Richard Petty Motorsports' Immediate Future in Trouble?; Updated 11/10 7:23PM
After reports going into last weekend showed that Richard Petty Motorsports would be running the final three races with all four cars, reports from yesterday state otherwise.
Five truck drivers from RPM sat as of Tuesday evening still at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth waiting for the call as to if they were heading west for the next race or back to the shop in the east.
Reports continue to show that Richard Petty is trying to buy-out the rest of the team from George Gillett with help from Ray Everingham. Sources report that Petty is getting close on closing the deal as he tries to align a group of investors.
According to Sporting News, Petty owns four percent of the team. The only car that equates to his ownership as per NASCAR’s list of owners is the No. 43 car, while George Gillett owns the No. 9, No. 19, and No. 98.
Sources told Fox Sports last month that Petty met with Toyota principals and Michael Waltrip Racing at Martinsville on Sunday, with meetings continuing into the following week.
This would not be the first time that Petty has teamed with Toyota as RPM ran Toyotas during part of the 2009 season. That deal cut shot as Toyota could not match the amount RPM wanted and they went to Ford.
"I've been here since 1949 and I'm going to be here till they run me off,” Richard Petty told ESPN Sunday at Martinsville.
The only problem for Petty in trying to secure something is that the deal lacks a sponsor as no sponsor has signed yet.
The only sponsor signed within the entire RPM organization is Stanley Tools, rumored to be worth $10 million, with Marcos Ambrose and the No. 9. Negotiations are reportedly still continuing between RPM and Best Buy to see if they’re return to the fold with A.J. Allmendinger.
Edit 11-10-2010 10:39AM
Dustin Long reported via twitter that a Richard Petty Motorsports spokesperson told him that the trucks would be headed for Phoenix Raceway this morning.
Edit 11-10-2010 11:05AM
Jim Utter now reporting via his sources that the Phoenix Raceway cars for RPM are being held at Texas Motor Speedway in Roush-Fenway Racing (RFR) Trailers. The cars have yet to be released to RPM due to lack of payment.
RFR supplies RPM with their chassis and engines for an undisclosed amount of money. RPM was threatened not to be going to Talladega Superspeedway last month due to lack of payment.
RFR took the motors and chassis to their shop at the beginning of the week. However, by the end of the week, RPM recieved their chassis and motors back and had a meeting with RFR officials to discuss financial restructuring.
It looks as if the meeting didn't present positive results as RPM finds themselves in the same situation.
Edit 11/10/2010 12:24PM
David Newton is reporting via twitter that his sources are telling him that the RPM trailers will leave Texas for Phoenix tomorrow at 9:45am.
Updates will continued to be posted, though for the most recent updates, check my twitter feed.
Edit 11/10/2010 4:40PM
As the afternoon has drawn on, more information is bring brought forth.
The meeting to arrange financial terms did take place before Martinsville and that was suppose to clear up issues like this. However, Roush told SpeedTV.com writer Tom Jensen that strick renogiated terms were agreed to and George Gillett was instructed to make sure he made the payments on time or else this could happen.
Now, George Gillett and RPM failing to make payment is what has resulted in the trucks leaving Texas being haulted. A check has been given to RFR and if it clears, then tomorrow the trucks will be able to leave as told in the previous update.
A.J. Allmendinger knows as much as everybody with the situation as he tweeted, "Hoping were racing this weekend. I will be ready no matter what."
Edit 11/10/2010 7:23PM
NASCAR Racehub reported that the haulers have officially left Phoenix Raceway for Texas Motor Speedway.