Martinsville II: JTG Racing, Ambrose preview

AMBROSE RETURNS TO SIGHT OF NASCAR DEBUT Little did Marcos Ambrose know that a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start with JTG-Daugherty Racing at Martinsville Speedway would eventually thrust him into the Sprint Cup Series limelightbehind the...

AMBROSE RETURNS TO SIGHT OF NASCAR DEBUT

Little did Marcos Ambrose know that a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start with JTG-Daugherty Racing at Martinsville Speedway would eventually thrust him into the Sprint Cup Series limelightbehind the No. 47 Little Debbie Toyota full-time.

Four seasons later, the Launceston, Tasmania-native recounts his journey to the pinnacle of the sport since his debut at the .526-mile oval.

"Well, a lot has changed since my first Truck race at Martinsville," Ambrose said. "I was very nervous and I didn't know what to expect. I qualified decent, but during the race I hit everything including the pit wall. We've come a long way since then. Martinsville is a unique track where you see fast and aggressive racing. In our first time out at Martinsville in the Cup car, we ran competitively and brought it home in onepiece tofinish 14th. I'd like to think we will doeven better this time around."

"It seems like an awful long time ago that the Geschickter's (Tad and Jodi) and I got together," Ambrose continued. "It's been a great journey and it has been a huge effort for all of us to get here. Now, we are in the Cup Series full-time and we're competitive. We're fast and we are holding our own. We're really proud of what we have accomplished in a short amount of time."

Before making the jump to Cup, Ambrose raced two seasons in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and earned back-to-back top-10 finishes in the championship standings. To date, Ambrose has two wins in the division at Watkins Glen International and has accumulated five top-five and 14 top-10s along with two pole awards.

"The Nationwide Series helped prepare me mentally for the Cup Series," Ambrose said. "I didn't realize how much time is required of you from sponsors, media, the team and so forth at this level. It's been a learning experience. I've had to learn how to balance a lot of things."

Like many drivers, Ambrose spends days or weeks at a time away from home, working away from the track. As the season winds down, the Aussie knows a trip to the homeland is just what he needs to recharge from the hustle and bustle. Following the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Ambrose willgo to Tasmania for two months.

"The idea of going back to Australia is for my kids to see family and friends," Ambrose said. "For me, Iwill alsouse the time to get my body in shape and get my head back in the game. Iwill think about what I need during the year and how I am going to be better. It's all about reinvigorating myself and doing a good soul search about who I am, what I am all about and what I need to do to be better."

-credit: jtgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Marcos Ambrose