Richard Petty Motorsports seeks sponsorship for 26 races for Hornish

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A Richard Petty Motorsports official says the team is committed to running Sam Hornish Jr. all season but seeks sponsorship for 26 NASCAR Sprint Cup races.

Co-owner Andrew Murstein will provide sponsorship for some races through his company – Medallion Bank – but Brian Moffitt, chief executive officer of RPM, says the team is looking to find other sponsors.

RPM announced Wednesday that Twisted Tea will be Hornish’s primary sponsor for the Daytona 500 and the July Daytona race. The company will be an associate sponsor the rest of the season.

Moffitt said that Aric Almirola’s No. 43 team – which made the Chase last year – is set with sponsorship from Smithfield, STP, the U.S. Air Force and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and GoBowling.com. Moffitt said the team has had talks with Smithfield about an extension. Smithfield’s contract, which goes through 2016, calls for the company to serve as primary sponsor in 29 races this year and next.

Hornish, who enters his first season with Richard Petty Motorsports, says he’s focused on racing even though sponsorship remains on his car less than a month before the season begins.

“There’s no concern on my mind on whether or not they’re going to go out and do what they said they were going to do this year,’’ Hornish said. “Hopefully, they’re bringing me in for the performance, competition side of it, but I’m also doing everything that I can help them do on the sponsorship side.’’

Despite lacking sponsorship on Hornish’s car, Moffitt said the team hired 35 people and moved back into its former shop in Mooresville, N.C. The team’s affiliation with Roush Fenway Racing continues. Roush Fenway provides Richard Petty Motorsports with chassis. The teams also have a research and development relationship, Moffitt said.

“We’re committed to continuing to grow Richard Petty Motorsports back to a dominant team and with that Andy Murstein and Richard are continuing to invest in the team,’’ Moffitt said. “We believe you need to be a two-car team to be successful in this sport.’’