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Petty’s team should not switch to Dodge for the sake of nostalgia

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.

Topics: Articles |

9 Responses to “Petty’s team should not switch to Dodge for the sake of nostalgia”

  1. tim trentham Says:
    April 24th, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    speed reported Penske will continue Dodge engine program ?? I am die hard Ford fan but Roush/yates are not performing…i hate points racing in every aspect…it cost Edwards the title last year & Roush goes right back to it this year ?? Nascar wonders why its not selling tix & tv ratings are down? ? Greed !! no loyalty, boring racing….i say show up, unload, practice, qualify, ,& run what you brung…only changes, tire pressure and chasis… more….leave it up to driver and car, not money & fuel mileage…just sayin….

  2. Tony Geinzer Says:
    April 25th, 2012 at 4:14 am

    I would not flow with the company line,Rich and maybe reinvoragate the lost fan loyalty by making Petty do Dodge again and I would feel it’d be easier to ID your Driver and Team like before.

  3. Lee Says:
    April 25th, 2012 at 6:08 am


    You’ve never had it so gooo. With your limited resources, you’d be crazy to leave the deal that you have in place.

    As Kyle said…you’re just an assembly shop but you’re doing that well.

  4. Bob Brown Says:
    April 25th, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I can’t think of anyone that partnered with Roush that did themselves any favours. Roush will in the end do what’s best for Roush whether it means taking your sponsor, drivers or technology. If RPM ever wants to be more than a 16th-25th place team they need to get away from Roush…the sooner the better. If they’re happy riding around putting in laps, then they should stay status quo.

  5. Tom Nasella Says:
    April 25th, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Hey Bob Brown, how about you elaborate a bit. Just what driver has Roush taken from someone else? Biffle, Kenseth and Edwards have been with Roush all along. Ditto for Stenhouse. Bayne came from Michael Waltrip AFTER he was turned loose. Matter of fact Bayne is a Roush driver who is on loan to the Wood Brothers. Sponsors? Again, what are you talking about? Office Depot used to be with Roush, now with Stewart Haas. National Guard used to be with Roush, now with Hendrick. DeWalt used to be with Roush, now with Richard Petty. I could go on but the fact is that sponsors change teams every single year so it’s really not a big deal. You sound like another NASCAR fan who knows nothing but doesn’t like a certain team or driver so you just spew stuff to suit your thinking.

  6. mr clause Says:
    April 25th, 2012 at 11:43 am

    I certainly don’t think RPM will make a move without a huge commitment from Dodge. I think Petty has gotten a lot wiser over the past few years. Penske sure didn’t do a lot of favors for Dodge revealing his move so suddenly BUT, Dodge had to have some notion that the negotiations were not going their way. One train of thought might be that RPM now with Penske joining the Ford camp would be on the low end of the totem pole although I don’t see Penske buying engines and chassis from Roush. Me thinks the Captain will run his own ship. I don’t think he’d have the trust needed to count on Roush supplying equal parts to his own.

    Before any team moves to Dodge there are going to have to be some BIG numbers offered and it may be that in the end the foreign management doesn’t see that large of a commitment as a needed cost. This deal is a long way from coming together. Dodge stupidly put all their eggs in one basket and now they have nothing. Sad!

  7. jim schmitt Says:
    April 25th, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Dodge doesn’t have a clue!

    Best they could do would be to put the Fiat 500 on the track…

  8. Iowa Guy Says:
    April 26th, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Didn’t Petty have trouble with Dodge not paying him the money they promised? Although Petty and Dodge seem to go together, I think RPM better look long and hard at any deal.

  9. P Howard Says:
    April 26th, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Dodge is probably wary of RPM too. Richard has changed manufactures regularly over the years including being with Dodge and Ford twice each. I think RPM should stay put.