Tag:A.J. Allmendinger
Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:44 am
Edited on: March 7, 2012 10:18 am
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Idle Thoughts: Pressure already on for some

By Pete Pistone


  Crew Members
(This scene has been all too familiar to Kasey Kahne in the first two weeks of the season - Getty Images)

Two races do not make a season by any means. However there is a group of drivers who come into Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway already in need of a good finish.

The opening weeks in Daytona and Phoenix have not gone very well for some high profile names most expected to be factors in 2012. While there is certainly time to get things back on track, you wouldn’t blame these drivers for perhaps grabbing that steering wheel a little tighter Sunday in Vegas:

 

Kasey Kahne

This was supposed to be the breakout year for Kahne who finally made the move to Hendrick Motorsports after his limbo season in 2011 at Red Bull. But so far Kahne has had nothing but trouble and a lot of damaged racecars to show for his effort. A crash-filled Speedweeks rolled into another accident for Kahne early in last Sunday’s Phoenix race knocking him from contention in a race he was considered a favorite to win. The usually calm Kahne was frustrated after his early exit at PIR.

"I've been so excited about it, and I was excited the whole offseason and couldn't wait for the season to get here," Kahne said. "I show up at Phoenix, we're the best car all day Friday, top two cars all day yesterday, would have been the same today. I just need to calm the (blank) down."

Crew chief Kenny Francis will help Kahne do just that and there’s no reason to write this team off just yet. A top ten here and a top five there should be all the No. 5 Hendrick team needs in the coming weeks to shake the disappointment of the early going and begin to fulfill the high preseason expectations.

 

A.J. Allmendinger

Penske Racing’s newest driver has also endured a crash-filled opening two races of the season and finds himself 25<sup>th</sup> in the standings. That’s not what the former Richard Petty Motorsports driver expected to happen when he got the call to drive for his hero Roger Penske.

"Honestly, it was a bit of a frustrating weekend especially on the heels of Daytona,” Allmendinger said after eventually finishing in position 18 Sunday in Phoenix but not before getting swept up in a multi-car crash earlier in the race. “I've always run well here, so I came in with my goal being a top five or top ten at least.  We just couldn't get the car dialed in from the start.”

What may compound Allmendinger’s issues going forward is Penske’s announcement to switch from Dodge to Ford in 2013. The company is now faced with the task of ramping up for next year only two races into the current campaign while trying to focus on Allmendinger and teammate Brad Keselowski this season. Allmendinger is working on a one year contract as well so the stress level may be on the rise in the No. 22 camp unless things turnaround quickly.
 

Jamie McMurray

The new season has been a repeat of the dismal campaign of a year ago that team owner Chip Ganassi referred to as pathetic. McMurray has dropped all the way to position 35 in the point standings and suffered through a pair of disappointing outings in Daytona and Phoenix. He survived a lap 134 tangle with Allmendinger and Paul Menard only to have his engine expire in the late stages of the race.

“I don't know the motor blew up again. I don't know what happened there. It started missing and started smoking and just quit running, tough day," McMurray said.

Those engine issues have to be disconcerting to the Ganassi team, which worked so hard in the off season to find more speed and reliability under the hood. If that becomes a trend again for McMurray and teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, Ganassi may use a much more negative word to describe 2012.

 

Jimmie Johnson

The consensus is Johnson will recover from the early season challenge of a 25 point penalty for pre-Daytona 500 inspection infractions and a forty-second place finish in “The Great American Race.” But the reality is the five-time champion comes to Las Vegas 71 points out of the lead. He finished fourth Sunday in Phoenix to prove there’s really nothing wrong with the 48 team on a whole and remains positive about what lies ahead despite the obstacles.

“It is going to make it exciting,” said crew chief Chad Knaus, who awaits to appeal the penalty and six-race suspension handed down by NASCAR. “That is one thing that we typically try to do here with the No. 48 team. We somehow or another we seem to get through adversity pretty well.

“I’m not saying we like a challenge like this, but I’m pretty sure we will rise to the occasion.”

Johnson has a couple of things on his side to rebound – time and the wild card berths available to make the Chase.

“The end result is winning races,” Johnson said. “The worst-case scenario would be fighting for a wild card spot and that boils down to winning races. There’s a lot of racing between now and September in Richmond, the cutoff for the Chase. Right now, we’re focused on doing the best job we can and the most points we possibly can.”

He’s made comebacks before but Johnson has never been in position to have to make one this early in a season.

 
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Posted on: March 4, 2012 4:54 pm
 

Video: Allmendinger, Menard, McMurray crash

Posted by Pete Pistone

A three car melee in the first half of Sunday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway involved A.J. Allmendinger, Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray:


 
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Posted on: February 28, 2012 12:10 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2012 12:18 pm
 

Daytona a rough debut for many drivers

By Pete Pistone

140094608
(Patrick and Busch got wadded up early in Monday night's Daytona 500 - Getty Images)


Monday's "Great American Race" was anything but great for a number of drivers making their Sprint Cup debuts with new race teams.

Danica Patrick, Kurt Busch, A.J. Allmendinger and Kasey Kahne made up one quartet that opened the season with disappointing results.

Patrick was swept up into her third crash of Speedweeks when she got clipped by Jimmie Johnson in the lap two melee that broke out on the frontstretch. She was credited with a finish in position 38even after coming back on track later with a severely damaged car to make some extra laps.

“Any lap that I turn is progression, that’s for sure,” Patrick said. “That’s why I was so proud of everyone working so hard. They were working hard to get me back on the track. Was there much to gain as far as position? No. What there was to gain was for me to get the experience of running out there. We ran in packs for a while. The car is a little bent up. Honestly, it didn’t feel perfect. So as it got later and later in the race, I didn’t want to have an influence on it. I didn’t want something to happen to it or break and shoot across the track."

Busch was also swept up in that early race altercation and like Patrick soldiered on later with a battered Phoenix Racing Chevrolet trying to make at least a statement for his new organization.

"It was important to not get a DNF for this team to show how much we're all in this together," said Busch. "Not what we wanted for sure but still proud of the effort."

Allmendinger capped a rough Speedweeks that included a crash with his teammate Brad Keselowski earlier in the week with a tough official debut for Penske Racing. Allmendinger's problems took place on pit road in one of the race's many bizarre twists.

“A tire fell off a car that was struggling in front of us on pit road, he stopped – and I ran into him,” a disappointed Allmendinger said.  “Our Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger ran well and it was fast, but we have a 34th-place finish to show for it.  It (stinks) because the guys did a good job.  It was a just a frustrating night for us, but we’ll bounce back strong at Phoenix.”

Kahne is also hoping to have a better weekend in Phoenix, where he won last year for Red Bull Racing, than he did in Daytona. He too had issues on pit road when he sustain damage in an incident that was compounded when Kahne got involved in one of the two late race multi-car accidents.

"Disappointed for sure," said Kahne after finishing in position 29. "Still excited about this team though but ready to head to Phoenix."

 
Daytona Speedweeks
Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:43 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2012 12:50 pm
 

Penske poised for Sprint Cup championship run

By Pete Pistone


  A.J. Allmendinger, Driver Of The #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, Speaks
(Allmendinger joins Keselowski in a new-look Penske Racing tandem that many believe can challenge for the title)


Roger Penske
has accomplished nearly everything possible in the world of auto racing.

Indy Car Series crowns, Indy 500 wins, sports car titles and Daytona 500 victories all adorn the resume of “The Captain.”

However there is one major item still on Penske’s bucket list and that is a Sprint Cup Series championship. 

That may change in 2012. 

Penske Racing enters the coming campaign with a new look duo of Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger and both drivers are poised to continue the success the team enjoyed last year. 

Despite the turmoil caused by the controversial departure of Kurt Busch from the stable at season’s end, the Penske team enjoyed a year that included five trips to victory lane and both drivers earning spots in the Chase. 

Ultimately things didn’t turn out the way he had hoped but the performance was encouraging enough for Penske to feel confident about where his organization is headed. 

“It takes good people to be successful in any business including auto racing,” said Penske. “We have that here in place all around our NASCAR program and to me I think we’re in as good of a position to succeed as we’ve ever been. What Brad did last year and what we believe A.J. can accomplish with us this year has us pretty excited for 2012.” 

