Ambrose to drive No. 9 for RPM
Marcos Ambrose has never lacked ambition.
The Australian NASCAR driver, who jokes he came to America with “stupidity and bravery,” believes he can challenge stars like Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon if only he could get in a car that will keep up with his confidence.
He hopes he’s finally found it at Richard Petty Motorsports.
Ambrose signed a multiyear deal with RPM on Tuesday to drive the No. 9 Ford beginning in 2011. That capped a tumultuous summer in which he opted to leave the No. 47 at JTG Daugherty Racing at the end of this season. “It’s been a wild month,” Ambrose said.
One that ended with the 33-year-old taking over the top car in RPM’s garage. He’ll replace Kasey Kahne, who will make a one-year cameo at Red Bull Racing next year before succeeding Mark Martin in the No. 5 car for Hendrick Motorsports in 2012.
Stanley Black & Decker will be the primary sponsor on the No. 9 next year after Budweiser, who sponsored Kahne, moved to the No. 29 driven by Kevin Harvick.
That’s fine with Ambrose, a road racing specialist who has spent the last four years trying to find a competitive ride at the Cup level. He’s winless in 70 Cup starts, though he does have three victories in the Nationwide Series, all on the tricky road course at Watkins Glen. Ambrose is currently 26th in Cup points this year heading into this weekend’s race at Bristol.
Ambrose and recently re-signed A.J. Allmendinger will headline a decidedly slimmed down RPM operation in 2011. Paul Menard is leaving to drive for Richard Childress Racing next year and Elliott Sadler’s status is uncertain. Stanley’s decision to move its sponsorship from Sadler’s No. 19 to the No. 9 means the 19 would need a major sponsor to step up.