Monday, January 24, 2011

Richard Petty Motorsports Announces Sponsor Lineup for 2011

Richard Petty, owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, Andrew Murstein, President of Medallion Financial and Doug Bergeron, co-owners of RPM, announced today the 2011 partner lineup for the No. 9 and No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams.
“We’ve got a lineup of great sponsors for both Richard Petty Motorsports teams next season,” said Richard Petty. “Though we went through some trying times at the end of 2010, our partners saw the value in our organization and remained committed to us for the future. Best Buy, Stanley and DEWALT have made huge commitments to this race team and we thank them for their confidence in our race team. We’re fortunate to have Valvoline, U.S. Air Force, WIX Filters, Reynolds, Super 8 and Paralyzed Veterans of America on board as well.”

“We’ve set our goals and our standards high at Richard Petty Motorsports, and we’re committed to reaching those goals,” continued Petty. “Getting the No. 43 and No. 9 cars to Victory Lane is our number one priority and we have the drive, talent and enthusiasm to do so. We’re completely focused on building this organization into a winning race team and the talent at RPM runs deep.”

The sponsor line up for 2011 includes several organizations that have partnered with Richard Petty in the past. Stanley, an RPM sponsor since 2005, returns for the 2011 season. The 2011 season will also have a new addition to the RPM partner family as DEWALT returns to the sport. Both brands will serve as primary sponsors of the No. 9 Ford Fusion driven by Marcos Ambrose.

“Stanley and DEWALT are proud to partner with Marcos Ambrose and Richard Petty Motorsports,” stated Scott Bannell, Vice President Corporate Brand Management and Licensing, Stanley and DEWALT. “Richard Petty is a legend in the sport and we are honored to have him as the face of our brands on and off the track. Marcos Ambrose is a passionate and determined competitor and we look forward to a successful season together.”

Marcos Ambrose, a two-time winner in the V8 Supercar Series will once again get behind the wheel of a Ford machine as he begins his tenure with RPM. Ambrose has racked up an impressive seven Top-five and 13 Top-10 finishes in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career. Championship winning crew chief Todd Parrott will lead the No. 9 team.

Best Buy will return to sponsor the No. 43 Ford Fusion and driver AJ Allmendinger for 24 races. Leading that team will be Mike Shiplett, who has worked with Allmendinger for several years at Richard Petty Motorsports. Valvoline, U.S. Air Force, WIX Filters, Reynolds and Paralyzed Veterans of America will round out the sponsorship package on the famed No. 43 car for the 2011 season.

“Best Buy is proud to renew our relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports and driver AJ Allmendinger for the 2011 season,” said Drew Panayiotou, senior vice president marketing, Best Buy. “Richard Petty is a motorsports icon and is well respected within the sport of NASCAR. Being a part of a team with his leadership is a privilege. We will be doing some innovative work with Richard Petty Motorsports around activating our sponsorship in new and fun ways for the fans. We look forward to continuing our support of AJ and the No. 43 team as they strive to make their way to Victory Lane.”

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Daytona Beach, Fla. — After two days of single-car runs, RPM Motorsports decided to get a look at the new world of drafting Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, and AJ Allmendinger was sent on the mission.

Allmendinger became the first—and, eventually, only one of two—Ford drivers to test the draft on Daytona’s new surface Saturday. There was no drafting in packs during the three-day session as teams sought to protect their primary Daytona 500 cars from damage—accidental or otherwise. Some drivers hooked up in two-car drafts; many chose not to draft at all.

Allmendinger’s drafting runs produced the fifth-fastest speed of the Saturday morning session—196.386 mph. He drafted at 197.589 in the afternoon.

Carl Edwards and Allmendinger drafted with Chevrolet driver Jeff Gordon. Edwards ran 197.403 in the draft in the afternoon.

“It’s tough to tell,” Allmendinger said after his run. “You get hooked up with two cars, and that’s all it is. It will be all different when you have 43 cars out there.

“Everybody’s going to be pushing and shoving each other. It’s going to be an amazing race for the fans, and it’s going to be phenomenal to watch on TV. It’s going to be scary as hell inside the race car.”

