The future of Richard Petty Motorsports is still very much in doubt, with director of competition Robbie Loomis not able to give any guarantees beyond this weekend's race at Martinsville.
Loomis met with the media Saturday morning, and while he tried to be optimistic, Loomis made no unequivocal statements that RPM would continue to survive.
"Like I said before, there's been a lot of speculation about a lot of things, there always has been in this sport, but what gives me confidence is that we've always had the ability to move forward," Loomis said. "We do our best today. I was thinking riding up the road this morning with Dale [Inman] and I said, 'You can't look too far out in the future because today is all that we really have,' and many of you know that from being around this sport."
Loomis said that he hoped "we're all in Talladega" next week, but again couldn't offer a guarantee. "It's our full intention to keep rolling right along," he said.
There has been speculation that Richard Petty is trying to put together a group of investors to purchase controlling interest of the organization from the Gillett family. George Gillett and Tom Hicks were essentially forced out as owners of Liverpool FC, the soccer club that was purchased by a group headed by John Henry, co-owner of Roush Fenway.
"I don't want to speculate on anything like that," Loomis said of the speculation. "Like I said, there are a lot of people working collectively together to make this thing more successful as we go forward in the future. Like Richard said when he came down on Thursday, he said, 'Look guys, we're in the same business. We're trying to provide winning race cars and give them to AJ Allmendinger and Elliott Sadler and our drivers that are driving the cars today, so the game hasn't changed. It's the same thing we're doing.' "
The financial turmoil at RPM runs deep, but it came to the forefront on Oct. 20 when the team parted ways with Kasey Kahne. Kahne is now at Red Bull for the season's final five races. Also, three of RPM's four Talladega cars were briefly repossessed by Roush Fenway Racing, which provides cars and engineering support to RPM.
Loomis said the Gilletts still have control of the team.
"The Gilletts, they've been through a lot obviously – everyone knows that," Loomis said. "They've worked really hard to be a four-car team last year and continue it this year, and now we’ve got to look at what our teams are gonna look like going into next year."
Marcos Ambrose is scheduled to drive the No. 9 that Kasey Kahne vacated in 2011, and said Friday that he's committed to the team "as long as the boat's still floating."
AJ Allmendinger also re-upped with RPM for 2011, leaving the organization with two drivers for 2011. Elliott Sadler will move on to Kevin Harvick Inc., and Paul Menard is going to Richard Childress Racing.