NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Marcos Ambrose says he needs to qualify for the Chase in 2014 following his worst season in the category.
The 37-year-old Tasmanian endured a difficult sixth season in America’s top tier with Richard Petty Motorsports, finishing 22nd in the standings.
The result was his worst since joining the Sprint Cup, recording just six top 10 finishes while failing to score any top five results.
Ambrose, who has two Sprint Cup victories under his belt at Watkins Glen, is set to continue with RPM for 2014 and is determined to bounce back.
After finishing inside the top 20 in 2011 and 2012, he is keen to shake his road course expert tag by securing a spot in the Chase for the first time.
“We need to win and we need to make the Chase”, Ambrose told SportingNews.com.
“We have moments of brilliance, which are too few and far between. We’ve had moments of running well but we just can’t pull it together for a string of races.”
Ambrose’s RPM team is one of the smaller teams on the NASCAR grid although its cars are supplied by giant Roush Fenway Racing.
The Tasmanian admits driving for a team with limited resources has hindered him but he remains confident that the combination can be competitive in 2014 in a bid to achieve his targets.
“We’ve been limited by our resources to some degree (and) some bad luck and other factors have come into play,” added Ambrose.
“I’ve made mistakes trying too hard.
“We have a chance to reload in 2014 and really show people what we’ve got. We’re a better team than what we’ve shown in 2013 and we have to close.
“It’s not going to be easy. We’re up against teams that continue to throw engineering resources at this thing past the business model that makes sense, but we need to take that on, and we’re going to.
“We’re a small team, but we’re going to make the most of what opportunities we have, and I think that if we do our job well, if we do our job better than others, we can compete.”
The 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season begins at the famous Daytona 500 on February 23.