Drivers say they expect three-wide racing on the newly repaved track to be standard operating procedure, and two-car drafts were able to stay hooked up all the way around the speedway Friday and Saturday, creating another strategic possibility for the 500.

“In the end, it’s going to come down to two cars locking up together and pushing each other for the win,” Allmendinger said. “Hopefully, you can put yourself in that position.”

Allmendinger struggled in restrictor-plate races last year, finishing 32nd and 36th at Daytona and 19th and 32nd at Talladega.

“For me, I just need to get better at this stuff, whether it’s two cars or 40 cars,” he said. “Talladega has been my worst race track, and now that’s what this is—a shorter, narrower Talladega.”

Dodge driver Brad Keselowski led the Saturday afternoon session—and the three days of testing—with a draft speed of 198.605. He was drafting with teammate Kurt Busch, who had the second fastest speed at 198.579.

Drafting speeds stayed significantly below the 200 mph barrier, and NASCAR officials said they don’t expect to change restrictor-plate sizes to hold down speeds during Daytona 500 activities.

Credit - Ford Racing

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ford Interview - AJ Allmendinger

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion, took time during a break in testing at Daytona International Speedway to discuss how the test was going, what the team hopes to accomplish this weekend and his thoughts on the upcoming year.

"It is definitely smoother. It is funny, testing the Grand-Am car, it feels the same. It has little choppy bumps in it. It is not glass smooth like Talladega feels like, but it definitely has a ton of grip. I think the previous tests showed, just looking at what people were saying that we are going to run three or four wide. Three-wide might be okay, but this place isn't wide enough for four-wide like at Talladega. The crazy thing I am struggling with is that the wall doesn't feel straight when it comes through the corners. It almost kind of has little points where it jots back at you. If you are up against the wall, you almost have to watch where the wall moves. That is something, for me, I have noticed. Other than that, it is the same old Daytona."

"We are just messing with stuff in the race car to help with speed. We can do stuff in single car runs to look at what helps straightaway speed, cornering speed and stuff for the race. Stuff that maybe you don't have notes on and can go to if you need more speed or handling. Handling won't really be key anymore, it will be key to be fast in the corners. We are messing with stuff like that."

"It is hard to tell right now. I know that they at least look a lot better which is a good thing. The way the nose is going to race I am not really sure. It is tough right now after this morning session because we are out there by ourselves. It seems like maybe it isn't as abrupt when it does hit the ground. The old splitters, there was so much of it there; because it was big it was tough to tell if it was hitting the ground and if you hit it hard it really smashed the nose. Those are my initial looks at it, but we won't really know how it changes racing until we get into big packs here at Daytona and then in aero traffic at other race tracks."

"Well, it isn't so much Marcos as it is going down to two cars. I think that will be really good for the team. This team has had a lot of good resources, but it was just spread too thin. Obviously we went through a rough time at the end of last year that we fought through and hopefully we are better because of that. We are more funded now and more money helps. We have some new race cars to start the year, which we didn't have last year, and I am really excited about that. I think that overall last year we had a good race team. We weren't great, we weren't really good. We were good. I felt like we were a top-15 team last year. We need to work on consistency throughout the race. Ever race, for basically the last six months, I felt like we were a top-10 team at some point during the race but we would lose that at certain areas and couldn't get it back. Homestead is a great example. We were running fourth and then in one run we fell back to 25th and fought all day to get it back. Only because of a fortunate yellow were we able to get a chance to get that back and we were able to finish fifth. It is not even mistakes."

"We have to figure out why our car is on that edge that when it goes bad, it goes really bad. If we can get better with that, I think we will be okay because we have the speed. For me it is a critical year. We have to win. We have to be more consistent and win some races and get that off our back. It felt like each year as a driver I have progressed. The first couple of years I was just trying to survive. In 2009 it was just trying to get through the year as a fourth non-funded car. Last year I thought we worked together and gave ourselves opportunities to win, but didn't take advantage of it at times. We have to give ourselves more of those opportunities and we need to come through and win. We need a lot more top-10's and some top-fives. I think we have to have a 12-13 place average in both qualifying and races. If you do that, you are going to have a good shot at being in the Chase.

