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
9. Stanley/DeWalt, Twisted Tea
43. Smithfield Foods, Air Force, STP, Charter Communications
43. WinField, Fresh from Florida, Charter
|Debut||Sprint Cup Series
2000 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 (Richmond)
2009 Daytona 500 (Daytona) (as RPM)
2009 NAPA Auto Parts 200 (Circuit Gilles Villeneuve)
|Latest race||2014 AAA 400 (Dover)|
|Race victories||Sprint Cup: 20
13 (as Evernham Motorsports)
2 (as GEM)
5 (as RPM)
5 (as Evernham Motorsports)
2 (as RPM)
|Pole positions||32 (Sprint Cup)|
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. The team has the odd distinction of being the result of three successful teams (Evernham, Petty, & Yates Racing) merging after falling on hard times.
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.
- 1 Sprint Cup
- 1.1 Car #7 history
- 1.2 Car #9 history
- 1.3 Car #19 history
- 1.4 Car #43 history
- 1.5 Car #91 / 98 / 10 / 44 history
- 2 Nationwide Series
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Car #7 history
On November 16, 2001 Ultra Motorsports announced they had entered into a joint venture with Evernham Motorsports where the team would switch to Dodge Intrepids from Ford. Casey Atwood, who had been driving Evernham's #19 car and needed a ride once Jeremy Mayfield became the team's second driver, would take over the 7 car for the 2002 season. The venture was known as Ultra-Evernham Motorsports, with Ultra owner Jim Smith handling day-to-day operations and Evernham handling technical and competition aspects of the team. Ray Evernham described it as "doing two and a half teams." In January 2002, Sirius Satellite Radio was named as the sponsor for the 7 car. In his sophomore season, Atwood struggled severely, with a 29.4 average finish for the year. The partnership was dissolved after Smith decided to remove Atwood from the car with two races left in the season. Ultra Motorsports Truck Series driver Jason Leffler was named the interim driver. Jimmy Spencer would take over the car in 2003 for the once again independent Ultra Motorsports Dodge.
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, the last of which came at North Carolina in the fall of 2003, 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, after Dodge Dealers/Mopar/UAW had sponsored the team since 2001. 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 Stanley Black & Decker moving over from the 19 team. 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.
In September 2014, Marcos Ambrose announced he would not return to RPM for 2015, and would depart from NASCAR to return to Australia and the V8 Supercar Series for Team Penske. Drivers rumored to replace him include Sprint Cup winner David Ragan and Nationwide Series winner Sam Hornish, Jr.
Since 2011, the team has switched from Evernham-styled "9E" numbers to Petty Enterprises-style number logos.
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. 20-year old Busch Series driver 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.
For Evernham's full-time debut in 2001, Atwood was named as the driver of the 19 car, teammate to Bill Elliott's 9 car. The team was part of Dodge's reentry into NASCAR, with Dodge Dealers sponsoring the full season. 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, Evernham made a change. He signed Jeremy Mayfield, who had recorded three wins for Penske Racing but who had been fired in September 2001 and had not run since, to join Elliott and drive the #19. As part of the move, Evernham agreed to the aforementioned deal with Ultra Motorsports which gave Atwood a car to drive. 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
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, moving Sorenson to the #43 for the 2009 season in the process. 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.
2010-2011: A.J. Allmendinger
For 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.
2012-Present: Aric Almirola
To replace Allmendinger, RPM signed Aric Almirola, who had replaced Kasey Kahne in the 9 car at the end of the 2010 season. Almirola earned a Pole start at Charlotte in May, and collected one top 5 and 4 top 10's en route to a 20th place finish in points. Aric's best run of the year may have been at Kansas in October, where he qualified fifth and lead 69 laps after taking the top spot on lap 6. But on lap 121, Almirola blew a tire, sending his Farmland Ford into the wall. He spun on lap 172 racing for the lead and lost a lap on pit raod. After getting his lap back and working his way up to 13th, Almirola hit the wall once again, setting the front of the car ablaze and ending the promising run. Almirola also returned to the Truck Series in 2012 on a part-time basis driving for his old crew chief Richie Wauters' No. 5 Ford.
In 2013 Almirola returned to the No. 43; at Martinsville Speedway in October, the team ran the No. 41 to honor Maurice Petty's induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. During the 2013 season from Martinsville to Darlington, Almirola had the most consecutive Top 10s in the 43 car since Bobby Hamilton in 1996. After being fastest in practice in Talladega, his crew chief Todd Parrott was suspended or violating NASCAR's substance abuse policy. Almirola finished a career high 18th in points. For 2014, the team hired Trent Owens, Richard Petty's nephew as crew chief.
