Petty team members learn job status

Richard Petty Motorsports team members were told of their job status for 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season today.

Richard Petty Motorsports held a meeting Monday morning to clarify which employees would remain as the company downsizes from four NASCAR Sprint Cup teams to two.

According to sources, director of competition and vice president Robbie Loomis delivered the news and workers were separated into two groups — remaining employees and those the organization chose to let go. President and general manager Max Jones and director of operations Sammy Johns were also in attendance.

With crew chief Kenny Francis leaving to join Kasey Kahne at Red Bull Racing and crew chief Richard “Slugger” Labbe moving on to Richard Childress Racing with Paul Menard, understandably, many of their men will follow.

Mike Shiplett's No. 43 team, which finished 19th in the points standings after a fifth-place showing by AJ Allmendinger on Sunday, is expected to remain intact.

Team co-owner Richard Petty later issued a statement on the organization's NASCAR Sprint Cup plans.

“Richard Petty Motorsports has completed its restructuring process and is now in the process of moving forward," Petty said in a statement. "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. Currently, we are concentrating on building two solid programs with AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel of the No. 43 entry and Marcos Ambrose in the No. 9 Ford.

“We are very fortunate to have an extremely loyal family of partners and are looking forward to the future.”

Potential investor Andrew Murstein of Medallion Financial Group was at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday meeting with team management, Allmendinger and Ford Racing.

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