Keselowski’s break out season that included three wins and a championship run once he got into the Chase as a wild car entry has the former Nationwide Series champ feeling pretty good about his chances this season. 

“I’m really happy with how we ended last year,” Keselowski said. “There certainly are some areas to improve on, some of which I’ve seen us make large strides and some of which I have not.

“The areas where we’ve made large strides I’m very proud of and we’ve got to hit the items that we haven’t and we’ve got to hit them hard and have got to hit them quickly.” 

Even before Busch’s departure, Keselowski had inherited the role of team leader, a position he completely embraces going forward. 

Penske says she isn’t surprised Keselowski evolved into the leader of the race team or of the impact he’s had on the entire organization. 

“He’s fully engaged; you can see the sponsors that we just renewed ... you don’t do that unless you have a good driver,” Penske said of Miller Lite signing on to continue its backing of the Blue Deuce. “I think that he helped us; he was instrumental in talking to AJ coming on to the team to give him some insight because when you’re changing drivers, you don’t have months and months to do research. It’s what you see on the track.” 

Keselowski has embraced the leadership position and sees it as another example of his commitment to do whatever it takes to succeed. 

“Sometimes you have to step up and do things,” Keselowski said. “It’s not because I necessarily enjoy it but it’s what we need to be successful and it’s what I’m committed to.

“I don’t really think I’ve changed that much off the track, but maybe I have. I don’t know. I’m certainly more confident and in a better position to be a leader at Penske Racing.” 

Although Allmendinger hasn’t had much time working with the team or his new teammate, he’s already connected with Keselowski due in great deal to the two sharing similar backgrounds. 

“The biggest thing for me is I look at Brad and he's a true racer,” Allmendinger said. “He's come up from a racing family. He's worked hard to get to this point. And something that I saw, which was pretty amazing, was the middle of the year where he was at to the end of the year and how much him and this organization stepped up their game and really worked well together and made their race cars better.” 

Allmendinger, who started the year with a Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona win last month, has made great strides in his Sprint Cup career the last two seasons when he drove for Richard Petty Motorsports. 

However he wasn’t able to get over the hump and break into victory lane last year despite finishing a career-best fifteenth in the Sprint Cup standings. 

When the opportunity to take the seat of Penske’s No. 22 Dodge to replace Busch arose, Allmendinger did not hesitate to answer the call. 

He realizes there’s a lot of work to be done but Allmendinger is confident he was the right man for the job. 

“I'm coming into a race team that's got a lot of momentum, an organization that's got a lot of momentum from a great solid year,” Allmendinger said. “So I feel like the race cars are going to be pretty good. It's more about myself and (crew chief) Todd (Gordon) and the race team gelling, and the quicker we can do that, the better we can be early on.

“And really when the season starts, you've just got to be solid .... You can't put yourself in a hole. So I think that's going to be a big thing for us is just to try to gel together as quick as possible.” 

Enthusiasm is high at Penske who again remains the only full-time Dodge team in the Sprint Cup stable. 

But even though last year’s successful campaign provided a foundation the team hopes to build on in 2012, it will remain a challenge to remain a factor in a highly-competitive Sprint Cup Series that produced eighteen different winners a year ago. 

“We’ve got to work hard, work smart,” Keselowski said. “This sport is a constant moving target. The only way that you’re going to continue to hit it is to fire a lot of bullets at the target and keep reloading.

“We’ve got a lot to do over the next few months as a company and as a team. We’ve got to make it happen, got to get stuff done. If we can do that, we can come back and not only repeat this year, but have a shot at the title."

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Posted on: January 29, 2012 6:46 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 8:07 pm
 

NASCAR stars shine in Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona

By Pete Pistone



(Allmendinger was part of a quartet of drivers to bring Ford back to victory lane at Daytona)


A NASCAR contingent of drivers competing in this year's Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona Grand Am race flexed their muscles in the 50th running of the sports car classic.

A.J. Allmendinger was part of the winning Daytona Prototype team while other NASCAR drivers like Jamie McMurray and 2011 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year also fared well.

On his ninth attempt, team owner Michael Shank finally captured the sports car classic with his team of Oswaldo Negri, John Pew, Allmendinger and Justin Wilson in the #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley surviving a tight battle for the lead in the final hours to take home the checkered flag.

“Right now I'm just going to take this for what it's worth, not think about anything for a couple days, and just enjoy it,” Allmendinger said. “Right now it's the biggest win I've ever had because we've worked for seven years to get to this point with Mike Shank, and we've been so close so many times.”

Finishing a few seconds behind the #60 Ford was the pole-winning #8 Starworks Motorsport Ford Riley and Ryan Dalziel, Alex Popow, Lucas Luhr, Allan McNish and Enzo Potolicchio. Shank Racing took the final spot on the podium with the #6 Ford Riley with NASCAR's Michael McDowell, Jorge Goncalvez, Gustavo Yacaman and Sunoco Rolex 24 Driver Challenge winner Felipe Nasr.

Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing's Juan Pablo Montoya and McMurray were members of the fourth place finishing team in owner Chip Ganassi's entry.

In the GT class, the #44 Magnus Racing Porsche with John Potter, Lally, Richard Lietz and Rene Rast were victorious.

 
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Posted on: January 26, 2012 3:07 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 4:29 pm
 

Penske expecting big things in 2012

By Pete Pistone

CHARLOTTE - Penske Racing put two cars in the Chase last season and won five Sprint Cup races.

The team expects similar success in the coming year.

The addition of A.J. Allmendinger to team up with Brad Keselowski has team owner Roger Penske bullish on the prspects for the coming year.

"We've already seen Brad and A.J. work very well together at the Daytona test and the communication between the two was just excellent," Penske said at Thursday's Media Tour gathering. "We made great strides last season on our pgoram and we're feeling very confident about continuing that success in 2012."

Keselowski, who inked an extension with Penske, will remain in the Miller Lite No. 2 Dodge for the forseeable future thanks to the company also deciding to continue its sponsorship of the team. Keselowski sees it as a vote of confidence.



"It's great when a company like Miller supports what you do and stays connected with a company like ours," said Keselowski. "The Penske Racing team does such a tremendous job of putting the business element of this sport together that gives us the resources to go out and be competitive. That's a tremendous vote of confidence to know we have that kind of support and we can go out and do our jobs."

As for Allmendinger, he's already at home with Penske after coming over from Richard Petty Motorsports a little over a month ago. He and new crew chief Todd Gordon, who was elevated from Penske's Nationwide Series program to work with Allmendinger, have created a tight relationship in a short period of time."

"A.J. is a very gregarious person and his enthusiasm for what he does is contagious," said Gordon. "We went to Daytona for the test and really got a lot done and we just kind of clicked. It's going to be fun working with him along side Brad and (crew chief) Paul (Wolfe)."

Allmendinger was happy to get a chance to get behind the wheel of the car during the Daytona test and get accustomed to his new surroundings.



"It was good to get out there and knock some of the rust off from over the holidays, especially with my new team," said Allmendinger. "The No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge definitely had a lot of speed, especially in the two-car draft. I'm expecting a different rules package when we go back next month, but I think Brad and I will have great shots at winning another Daytona 500 for Penske Racing."

Keselowski agrees with his new teammate and in terms of what kind of style racing we'll see at Daytona, whether it's the two car tandem or pack drafting, he really doesn't care.

"Heck I'd go 300 mph if I had to just to win," Keselowski said.
 
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Posted on: January 6, 2012 3:14 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 9:23 pm
 

2011 Team Review/Preview: Penske Racing

By Pete Pistone

Image Detail
(Brad Keselowski was one of the 2011 season's surprises driving to three victories in the Penske "Blue Deuce")

Review

It was both a successful as well as tumultuous season for Penske Racing. 

While team owner Roger Penske saw both his cars make the Chase and win multiple races, an end of season controversy with driver Kurt Busch tainted the organization’s 2011 effort. 

Busch and teammate Brad Keselowski teamed up to find victory lane five times last season and both advanced to the playoffs. That performance more than exceeded expectations many had for the only Dodge team in the Sprint Cup Series. 

“I don’t believe we’re shorthanded at all,” said Steve Addington, who served as Busch’s crew chief in 2011. “In fact we maybe got more support from the manufacturer than other multi-car teams with say Chevrolet or Ford or Toyota because we were the only two Dodge teams on the track. They’ve been a great partner and we couldn’t accomplish what we have without the resources they provide.” 

Keselowski enjoyed a breakout season in 2011 and his three wins propelled him into the Chase as a wild card entry. 

After winning his first race of the season in the June trip to Kansas Speedway, Keselowski really caught fire later in the summer ironically right after breaking his foot and ankle in a testing crash at Road Atlanta. 

Keselowski roared back the following Sunday to win at Pocono and continued a roll that vaulted him into the Chase and made him a legitimate title contender until late in the playoff run. 

“This has definitely been a dream season for me in my first year driving the ‘Blue Deuce,'" said Keselowski, who finished fifth in the final point standings. "We were able to show progression as the year went along and that was one of the most important things for me. This was basically a new team and for us to compete for the championship in our first year together really bodes well for our future.”

Busch and Addington started the season strong with a stellar effort at Daytona’s Speedweeks that included a Budweiser Shootout and Gatorade Duel win as well as a solid in the in the Daytona 500. 

But it was a roller coaster season the rest of the way that had many peaks and valleys including a pair of wins at Sonoma in June and again at Dover come October. 

Busch’s famous temper got the better of him several times during races with radio communication meltdowns aimed at Addington, the team and even Penske punctuating the year. 

His emotional outbursts spilled over to the media and Busch got into heated exchanges with press members on more than one occasion at one point grabbing a transcript from a reporter and ripping it in half when he denied saying what was printed in black and white. 

(WARNING - GRAPHIC LANGUAGE)



 

However the final straw came at Homestead’s season finale when Busch launched into a expletive-laden tirade toward ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch and his crew, a moment that was caught on video by a nearby fan and became a You Tube sensation. 

It led to Busch and Penske “mutually parting ways” at season’s end, finally drawing his at times successful but turbulent career with the legendary team owner to a conclusion.

 

Preview 

The Penske shake-up included Addington’s departure from the team to take over as Tony Stewart’s crew chief at Stewart-Haas Racing as well as Busch leaving the organization. 

So Penske rebuilt the No. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge squad by bringing A.J. Allmendinger over from Richard Petty Motorsports to pair up with former Nationwide crew chief Todd Gordon

Allmendinger, who was considered by many to be the next first time winner in the series after an impressive year with RPM, was elated to get an opportunity to drive for Penske. 

In addition to their NASCAR careers, the duo share experience and success in open wheel racing and Allmendinger hopes that will carry over to his stock car performance. 

Yeah, I think for me with my background and where I've come from, Roger Penske and just Penske Corporation as a race team, as a business, the way he goes about just taking care of his guys, everything that goes along with that, it's been the pinnacle,” Allmendinger said. “I've always wanted to drive for Mr. Penske, so it's something that when the opportunity arose, I was -- I jumped right at it. 

“It's something that I have always dreamed of, and I just feel like the way he runs his organization, the way he takes care of his people is first-class and top-notch. So that's something that I wanted to be a part of.” 

Keselowski and his crew chief Paul Wolfe now become the veteran leadership of the two car tandem in 2012. Keselowski believes the foundation of what they accomplished last season will again make the No. 2 entry a championship-caliber team again this year. 

"We want to fire out of the box strong next season, compete for wins early, and show everyone that we are going to be a legitimate team for years to come," Keselowski said. "I’ll take a little time to myself over the off-season, but I’m already excited about going to Daytona next year.”

 

Outlook

The pressure will be on Allmendinger and Gordon to take over a car that won twice and made the Chase last season. It may a tall task to ask from a driver still searching for Sprint Cup win number one and a rookie crew chief. A good start will go a long way in helping the pair build confidence and chemistry, which will be starting from square one. Keselowski appears poised to take the next step in his career and join the group of elite drivers in the series.  As he demonstrated last season, a good beginning to the campaign isn’t necessarily imperative in his case as he was impressive in the late regular schedule run into the playoffs. I’d expect at least one of the Penske duo to make the Chase and the driver of the Miller Lite No. 2 is the choice.

CHECK OUT MORE POSTS FROM OUR 2011 TEAM REVIEW/2012 PREVIEW SERIES 

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Posted on: December 22, 2011 5:05 pm
Edited on: December 26, 2011 1:21 pm
 

Team Review/Preview: Richard Petty Motorsports

By Pete Pistone



Image Detail
("The King" was all smiles at the end of the season but Richard Petty Motorsports' future is fuzzy for 2012)


Review

Impressive was the word to describe the 2011 Richard Petty Motorsports effort. 

The very real possibility of the organization being forced to close its doors ended the 2010 campaign as the ill-fated deal with co-owner George Gillett blew up in a financial mess. 

But Petty was able to put together a group of investors including Medallion Financial Group and DGB Investments to keep the team afloat. 

There were tough decisions to be made and RPM was forced to cut back from a four-car operation to running just a pair of teams in 2011. 

But the end result was a tandem of Marcos Ambrose and A.J. Allmendinger that gave the team a victory and brought RPM back to respectability. 

“I’m 73 years old – I’m not ready to start a new life,” Petty said when he took over full control of the team that bears his name at the beginning of the season. “So I will hang on to what we’ve got going. … I live on what I’m doing now from the standpoint that this is what I love to do; this is what I want to do.

“I want to be involved. The more I can be involved, the better I feel. I’ve been doing this since I was 11 years old. This is a lifestyle. And I didn’t want to change my lifestyle, so basically I did everything I could to keep that going.”


Ambrose came over from JTG Daugherty Racing to pilot the No. 9 Ford and rewarded Petty’s decision to add the popular Australian to his stable with a win at Watkins Glen in August.

It was also vindication for Ambrose who gave away a chance to win the previous year at Infineon Raceway when he shut off his engine to save fuel while leading and could not come back up to speed costing him the victory.

“I’ve felt a lot of weight of expectation and pressure to win and sometimes that clouds judgment,” Ambrose said after passing Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski on a green-white-checkered restart. “I know I’ve tripped myself once or twice trying to get to victory lane here in the Cup series.

“It’s not that I was worried, but the word ‘choke’ was starting to creep into the back of my mind.”

The road racing ace added solid runs at several oval track races throughout the season to end up nineteenth in the point standings and score five top five and twelve top ten finishes.

Allmendinger knocked on the door of his first career Sprint Cup Series victory several times and came close to joining his teammate Ambrose in victory lane.

He wasn’t able to accomplish that goal but was still impressive in his own right finishing fifteenth in the standings and chalking up ten top tens along the way.

“I feel like at a lot of race tracks we’re pretty solid. I just want to be consistent,” Allmendinger said in review of his year. “Our biggest problem is that the race tracks we’ve been bad at we’ve been really bad at. I just think we need to get more consistent overall.

“If we can go into the offseason and figure out where we need to work on – the flatter race tracks, the mile-and-a-halves, Kentucky, Chicago, Kansas, California – if we can get better at those tracks, I think we can be a legitimate top ten team and then from there it’s just about slowly getting better after that.”

However things changed dramatically from that view only weeks into the offseason.
 

Preview

RPM’s plans for the 2012 season are very much up in the air.

Best Buy took its sponsorship to Roush Fenway Racing and in the aftermath Allmendinger was released to take the ride at Penske Pacing’s Shell/Pennzoil Dodge.

While Ambrose is under contract to return in a Stanley Tools fully sponsored No. 9 entry, RPM needs to find a replacement sponsor in order to field the iconic No. 43.

“Our plan remains to run a two-car team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012, and we are continuing down that path,” chief executive officer Brian Moffitt said. “We believe there are several very talented drivers who are still available and would embrace the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the legendary No. 43 Ford Fusion. We continue to move forward and are optimistic about the future of this race team.”

The team is reportedly in talks to sign David Ragan, who was squeezed out of Roush when UPS scaled its sponsorship back and lost out on the Penske ride. However unless RPM can bring in corporate backing, it’s unclear whether the organization can field a second car out of its own pocket.
 

Outlook

Twelve months later Richard Petty Motorsports is right back in the middle of uncertainty. After coming from the brink of extinction last year at this time, the team now faces the daunting task of finding millions of dollars in sponsorship just weeks away from the start of a new season. While RPM remaining in the Ford camp to continue its alliance with Roush assures the team will again have competitive equipment, it’s difficult to gauge the 2012 performance until more questions about the organization’s future are answered.

 
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com