Marcos Ambrose finishes ninth in the Michigan 400

Australian NASCAR Sprint Cup star Marcos Ambrose has finished ninth in the Michigan 400 after starting from pole.

The former V8 Supercars champ was running in the top three for the first half of the race and was even in the lead at one point. But Ambrose dropped off the pace and it was the sport’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jnr who ended a four-year drought as he took the chequered flag.

Ambrose said he was pleased with just his second top 10 finish in the 15 races so far in the 2012 Sprint Cup season.

“We will take the top-ten, but we had a great car today and we lost a little bit of track position and it hurt us there,” Ambrose said.

“I am proud of my Stanley team; we led some laps and looked good up there.

“It was a strong day for us, not quite what we wanted, but we will take it and move along to Sonoma.”

Reigning Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart finished second, with current points leader Matt Kenseth bringing it home in third.

1Dale Earnhardt Jr.Chevrolet
2Tony StewartChevrolet
3Matt KensethFord
4Greg BiffleFord
5Jimmie JohnsonChevrolet
6Jeff GordonChevrolet
7Clint BowyerToyota
8Juan MontoyaChevrolet
9Marcos AmbroseFord
10Kevin HarvickChevrolet
11Carl EdwardsFord
12Martin Truex Jr.Toyota
13Brad KeselowskiDodge
14Jamie McMurrayChevrolet
15Ryan NewmanChevrolet
16Bobby LabonteToyota
17Aric AlmirolaFord
18Landon CassillToyota
19AJ AllmendingerDodge
20Casey MearsFord
21Jeff BurtonChevrolet
22Paul MenardChevrolet
23David RaganFord
24Austin DillonChevrolet
25Dave BlaneyChevrolet
26Travis KvapilToyota
27David GillilandFord
28Regan SmithChevrolet
29Mark MartinToyota
30Kurt BuschChevrolet
31Ken SchraderFord
32Kyle BuschToyota
DNFKasey KahneChevrolet
DNFDenny HamlinToyota
DNFJoey LoganoToyota
DNFTony RainesChevrolet
DNFJ.J. YeleyToyota
DNFMichael McDowellFord
DNFMike BlissToyota
DNFJoe NemechekToyota
DNFScott RiggsChevrolet
DNFJosh Wise *Ford
DNFTrevor BayneFord

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.