Richard Petty Motorsports
Douglas G. Bergeron
|Base||Concord, North Carolina|
|Series||Sprint Cup Series
|Race drivers||Sprint Cup Series
9. Marcos Ambrose
43. Aric Almirola
43. Dakoda Armstrong
|Sponsors||Sprint Cup Series
43. Smithfield Foods, Air Force, STP, Charter Communications
43. WinField, Fresh from Florida
|Debut||2009 Daytona 500 (Daytona)|
|Latest race||2014 Camping World RV Sales 301 (Loudon)|
Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) is a two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race team owned by seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, Douglas G. Bergeron and financial company Medallion Financial. The team was founded as Evernham Motorsports in 2000, was renamed Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2007 after former Montreal Canadiens and Liverpool F.C. owner George Gillett bought a controlling interest from founder Ray Evernham, and took on its current name after merging with Petty Enterprises in 2009.
In November 2010, an investment group including Medallion Financial Corp., Douglas G. Bergeron and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, signed and closed sale on racing assets of Richard Petty Motorsports. Andrew M. Murstein, president of Medallion, had been seeking a sports investment since 2008 when he formed a special purpose acquisition company together with Hank Aaron, a Medallion board member, and others. Petty, Bergeron, and Medallion Financial are the current owners of the team; Gillett no longer has a stake.
The team currently fields the #9 Stanley/DeWalt Ford Fusion for Marcos Ambrose and the #43 Smithfield Foods Ford Fusion for Aric Almirola in the Sprint Cup Series, and in the Nationwide Series fielding the #43 WinField Ford Mustang for Dakoda Armstrong.
Car #9 history
The #9 debuted in the 2001 Daytona 500 with Dodge's return to NASCAR. Bill Elliott won the pole for the event and finished in fifth place. He marked the season with his first win in seven years at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and had a fifteenth-place finish in points. After three more wins and a ninth-place finish in the points in 2003, Elliott announced that due to the pressures of a full Nextel-Cup schedule, he would step down from his full-time ride and would race the team's research and development car. His replacement was rookie Kasey Kahne, a successful open-wheel racer just starting to gain respect in the Busch Series. Kahne won four pole positions and a thirteenth place finish in points on his way to winning Rookie of the Year honors. He won the spring Richmond race in 2005, but finished a disappointing 23rd in the final point standings.
Near the end of the 2005 season, Evernham initiated a crew swap between his teams, citing performance issues with both cars. As a result, Kahne received most of what was Mayfield's team from 2005. In 2006, Kahne won six races, including the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. He also made his first Chase for the Nextel Cup, finishing 8th in the standings at the end of the season. His six wins were a series high in 2006 and he also tied for the most pole awards with Kurt Busch, winning six. On September 18, 2007, it was announced that Budweiser would sponsor the #9 car beginning in 2008. In his first year with Budweiser sponsorship, Kahne had two wins and finished fourteenth in points. The next year, Kahne scored his first road course victory at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 and won again at Atlanta on Labor Day, earning him a berth in the Chase. However, early misfortune at Loudon put the #9 team out of contention for the championship, finishing 10th in points. 2010 would start the #9 team off on a high note by winning the 2nd Gatorade Duel in a photo finish. However, the team was plagued by inconsistency and was knocked out of Chase contention before Richmond. With a lack of results, Kahne departed the team before Martinsville and drove Red Bull Racing's #83 Toyota. Kahne was replaced by Aric Almirola for the remaining races, who had a best finish of 4th at Homestead. Marcos Ambrose took over driving duties at the beginning of the 2011 season with sponsorship from Stanley Black & Decker. Ambrose had a break out year in the No. 9 Ford and drove to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory at Watkins Glen International in August. He finished the season with a career high, at the time, twelve top tens, and nineteenth in points. Ambrose returned in 2012, and once again won at Watkins Glen, but only had eight top tens. However, he did pick up one spot in points to eighteenth. He failed to win or finish in the top five in 2013, but finished in the top ten on six occasions. He dropped to twenty-second in points. Ambrose returned for his fourth season with Petty, and has already picked up two top fives this season, and is currently twenty-second in points so far in 2014.
