The name is official! Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM, get it :)) is the new team formed from the merger of Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises. They will field four cars this year with Kasey Kahne in the #9, Elliot Sadler in the #19, Reed Sorenson in the famous #43, and A.J. Allmendinger will be in the #44. So far it seems that Kasey and Elliott will keep their sponsors from last year. No word on the sponsors for the 43 and 44. Also not sure where the #10 will be that was part of GEM last year.
All I can say is that I am pumped! Admittedly I have only been a Kasey Kahne fan since last year and mostly for my daughter Savannah. It’s going to be a great year for Kasey. Savannah just turned 9, Kasey drives the #9 and its 2009! And now he will be part of RPM! This is just way too cool. I am so glad that there will be a strong Dodge team this year. Seems like they don’t get any credit. Yeah, they only won 4 races last year and one of those was a rained shortened (by only 7 laps) race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway won by Kurt Busch, but I really feel that the Dodge drivers will step it up this year and get to the front much more often and stay there!
In other news, Bobby Labonte and his new #96 gets the points from Yates Racing’s #38 who finished 27th in owner’s points, to be locked into starting the first 5 races of 2009. All cars who finished in the top 35 in owner’s points get a guaranteed spot in the first 5 races each year. They still do the qualifying for the race but it is only for starting position, not to get in, they are locked in from points. This only goes for the first 5 races, after that you have to stay in the top 35. If you fall out of that, you have to qualify to race. If you don’t, you go home. Bobby Labonte will be the only Ford driver I will pull for. Period. I am a Dodge Fan after all!