In January 2014, RPM announced a three year contract extension with Almirola after working on one year deals the previous two seasons. This coincided with sponsor Smithfield Foods stepping up to fund 29 races in each the next three seasons with brands Smithfield, Farmland, Eckrich, and Gwaltney. Almirola had a rather slow start to 2014, being involved in a 12 car wreck in the 2014 Daytona 500. At Bristol, Almirola posted his best career finish to date of 3rd, only behind winner Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
The next week at Auto Club Speedway during the 2014 Auto Club 400, Almirola got involved in an accident with part-time Cup driver Brian Scott. Almirola made a pass on Scott for 4th place. Scott controversially moved into the back of Almirola to wreck himself and Almirola. In a post-race interview, an angry Almirola retorted "The 33 was obviously a dart without feathers and coming across the race track. He ran right into me. Man, he came from all the way at the bottom of the race track and ran into me. He's not even racing this series for points. He's out there having fun because his daddy gets to pay for it and he wrecked us. That's frustrating."
At the 2014 Coke Zero 400, Almirola would earn his first career win in the Sprint Cup Series after avoiding two major wrecks, and leading the field when the race was called off after 112 laps due to rain. His win also marked the first victory by the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 since 1999, and 30 years to the day Richard Petty won his 200th race. On his big victory Aric Almirola said "The good lord was watching out for us today and we were meant to win. It's real special for me to win here. This is not only the 30th anniversary of this team's last win at Daytona, it is my hometown and I remember growing up watching Daytona 500s and Firecracker 400s here. To win is real special."
Car #91 / 98 / 10 / 44 history
#91 Research & Development Dodge
The 98 car car started as the 91 car driven by Hank Parker Jr. at Rockingham Speedway in 2002. Casey Atwood also ran at Homestead with Mountain Dew after being released from the #7 car. The car returned to racing at Pocono Raceway, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway with 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.
#10 Valvoline-Evernham Racing Dodge
In 2006, The team became full-time and was renumbered to the 10 car as Scott Riggs and sponsor Valvoline moved over from struggling MB2 Motorsports. In addition to sponsoring 22 races in 2006, Valvoline also maintained an ownership stake in the team through Senior Vice President James Rocco (like with MBV), 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. Going into 2007 with high hopes, Evernham's performance suffered; Riggs failed to qualify for 6 races and had 5 DNF's with only one top 10 finish all season. He was released with two races remaining in favor of former CART driver Patrick Carpentier, who had also replaced him at Watkins Glen.
The 36-year old Carpentier became the full-time driver for 2008, part of a unique rookie class stacked with open wheel veterans all trying to emulate the success found by Juan Pablo Montoya the previous year. This included IndyCar Series Champions Dario Franchitti and Sam Hornish, Jr., and CART and Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve, as well as DEI development driver Regan Smith. With Valvoline taking a backseat role in 2008 and Stanley Tools moving to the #19 car, GEM signed LifeLock for eight races, a identity security company making a large entrance investment into NASCAR. Charter Communications and Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper also sponsored several races. Carpentier won the pole at Loudon, but struggled, as did his fellow open-wheel counterparts. He had no top 10s, missed 5 races including the Daytona 500, and was out of the top 35 in points when he was released after Kansas. Second-year driver A.J. Allmendinger replaced Carpentier, after being released from Red Bull Racing in favor of Scott Speed. In his 5 races for GEM, Allmendinger was impressive, posting three top 15s and often outrunning his teammates. Allmendinger was initially rewarded with a full time ride in the #19 car, replacing Elliott Sadler. This was derailed when Sadler intended to sue the team and Allmendiger to keep his job, when Reed Sorenson was signed as a third driver, and when several sponsors threatened to leave the team in response to the recent moves.
#44 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge
The merger between GEM and Petty Enterprises in January 2009 suddenly expanded the team to four rides; the team was renamed to Richard Petty Motorsports, Sadler remained in the 19, while Sorenson moved over to the newly absorbed #43 car. Later that month, Allmendinger was signed to drive the newly renumbered #44 (used by Kyle Petty and others at Petty in the past) in 2009, with an option for a second season. The only starts guaranteed for the team were 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 unveiled a retro Valvoline/Petty Blue paint scheme for the Daytona 500, and opened the year with a 3rd place finish in the Great American Race. 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. The 44 would also run Fords in several late season races in preparation for a manufacturer switch the next year. Considering the circumstances the year began on, Allmendinger had a solid season, with one top 5, six top 10s, and a 24th place points finish. He would move over to the 43 the next year.
#98 MENARDS Ford
For 2010, due to the buyout of Yates Racing by RPM, Paul Menard replaced Reed Sorenson (driver of the 43 in 2009) and drove the #98 Menards Ford Fusion. Menard posted similar stats to Allmendinger the prior year (1 top 5, 6 top 10s, 23rd in points), but left the team along with crew chief Slugger Labbe for 2011, taking the Menards sponsorship with him to Richard Childress Racing, forcing the #98 to shut down.
Car #09 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.
In 2013, the #9 was driven by Marcos Ambrose in the Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio to a seventh place finish. The 9 was also run at Homestead for the season finale with Corey Lajoie behind the wheel. He was involved in a crash and finished 33rd.
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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- Richard Petty Motorsports (Official website)
- Richard Petty Motorsports owner statistics at Racing-Reference
- Ray Evernham owner statistics at Racing-Reference
- Gillett Evernham Motorsports owner statistics at Racing-Reference
- Stanley Motorsports
- Smithfield Foods
- Aric Almirola
- Marcos Ambrose
- Dakoda Armstrong