Car #19 history
The #19 car was Evernham Motorsports' first foray into Cup racing. It debuted at the 2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway as the #19 Motorola Ford. Casey Atwood drove the car to a nineteenth-place finish. The abbreviated season was capped off by Atwood's tenth place finish at Homestead that year. Atwood and the team went full-time the next year. The year was off to a sluggish start when Atwood failed to qualify at the spring Atlanta race, but picked up steam towards the end of the year, winning the pole at Phoenix International Raceway, and almost winning the Homestead race before relinquishing the lead to teammate Elliott late in the race. Atwood barely missed wrestling the rookie of the year crown away from Kevin Harvick, despite Harvick finishing much higher in the points (ninth) and winning twice.
At the end of the year though, Jeremy Mayfield became available, and Evernham signed Mayfield to drive the #19 machine while Atwood was moved to Ultra Motorsports, who had just signed a partnership agreement with Evernham. Mayfield struggled in his initial year with Evernham, posting just four top tens and finishing 26th in points. He won a pole at Talladega Superspeedway the next year however, and improved to 19th in points. 2004 was even better, winning at Richmond and barely making the cut for the inaugural Chase For The NEXTEL Cup. He claimed one more win in 2005 and also made the Chase For The NEXTEL Cup once again.
However, after the 2006 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, where an early-race crash dropped the #19 team out of the top-35 in owner points (thus requiring the team to qualify for each race on time), Ray Evernham replaced Mayfield with Bill Elliott for the race at Watkins Glen, citing a lack of performance through the 2006 season. However, in affidavits filed in court Mayfield blamed his lack of performance and subsequent termination from the team on Evernham's heavy involvement with his rookie driver Erin Crocker, and the "close personal relationship" that developed between the two. On August 16, Elliott Sadler, after leaving Robert Yates Racing due to differences, was officially named the driver of the #19 car for the remainder of the 2006 season, as well as being named the driver for the 2007 season. In his first race, Sadler qualified second and finished tenth. This was the #19 car's best finish of the 2006 season until Sadler scored a sixth-place finish at New Hampshire several weeks later. After the conclusion of the 2006 NASCAR season with Sadler at the wheel, the #19 team finished 34th in owner points, guaranteeing it a spot in the first five races of the 2007 season.
In November 2007, Best Buy was announced as the new official sponsor for fifteen races in the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Later Stanley and McDonald's were announced as the two other primary sponsors on the #19. On December 27, 2008, GEM announced that A.J. Allmendinger would be replacing Sadler in the #19 for the 2009 season. At the same time the team also announced several of its sponsors were considering leaving the team and that Ray Evernham had cleared his personal belongings out of the team's race shop, but it was not clear whether it was related to the hire. On January 3, 2009, Sadler's attorney announced that he would be seeking a breach of contract lawsuit against GEM for the dismissal. Looking to avoid the lawsuit GEM and Sadler's attorneys reached a settlement six days later that would return Sadler to the #19 for 2009 while keeping Allmendinger with the team. Sadler had five top-ten finishes in 2009, and finished twenty-sixth in points. Stanley was the team's sponsor for all 36 races in 2010. Due to a lack of results, Sadler announced his departure from the team in mid-season allowing this team to shut down. The team was considered to return in 2012 after Clint Bowyer was offered a contract, but Bowyer accepted a 3-year contract with Michael Waltrip Racing to drive the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota Camry, thus leaving this team inactive.
Car #43 history
When the 43 car entered the RPM group, Reed Sorenson was named the driver. The 43 ran multiple sponsorships from McDonald's, Valvoline, the United States Air Force, Super 8, Reynolds Wrap, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Charter Communications, Auto Value Bumper to Bumper, Liberty Medical, and Siemens, but only had one top-ten finish; a ninth at the rained-shortened Daytona 500, and Sorenson was released the end of the season. Current RPM driver Aric Almirola pilots the #43 Smithfield Foods Ford.
