Published on November 23rd, 2010 | by Michael J Smith1
Parrott To Serve As Crew Chief For Ambrose In 2011
[Ambrose and I have] been talking, working on communication. He’s been coming over here, getting fitted for seats. He has some ideas of what he wants, what he’s looking for so the conversations between us have been very good. Once the dust settles and the smoke clears it will all be good. The cars continue to get better. The simulation programs are better. Just look at how the [RPM Nos.] 9 and 43 [of AJ Allmendinger] ran on Sunday at Homestead. I can’t wait to get started.
After the 2010 Daytona 500, Parrott replaced Drew Blickensderfer as crew chief for Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 17 Ford and driver Matt Kenseth. Kenseth and Parrott started out strong, posting four top 10s in their first four races together, three of which were top 5s. But, despite Kenseth being locked in a battle for a Chase berth, Parrott was replaced by Jimmy Fennig in four months later.
Parrott then moved to RPM as crew chief for Elloitt Sadler and the No. 19 team. Over the final 18 races of the season, Sadler and Parrott posted a 25.3 average finish.
Meanwhile, RPM has downsized, as has been expected for quite some time. RPM shrunk from a four-car team to a two-car operation, as Richard Petty continues to seek backing to acquire majority interest in the team.
Next season, the team will field Fords for AJ Allmendinger and Ambrose. RPM is currently working on a deal in which Best Buy would sponsor the No. 43 for the majority of next season’s races. Ambrose will be sponsored by Stanley Tools.
The contraction meant several crew members were let go. With Kenny Francis moving to Red Bull Racing with Kasey Kahne , and Richard “Slugger” Labbe following Paul Menard to Richard Childress Racing next season, many of their crew members will follow them.
In a statement RPM said:
Richard Petty Motorsports has completed its restructuring process and is now in the process of moving forward. RPM will shift from running four cars to two in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and that is never an easy process for the people involved. Currently, we are concentrating on building two solid programs with AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel of the No. 43 entry and Marcos Ambrose in the No. 9 Ford. We are very fortunate to have an extremely loyal family of partners and are looking forward to the future.