Ford, RPM 'very close' to deal

Updated: September 16, 2012, 12:57 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

JOLIET, Ill. -- The director of Ford Racing said on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway that the manufacturer is "very close'' to a new deal with Richard Petty Motorsports.

"All the pieces are in place,'' Jamie Allison said before the Chase opener. "We're working on giving them the tools so they can be competitive. It's all going to work.''

There was a report last week that Chevrolet might be in the mix for RPM, but sources close to the situation said the plan is to re-sign with Ford.

Allison was excited about the prospects of keeping RPM in the Ford camp. He also mentioned maintaining a relationship with Marcos Ambrose, the driver of RPM's No. 9 car who is in the final year of his contract.

He did not mention Aric Almirola, the driver of the No. 43 who also is in the final year of his contract.

Allison would not comment on any financial incentives Ford could give RPM, which will lose some of those resources with the manufacturer adding Penske Racing to the family in 2013.

Allison said the key is making sure RPM can be competitive.

"We're very close,'' he said. "We're about there.''

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter