Saturday, July 10, 2010
RPM not closing door on Sadler
By David Newton
JOLIET, Ill. -- Richard Petty Motorsports plans to have a three- to four-car stable next season that includes AJ Allmendinger and Paul Menard, vice president of race operations Robbie Loomis said on Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway.
Loomis also didn't close the door on re-signing Elliott Sadler, who declared himself a free agent on Friday and said he didn't expect to return to the organization.
"We have interest [in Sadler]," Loomis said. "Elliott is among three or four drivers who is on the table we're looking at. The bottom line is, I always say this, we're in the performing business and when you're performing it's easier for everything."
Sadler ranks 28th in points, but Loomis hopes the addition of crew chief Todd Parrott can turn the No. 19 team around.
"I don't think the door is closed by any means," Loomis said. "Elliott is a talented racecar driver. For whatever reason we haven't been able to put together the finishes we need.
"There's been a lot of changes we've made over the years, even before I got there. We really felt like putting Todd in there is going to be the real measuring stick with where we're at with that race team."
Although Allmendinger is talking to several other teams, Loomis expects him to return to the famed No. 43 and be the anchor of the organization with Kasey Kahne headed to Hendrick Motorsports.
Allmendinger is 22nd in points and had six straight finishes of 14th or better before last week's 36th-place finish at Daytona.
"We know where we're at,'' Loomis said of Allmendinger's contract negotiations. "We just need to get our I's dotted and T's crossed.
We're confident as ever in the things we're doing. There's no question in my mind we're going to be a solid race team next year with three or four solid drivers capable of putting numbers up."
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.