Ambrose's departure disappoints team

HARRISBURG, N.C. -- Marcos Ambrose is leaving JTG Daugherty Racing at the end of the season.

Team co-owner Tad Geschickter said Tuesday the organization is disappointed to see the Australian driver leave after five seasons. Ambrose started with the team in the Truck Series, and helped it expand to NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series.

"After five years, I personally felt it was time for a change," Ambrose said.

Ambrose debuted with the team in a 2006 truck race at Martinsville. He won two Nationwide Series races for JTG, and nearly won the Cup race at Sonoma last month. He lost the race when, while trying to conserve fuel under caution, he turned his engine off and couldn't maintain reasonable speed.

Ambrose did not say where he will drive next season, but he's believed to be close to finalizing a deal with Richard Petty Motorsports.

"I would like to continue in NASCAR and finish off what I started, but I have not discounted returning to Australia," Ambrose said. "I'm grateful to JTG Daugherty Racing for giving me an opportunity to become a NASCAR driver and I wish them the best in the future."

JTG said it will make an announcement soon as to who will drive the No. 47 Toyota next season.