NEW TEAM ALLIANCE SOLIDIFIES CUP PLANS FOR MARCOS AMBROSE Marcos Ambrose will become the first Australian to race full-time in the top flight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2009, with plans of his campaign confirmed in an announcement from JTG ...
NEW TEAM ALLIANCE SOLIDIFIES CUP PLANS FOR MARCOS AMBROSE
Marcos Ambrose will become the first Australian to race full-time in the top flight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2009, with plans of his campaign confirmed in an announcement from JTG Daugherty Racing today.
JTG Daugherty Racing has forged a new technical alliance with current Sprint Cup operation Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) for its first full-time Sprint Cup campaign next season.
JTG Daugherty Racing, co-owned by Tad and Jodi Geschickter and former NBA All-Star and current ESPN broadcaster Brad Daugherty, will enter the #47 Toyota Camry driven by Ambrose and backed by primary sponsors, Kingsford Charcoal, Clorox Laundry and Household Products and Little Debbie's Snack Cakes in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
JTG Daugherty Racing will move its Sprint Cup operation into MWR's 140,000-square foot facility in Cornelius, North Carolina and receive cars, engineering, mechanical and other technical support from MWR's existing infrastructure.
TRD will support the JTG Daugherty team with engines from its Costa Mesa, California facility and vehicle engineering support from its Salisbury, N.C. facility.
Ambrose, a former Australian V8 Supercar Champion, has been confirmed as the driver of the #47 JTG Daugherty Racing entry. The 32-year-old scored his first NASCAR victory earlier this season at Watkins Glen and is currently 10th in points in the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
"I'm really excited about my first full season in the Sprint Cup Series," said Ambrose.
"For me it's the realisation of a dream and the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of people.
"Over the past three seasons I could not have enjoyed my time in NASCAR any more. In 2009 we are stepping it up to the next level so it's only going to get better.
"I know that I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I can't wait.
"We have made solid gains in a short amount of time and today's announcement is the next step in the development of JTG Daugherty Racing.
"I'm looking forward to next season and continuing to work with my team owners Tad and Jodi Geschickter for a fourth season, as well as with the team's newest owner Brad Daugherty.
"It's quite a day for me to see this all confirmed. I'm just so happy and I can't wait for 2009 to start."
For Ambrose, this announcement ends an eight-year association with Ford Motor Company, which began when he joined the Stone Brothers Racing team in the Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series in 2001.
After two championship wins, Ambrose moved to the United States in 2006 to pursue a career in NASCAR and for the start of the 2006 season, the driver from Launceston, Tasmania signed with Tad and Jodi Geschickter's team and will enter his fourth season with their team in 2009.
"For sure, we are closing a really great chapter of my career with Ford," said Ambrose.
"We have achieved a lot together and every single race in a car with a blue oval on the front has been an absolute privilege. But at the end of the day even the best endeavors from me, the team and Ford Racing North America could not make something work for us all at the premier level of NASCAR for 2009.
"JTG Daugherty Racing signed me before I had even raced a NASCAR and I owe them a huge amount. I'm behind this decision and think we've got an exciting future together."
Frank Kerr, current Crew Chief of the #47 Sprint Cup entry of JTG Daugherty Racing and a former MWR Crew Chief, has been named Crew Chief of Ambrose's #47 car for the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.