Following a season with dismal results, Richard Petty Motorsports confirmed late last week they would be scaling back their organization for 2017, focusing on a single-car rather than two.
“At the conclusion of the 2016 season, we evaluated how to best improve our on-track product,” CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports Brian Moffitt released in a statement. “We feel that it’s in the best interest of our partners and for Richard Petty Motorsports to focus our resources on the No. 43 Ford Fusion and Aric (Almirola) in 2017.”
Last season, RPM didn’t have the results they expected with Aric Almirola or Brian Scott. Both drivers failed to place in the top-25 of the final Sprint Cup Series standings, leading only seven laps between them with a top-10 each. While Almirola was locked in for another year at RPM, Scott announced at the end of last season he was retiring to focus on his family.
The finishes weren’t a total surprise, though, as RPM has been in a bit of downward spiral for awhile, as Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. finished 17th and 26th in the series standings in 2015, with three top-fives and nine top-10s between them.
If the team’s efforts work towards improving the organization, it could bring them closer to where they were in 2014 when Almirola won at Daytona, qualifying them for the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Almirola finished 16th in points with seven top-10 finishes.
“A concentrated effort on one team will position us for improvement while giving us adequate time to reestablish our two-car team in 2018,” Moffitt continued. “For the interim, we will lease one of our two charters.”
Notably, the No. 44 charter has been leased to go Go Fas Racing for their No. 32 entry with Matt DiBenedetto.
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