Monday, November 22, 2010

Layoffs at RPM Pave Way For Petty Takeover

Richard Petty Motorsports is officially a two-car team today, after a series of employee layoffs early this morning.

The meeting was held today at 8 AM, to announce which employees will remain with the team going forward and which are being let go, with Vice President and Director of Competition Robbie Loomis delivering the news along with team President and General Manager Max Jones and Director of Operations Sammy Johns. There is no immediate word on how many employees were terminated, but crewchiefs Kenny Francis and Slugger Labbe had already announced plans to follow drivers Kasey Kahne and Paul Menard to Red Bull Racing and Richard Childress Racing, respectively, with at least some of their former crews in tow.

Reliable sources tell Sirius Speedway that AJ Allmendinger’s team – led by crewchief Mike Shiplett – will return virtually intact in 2011.

Richard Petty issued a statement late this morning saying that the team “has completed its restructuring process and is now in the process of moving forward. 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.”

Medallion Financial Corp. President Andrew Murstein was at Homestead-Miami Speedway yesterday to meet with Petty, Allmendinger and officials from Ford Racing. Medallion is expected to provide financing for Petty to purchase a controlling interest in the team and force out embattled majority owner George Gillett. Petty created a new limited liability company -- R P Family Franchise – earlier this month, a move that is thought to be a part of his takeover bid.

Richard Petty Motorsports placed two cars in the Top Five yesterday at Homestead Miami Speedway, with Aric Almirola fourth and Allmendinger fifth.

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