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Marcos Ambrose Leaves NASCAR Ride at Season's End

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2010

SONOMA, CA - JUNE 18:  Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #47 Clorox Toyota, stands on the grid during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway on June 18, 2010 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Marcos Ambrose just put himself on the market, making him perhaps the hottest free agent in NASCAR silly season.

Ambrose is leaving the JTG Daugherty team after driving for them the past five years.

He will continue to drive the No. 47 Toyota for the remainder of this season.

"I personally felt it was time for a change," Ambrose said. "I have no firm plans of what will come next for me and my career. I would like to continue in NASCAR and finish what I started, but I have not discounted returning to Australia."

The announcement fuels the fires of silly season, opening possibilities.

Could Ambrose fill the seat at Richard Petty Motorsports which is being vacated by Kasey Kahne?

Ambrose has the talent to attract sponsors which RPM seems to be in need of.

The 33-year-old Tasmanian driver has indicated at some point he will return to Australia where he is a highly respected racer.

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Chances are he will test his worth for at least the upcoming season before he makes any decision to return to his homeland.

Ambrose has been running a full Sprint Cup season for the past two years and currently ranks 27th in points with zero wins in the top-tier series of NASCAR.

Part-owner Tad Geschickter of the team was quoted as saying, "Marcos is a friend, and he is a great talent. He will be an asset to his next team."

JTG said it would make an announcement in the "near future" regarding a replacement for Ambrose.

Update: Bobby Labonte will be driving for JTG Daugherty Racing in 2011 and they will remain aligned with Michael Waltrip Racing per release Wednesday.

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