There has been talk over the last couple of weeks that Kurt Busch would replace A.J. Allmendinger in Richard Petty Motorsport's famous No. 43 car.
Kurt Busch and Penske Racing mutually parted ways on December 5th. Busch's antics on and off the track were the reasons why he is no longer driving the No. 22 car.
The final straw for Roger Penske to make a change was after a fan recorded Kurt Busch's verbal assault on ESPN reporter Dr. Jerry Punch. The video went viral and upset Shell-Pennzoil, who sponsor the No. 22 car.
The thought that Kurt Busch could replace A.J. Allmendinger in the No. 43 is an outrage.
Allmendinger had his best season in his career in 2011. He finished 15th and was running consistently up in the front of the field. His team made great strides and earned 10 top-10 finishes. Every week, Allmendinger was battling in the Top 10 and he was qualifying a lot better.
RPM really grew as an organization with the success of Allmendinger and with Marcos Ambrose earning his first career Sprint Cup Series victory.
This entire situation comes down to money.
Best Buy's contract with RPM ended and are in negotiations to re-sign. The issues are that Roush Fenway Racing driver Matt Kenseth needs a sponsor and Roush is trying to get Best Buy.
RPM is talking to Kurt Busch to see if Best Buy would stay if Busch was the driver. Busch having two wins in 2011 and being the 2004 NASCAR champion are big selling points to sponsors.
The sponsors are having more of a say in the teams that most people will admit. When a company gives a team millions of dollars, the team is going to have to at least listen to what the company thinks about certain situations.
It is a real shame that A.J. Allmendinger could lose his ride this way. He has come so far in his career in NASCAR.
It should not happen like this.
Kurt Busch messed up his own career. He deserves to drop to a lower-tier team to grow up and control his behavior issues.
If this situation occurs, I hope Allmendinger gets the chance he deserves.
Richard Petty Motorsports, don't make this mistake.
You are so close to winning with A.J.