NASCAR: Richard Petty Motorsports committed to two-car program in 2015

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Over the past five days, Richard Petty Motorsports has had Marcos Ambrose announce he’s going back home to Australia to race V8 Supercars.

Additionally, they’ve also had team sponsors Stanley and Dewalt Tools announce they’re heading for Joe Gibbs Racing.

But the two-car Sprint Cup team insists that it will remain that way for the 2015 season.

“Today, the organization with a championship history, winning present and proven marketing programs, announced it will use the same aggressive business and growth model to support the No. 9 Ford team in 2015 and beyond in a series of announcements,” an RPM release from this afternoon said.

“RPM will continue to be a two-car NASCAR Sprint Cup organization and will compete weekly with the No. 9 and No. 43 teams.”

The team also confirmed that it will retain Ford as its manufacturer and continue its respective chassis/engine supply pacts with Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Engines. Earlier this season, RPM had been the subject of reports that it was looking at leaving Ford for Toyota.

The Boston Beer Company’s Twisted Tea brand of “hard” iced tea will also stay with the No. 9 team that Ambrose is leaving behind. Smithfield Foods has already announced a multi-year extension and investment increase in the No. 43 team.

RPM president and CEO Brian Moffitt had this to say in the team release.

“First, we want to wish Stanley Black and Decker the best. Their commitment and support has been a critical component to the success of RPM. As with all good partnerships, we are proud that the STANLEY and RPM partnership has benefited both companies. We are grateful for their support and they will always be a part of our family.

“Today, we are excited to build new partnerships on the No. 9 team. We have a vision that our ownership group and sponsors support and believe in. We have built upon that vision in two short years to become championship eligible. It’s that belief that will help us support the No. 9 team. One partner that has supported us is Ford Racing, who will again be our manufacturer partner as we continue our relationship that has helped us become a ‘Chase’ organization.”

Ford Racing’s Jamie Allison added in the release that he expects the team’s “strength throughout this season” will “only continue next season and beyond.”

This year, Aric Almirola brought the No. 43 team its first Sprint Cup win since 1999, which was enough to put him into the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Travis Pastrana leads flag-to-flag in Nitro Rallycross as the series returns to America

Pastrana Nitro Rallycross
Barry Chin / Getty Images
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Travis Pastrana waited until the final trip around ERX Motor Park to take his Joker Lap – a longer way around the course that all drivers must do at least once in a race – and came out cleanly to win his first Nitro Rallycross race of 2022. With this win, Pastrana is the third driver to visit Victory Lane in the first three rounds of the 2022-23 season.

“This is the closest to a motocross track,” Pastrana told Katie Osborne on Peacock. “Thank you so much for a beautiful facility. It’s been a rough start to the season and I’m so thankful to be back out here. We had a good run in the side-by-side and now for this. This is much needed.”

Another thing needed was the sense of improvement. And Pastrana earned that affirmation each time he completed a lap around the course.

“I get my lap times read out and they said ‘fastest time of the week,’ ‘fastest time of the week’ (each time around) ” Pastrana said. “This is really special. We’re a long way behind in the championship, but welcome to America.”

In a pre-race press conference, Pastrana said that as Nitro Rallycross heads back to America, it was time for an American to win and he made good on his promise. Pastrana took the early lead over Robin Larsson and let the back of his Subaru hang out, taking risks he might not otherwise take if not for his need to win.

How to Watch Nitro Rallycross

Larsson’s second-place finish completed a perfect sweep of the podium in three rounds. In fact, he has not yet finished worse than second after winning the opening round at Lydden Hill in the United Kingdom and finishing second at Strangnas in Sweeden.

Fraser McConnel rounded out the podium for his best result of the season. He finished fourth in each of the first two rounds.

Last year, Pastrana finished second in this race to Scott Speed before narrowly edging his teammate for the championship.

Andreas Bakkerud crashed in prelims, but rebounded to finish just off the block in fourth. Bakkerud won the second round ahead of his teammate Larsson.

Oliver Bennett completed the top five.

Minneapolis is the first of three rounds scheduled in the United States. Next on the schedule is Glen Helen, Calif. on Octo 30 and then Phoenix at Wild Horse Pass on November 12th. Nitro Rallycross will then head to Saudi Arabia in December to continue their 2022-23 season.