Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Notebook: RPM Still Talking To Toyota

Multiple sources at Richard Petty Motorsports tell Sirius Speedway that RPM is still mulling the possibility of moving its entire operation to the Toyota camp in 2010. RPM spokesmen have downplayed reports of a possible manufacturer switch in recent weeks, but sources say that talks are ongoing with both Dodge and Toyota. No decisions have been made, but in an attempt to cover all their bases, the team recently had a series of publicity photos taken of Kasey Kahne and a Budweiser-sponsored #9 Toyota Camry.

Red Bull To Stay Put: Published reports today say that Red Bull Racing will remain in the Toyota camp for 2010 and beyond. General Manager Jay Frye traveled to Austria recently to meet with team owner Dietrich Mateschitz and choose between Toyota and Chevrolet, and to solidify the status of Brian Vickers, who is in the final year of his current contract.

Frye told Sirius Speedway last week that an official announcement will be made in the next 7-10 days, and sources close to the team say that Toyota will get the nod. Vickers will return to the team with a new multi-year contract, and will also run a limited schedule of NASCAR Nationwide Series races next season with Braun Racing.

New Bullet For FoMoCo: Ford Motor Company will debut its new NASCAR powerplant this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. The engine features improved horsepower and torque curves, as well as an improved cooling system, allowing teams to run more tape on the nose to improve downforce.

No specifics have been announced yet, but at least some of the five Roush-Fenway Racing Fords are expected to run the new engine Sunday.

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