FROM 8-26-2017: Hearing Richard Petty Motorsports will switch to Chevy and have an alliance with Richard Childress Racing, moving their shop to Welcomes, NC. The current shop in Mooresville, NC is up for lease as of August 23, 2017. No word who would drive or if there will be a 2nd (was #44 in 2015) team.
OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: MOORESVILLE, N.C. (December 8, 2017) - Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) announced today a new partnership between the two organizations. RCR will supply chassis and engineering support to the team. The RPM entry will receive horsepower from ECR Engines, the high-performance engine production, research and development subsidiary of RCR. With the transition, RPM will permanently move its team headquarters adjacent to the RCR campus in Welcome, N.C. The move will begin immediately and be completed by January.
"We've had a tremendous amount of success through our team partnerships over the past several seasons", said Richard Childress, Chairman and CEO of RCR. "To bring a storied organization like Richard Petty Motorsports on-board as an alliance partner is a win for each of our organizations."
The newly formed partnership will mean a switch in manufacturer for RPM and place 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) driver and Sunoco Rookie of The Year contender, Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. behind the wheel of the all-new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 when the iconic #43 hits the track for the first time in 2018 during Speedweeks at the Daytona International Speedway leading up to the 60th running of the Daytona 500.
The #43 Click n' Close Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
RPM will remain an independent race operation, but the change allows for the team to collaborate with RCR. The move also unites two of the sport's most iconic teams and cars. RPM's #43 and RCR's #3 will now work together for the first time to push forward both organizations' goals of winning races and championships.
"This is our next chapter of Petty racing," said Richard Petty, co-owner, Richard Petty Motorsports. "We need to provide Bubba, Drew (Blickensderfer) and the rest of the team with the tools necessary to be successful on the track, and I feel strongly this is the best move for RPM, our partners and everyone involved with our team. Chevrolet has been a consistent winner in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for a long time and we're proud to be a part of the GM family again. We feel we can immediately win with Chevrolet and our new alliance with RCR."
RPM has a long and successful history with General Motors and Chevrolet in NASCAR's premier series. Some of these winning moments include:
• June 1957. Lee Petty's first General Motors win (Oldsmobile)
• February 1959. Lee Petty wins inaugural Daytona 500 (Oldsmobile)
• 1979 and 1981. Richard Petty wins the Daytona 500 (Oldsmobile/Buick)
• 1979 and 1980. Richard Petty takes the Chevrolet brand to victory lane six times (Martinsville, Michigan, Dover, Rockingham, North Wilkesboro and Nashville Fairgrounds)
• July 1984. Richard Petty's 200th win (Pontiac)
• October 1996. Richard Petty's first win as a sole car owner with Bobby Hamilton (Pontiac)
In total, Petty teams have 31 Cup wins with General Motors and Chevrolet.
Bubba Wallace also has historical moments with the manufacturer, including his first NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win and his most recent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory this past year at Michigan, his first start in a Chevrolet Silverado.
"I've had some great memories with Chevrolet and I'm ready to make a lot more," added Wallace, Jr. "The entire RPM team is ready for 2018, and now we have a big piece of the puzzle put in place. We're all eager to start preparing our #43 Camaro for 2018, working and creating new ideas with RCR. This is a new journey and we're all ready to begin it."
--- Richard Petty Motorsports ---
December 7 updates:
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Richard Petty Motorsports is closing in on announcing that it will switch manufacturers from Ford to Chevrolet starting in '18, according to sources.
As part of the move, RPM will move its HQ to the grounds of Richard Childress Racing, with whom RPM will have a new alliance, sources said.
When RPM will announce the deal was unclear as of presstime, but sources said it could be as soon as the end of this week.
--- Sports Business Daily ---
UPDATE: Although nothing official has been announced, Richard Petty confirmed to Kickin' the Tires that his operation - Richard Petty Motorsports - would be joining the Chevrolet camp and forming an alliance with Richard Childress Racing (RCR).
"We are in the process of moving from where we are now to closer to home, over in Lexington from Mooresville," Petty said. "We are off in the corner up at RCR. When you first come in you go by the museum and we've got the first building up there, so ... we're on the campus but we're really not on the campus. We are on the corner of the campus. I guess he (Richard Childress) done that so he could kick us out if we get to causing too much trouble up there."
Still playing his cards close to his vest, Petty was slow to give up whether his team was just forming an alliance or actually switching to Chevrolet. He finally relented and confirmed what most suspected.
"We're switching to something," Petty said, when pressed on the impending change to Chevrolet. "Yeah, yeah, you know, It's a pretty foregone conclusion what is going on, right now.
"We'll probably be working off of him (Childress), sort of, like we did off of Roush with Ford," Petty also cleared up rumors that it had sold it's prestigious NASCAR charter for the #43 car. He said neither of his charters had been sold but he is leasing out NASCAR's #1 charter to Rick Ware Racing. The team is using the charter tied to the #44 car on the #43 car in 2018. The explanation, he said, was with the way NASCAR allotted charters for each individual car owner.
Petty said he is excited to have Darrell 'Bubba' Wallace behind the wheel of the #43 and Smithfield will be represented on the car in some capacity in 2018 for six races but the Smithfield name may not actually be on the car.
--- Kickin the Tires ---
UPDATE 2: Richard Petty Motorsports will move from Ford to Chevrolet next season and form an alliance with Richard Childress Racing. RPM majority Andrew Murstein: "We needed a change, and Chevrolet and RCR clearly saw the immense value of the Petty brand, which I believe is simply the best in the sport. We hope to combine our best with their best and take it to another level in 2018. ... With this new move, and with Bubba (Wallace) coming aboard who is one of the most talented and hottest young drivers in the sport, we couldn't be more excited about our future. "
--- ESPN.com ---