Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) confirmed today its current drivers, Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola, have re-signed for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Ambrose will enter his third season driving for the organization. He will again be behind the wheel of the No. 9 Ford with partners Stanley and DEWALT. Almirola will begin his second season as the driver of the No. 43 Ford with primary support from partner Smithfield Foods and its family of brands, Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland and Gwaltney. In addition, long-time Petty sponsor, STP, will also continue as a primary partner of the No. 43.
Ambrose returns to the Petty organization where he has his two Sprint Cup victories. The Australian native has won consecutively at Watkins Glen for RPM. This season, Ambrose also earned his first two Sprint Cup Series poles at Michigan and then Sonoma. In addition to this year's win and two poles, Ambrose has collected eight top-10 and three top-five finishes. He was also in position to earn a berth in the Sprint Cup "Chase" for the second consecutive season.
"It's good to come back to Richard Petty Motorsports and focus on our future together," said Ambrose. "We had success this year and recently have made plans to get better for 2013 and beyond. It was great to win at Watkins Glen, earn my first two poles and also have the opportunity to make the 'Chase' this year. I think the Petty organization, and this No. 9 team under the leadership of 'The King,' Sammy (Johns) and Drew (crew chief Blickensderfer), is going to be even stronger next season. I can't think of a better place to be and am ready to win."
Almirola is completing his first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He also found success with RPM behind the wheel of the famous No. 43 Ford. Almirola won his first career Sprint Cup Series pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. He also collected three top-10 and one top-five finish so far this season. Recently, Almirola has been under the crew chief leadership of RPM veteran Todd Parrott. The combination has helped Almirola lead the most laps in his young Sprint Cup career. The team also recently finished fourth at Martinsville in October.
"We went through some changes this season, but since being paired with Todd (Parrott) and this crew, I've had the most fun I've had in a Cup car," said Almirola. "I think we have a lot of things 'clicking' right now and have a lot of momentum heading into 2013. Everyone at RPM seems to have good chemistry right now and that's a good feeling as we all prepare for 2013."
RPM previously announced its continuing relationship with Ford Racing and the addition of crew chief Drew Blickensderfer. Also confirmed earlier this season, RPM will continue to field the No. 43 Pilot/Flying J Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with driver Michael Annett. Annett is currently fifth in the Nationwide Series championship.
With all the pieces in place for 2013, director of competition Sammy Johns has high expectations in 2013 for all teams.
"We have shuffled our Cup team line-ups a few times this season to maximize our results," commented Johns. "We feel that the chemistry that we are developing now with both teams is very strong. We have seen marked improvement over the past few weeks. It's important that we continue to better our communication and continuity with Marcos, Aric and their teams into 2013. We feel confident that both teams are capable of competing for wins and making the 'Chase' next season."
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