In 2008, Gillett Evernham Motorsports bought out Ashland Oil's share of Valvoline Evernham Racing, which effectively ended the partnership. Valvoline will continue to serve as a primary sponsor for the car in select races. LifeLock and Cintas will provide additional backing to the team. Patrick Carpentier was later released from the team, after a disagreement with his crew chief, Mike Shiplett, for not qualifying for the AMP Energy 500. Mike Wallace and A. J. Allmendinger finished out the season for the team. On August 26, 2008 Gillett Evernham Motorsports announced the signing of Reed Sorenson to a multi-year contract to drive the #10 car. On Thursday January 9, it was announced that Richard Petty would sell his team to GEM. In the process, moving Reed Sorenson to the #43 for the 2009 season. The team ran Allmendinger in the car for a limited schedule. The Air Force sponsorship moved to the #43 car with Sorenson and Shiplett. In 2010 the team announced they had moved AJ Allmendinger over to the #43 car for the 2010 season, he finished 19th in the points. In 2011, A.J. showed continued improvement, especially when he was paired with former Roush Fenway Racing crew chief Greg Erwin. The team would finish 15th in points, but it was not enough to retain Best Buy as a primary sponsor. As a result, Allmendinger was granted a release from RPM and he soon joined Penske Racing. Almirola returned to the team for 2012 after driving for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, with sponsorship coming from Smithfield Foods, the United States Air Force as well as STP and Charter Communications. At the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway, Almirola ran the #41 in honor of Maurice Petty's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. On July 6, 2014, Almirola won his first Cup race in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona. He won the race nearly 30 years to the day Richard Petty won his final race in the 43 car in the same race on July 4, 1984.
Car #98 history
The 98 car car started as the 91 car driven by Hank Parker Jr. at Rockingham Speedway in 2002. The car returned to racing at Pocono Raceway, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway with Casey Atwood driving the 91 Mountain Dew Live Wire, Dodge. In 2004 Bill Elliott took over a part-time deal to drive the 91 in 10 events in 2004. He was sponsored by McDonald's, Stanley Tools, and GSK. He returned to a limited schedule in 2005 as well. In 2006, The team became full-time and was renumbered to the 10 car, driven by Scott Riggs and sponsored by Valvoline. Valvoline also owned the car as well creating a technical alliance called Valvoline-Evernham Motorsports. The team nearly won on several occasions including Charlotte, Talladega, and Texas where he crashed out in 2nd place with 2 laps to go. He finished 18th in final standings despite missing the Daytona 500. Despite high hopes in 2007, Riggs was released in favor of former CART driver Patrick Carpentier because of poor finishes. Patrick won qualifying for the 2008 Lenox 301, but had little success otherwise. Patrick was released in favor of AJ Allmendinger in October 2008. After excellent runs by AJ, he kept his ride going into 2009. The #10 Dodge switched to #44 in 2009. A.J. Allmendinger was signed to drive the #44 in the Budweiser Shootout and the first eight point races of 2009, with the possibility of more races if the team could secure sponsorship. The team opened 2009 by finishing third in the 2009 Daytona 500. Later in the season, Allmendinger finished 9th at Martinsville. They secured sponsorship through the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond in the fall. RPM announced in April that Allmendinger was being signed to a two-year deal, which would keep him in the #44 through the end of the 2010 season, and sponsorship from Hunt Brothers Pizza, Super 8, Harrah's Entertainment, and Ford allowed him to complete the season. For 2010, due to the buyout of Yates Racing by RPM, Paul Menard replaced Reed Sorenson and drove the #98 Menards Ford Fusion. Menard left the team along with crew chief Slugger Labbe for 2011, taking the Menards sponsorship with him to Richard Childress Racing, thus shutting down the team.
Car #9 history
The #9 Ultimate Chargers Busch team started as the #6 Pepsi-sponsored Dodge Intrepid for Tommy Baldwin Racing. The team made its debut in 2002 at the fall Michigan Busch Series race, where Wally Dallenbach drove the team to a 14th place finish. Dallenbach finished in the top ten in his other two starts in the car that year, splitting the car with Damon Lusk. Lusk took over on a limited basis for 2003 but did not finish in the top 10.
In 2004, primary sponsor Unilever backed the Hungry Drivers program to allow for young drivers to compete for a full-time seat in NASCAR. Four drivers were chosen to compete for the seat and the chosen drivers were Scott Lynch, Mark McFarland, Tracy Hines, and Paul Wolfe. Each driver was given three races to prove their talent. After scoring 2 top-20 finishes, including a 12th place effort at New Hampshire, Wolfe was awarded the #6 Busch seat for the 2005 season.
