NASCAR »

Richard Petty Motorsports drops two cars

Richard Petty Motorsports is to reduce operations from a four-car to a two-car operation for 2011 following financial problems.
"Richard Petty Motorsports has completed its restructuring process and is now in the process of moving forward," Richard Petty said in the statement. "RPM will shift from running four cars to two in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and that is never an easy process for the people involved. Currently, we are concentrating on building two solid programs with AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel of the #43 entry and Marcos Ambrose in the #9 Ford.

"We are very fortunate to have an extremely loyal family of partners and are looking forward to the future."

The financial situation has been an open secret for some time, and even led to the #43 car of AJ Allmendinger being briefly impounded after the AAA Texas 500 until an overdue payment was made to engine and chassis supplier Roush Fenway Racing, so that the car was finally released on the Wednesday and managed to get to Phoenix in time for qualifying on the Friday for the penultimate race.

The financial issues are believed to relate to team co-owner George Gillett. The current RPM team is the result of a merger of the former Petty Enterprises set-up with the Gillett Evernham squad at the start of 2009.

As a result, the team has announced that the #19 and #98 cars will not be run in 2011. Of the drivers affected, Elliott Sadler has already confirmed he's heading to the Nationwide series, while Paul Menard has signed to switch to Richard Childress Racing. The team will retain the #9 and #43 cars for Ambrose and Allmendinger. Ambrose will be new to the team, while Allmendinger signed a contract extenstion with the team earlier in the year.

The #9 seat had been originally taken by Kasey Kahne until he and RPM suddenly parted ways after the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte in October. Aric Almirola took the seat on a temporary basis for the remaining races of the season and impressed with a strong fourth place this weekend at Homestead, just ahead of Allmendinger in fifth.

"I've been having fun the last few weeks running all three series," said Almirola, who is off to the Nationwide series with JR Motorsports for 2011. "It's amazing how much you learn running all three series."

The strong end to the season gives hope for RPM being able to bounce back in 2011 if they're able to secure a better financial footing.

"This team could have easily just fallen apart and started fighting and just [ended up being] dismantled," Allmendinger said. "I just feel like we became stronger.

"It's tough for me, but that's no big deal. I'm OK. [The guys at the shop are] the ones who work the hardest, and they're the ones who have to be at the shop, and hear all the stuff, or not hear the stuff they're supposed to hear, all the stories on the Internet and on TV. And they have to fight through that and still have to work on these race cars.

"We got to the race track, put the crap behind us, got to business. Had some good runs, had some struggles. But in the end, we've got something to build on."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
No. 43 Best Buy Ford - AJ Allmendinger [Pic credit: Getty for NASCAR]
Brennan Poole, driver of the #42 DC Solar Chevrolet, Aric Almirola, driver of the #98 Fresh from Florida Ford, Blake Koch, driver of the #8 Celsius Healthy Energy Cola Toyota, Chris Buescher, driver of the #60 Bit-O-Honey Ford, Dakoda Armstrong, driver of the #43 WinField Ford, and Regan Smith, driver of the #7 Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Subway Firecracker 250 Powered By Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 2015 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag at the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 28, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Chevrolet SS, captures the pole position, Saturday June 27, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  It is Allmendinger`s first career pole.  Allmendinger is 22nd in the standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Chevrolet SS, captures the pole position, Saturday June 27, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  It is Allmendinger`s first career pole.  Allmendinger is 22nd in the standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
A.J. Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Chevrolet SS, captures the pole position, Saturday June 27, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California.  It is Allmendinger`s first career pole.  Allmendinger is 22nd in the standings. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet, qualifies for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 27, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet, poses with Miss Coors Light Amanda Mertz and the Coors Light Pole Award decal after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 27, 2015 in Sonoma, California. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kingsford Charcoal Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma Raceway on June 27, 2015 in Sonoma, California.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Chi-Chi`s/Menards Toyota, races during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol 200 at Iowa Speedway on June 19, 2015 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, lead the field to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway on June 14, 2015 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet poses for photos after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin` for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 13, 2015 in Madison, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin` for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 13, 2015 in Madison, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet celebrates after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin` for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 13, 2015 in Madison, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet does a burn-out after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin` for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 13, 2015 in Madison, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Cole Custer of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet collects the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin` for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 13, 2015 in Madison, Illinois. (Photo Credit: Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The green flag drops to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin` for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 13, 2015 in Madison, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/NASCAR via Getty Images)

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


teresa busha - Unregistered

November 24, 2010 8:07 PM

RPM will. Bounce back. I think is a good idea to go back to a two car team. RPM jumped in with four cars too soon in my opinion.I've been a loyal 43 fan for 40 years and finishing 1st or 43rd laps down I say the 43 is the best. AJ is going to be a good thing for the 43 car. He has shown that even when there are problems, if its with the car, pit stop, money problems, or what have you, he is committed to driving the car in true 43 fashion. 2011 is the come back year. Richard Petty is the king, of course, but tell AJ to make his own name in the famouse 43 he has the ability. The car number is only famouse because of Richadr Petty. He would have made any number famouse.



© 1999 - 2015 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.