Petty to pick Ford over Chevy, Ambrose and Almirola to return

UPDATE #2 This rumor is upgraded to 'strong' today. The director of Ford Racing said on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway that the manufacturer is "very close'' to a new deal with Richard Petty Motorsports. "All the pieces are in place,'' Jamie Allison said before the Chase opener. "We're working on giving them the tools so they can be competitive. It's all going to work." There was a report last week that Chevrolet might be in the mix for RPM, but sources close to the situation said the plan is to re-sign with Ford. Allison was excited about the prospects of keeping RPM in the Ford camp. He also mentioned maintaining a relationship with Marcos Ambrose, the driver of RPM's #9 car who is in the final year of his contract. He did not mention Aric Almirola, the driver of the #43 who also is in the final year of his contract. ESPN

09/15/12 Richard Petty is busy lining up his team for 2013 (and, hopefully, beyond), and he is moving in waters that remain choppy and with changeable tides. Discussions about Richard Petty Motorsports' future continue, but the landscape as it currently is painted appears to keep the RPM cars in the Ford camp for the next season, although the King has been talking with more than a few other possible partners.

"It looks like there is not going to be a lot of change there for next year, but there's no concrete stuff yet," Petty said Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. "We're figuring on staying in exactly the same place, with the same operation from a manufacturing standpoint. We don't see a change unless somebody else comes up with something." Petty said he expects drivers #9-Marcos Ambrose and #43-Aric Almirola to return but admitted the die is not cast. SPEED

09/08/12 According to sources, principals from RPM met with Richard Childress Racing management earlier this week to discuss the possibility of becoming a satellite team similar to the relationship that the Welcome, N.C.-based organization has with #78 Furniture Row Racing.

"No comment on anything because I don't have a clue what's going on," Richard Petty said. "When we get everything squared away, we'll talk to you. Other than that, there ain't nothing. There ain't nothing there 'til we bring something there, and right now we have nothing."

Sources say the move to Chevrolet would include technical support from the manufacturer in the form of sheet metal, wind tunnel time and engineering. Petty Enterprises last ran Pontiacs under the General Motors banner before switching to Dodge in 2001. FoxSports

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