The Dinger ???

2009 Daytona 500 096 

Richard Petty Motorsports has just announced that the team has secured sponsorship up to Richmond in Sept. for the 2009 season.  Additionally RPM has announced that they have signed “The Dinger” through the end of the 2010 season!

All this comes as sources in the garage area leaked that there was great interest in the availability of one A. J. Almendinger as a driver.  It would appear that the management of RPM decided to lock “The Dinger” in to a contract so that other teams couldn’t snag him out from under their feet!!

For RPM, it appears that they have a young driver with a huge amount of talent in the #44 Dodge.  “The Dinger” has exhibited moments of excellence.  Most recently he finished third in the rain shortened  2009 Daytona 500.  He is firmly sitting in 20th place in the 2009 Cup standings, which locks him into the races each week.  So A.J. appears  to becoming more comfortable in the NASCAR ranks, and seems to have finally figured out just how to manhandle these massively heavy race cars!

Sill, this reporter must question “The Dinger” hitching his wagon to RPM.  This an organization of the merged Gillette-Evernham Racing and Petty Enterprises.  Both of these organizations were weaker than their counter parts in 2008.  The questions now would be, is this merged organization equal to the task of being a first tier team???  Can RPM win races???  What affect will the either merger of Chrysler with Fiat, or the bankruptcy of Chysler have on the NASCAR Dodge teams?

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