July 27, 2010
“JTG Daugherty Racing and our sponsors are obviously huge Marcos Ambrose fans and we are disappointed to see him leave after five great years of building a program together from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to the Nationwide Series, and into the Sprint Cup Series,” said Tad Geschickter, co-owner of JTG Daugherty Racing along with Brad Daugherty and Jodi Geschickter. “Marcos is a friend and he is a great talent. He will be an asset to his next team."
But since we don't know what that new team is at the moment, let's examine the possibilities. Stewart-Haas, the first destination for most free-agent drivers, is probably out of the equation at this point. There's no room at the inn at Hendrick or Roush, so they're out too.
A fourth car at Joe Gibbs Racing could be a possibility, and while Richard Childress has room for a fourth car, given how last year went for the team, there's no reason to think that it'd want to expand back to four teams.
An intriguing possibility for Ambrose is Richard Petty Motorsports, a team that's probably not going to bring back Elliott Sadler next year and has already confirmed Kasey Kahne's departure. Paul Menard and AJ Allmendinger are also in contract years, but it's feasible to think that RPM could survive as a two-car team. However, that would depend on Menard, as he has full-season backing from his father. RPM is losing Budweiser along with Kahne, and if Menard doesn't come back, RPM would be left without a full-season sponsor.
How weird would it be to see Ambrose find a ride for 2011 before Kahne's future plans are finalized? Where do you think Ambrose would be a good fit? Drop us a line in the comments.
UPDATE: Well, that was quick. Sirius-XM's Dave Moody, the host of Sirius Speedway, is reporting that a deal between RPM and Ambrose is "95 percent done" for Ambrose to drive the No. 9 car in 2011.
And yes, we still don't know where Kahne is headed.
UPDATE 2: Ambrose just said on ESPN's NASCAR Now that reports that a deal was complete with RPM were untrue. We'll see in the coming days what happens, as Ambrose told SceneDaily.com's Bob Pockrass that he'll take a week or so to let things settle.
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