Richard Petty has admitted he had a contract ready after the Finger Lakes 355 and tried to persuade Ford to sign it because Marcos Ambrose won the race. Prior to Dodge's announcement about leaving NASCAR after this season, Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) was rumored to be interested in a partnership with the car manufacturer. Now, it seems that the team is scrambling to make a deal with Ford.
Richard Petty Has a Contract Ready
Richard Petty explained he tried to get Ford to sign a contract after Ambrose's win on Aug. 12. He mentioned, "I had a contract in my pocket, I was going to let them sign it right there. I don't think it went over too good." Although Ford refused to sign a new contract immediately after the race, Petty's bold move does not mean that the company is ready to break ties with the team. It seems that they are simply going to extend the contract negotiations.
Is RPM Being Pushed out by Penske Racing?
Penske Racing will be joining Ford for the 2013 NASCAR season. Their abandonment of Dodge has forced this car manufacturer to leave NASCAR after failing to find a replacement team. There were multiple reports linking Richard Petty Motorsports to a potential Dodge deal, but nothing worked out. It is rumored that Dodge actually rejected RPM because they wanted a top team that would guarantee wins next season.
Penske's move to Ford seems to have jeopardized Petty's current deal. Richard Petty mentioned, "I don't think we're shuffled out, but kind of shuffled around." Petty's comments indicate that the focus has switched to Penske, and Marcos Ambrose's win at the Finger Lakes 355 may not be enough to change this.
Is Dodge Still an Option?
Despite recent reports from fans, Dodge has stood by its decision to leave NASCAR at the end of this season, so Richard Petty Motorsports no longer has this option. In addition, there has been no indication that either Chevrolet or Toyota had an interest in the Petty team for 2013. It seems that Richard Petty will have to negotiate with Ford.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.