Credit - Ford Racing

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Best Buy Renews Race Sponsorship with Richard Petty Motorsports

Worldwide electronics retailer to serve as a primary sponsor of AJ Allmendinger and the No. 43 for 26 events during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season

CONCORD, N.C. (Jan. 4, 2011) – Best Buy Co., (NYSE:BBY), a leading retailer of consumer electronics, and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) today announced their continued partnership for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. The agreement extends Best Buy’s status as primary sponsor of the No. 43 driven by AJ Allmendinger.

“Best Buy is proud to renew our relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports and driver AJ Allmendinger for the 2011 season,” said Drew Panayiotou, senior vice president, Marketing, Best Buy. “Richard Petty is a motorsports icon and is well respected within the sport of NASCAR. Being a part of a team with his leadership is a privilege. We will be doing some innovative work with Richard Petty Motorsports surrounding our sponsorship, creating new and fun ways to engage the fans. We look forward to continuing our support of AJ and the No. 43 team as they strive to make their way to Victory Lane.”

Best Buy will be the primary sponsor for 24 Sprint Cup Series events in 2011and will be featured as the primary sponsor for two non-points events, The Duels and the Sprint All-Star race. In addition, Best Buy will serve as an associate sponsor for the No. 9, driven by Marcos Ambrose. The deal marks the company’s second year with driver AJ Allmendinger and its seventh year in the sport of NASCAR.

“It’s great to have Best Buy back onboard our No. 43 Ford,” said Allmendinger. “They have been a great partner and I’m really excited about the opportunity to work with an organization that is as passionate about its racing program as I am. I think this is going to be a great year for this Richard Petty Motorsports team and I can’t wait to get the Best Buy Ford into Victory Lane.”

AJ Allmendinger displayed a solid performance during the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with two top-5 and eight top-10 finishes. In addition, he scored his first-career pole at Phoenix International Raceway. Allmendinger closed the season 19th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings, a career-best.

Best Buy Racing 2011 Primary NASCAR Sprint Cup Events
2/12 The Duels
2/20 Daytona
3/6 Las Vegas
3/20 Bristol
3/27 California
4/3 Martinsville
4/17 Talladega
5/7 Darlington
5/15 Dover
5/21 All-Star (Charlotte)
6/5 Kansas
6/19 Michigan
6/26 Infineon
7/17 New Hampshire
8/7 Pocono
8/14 Watkins Glen
8/21 Michigan
9/4 Atlanta
9/10 Richmond
9/18 Chicago
9/25 New Hampshire
10/2 Dover
10/15 Charlotte
10/30 Martinsville
11/6 Texas
11/20 Homestead

About Richard Petty Motorsports:
Known to many simply as “The King,” Richard Petty is the most decorated driver in the history of NASCAR racing, winning a record 200 races and seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships during his illustrious career. In late 2010, Petty partnered with Medallion Financial and DBG Investments to purchase the assets of Richard Petty Motorsports. Richard Petty Motorsports will field two teams in competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2011. AJ Allmendinger will remain behind the wheel of the famous No. 43 Ford and Marcos Ambrose will drive the No. 9 machine with sponsorship from Stanley and DEWALT.

About Best Buy Co., Inc.:
With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, China, Mexico and Turkey, Best Buy is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services with a commitment to growth and innovation. The Best Buy family of brands and partnerships collectively generates more than $49 billion in annual revenue and includes brands such as Best Buy; Best Buy Mobile; Audiovisions; The Carphone Warehouse; Future Shop; Geek Squad, Jiangsu Five Star; Magnolia Audio Video; Napster; Pacific Sales; and The Phone House. Approximately 180,000 employees apply their talents to help bring the benefits of these brands to life for customers through retail locations, multiple call centers and Web sites, in-home solutions, product delivery and activities in our communities. Community partnership is central to the way Best Buy does business. In fiscal 2010, Best Buy donated a combined $25.2 million to improve the vitality of the communities where their employees and customers live and work.

For more information about Best Buy, visit

Credit - Best Buy News