Richard Petty Motorsports announced Saturday its No. 9 Ford team will have a new driver in the Sprint Cup Series in 2015 because Marcos Ambrose has elected to return to his native Australia.
The team termed the move “a personal decision.”
“Marcos will always be a part of our extended racing family,” said Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. “He came over to the United States with his family and dedicated his time here to giving it the best he had each week.
“I couldn’t ask anything more from Marcos and his commitment on and off of the track to our race team and our partners.”
Ambrose proved to be one of the best to wheel stock cars on road courses and collected six wins (two in Cup, four in Nationwide) at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
“It really is an incredible thing to make it to the Sprint Cup level because the talent level is very high from drivers to engineers to sponsors and teams,” Ambrose said. “It is an amazing journey I have been on.”
“Between the two race teams we had average pit stops at best pretty regularly, and we felt like the weak link on our team was the strong link on Marcos’ team,” Almirola said.
“We decided to make a swap and bring some of the guys over that are a little more veteran of a group and now it makes our pit crew a lot more competitive.”
Three things to watch
1 Matt Kenseth is without a win this season, but he opened the 2013 Chase with victories at Chicagoland and New Hampshire.
2 This is the first race for Kevin Harvick’s new pit crew, which is Tony Stewart’s old one. Will it make a difference?
3 Win and you’re locked in. A win in the first three races by Chase drivers automatically advances them to the next three-race round.
Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson