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DATE News (chronologically)
06/09/10
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RPM struggles because teammates don't talk  On the final lap of the Sprint Cup race at Pocono, Richard Petty Motorsports driver A.J. Allmendinger veered down to block the advances of his teammate Kasey Kahne. The imprudent block sent Kahne into the grass. He lost control and collected a cluster of drivers, such as Greg Biffle, Jeff Gordon, Elliott Sadler, Marcos Ambrose, Martin Truex Jr, and a few more.

Following the race, Kahne was frustrated, and rightfully so. However, he made a comment that irked me, and if it irks me, it has to grind the gears of Richard Petty and the Gilletts.

“I don’t talk to A.J. (Allmendinger) hardly ever. I doubt I’m going to talk to him about this,” he said.

Allmendinger has been Kahne’s teammate for over a year and a half, and Kahne hardly talks to him?

I understand that teammates do not have to become bosom buddies, but they should at least communicate. Perhaps that is why Richard Petty Motorsports is so inconsistent; the drivers hardly speak to each other. Kahne is the veteran and Allmendinger is the up and coming driver. Conventional wisdom would have you believe that Kahne would lend a hand to help his younger teammate. When Kahne was a rookie, he had Ray Evernham, Bill Elliott, and Jeremy Mayfield going out of their way to help him develop. Mayfield even took Kahne around the Martinsville track when he was just a rookie, trying to show him the ropes. Obviously, Kahne does not have the same relationship with his new teammates.

Kahne and Allmendinger have been the two top performing drivers out of the RPM stables, occasionally running near the top five. It would benefit both teams if the drivers compared notes. In all likelihood, the crew chiefs and engineers communicate, but drivers still need to share ideas, and bounce ideas off each as far as which line to use or breaking and accelerating points.

Kahne is leaving RPM following the season, and it appears as if he has no desire to build a relationship with his current teammates. If that is the case, Kahne must adjust his mind-set, because you do not want to display the ‘I don’t car’ attitude to a team even if you are leaving. If he cared, he would reach out to a young driver who obviously needs veteran advice (why else would he run someone into the grass going 200 mph) instead of proudly proclaiming that he ‘hardly’ ever talks to him. Examiner.com

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