CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Best Buy announced on Tuesday it will leave the famed No. 43 of Richard Petty Motorsports to serve as a sponsor for 2003 Sprint Cup champion Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards at Roush Fenway Racing.
Best Buy will be the primary sponsor on Kenseth's car for nine races and Edwards' car for two. It will serve as an associate sponsor for both drivers.
Sources told ESPN.com that RPM recently met twice with 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch, who was released by Penske Racing, in an attempt to keep Best Buy in the fold.
RMP released a statement saying it plans to remain a two-car team in 2012. It made no mention of driver AJ Allmendinger, who drove the No. 43 to a 15th-place finish in the points standings this past season.
"Although it is very disappointing that Best Buy is changing directions at this late date, we wish all of our friends there the best in their future endeavors,'' RPM co-owner Richard Petty said.
"Our plan has always been to run a two-car team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012 and we are continuing down that path," Petty added. "We have several partners that remain committed to the No. 43 team. We will move forward and explore all of our options in regard to the No. 43 program in the coming weeks."
Petty did not address whether there was a conflict with Roush Fenway Racing, which supplies engines and chassis to RPM.
Roush Fenway officials were prepared to run Kenseth's car unsponsored in 2012 before Best Buy was signed.
"We feel it is a great fit with our organization and we look forward to a great partnership together,'' team owner Jack Roush said in a statement.
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.