Charlotte, N.C. — Richard Petty Motorsports insisted it is committed to running two cars in 2015 despite losing driver Marcos Ambrose and primary sponsor Stanley in the span of five days.
Ambrose said last weekend he is returning to his native Australia and will run V8 Supercars for Roger Penske. Stanley officials said they are moving to Joe Gibbs Racing to sponsor Carl Edwards for 12 races.
Stanley brand DeWalt will sponsor Matt Kenseth for six races.
"We are excited to build new partnerships on the No. 9 team," said Brian Moffitt, president and CEO of Petty Motorsports. "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."
This season, Aric Almirola qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship in RPM's No. 43 Ford. The team is looking for a driver and sponsor to take over the No. 9 Ford. RPM officials said they will continue their relationship with current manufacturer partner Ford Racing and continue their services contract with Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Engines.
Twisted Tea Brewing Co. will continue its primary sponsorship of the No. 9 team in 2015 as the RPM marketing and new business team continues various discussions with several companies.
"We're proud of our relationship with Richard Petty Motorsports and feel they have done a great job and are competitive every weekend as evident by making the Chase," said Jamie Allison, director of Ford Racing.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. used a rare day off to visit the Mississippi campus and spend time with the football team.
Stenhouse, from Olive Branch, Miss., grew up a Bulldogs fan and first met coach Hugh Freeze when the two played together in June during the FedEx St. Jude pro-am in Memphis.
That day led to Tuesday's visit, when Stenhouse presented Freeze with a firesuit while the coach gave the driver a No. 17 Mississippi jersey.
Stenhouse also played catch with quarterback Bo Wallace, and went through some drills.
"Coach Freeze is a big NASCAR fan," Stenhouse said. "We got to spend some time together when we walked the fairways. We really hit it off."
The conversation turned to girlfriend Danica Patrick, who attended Freeze's first Mississippi game Aug. 28 with Stenhouse.
He said the two will attend the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State in November.
Hall attendance declines
Attendance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame dipped slightly in the past year to 169,724, down from 176,838 visitors.
Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority officials said the decline was because of the previous year's attendance being inflated by larger-than-normal crowds for the Democratic National Convention two years ago.
For a good cause
At least eight IndyCar drivers are scheduled to compete Saturday in the Dan Wheldon Memorial Pro-Am Karting Challenge at New Castle Motorsports Park in Indiana.
The inaugural event last year raised more than $100,000 and helped establish The Sue Wheldon Fund, which funds Alzheimer's programs in Indiana and Florida. Dan Wheldon was killed in the 2011 IndyCar season finale. His mother, Sue, had Alzheimer's.
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (oval, 1.058 miles), Loudon, N.H.
Schedule: Today, practice (Fox Sports 1, noon-1:30 p.m.), qualifying (Fox Sports 1, 4:30-6 p.m.); Saturday, practice (Fox Sports 1, 9-10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.); Sunday, race, 2 p.m. (ESPN, 1-5:30 p.m.)
Defending champion: Matt Kenseth
VisitMyrtleBeach .com 300
Track: Kentucky Speedway (oval, 1.5 miles), Sparta, Ky.
Schedule: Today, practice (Fox Sports 1, 6:30-7:30 p.m.); Saturday, qualifying, race, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN, 7-10 p.m.)
Defending champion: Ryan Blaney
Track: New Hampshire Motor Speedway (oval, 1.058 miles)
Schedule: Today, practice (Fox Sports 1, 1:30-2:30 p.m., 3-4:30 p.m.); Saturday, qualifying (Fox Sports 1, 10-11:30 a.m.), race, 1 p.m. (Fox Sports 1, 12:30-3:30 p.m.)
Defending champion: Kyle Busch (2011)
Singapore Grand Prix
Track: Marina Bay Street Circuit (street course, 3.147 miles), Singapore
Schedule: Today, practice (NBC Sports Channel, 9:30-11 a.m.), Saturday, practice, qualifying (CNBC, 9-10:30 a.m.); Sunday, race, 8 a.m. (NBC Sports Channel, 7:30-10:30 a.m.)
Defending champion: Sebastian Vettel