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Richard Petty Motorsports To Race At Talladega This Weekend
Published October 28, 2010
|Allmendinger, Other RPM Drivers Will
Race In Amp Energy Juice 500
A Richard Petty Motorsports spokesperson yesterday confirmed that the team "will field all four of its cars" in Sunday's Sprint Cup Series Amp Energy Juice 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, according to Bob Pockrass of SCENEDAILY.com. The team's presence at the race was "in question as employees were told last week that their jobs weren't guaranteed through the end of the year" and that last Sunday's Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway "might be their last" race. RPM's "financial problems reached a crisis point last week" after co-Owner George Gillett "was forced to sell the Liverpool soccer team he co-owned with Tom Hicks." Gillett's Booth Creek Resort Properties earlier this week "sold its Northstar-At-Tahoe resort in California" for $63M, and it is "unclear if that sale, the talks of which were initiated prior to the Liverpool controversy, would have an impact on any of the race team finances." But Pockrass noted even if RPM "stays solvent, layoffs are expected soon as RPM will cut from four cars to two teams" for the '11 season (SCENEDAILY.com, 10/27).
FINAL STRAW? SI.com's Tom Bowles reported he is still hearing that Roush Fenway Racing co-Owner Jack Roush "plans to cut off his engine and chassis delivery [to RPM] by the end of the month, barring some sort of payment plan put in place by the Gilletts or a new group of investors" led by RPM co-Owner Richard Petty "to reconcile the debt." How much RPM owes is "open to conjecture," as reports range from a few million to more than $12M. There is "some irony here in that Roush leaned heavily on RPM over the spring and summer when the chips were down" with RFR, as he used RPM "for research and development purposes." Bowles wrote to "pull the equivalent of evicting RPM from the garage now, with only one month left in the season and debt that had been accumulating all year long, means there's some other internal politics at play we don't know about" (SI.com, 10/27).