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Ambrose ‘can step up to NASCAR elite’

Marcos Ambrose

NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt jnr says Australia’s Marcos Ambrose is ready and capable of making the most of his opportunity at the sport’s top level next year.

Two-time V8 champion Ambrose’s US odyssey steps up next year when he competes in 12 races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup after an impressive season in the second-tier Busch series this year.

Earnhardt jnr, NASCAR’s most popular driver and the son of the late seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt snr, is holidaying in Australia and was in the crowd at the V8 Supercar final round at Phillip Island yesterday.

He believes Ambrose has adapted well to oval-track racing after two seasons in NASCAR’s lower tiers.

“He’s had so many years of driving and he’s been in every situation possible,” Earnhardt jnr said of Ambrose.

“He has all the tools and the mentality he needs. He’s ready and won’t really need too much tutoring.

“With the Busch series he adapted so well and the fact your cars are quite similar to our cars helped him quite a lot.

“I watch him run and I feel he’s gained the knowledge and the speed. He’s not with one of the best teams but he’s with a competitive team that runs well.”

Earnhardt jnr also flagged the prospect of doing the reverse of Ambrose’s move, suggesting he would love to spend a year racing V8 Supercars once his NASCAR career winds down. Border Mail

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