Best Buy announced today that they were renewing their partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and AJ Allmendinger.
“Best Buy is proud to renew our relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports and driver AJ Allmendinger for the 2011 season,” said Drew Panayiotou, senior vice president of marketing for Best Buy in a press release.
“Richard Petty is a motorsports icon and is well respected within the sport of NASCAR. Being a part of a team with his leadership is a privilege. We will be doing some innovative work with Richard Petty Motorsports surrounding our sponsorship, creating new and fun ways to engage the fans. We look forward to continuing our support of AJ and the No. 43 team as they strive to make their way to Victory Lane.”
“It’s great to have Best Buy back onboard our No. 43 Ford,” said Allmendinger. “They have been a great partner and I’m really excited about the opportunity to work with an organization that is as passionate about its racing program as I am. I think this is going to be a great year for this Richard Petty Motorsports team and I can’t wait to get the Best Buy Ford into Victory Lane.”
Best Buy announced that they would be the primary sponsor for 26 of the 36 races on the schedule.
AJ Allmendinger displayed a solid performance during the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with two top-5 and eight top-10 finishes.
In addition, he scored his first-career pole at Phoenix International Raceway. Allmendinger closed the season 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, a career-best.
This marks a key step in rebuilding Richard Petty Motorsports following a year filled with turnmoil.
The team ran into financial trouble that saw them almost miss the final three races of the year after George Gillett, former part owner, made some bad financial decisions outside of the racing business.
Sporting News reported that Gillett, who owned as much as 70 percent of the team, defaulted on it’s roughly $90 million loan last February. Sirius Speedway reports that he still owes $70 million to Wachovia Bank, while still making payments to Ray Evernham for the purchase from him. Evernham told Sirius Speedway that Gillett is up to date in his payments.
The sale of Liverpool FC was suppose to help Gillett restructure it, however, it sold for a amount far less than expected causing some of these strains.
To try to put some of the pieces together, Gillett sold his stock in the companies that operate the Northstar-At-Tahoe Ski Resort in Vail Resorts on Tuesday, which is worth $63 million as according to Sirius Speedway.
Gillett's moves did not help the team in restructuring, though.
At the end of the season, Petty announced a partnership with Medallion Financial and DBG Investments, who as a group purchased the assets from Gillett. They also have made the choice to downsize to two cars instead of running a full fleet of four.
Allmendinger will remain behind the wheel of the famous No. 43 Ford and Marcos Ambrose will drive the No. 9 machine with sponsorship from Stanley and DEWALT.
Considering everybody's thoughts of worry and feelings that RPM would be shut down, they look to have everything under control going into 2011.
The only question is: How will they do on track and will things continue on a good path?