Shortly after Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 14th Annual MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, Team Penske announced that it will partner with one of the most successful Australian motorsports teams, Dick Johnson Racing (DJR) and will compete in the V8 Supercars Championship for the 2015 season.
Along with the partnership with DJR, the oldest racing team in Australian Motorsports, the driver announcement to pilot the #17 Ford Falcon will be no other than Marcos Ambrose, after Richard Petty Motorsports made the announcement of Ambrose leaving.
“Team Penske is excited to partner with Dick Johnson Racing to compete in the V8 Supercars Championship starting next season,” Roger Penske, team owner, said. “We believe in building our businesses through racing and our brands through the V8 Supercars Championship and the opportunity to work with DJR and Marcos Ambrose convinced us to go forward.”
Ambrose is no stranger to success in V8 Supercars after having won back-to-back championships in 2003 and 2004 and racing in a total of 28 races before making the transition to NASCAR in 2006, where he competed for nine seasons across the three top series in the sport. Not only having won championships in the V8 Supercars, Ambrose has won the 1999 European Formula Ford Championship.
“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.”
Johnson, like Ambrose, drove in the NASCAR Cup cars in 1989 and 1990 and drove five Cup races including the Winston Open for Redkote, his sponsor.
“We are certainly looking forward to this new challenge,” said Johnson, who has five Australian Touring Car Championships and won the Bathurst 1000 race three times before retiring from racing in 1999. “I have always admired what Roger Penske has accomplished in business and with his racing teams and it will be a thrill to work with Team Penske and Marcos in 2015.”
Team Penske has over 400 race wins and 26 national championships, while DJR has gained over 80 victories and seven Australian Touring Car/V8 Supercar titles in over 35 years of racing.
A teleconference is scheduled for Monday evening to give more details of Ambrose’s new deal. Ambrose, Johnson and Penske will be included in the teleconference. It’ll be announced what Ambrose will plan on doing for the remainder of the 2014 season, will he finish out the NASCAR season with RPM or will he leave to begin the next chapter in his racing career.