In October 2004, Evernham Motorsports acquired Tommy Baldwin Racing, and with it, the Hungry Drivers program. Paul Wolfe started out the 2005 season, but was let go after the first four races due to poor performance. Kasey Kahne and Jeremy Mayfield took the brunt of the driving duties of the #6 with Kahne scoring the team's first win at Kansas in October. Other drivers would also share in the driving duties of the car, including Mike Wallace, Tracy Hines, Bill Elliott, Casey Atwood, and also Paul Wolfe for three races. Erin Crocker would also make her Busch Series racing debut with the team at Richmond.
For the 2006 season, a number of changes were made to the team. First, a number switch with Roush Racing gave Evernham the #9 to use for his team while the #6 went with Mark Martin's Busch team. Also, Unilever's sponsorship of the team was expanded. Now called the Ultimate Chargers team, it would feature Kasey Kahne, Jeremy Mayfield, and Scott Riggs as the main drivers of the car throughout the year. Crocker, who competed under the #98 with sponsorship from General Mills, and Boris Said also shared driving duties in the car. Kahne, who drove the majority of races for the team, won twice at Las Vegas in the spring and Fontana in the fall. In 2007, Kahne won the spring race at Charlotte and the fall race at Bristol with sponsorship again from Unilever. Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Scott Riggs, Boris Said, and Chase Miller shared the brunt of the driving duties in the car. Deac McCaskill drove for the team in a single race at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis.
In 2008, Unilever, along with additional backing from AutoValue/Bumper-to-Bumper and Ingersoll Rand, continued sponsorship of the team with Kahne, Sadler, Patrick Carpentier, and Chase Miller sharing driving duties in the car through the year. Results were mixed for the Nationwide GEM team. For the first time since the program's inception, the team failed to record a win. The car's best results were two second-place finishes. The first was recorded by Kasey Kahne in the spring race at Bristol while Patrick Carpentier finished 2nd in the race at Montreal.
Later in the year, it was announced that primary sponsor Unilever would move to the #5 of JR Motorsports. As a result of the loss of the sponsor, the organization announced that the car would move to a part-time schedule for the 2009 season. With the cutback, the team also let go about 65 employees, some of whom were also from the engine shop.
In 2009, the number 9 team partnered with Braun Racing and their #10 Toyota Camry for several races with Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler. Fritos with the sponsor at Atlanta with Kahne as driver. Bumper to Bumper sponsored Sadler at New Hampshire. McDonald's was the sponsor at Daytona is July and at Bristol in August.
Car #43 history
In the 2003 season, the team debuted with Jeremy Mayfield driving the #79 Dodge Intrepid, with Mountain Dew sponsoring, at Rockingham. He finished 4th in the only race for the team that year. The team returned for the 2005 season, operating as a 2nd Busch team. Sponsorship for this car came mainly from Trus Joist and Auto Value. Kahne and Mayfield shared the driving duties for the three races the team ran with a best finish of 4th at Richmond in May. Kahne also drove the car to a 12th place finish at New Hampshire and Mayfield had a best finish of 29th at Charlotte. While the team didn't run in 2006, a couple of the chassis from the #79 were run by Erin Crocker in her first couple of races.
Chase Miller drove the car as a second GEM car in selected NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2008, with sponsorship from Cellco Partnerships (a joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone) on the car. The team was retired once the Braun-Petty deal was announced.
The team was brought back in 2011, RPM provided a car for Marcos Ambrose in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Montreal. The #9 Stanley Ford was prepared by Roush Fenway Racing. Owen Kelly practiced and qualified the car while Ambrose was in Michigan for the Sprint Cup race. The car qualified 9th. Even with the team starting in the back with the driver change, the team won the race that stopped a string of bad luck for Ambrose at the track.
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- ”Ambrose victory validates investment into RPM” NBC Sports, August 16, 2011 (http://scores.nbcsports.msnbc.com/nascar/story.asp?i=20110816174624103641708&ref=hea&tm=&series=NASCAR)
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- Associated Press (2013-07-10). "Ambrose to run Mid-Ohio Nationwide race for Petty". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
- "Nationwide Children's Hospital 200". NASCAR. 2013-08-17.
- "Paint scheme preview: Chicagoland". NASCAR. 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2013-07-19.
- "Dakoda Armstrong joins Richard Petty Motorsports". NASCAR. 2013-12-05. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Richard Petty Motorsports (Official website)
- Stanley Motorsports
- Smithfield Foods
- Aric Almirola
- Marcos Ambrose
- Dakoda Armstrong