Following Wednesday’s announcement that Stanley and DeWalt are leaving Richard Petty Motorsports for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2015, RPM has a major sponsorship hole to fill for next season.
With last Saturday’s revelation that Marcos Ambrose is leaving RPM at the end of the season, as well, the company has lost the driver and two primary sponsors of its No. 9 Ford in just five days.
RPM issued a statement on Wednesday, however, stating its committment to continuing to field two full-time Sprint Cup teams next season.
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The organization has fielded full-time entries for both Aric Almirola, driver of the iconic No. 43 Ford, and Ambrose since 2012.
"Today, we are excited to build new partnerships on the No. 9 team," RPM president and CEO Brian Moffitt said in a news release issued shortly after Wednesday’s JGR sponsor announcement. "We have a vision that our ownership group and sponsors support and believe in. We have built upon that vision in two short years to become championship eligible.
"It’s that belief that will help us support the No. 9 team. One partner that has supported us is Ford Racing who will again be our manufacturer partner as we continue our relationship that has helped us become a Chase organization."
By virtue of his win in the rain-shortened July race at Daytona, Almirola qualified for this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup. He is last among the 16-championship-eligible drivers after suffering a blown engine in Sunday’s Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway.
Smithfield Foods is in the first year of a three-year sponsorship extension on Almirola’s No. 43 car.
Twisted Tea Brewing Company, which joined RPM in 2014 as a season-long associate sponsor on the No. 9 in addition to being Ambrose’s primary sponsor in two races, will continue as a primary sponsor next season, the team said, but Wednesday’s release didn’t specify the number of races.
"The RPM marketing and new business team continues various discussions with several companies," the release said.
RPM confirmed plans to remain in the Ford Racing family next season and continue its services contract with Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Engines that provides both RPM teams with Ford chassis and horsepower.
"We’re proud of our relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports and feel they have done a great job and are competitive every weekend as evident by making the Chase this season," said Ford Racing director Jamie Allison. "Both the No. 9 and No. 43 teams have shown strength throughout this season and we expect that will only continue next season and beyond."