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Petty vows to continue with two cars

AJ Allmendinger, RPM, Homestead 2010NASCAR legend Richard Petty says he is confident that his team will continue into 2011 despite its recent problems, but it will only run two cars compared to this year's four-driver line-up.

Richard Petty Motorsports has had well-publicised funding troubles in recent weeks. The team was formed by a merger of Petty's Petty Enterprises operation and the Gillett Evernham squad at the start of last year, but its future had been in doubt following financial issues for co-owner George Gillett.

Petty has now announced that it will continue running its #9 car for ex-JTG Daugherty driver Marcos Ambrose and the #43 for existing driver AJ Allmendinger. Ambrose had already been signed to replace Red Bull-bound Kasey Kahne, whose seat was temporarily taken by Aric Almirola after Kahne made his team switch early.

The #19 and #98 cars, driven by Elliott Sadler and Paul Menard this year, will not be retained for 2011. Sadler is stepping down to the Nationwide Series with Kevin Harvick's team, while Menard will switch to Richard Childress Racing next year.

"Richard Petty Motorsports has completed its restructuring process and is now in the process of moving forward," said Petty in a statement.

"RPM will shift from running four cars to two in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and that is never an easy process for the people involved.

"Currently, we are concentrating on building two solid programmes with AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel of the #43 entry and Marcos Ambrose in the #9 Ford.

"We are very fortunate to have an extremely loyal family of partners and are looking forward to the future."

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