Marcos Ambrose finishes ninth in the Michigan 400

Brett Davis

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.

1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet
2 Tony Stewart Chevrolet
3 Matt Kenseth Ford
4 Greg Biffle Ford
5 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet
6 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet
7 Clint Bowyer Toyota
8 Juan Montoya Chevrolet
9 Marcos Ambrose Ford
10 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet
11 Carl Edwards Ford
12 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota
13 Brad Keselowski Dodge
14 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet
15 Ryan Newman Chevrolet
16 Bobby Labonte Toyota
17 Aric Almirola Ford
18 Landon Cassill Toyota
19 AJ Allmendinger Dodge
20 Casey Mears Ford
21 Jeff Burton Chevrolet
22 Paul Menard Chevrolet
23 David Ragan Ford
24 Austin Dillon Chevrolet
25 Dave Blaney Chevrolet
26 Travis Kvapil Toyota
27 David Gilliland Ford
28 Regan Smith Chevrolet
29 Mark Martin Toyota
30 Kurt Busch Chevrolet
31 Ken Schrader Ford
32 Kyle Busch Toyota
DNF Kasey Kahne Chevrolet
DNF Denny Hamlin Toyota
DNF Joey Logano Toyota
DNF Tony Raines Chevrolet
DNF J.J. Yeley Toyota
DNF Michael McDowell Ford
DNF Mike Bliss Toyota
DNF Joe Nemechek Toyota
DNF Scott Riggs Chevrolet
DNF Josh Wise * Ford
DNF Trevor Bayne Ford
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