Ambrose eyes Cup start
Marcos Ambrose is ready to step up to the Nascar main league, writes STEPHEN OTTLEY
HE MAY not have qualified for last weekend’s Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire, but Marcos Ambrose is set to step up to the series full-time next year.
The two-time V8 Supercar champion moved to America’s Nascar racing in 2006 and has spent the past two seasons in the second-tier Nationwide Series with JTG Racing.
Now the team and driver are ready to graduate to the top-tier Sprint Cup, according to well-placed sources close to the deal.
They are scheduled to run four races this year — at Indianapolis, Kansas, Atlanta and Homestead-Miami Speedway — to help preparations for the move. Though the deal is still to be officially signed off, the source indicated that things are looking positive.
The move is possible because the team has secured sponsorship from American snackfood company Little Debbie for the bulk of next year’s schedule.
The company is so impressed with Ambrose it has chosen the Tasmanian as its spokesman and will put him in its television commercials.
But because of the religious beliefs of the company’s owners, Little Debbie logos are not displayed on the Saturday of each race meeting. That means JTG Racing needs to find sponsors for the Sprint Cup races that run on Saturday nights.
The team will need to find sponsorship for at least seven races, which could be difficult because the economic downturn in America is making sponsors harder to find.
Once the financial side is sorted, Ambrose will have to worry only about having to qualify his way into the races next year — and, judging by last weekend’s performance, that will be the biggest challenge of all.
One big issue still to be decided is whether Ambrose should continue to race in the Nationwide Series with JTG Racing. He has two years left on his contract with JTG.
Not this time: Australia’s Marcos Ambrose failed to qualify for the Nascar Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire.