS RACING? "I remember the day here that ended his life and I knew the man he was - an incredible person and he'll be a legend that stays in the sport for generations to come. I was lucky enough to see him race live. I was lucky enough to be a part of it and see what he was all about. I never got a chance to race against him, which is a shame, but it was just great to have witnessed it and Richard Petty is the same. He's a living legend. I get a chance to rub shoulders with him and to learn about the past and that's pretty cool."
WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU WEREN'T RACING? "I'd be a builder of some kind. I left school and kind of stumbled into a job as a builder's assistant. I enjoy the outside. I enjoy building things and it's good job satisfaction and good physical work."
WHAT ARE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING HERE? "My first race here with this team, it's gonna be tough but we've got as good a chance as any of the other 42 drivers out there. It's a race where you only get one shot at it each year. This is my third chance and my best chance yet, so I feel my odds are better than last year and the year before that."
ANY FUNNY STORIES WITH YOUR ACCENT AND COMMUNICATING WITH TODD? "He can't understand a word I say. He might be miming or lip-reading, I guess. I'm not sure what he's doing, but I've got to learn to slow my speech down. I've got to learn to be clearer on the radio and on the telephone too. I talk a little fast and my accent can throw guys off a little bit."
-source: ford racing