In racing timing is everything.
From when the green flag waves to the last lap pass, timing is key to success in this sport. This also applies to away from the track. When it comes to deciding to stay or go, timing once again is everything.
When Marcos Ambrose announced that he was leaving JTG/Daugherty Racing at the end of 2010, I won’t lie I was a bit surprised.
The team has had there share of troubles in 2010 but enough troubles to warrant Ambrose leaving the team? You wouldn’t think so.
When the news broke Ambrose said that he has not ruled out heading back to his native Australia. He has young children and has in the past said he wants to make sure there is stability in their education.
“It has been a great five year journey for me and JTG Daugherty Racing. I am proud of being their driver and of what we have been able to accomplish together. After five years, I personally felt it was time for a change. I have no firm plans of what will come next for me and my career. I would like to continue in NASCAR and finish off what I started, but I have not discounted returning to Australia” Ambrose said.
His numbers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series four top-five and nine top 10 finishes and has also delivered two Nationwide Series victories.
His career-best Cup finish is a second-place finish at Watkins Glen International last season. Currently, Ambrose has three top-10 finishes and is 26th in the driver points’ standings.
In my opinion Ambrose hasn’t finished what he started or what he is capable of. We saw it last season that if this team figured out the mechanical issues and the bad luck he can run up front. Clearly to Ambrose his time at JTG was up and he was ready to move on.
Unlike the last couple years the seats that are available are actually good solid rides. Richard Petty Motorsports led the way with three seats available.
Soon after his announcement reports came out that he was in line to drive to take a seat at RPM.
Today it was announced that Ambrose signed a multi year deal with RPM. Stanley Tools would be the primary sponsor.
For both RPM and Ambrose this is a great move.They can build a program around Ambrose and Allmendinger. Ambrose is well liked by fans and respected by drivers in the garage.
RPM as a whole is in rebuilding mode as they have lost Kasey Kahne to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 and Red Bull Racing for 2011. Elliott Sadler has said he won’t return in 2011 and Paul Menard last Wednesday signed with Richard Childress Racing in for 2011.
The only remaining driver who RPM re-signed was A.J. Allmendinger.
This sport needs Ambrose and everything he brings with him. Most fans don’t realize just how good of a racer he is.
With the right people and good equipment he could be not only a Chase contender but a title contender. RPM has made some major gains this season as an organization. We have seen their cars run better and their partnership with the Roush engine program has paid off.
I understand the personal side to this decision and for him unlike any other driver; he is away from his family more often than not.
Ambrose said in the announcement that his family would not return in the offseason to Australia as their oldest daughter has started school.
His potential has not been reached in the NSCS, it takes time.We have seen that usually it takes three years for a driver to find their footing in this series.
We saw it with Juan Pablo Montoya after he left Indy Car. Sam Hornish, Jr. this season has shown flashes of what he is capable of.
Three years is usually when we see a team really get in sync with each other. It is the time when a team can move to the next level as an organization.
If he had chose to go back to Australia, would the last three years been a waste of time?
That’s a question we won’t need an answer for because for Ambrose now is the time.