Petty team could be left with engines in 2013
While celebrating the win by Richard Petty Motorsports driver Marcos Ambrose in victory lane Sunday, Richard Petty went up to Ford motorsports director Jamie Allison and delivered a message.
It was less than a week after Petty and the rest of the NASCAR world learned that Dodge would not return to NASCAR in 2013, and Petty figured he would try to capitalize on Allison’s excitement over Ambrose’s victory at Watkins Glen International. Richard
“I told them, ‘Me and Marcos won the race and I had the contract in my pocket,’” Petty said. “I was going to let them sign it right there. I don't think it went over too good.”
It probably didn’t matter how Petty came across. RPM has a deal with Ford and it doesn’t appear that Chevrolet or Toyota have much interest or budget to expand.
Ford is adding Penske Racing to its fold in 2013 to go with Roush Fenway Racing. RPM, which gets engines and technical support from Roush, considered switching to Dodge next season before the manufacturer decided to leave the sport.
“When the Penske deal came about, then we were kind of shuffled around a little bit with Ford,” Petty said. “I don't think we're shuffled out, but kind of shuffled around.
“We're just going to have to, you know, renegotiate our contract with Ford is I guess the way it's going to be.”
Ambrose’s win Sunday marked the second straight year that he has won for RPM and Ford at Watkins Glen.
Allison said he would like to keep RPM in the Ford fold, but also felt that RPM should test the manufacturer waters.
“We are talking about making sure they are with us going forward,” Allison said. “They are with Ford, but I think we both mutually agreed they needed to explore the opportunities.
“We really wanted to make sure that Dodge had opportunities to find great teams, teams that could support their needs on and off the track, and given the history The King had with Dodge, we felt it was appropriate to be transparent on the matter.”
Petty had a long history with Dodge and RPM ran Dodges before switching to Ford in 2010.
The big question is how much support Ford can give RPM while adding the powerful Penske program to its mix.
“At the root of it is we’re talking about The King, we’re talking about RPM, we’re talking about a great program,” Allison said. “We are really diligently looking through the options that we have and the opportunities that they have and see if we can find a way forward.” Sporting News