Ambrose voted Australian DOY
Marcos Ambrose has been voted the Australian Driver of the Year by Australian weekly motorsport magazine Auto Action.
The Australian earned the accolade in the magazine’s annual Racer of the Year Awards issue, released in Australia today.
Ambrose won Auto Action’s Australian Driver of the Year Award, open to any Australian-born driver racing domestically or internationally, for his efforts in the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion in the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series.
The awards are decided by votes submitted by the fans, making Ambrose’s achievement all the more significant as he has been racing on the other side of the world for the past two years after winning the Australian V8 Supercar Championship in 2003 and 2004.
“It’s great to pick up an award like this one, especially because it is the fans that have cast their votes,” said Ambrose.
“When I announced I was leaving V8 Supercars to try and forge a career in NASCAR one thing I was very conscious of was not to leave my fans behind. I wanted them to be a part of my journey in the US as much as possible.
“We are constantly trying to improve the way we do my website, MarcosAmbrose.com, and we send regular newsletters so that my fans, wherever they are in the world, know exactly what is going on.
“To have Australian motorsport fans vote me as the winner of this award is a very special feeling. I owe a lot to all the Australian fans that have stuck by my and followed my racing in NASCAR.
“We have really been working at educating Australian fans about NASCAR and helped them to learn more about the racing. It has been exciting to teach all of my Australian fans about NASCAR and what a great sport it truly is.
“Our tour group came over in May and saw it all close up in Charlotte and the Aussie fans have been able to watch the racing on television this year, so the response to NASCAR in Australia has been really, really great and next year should be even better again.”
Auto Action editor Andrew MacLean said that Ambrose’s achievements in NASCAR had been a constant focus for the magazine.
“Marcos Ambrose's outstanding achievements in the NASCAR Busch Series in 2007 have not gone unnoticed, despite Australian fans getting little opportunity to see his racing up close, ” said MacLean.
“Because of Ambrose's exploits, Auto Action has considerably increased its coverage of NASCAR racing this season. And it is clear our readers have gained a better understanding of the sport by voting Ambrose as the Australian Driver of the Year in Auto Action's annual Racer of the Year awards.
“Ambrose thoroughly deserves such an accolade as he has achieved what no other Australian has ever done before - breaking into the close-knit NASCAR community, earning the respect of his peers and becoming the first non-North American driver to finish in the top ten of what is arguably one of the toughest motor racing championships in the world.”
Ambrose topped the poll with 37 percent of the vote ahead of Team Australia Champ Car driver Will Power and fellow US-based Australian Ryan Briscoe of Penske Racing, who raced in the American Le Mans Series and Indianapolis 500 this year.
Ambrose finished eighth in this year’s NASCAR Busch Series and as the second-best rookie, driving the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion for Wood Brothers/JTG Racing.
Next season Ambrose will continue to drive the #59 Kingsford Charcoal Ford Fusion in NASCAR’s second-tier series, renamed the NASCAR Nationwide Series.
Ambrose will also race a minimum of 12 events in the top-level NASCAR Sprint Cup in the Little Debbie Ford Fusion.
Ambrose is the first Australian to race full-time in NASCAR and the first non-North American driver to finish in the top 10 in any of NASCAR’s three national championship divisions - the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.
The last non-United States driver to achieve the feat was Canadian Earl Ross, who finished eighth in the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings in 1974.