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Richard Petty Motorsports
Richard Petty Motorsports.jpg
Owner(s) Name(s) Richard Petty
George N. Gillett, Jr.
Boston Ventures
Racing Series Sprint Cup
Number of Championships 0
Car Number(s) #9, #19, #43, #98
Driver(s) Kasey Kahne (#9)
Elliott Sadler (#19)
A. J. Allmendinger (#43)
Paul Menard (#98)
Primary Sponsor(s) Budweiser (#9)
Stanley Works, Hunt Brothers Pizza (#19)
Best Buy, Valvoline, Super 8, Wix (#43)
Menards (#98)
Shop Location Concord, North Carolina
Homepage Richard Petty Motorsports

Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM), formerly Gillett Evernham Motorsports, is a NASCAR race team owned by current Liverpool F.C. co-owner George Gillett, seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty and a private-equity firm Boston Ventures.[1] The team currently fields the #9 Budweiser Ford Fusion for Kasey Kahne, the #19 Stanley Tools/Hunt Brothers Pizza Ford for Elliott Sadler, the #43 Best Buy Ford for A.J. Allmendinger, and the #98 Menards Ford for Paul Menard, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

On August 6, 2007, it was announced that Gillett had purchased a majority share in the team, then known as Evernham Motorsports and owned by three-time Winston Cup-winning crew chief Ray Evernham, and that the name had been changed. The transaction was similar to the creation of Roush Fenway Racing.[2] On January 9, 2009, GEM completed a merger with Petty Enterprises and brought the team's famous #43 car into the fold. Owner George Gillett told reporters that the team would change names to reflect the merger, with Richard Petty Motorsports or Gillett Petty Motorsports being two of the potential names. The team finally decided on the former name on January 19, 2009 [3]. Shortly afterwards, Evernham sold his remaining share in the operation. Late in the 2009 season RPM announced at deal with Yates Racing that would see RPM purchase the contracts of Paul Menard, his sponsor Menards, Yates Racing engines and would switch from Dodge equipment to take over Yates' longtime association with Ford.[4]

Contents

Sprint Cup

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Car #9 History

The #9 car in 2006.

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.[5] As a result, Kasey 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[6]. In his first year with Budweiser sponsorship, Kahne had two wins and finished fourteenth in points.

Car #19 History

View of the Evernham Motorsports garage for NASCAR vehicles.

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 [7]. On August 16, Elliott Sadler 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. He comes to the team after parting with Robert Yates Racing due to philosophical differences. 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 Tools 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 are 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 will return Sadler to the #19 for 2009 while keeping Allmendinger with the team.[8] Sadler had five top-ten finishes in 2009, and finished twenty-sixth in points. Stanley will become the team's sponsor for all 36 races in 2010.

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 let go at the end of the season. Current RPM driver A.J. Allmendinger will drive the #43 Best Buy Ford in 2010.

Car #98 History (Formerly #91, #10, #44)

Patrick Carpentier practicing for the 2007 Ford 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

What is now the #98 car was originally the R&D car for Evernham Motorsports. It debuted as the #91 car in 2002 at the spring Talladega race. Dick Trickle was the driver, but he failed to qualify. The car was inactive for months until the fall race at Rockingham, when Hank Parker Jr. made his Winston Cup debut in the car, qualifying 25th and finishing 33rd. Casey Atwood drove the car at Homestead, finishing 37th. Atwood drove two more races for the car in 2003, before Bill Elliott took it over in 2004 as part of his semi-retirement. Elliott's best finish came at the 2004 Brickyard 400, where he finished 9th.

