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RPM Does Not Rule Out Third Team In 2011

[1]With two teams set for next season, Richard Petty Motorsports team owner Richard Petty hasn’t ruled out the possibility of fielding a third Sprint Cup team next season, according to SceneDaily.com [2].

All four current RPM drivers were entering the final year of their contracts with the team this season. Kasey Kahne is departing the team at the end of the season to join Red Bull Racing [3] for one year before joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. Paul Menard is leaving the team to join Richard Childress Racing [4] next season. And, Elliott Sadler has indicated that he would not return to the team [5] next season. He has yet to announce where he will drive next season.

Marcos Ambrose was signed earlier this year [6] to drive for RPM with Stanley as a sponsor. And, AJ Allmendinger was re-signed [7] to a multi-year extension.

Richard Petty said:

We’ve talked to a lot of people about a third car, but our main deal is make sure we’ve got two really good cars, and then we try to do a third deal. We’ve got until the end of the year [to make a decision]. If we’re downgrading from four teams to three teams, we’ve still got plenty of everything it would take to run that third car. It wouldn’t be like just having two, and then all of a sudden we’ve got to go out and get cars, people and trucks and all the equipment to run the third car. We can wait a pretty [long time], I think, as far as being able to get cars ready.

There has been no word of a potential driver, but with most of the free agents in 2011 being signed already, there aren’t many options for drivers. Sam Hornish could be available, as he was reported to have been given permission to seek other options, as he has not been re-signed by ┬áPenske Racing.┬áJustin Allgaier could also be a candidate, as he has been given permission by Penske to seek other options, as Verizon is leaving the team’s Nationwide car.

Aric Almorila was linked to the team [8] earlier, but he has signed with JR Motorsports [9] next season.

Sadler could also be brought back, though that may not be very likely.