JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — Team Penske said Sunday night it has partnered with Dick Johnson Racing to form a V8 Supercar team that Marcos Ambrose will drive for in 2015.
DJR is the longest-established motor racing team in Australia.
“We believe in building our businesses through racing and our success on the track,” team owner Roger Penske said. “With our new business ventures in Australia, it makes sense to showcase our brands through the V8 Supercars Championship and the opportunity to work with DJR and Marcos Ambrose convinced us to go forward.”
DJR Team Penske will compete with Ford Falcons, and Ambrose will drive the No. 17 Ford. Ambrose is a two-time V8 Supercars champion, winning his titles in 2003 and 2004.
“This is a great opportunity to return home to a place that I love, in a series where I’ve experienced a lot of success,” Ambrose said. “It will be an honor to race for two motorsport legends in Roger Penske and Dick Johnson.”
Ambrose, from Tasmania, moved to the U.S. in 2006 in pursuit of a NASCAR career. As he climbed the ladder from the Truck Series into Nationwide and finally the elite Sprint Cup Series, he always said he would one day return to Australia so his children could attend school in their native country.
He said Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway this season would be his last in NASCAR, and said the decision to leave Richard Petty Motorsports to return to Australia was both personal and based on performance.
“There has been a lot of conjecture through the years, but I just want to get my kids home to enjoy the Australian lifestyle so they can make a good choice when they grow up,” he said Saturday. “This is really a racing choice for me and I feel like the time is right for me to stop in the U.S. Personally, I think it is a great time to move back home to Australia with my family.”
RPM wanted Ambrose back in the seat of the No. 9 Ford and said team owner Richard Petty left the decision to Ambrose. He’s been with RPM since 2011 and has two wins and 44 top-10 finishes.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.