Kenny Francis comments on Kahne & RPM Richard Petty Motorsports and a dispute with Roush Fenway Racing. Roush provides cars and technical support to RPM. Needless to say, there have been _ and remain _ many questions about Richard Petty Motorsports moving forward. Kenny Francis talked for a few minutes [to Dustin Long of the Virginian Pilot] before inspection Friday about some of the issues. Here's what he had to say:
Q) How does the team regroup after all that has happened this week?
FRANCIS: "There's been a little uncertainty of the week, but we're still looking forward to running here. We've got Aric (Almirola). He's done real good here and he's a real good guy and I like him a lot. I've known his family a long time so that's encouraging to be able to work with him.
Q) With all that is happening, do you look at your situation as week to week even with the fact you will join Kasey Kahne at Red Bull after this season to be his crew chief there
FRANCIS: "My obligation is to the end of the year and I intend to meet that if that's what they want to do and that's what Max (Jones), Robbie (Loomis) and Richard (Petty) all of them want to do, that's fine with me. I want to support this team and try to do the best we can. We're disappointed that we didn't do as good as we could with Kasey. We had issues here and there. Hopefully, we can run good the last few races here and finish it out on a strong note. I don't know what the plans are for Aric beyond this weekend, but I sure enjoy working with him.'
Q) How much of a challenge has this year been. Start of the year the team was slow to get cars from Roush as they were building them and now the issue of working with Roush
FRANCIS: "It's been a challenge all year, but the good thing is about two-thirds of the way through the year we really started to make progress on the cars and the cars are getting a lot nicer and a lot better and this is probably the nicest car we've had all year. It's been a little bit of a challenge getting stuff going but overall it got going OK. Hopefully, it will work out for everyone in the end.''
Q) There was talk that some of the 9 crew guys moving to Red Bull for next year would no longer be with the team this week
FRANCIS: "All that is pure speculation. There is not anyone that has got anything figured out as far as I know.''
Q) Everybody here at Martinsville with your team was with the team last week at Charlotte, correct? FRANCIS: Yes sir.
Q) Are you fine with finishing the year at RPM?
FRANCIS: My obligation is to the end of the year and if that's what they want me to do, that's what I'll do. That's the right thing to do. I want to help these guys out as much as I can. I've been part of this company for a long time (he's been Kasey's crew chief since 2005 and was with team before that). I want it to keep doing the best it can. They've got good cars and good stuff, and I want to support Richard and everything that he's done for us. I intend to do what I can if that's what they want me to do.''
Q) Do you have confidence that you guys will stay in business through the rest of the year?
FRANCIS: I can't speculate on that. I don't know what they've got going on. I know the attitude got a lot better as the uncertainty kind of went away yesterday. I thought there were some good signs. I don't know what's going on. Honestly, I don't have a clue. Hopefully all the good signs I was seeing were good.''
Q) Good signs? Such as the cars being back in the shop and the attitude
FRANCIS: "Just the general attitude of everyone kind of raising up a notch. That's the biggest thing I think.'' Virginian Pilot
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