Richard Petty Motorsports will continue under the Blue Oval.
If you have a winning formula, why change it?
That was the key reason for Richard Petty Motorsports to remain with Ford beyond 2015.
“I think that’s a good decision for us right now,” said Trent Owens, the winning crew chief from Sunday’s Coke Zero 400 on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “Changing manufacturers – from the workload side of things – would be a challenge to say the least.
“I’ve enjoyed being with Ford. I’ve enjoyed working on these race cars and we just really need to perfect what we’ve got and that will allow us to do that.”
The RPM today is stark contrast to what started with Bill Elliott Racing (in Fords) in Statesville, N.C., was replaced by Evernham Motorsports Dodges at the end of 2000 evolved into Gillett Evernham Motorsports in 2007 before merging with the Pettys and rebranded as RPM two years later.
With four races remaining in the 2009 season, Elliott Sadler rolled out the first Ford for RPM. AJ Allmendinger competed in Fords for the final three races before the entire company transitioned to Fusions in 2010. RPM has campaigned in Fords ever since.
While the company scaled down from four teams to two in 2011, RPM has emerged stronger than before. So it’s not surprising that the rising operation opted to test its value in the market only to realize no other manufacturer could provide RPM with as solid of an opportunity as Ford.
On Sunday, the company propelled driver Aric Almirola to his first career Sprint Cup win – the third for the organization.
In addition to his first victory, Almirola matched two milestones for Ford Racing in NASCAR. For the first time since 2005, the Blue Oval Brigade posted three consecutive victories in the Sprint Cup Series. It’s also marks three years since Ford drivers have won seven races in one season.
“It’s huge for the momentum, the morale,” Owens said. “We’re a small team. We’re not a big, big team by any means. We have a strong alliance with Roush Racing, get our engines from Roush Yates. We’re a small group of guys trying to do big things. Yesterday we did some big things.
“It improves our chances of making the Chase and running for a championship, so there’s a whole new energy focused towards that. You can just see it in the guys’ faces when you walked in here this morning, the happiness. All these teams in the garage put in tons of hours, tons of work and have sacrificed a lot of family time to this deal. You have to be very, very passionate about working on race cars.
“So it’s really neat to see the morale of the people here and that will carry over for a long time.”