Confirmed: Richard Petty Motorsports to remain with Ford
Richard Petty Motorsports is sticking with Ford for 2016 and beyond.
The organization, which fields Sprint Cup Series teams for drivers Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr., made the announcement Tuesday morning at the RPM headquarters in Mooresville, North Carolina.
RPM will also continue its relationship next year with Roush Yates engines, and continue its services agreement with Roush Fenway Racing.
The team has competed with Ford since 2010 after a stint with Dodge, and has three victories with the Blue Ovals – two with Marcos Ambrose and one last season with Aric Almirola.
"Richard Petty Motorsports has made steady progress since joining our program, and we’re looking forward to seeing them take that next step to being a consistent Chase participant," said Dave Pericak, director, Ford Performance. "We feel they have the people in place to achieve that goal, and we’re going to do everything we can to provide them the resources to make that happen."
Ford Performance has roots with Richard Petty dating back to 1969 when "The King" won nine times in a Ford Torino on his way to a runner-up finish in the championship.
"Our relationship with Ford Performance has a history, a present and now a future of winning races and competing for championships," said Petty, RPM’s co-owner and a seven-time NASCAR Cup series champion. "As we took on additional internal responsibilities within our organization over the past 12 months, Dave Pericak and his team at Ford Performance have been with us supporting Richard Petty Motorsports each step of the way. And to know they will continue to be our partner is very important to our combined desire to make RPM a championship-caliber organization."
While Almirola is signed with the team through the 2016 season, questions remain about Hornish’s status for next season.
In August, Hornish told FOXSports.com they were working hard to find the sponsorship needed to remain the driver of the No. 9 after the 2015 season, but he understood things could change quickly.
"From everything I’ve been told, they’re happy with me and we just need to get all the dollars we can get," Hornish said at Michigan International Speedway. "It’s one of those chicken-and-the-egg type things. You always need more money to go faster and get better finishes, but you need to get better finishes to get the money.
"I just need to do my job to the best of my ability on and off the track, whether it’s dealing with our sponsors or our potential sponsors. The other aspect of it, the fact that other people can bring money along, that’s way out of my hands."