In 2005, a partnership was formed between Valvoline and Ray Evernham. Under the agreement, they would form Valvoline Evernham Racing, LLC. Primary sponsorship would come from Valvoline, with Stanley Tools and Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper providing additional backing. Scott Riggs, who was already driving the Valvoline-sponsored #10 Chevrolet for MB2 Motorsports, moved over to the new Dodge team with the sponsor and number. However, Riggs was not able to carry the owner's points with him as Evernham had not purchased the owner points from now-Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, and the points were assigned to the team's new #14 car while Riggs was forced to use the owner points the #91 had earned in the previous season. Because of the lack of owner points and thanks to a mechanical error during qualifying, Riggs was not able to make the field for the 2006 Daytona 500. However, Riggs would still finish out the season 20th in the point standings, having finished above many others who ran all of the races. The 2007 season has turned out to be a great struggle for Riggs. He has only logged one top 10 finish during the season, which was at Martinsville in April. He also fell out of the top-35 in owner points, meaning he isn't guaranteed a starting spot in races. On October 3, 2007 it was announced that Riggs would depart from Valvoline Evernham Racing for Haas CNC Racing for the 2008 Sprint Cup Season. Patrick Carpentier was later signed to drive the #10 Dodge Charger during the 2008 Sprint Cup Season.[9] He took over for Riggs beginning with the fall Phoenix race. He competed full-time in 2008, winning one pole at New Hampshire, with Terry Labonte driving the Valvoline Dodge for one race.

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 [10]. 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[11]. 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 [12]. The team will run Allmendinger in the car for a limited schedule, expected to be at least 8 races. The Air Force sponsorship is going to move to the #43 car with Sorenson and Shiplett.[13]

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.[14] The team opened 2009 by finishing third in the 2009 Daytona 500. Later in the season, Allmendinger finished 9th at Martinsville. They have secured sponsorship through the Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond in the fall[15]. 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.

Late in the 2009 season RPM announced at deal with Yates Racing that would see RPM purchase the contracts of Paul Menard and his sponsor Menards. The #44 car will be renumbered to #98, Menard's car number from Yates Racing.

Nationwide Series

Car #10 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 fulltime 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.[16] 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.[17] 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 employess, some of whom were also from the engine shop.[18]

In 2009, the number 9 turned to the #10 Braun Racing Toyota Camry and picked up Fritos as a sponsor for Atlanta, as well as its long time sponsor, Bumper to Bumper, and ran for several races with Kahne driving.

Car #19 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.

In the last race of the 2007 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Patrick Carpentier made his second Busch Series start. The car was the #19 sponsored by Stanley Tools.

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.

Craftsman Truck Series

In 2006, Evernham Motorsports made its first foray in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. With purchased equipment and owner points from Ultra Motorsports' #2 team, Evernham fielded the #98 Dodge Ram for Erin Crocker. With sponsorship from Betty Crocker/General Mills, Crocker ran the full season, but finished 7th in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings and 25th in the overall standings.

Later that year on December 1, after General Mills left the team, Evernham Motorsports announced that this team was being closed, with the crew being relocated to other Evernham teams.

Driver Development

Evernham Motorsports began its development program in 2005. In 2005, original driver Erin Crocker ran selected ARCA events and made her Busch Series debut at Richmond International Raceway, finishing 39th after crashing. She also competed in the Truck series for a couple of races. She competed full time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2006, finishing 25th in the final point standings. Following the closure of the truck team, she ran several ARCA races for Evernham before leaving the operation in 2007 [19]. Kevin Swindell, who won his first World of Outlaws race in May 2006, competed in the ARCA series in the #4 Dodge. For 2007, he will race in the USAC Sprint and Midget series with Kasey Kahne Racing, driving a factory Mopar-powered car in both series.

Tommy Lane, an African-American, was formerly a part of Evernham's Driver Development program. However, after driving in the Late Model Stock Division in 2005, he and Evernham Motorsports parted ways. A. J. Foyt IV, grandson of the legendary A. J. Foyt, won the inaugural IRL Infiniti Pro Series championship in 2002 and raced in his grandfather's team in the IndyCar Series for the next three years. For 2006, he raced the first seven races in the #38 Dodge for Akins Motorsports before being fired. He made another attempt in the FitzBradshaw Racing #14 Dodge, but failed to qualify for the first event. Foyt was eventually released from his contract and raced the 2006 IRL season finale with Andretti Green Racing [20]

References

External links


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