UPDATED - 12/13/2011
Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's "Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody" has learned that in an effort to retain sponsor Best Buy, Richard Petty Motorsports has proposed replacing AJ Allmendinger as driver of the legendary #43 Ford with Kurt Busch.
RPM struggled to re-sign Best Buy a year ago, negotiating until early January before inking a one-year contract. The electronics retailer served as major sponsor of the #43 team in 26 events this season.
Richard Petty Motorsports Chief Operating Officer Robbie Loomis confirmed today that discussions regarding Busch have been held, saying, "Best Buy has been a great partner for a long time, and AJ Allmendinger has done a fantastic job for us. He's coming off his best season yet, but I can tell you there is a lot of interest on our part in having Kurt Busch in the fold. It makes sense to have Kurt with our team, if we can make it work.
"Our main focus is to continue building on what we finished the season with last year," said Loomis. "But right now, I feel like I'm running down two different sets of train tracks. From a personal standpoint, nothing has excited me more than when I heard Kurt had become available. I'm excited about the opportunity to add a driver like Kurt Busch to Richard Petty Motorsports. I would mortgage my house to make Kurt a part of this team. We value what he has done on the race track. He has won a (Sprint Cup) championship and worked for a first-class operation like Penske Racing. Guys like that don't come along every day."
RPM did not release an official statement on the speculation that either Allmendinger had been released or if Best Buy was ready to remain with the team for 2012. The possibility of adding Busch as a third entry has also been discussed but contingent on finding additional sponsorship.
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