NASCAR legend Richard Petty says he is confident that Richard Petty Motorsports will continue into 2011 despite its recent financial problems, but it will only run two cars compared to this year's four-driver lineup.
Richard Petty Motorsports has had well-publicized funding troubles lately. The team was formed by a merger of Petty Enterprises and the Gillett Evernham squad at the start of last year, but its future had been in doubt following financial issues for co-owner George Gillett.
Petty has now announced that it will continue running its No. 9 car for ex-JTG Daugherty driver Marcos Ambrose and the No. 43 for existing driver AJ Allmendinger. Ambrose had already been signed to replace Red Bull-bound Kasey Kahne, whose seat was temporarily taken by Aric Almirola after Kahne made his team switch early.
The No. 19 and No. 98 cars, driven by Elliott Sadler and Paul Menard this year, will not be retained for 2011. Sadler is stepping down to the Nationwide Series with Kevin Harvick's team, while Menard will switch to Richard Childress Racing next year.
"Richard Petty Motorsports has completed its restructuring process and is now in the process of moving forward," said Petty in a statement. "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."