In a blow to Richard Petty Motorsports, Best Buy Co., Inc. announced that it has reached a deal with Roush Fenway Racing to serve as primary sponsor for Carl Edwards for two races and Matt Kenseth for nine races in 2012. Best Buy will also serve as an associate sponsor for both drivers.
Drew Panayiotou, senior vice president of marketing with Best Buy, said:
Best Buy is thrilled to announce this new NASCAR sponsorship deal with Roush Fenway Racing. [RFR] is a great fit for Best Buy Racing. NASCAR continues to be a relevant way for us to connect with our customers. Our goal is to reach our target audiences in a meaningful way, while maximizing the value of our marketing and sponsorship investments.
RPM owner Richard Petty said in a statement:
We have had a successful and rewarding relationship with Best Buy for the past few years and appreciate all they have done for us. Although it is very disappointing that Best Buy is changing directions at this late date, we wish all of our friends there the best in their future endeavors. Our plan has always been to run a two-car team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012 and we are continuing down that path. We have several partners that remain committed to the #43 team. We will move forward and explore all of our options in regard to the #43 program in the coming weeks.
RPM had been rumored to be considering Kurt Busch as a replacement for AJ Allmendinger, with the hopes that Busch would be able to help the team retain the Best Buy sponsorship. Busch parted ways with Penske Racing after the season ended, due to concern from Shell Pennzoil over Busch’s behavior last season. No word on how this latest development affects Busch’s potential status with the team.