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Saturday, September 13, 2014

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Marcos Ambrose talks about decision to leave NASCAR after 2014 sason, return to Australia

Richard Petty Motorsports announced today that Marcos Ambrose will not return to pilot the No. 9 Ford Fusion following the 2014 season. Ambrose spoke with media members after the morning practice session Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway to address the announcement and discuss his future plans.
MARCOS AMBROSE, No. 9 Stanley Ford Fusion -- “First of all I need to thank everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports, it has been a great four years together. It has been incredible to drive for the King and Stanley DeWalt and Ford Racing and everybody. The time is just right for me to stop. I feel like the timing is right for myself and my family to return to Australia and that is what we are going to do.”
WHAT WENT INTO THIS DECISION? “There has been a lot of conjecture through the years but I just want to get my kids home to enjoy the Australian lifestyle as well so they can make a good choice when they grow up. This is really a racing choice for me and I feel like the time is right for me to stop in the US and personally I think it is a great time to move back home to Australia with my family.”
HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE YOUR NASCAR CAREER? “It has been fantastic. I never thought I would achieve what I have at the Sprint Cup level. I have survived here for years and I have had some wins but not enough and I feel like I was up against it early on from my background. I came from a country that doesn’t have any asphalt oval racing at all and so I feel like I have achieved a lot and am really satisfied.”
ANY COMMENT ON YOUR FUTURE PLANS? IT IS RUMORED YOU MIGHT BE JOINING A PENSKE OWNED TEAM. “Today is not the day to talk about anything about my racing future. I feel like personally this is the right choice for myself and my family to call it a day here in the US and move on to our next chapter.”
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF COMING BACK TO DRIVE ROAD RACES? “I haven’t really thought about that. This decision was made some time ago and RPM felt like today was a good day to announce it but I had spoken to RPM about this before the summer.”
WHAT DID RICHARD SAY WHEN YOU TOLD HIM? “They understand and have been very open and frank with each other all the way through  and RPM has been a great team to drive for and fully understand my situation and have worked together on this. I feel like I’ve left them better than when I entered with them. I feel I’ve contributed to the turnaround. They are a great team that is moving forward with a car in the Chase this year and we have won races. When I first joined them in the turmoil of the Gillette changeover there were a lot of gray clouds circling around them. They are on a great path and I wish them the best. I value Richards friendship greatly and the family and everybody here at RPM. They are a great company and I wish them the most success.” 
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT THE NASCAR GARAGE WHEN YOU FIRST CAME OVER HERE TO NOW? “It is not easy. It really is a tough environment. 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. It is an amazing journey I have been on.”
MARCOS AMBROSE CONTINUED … WITH THE TIMING AND YOUR KIDS, DID YOU FEEL YOU HAD TO DO THIS NOW? “There were a lot of factor in it but I feel like my level has plateaued at the Sprint Cup level. I haven’t kicked off the next level. I’ve always said that if I felt like I had flattened off my learning curve or my success – that I was only in the US to win and if I wasn’t able to content like I want to then I need to look at my situation and that has been the case. It has been a tough couple years on the race track for me and the personal situation is clear and I just think the timing is right to go home.”
DO YOU APPROACH THESE NEXT 10 RACES ANY DIFFERENTLY? “I am just going to enjoy it and enjoy my time at Petty and the last few races on these high speed ovals. It is an incredible feeling to drive a Sprint Cup car at these speeds on these kind of race tracks and I will miss it there is no doubt about it. I am just going to enjoy the last few races.”
THERE HAVE BEEN A COUPLE NAMES THROWN AROUND AS POSSIBLE REPLACEMENTS. WILL YOU HAVE ANY INPUT OR SUGGESTIONS? “I have no idea who they are going to chose but I am sure they will choose wisely. If they ask my opinion I will give it to them but that is not my world.” 
WHAT IS THE FINANCIAL ASPECT OF THIS? “It is not a financial decision at all, it is a personal choice.”
WHAT WAS YOUR FAMILIES REACTION? “They are very supportive my wife has been with me an awful long time and been with me through it all. My kids know nothing else but American racing and are supportive of the choices I make. If I had decided to keep going here they would have supported me and to go home they support me too. I have a lot to be thankful for and a great family and looking forward to spending more time with them and getting back to Australia and the culture and lifestyle there.”
DID THEY TRY TO TALK YOU OUT OF IT AT ALL? “It was a really natural choice and RPM did not try to sway me one way or another. It took me time to get to the decision but when I did it was a really natural choice.”
HOW WAS YOUR PRACTICE TODAY? “We are working on it. We are not where we need to be so I am looking forward to this next practice, getting out of this media scrum and getting back to racing.”
WHAT PART OF NASCAR WILL YOU MISS THE MOST? “The competition and intensity. It is a very intense world and I love racing, that is what I came here for. I came because the level was really high and I will miss that.
WHAT WON’T YOU MISS? “I will enjoy some off weekends. That will be nice.”  


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