Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that in an effort to retain sponsor Best Buy, Richard Petty Motorsports has proposed replacing AJ Allmendinger as driver of the legendary #43 Ford with Busch. RPM struggled to re-sign Best Buy a year ago, negotiating until early January before inking a one-year contract. The electronics retailer served as major sponsor of the #43 team in 26 events this season.
Richard Petty Motorsports Chief Operating Officer Robbie Loomis confirmed today that discussions have been held regarding Busch, saying, "Best Buy has been a great partner for a long time, and AJ Allmendinger has done a fantastic job for us. He's coming off his best season yet, but I can tell you there is a lot of interest on our part in having Kurt Busch in the fold. It makes sense to have Kurt with our team, if we can make it work.
"Our main focus is to continue building on what we finished the season with last year," said Loomis. "But right now, I feel like I'm running down two different sets of train tracks. From a personal standpoint, nothing has excited me more than when I heard Kurt had become available. I'm excited about the opportunity to add a driver like Kurt Busch to Richard Petty Motorsports. I would mortgage my house to make Kurt a part of this team. We value what he has done on the race track. He has won a (Sprint Cup) championship and worked for a first-class operation like Penske Racing. Guys like that don't come along every day."
Allmendinger finished 15th in 2011 Sprint Cup Series championship points, with one Top-5 and 10 Top-10 finishes. His best finish was a fifth in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in late May. Busch won a pair of races this season at Infineon and Dover en route to 11th in points, tallying eight Top-5 and 16 Top-10 finishes. He parted company with Penske Racing earlier this month, in the aftermath of a much-publicized verbal confrontation with ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch during the 2011 season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway (Sirius Speedway)
This makes perfect business sense for RPM. They have a 2 -car team with all the rsources, but with Ambrose still young in his Cup career, having Busch would be a huge win for RPM. It would be a big break for Kurt too. This deal will likley hinge on Best Buy.
Finch would be a disaster for Busch. They won't run competitively enough to keep him IMO. Hendrink cars and motors don't get you everything. The team won't have the funding. I would cross them off. He will end up with RPM. No disrepect intended by my post NIKAL. I just think attitude means everything and nothing in racing. Some or the greatest drivers were always the worst when something bad happened. Sr. is a great example. I do believe this could be strike 3 though if something doesn't give.
Back to Loomis. He gave RP wins in 96,97,and 99 as a crew chief. They hadn't won a race since 83 before that. RP got his last 2 wins in cup driving for Mike Curb in 84,85. He returned to PE in 86 and never got the success back. The team has been in pieces since early 2000's though. They have gotten better since 07, but they have also acquired a ton of people and resources. I'm not a KB fan, but I think he is one of the more passionate drivers out there.
PETTY a CHASER........in someones dreams....Hey MIKE want to get in on this looks like you might win a beer here then you won't have to buy one.
I'm good , thanks
NEW INFO: 5:10 (Central Time) Bob Pockrass reporting Best Buy looking at moving over to #20 car with JGR or possibly Roush with the #17 team or MWR's #15...unlikely to return to RPM.
If you connect the dots... Best Buy, Dollar General & Game Stop would sponsor Joey...meaning that Home Depot would need a driver to compete with Johnson & Menard in the Home Improvement war... Kurt? They missed on Carl, but could go with Kurt.
Best Buy would probably get a bargain with Kenseth, but Kenseth isn't much of young gun anymore... With MWR, they would fill the slot for Clint Bowyer that 5-Hour left available.
So, Home Depot with Kurt at what team?
4th Gibbs car with Kurt & Home Deport = destruction of Gibbs Racing.
Easy, you're a professional about it. If/when another offer comes along, you move on...
I think AJ could be appealing marketing wise if given the opportunity - I don't see what the sponsors see in Joey. He sure isn't a fit for Dollar General.
I know this is an old thread being brought back. But at the start of this thread in Dec I questioned why Robbie Lommis still had a job at RPM. I thought Robbie Loomis was not worth what Petty was paying him and I did not see any improvement with him running RPM. Well it looks at if Richard Petty has decided not to renew Robbie's contract.
Richard Petty Motorsports has elected not to renew Robbie Loomis' contract for 2012. Loomis, who was most recently listed at Chief Operating Officer for RPM, first joined Petty Enterprises as a crew chief in 1991 at the end of the King's driving career. "I'm taking some time off," Loomis said. "My contract was up in December and I'm looking to explore what's next. Richard is still family -- so is everyone else at Richard Petty Motorsports. The future is exciting because it's unknown but there's still a lot of uncertainty in what the future brings." Loomis wouldn't acknowledge whether or not he would continue on as a consultant for the team but added that he'd "Do anything to help Richard Petty Motorsports be in a better place." But with Best Buy pulling out of RPM and Smithfield signing up for a limited schedule on the #43 Ford, it's become increasingly clear that the company could no longer afford Loomis' reported seven figure salary. “Obviously, what we saw in December there had to be some corrections to make everything continue on to move forward." While no successor for Loomis has been named, certainly with 20 years of racing experience, Sammy Johns, RPM's director of operation, is more than capable of overseeing the competition department.