Thanks to additional sponsorship support from Hunt Brothers Pizza, Richard Petty Motorsports will keep the #44 Dodge driven by AJ Allmendinger on the track at least through the September 12 race at Richmond International Raceway.

RPM announced Wednesday that Hunt Brothers had signed on for six races. Though RPM still has sponsorship opportunities available for seven races during NASCAR's "regular season", the company has committed to run the #44 through the Richmond race, after which the twelve-driver field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will be set.

Allmendinger currently is 20th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship standings, 104 points behind twelfth-place Jeff Burton. His strong start to the 2009 season includes a third-place finish in the Daytona 500.

Allmendinger will race the Hunt Brothers Pizza paint scheme April 26 at Talladega, May 16 in the Sprint All-Star Race and May 24 in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway, July 11 at Chicagoland, August 22 at Bristol, September 6 in Atlanta, and at Richmond.

"I think we have shown that we have the ability to run up front in this series," Allmendinger said in a statement released by the team. "I think you are going to see our results get progressively better the longer this team stays together.

"We started the year putting an emphasis on qualifying, but now that we are locked in the starting field (by virtue of being in the top 35 in the owners standings), we can turn our attention to the race, and that's going to help our race results. We are committed to making this thing work, and I think we offer a great opportunity for Hunt Brothers, our existing partners as well as any partner looking to be part of NASCAR and Richard Petty Motorsports."

RPM is actively seeking sponsorship for additional races, including the final ten that comprise the Chase.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News

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