By admin | April 24, 2012
By Richard Allen
A few weeks ago when Penske Racing announced it would run Ford cars in 2013 it left Dodge without a significant Sprint Cup affiliation. Since then, a number of organizations have been rumored to be heading to that brand for next season. But perhaps the most common subject of those rumors has been Richard Petty Motorsports.
Dodge(or the Chrysler corporation) and the Petty name have been intertwined throughout much of the history of NASCAR racing. Richard Petty himself scored the vast majority of his 200 victories driving Dodges and Plymouths under the Chrysler banner.
While the reunification of the Petty and Dodge names may sound romantic but romance alone will not create a competitive situation in Sprint Cup racing. If indeed RPM is considering any such change, they need to make sure all the pieces are firmly in place for a Dodge effort to be competitive.
Currently, RPM is allied with Roush Fenway Racing. That company supplies cars and engines bearing the Ford nameplate for the famed #43 machine driven by Aric Almirola and the #9 of Marcos Ambrose.
Last season, two fulltime RPM Fords accounted for a total of 22 top-10 finishes with Ambrose and A.J. Allmendinger handling the driving chores. Ambrose also scored a win at Watkins Glen. This season has gotten off to a rocky start with only one top-10 having been recorded in the first eight races of the campaign.
But even with this year’s early struggles, the team appears to be in a good situation in terms of its relationship with a supplier. Both Ford and RFR are fully dedicated to achieving success at this high level of racing.
Would Dodge have as good of a supply line in place? With RPM not having an established engine program, where would the power plants come from? And, would there be ample wind tunnel and testing information available?
These are all complex questions and would need satisfactory answers in place in a reasonable amount of time before any switch should be considered by RPM or any team.
A Petty reunion with Dodge may sound nostalgic on the surface but before such a move takes place, all the pieces need to be firmly in place.
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