As the youth movement in NASCAR continues, teams are recruiting as many of the young drivers as possible. One of those teams preparing for the future is Richard Petty Motorsports. They have signed two bright young talents already this year in Ryan Truex and Corey LaJoie and are looking to get them on the road to success by possibly next year.
Rumor has it that RPM will be adding a second Nationwide Series car next season to join Michael Annett in the No.43. So far, only one new car has been discussed. But they have 2 up and coming drivers. Which to put in the ride? That’s one tough question that the team will have to evaluate.
With whichever driver gets the ride, they’ll most likely be the future for RPM. Whoever gets the ride will be looked at as the best talent, and that will be something the other driver will have to live with. His team chose the other guy for the ride.
RPM is still searching for sponsorship so they may still have 3 teams, but as of now, it looks like it will be two. They have a good amount of companies on board Annett’s car so finding the same thing for either Truex or LaJoie will be the next task at hand.
Annett has proven to be successful in the car. A great season in 2012 had the team finishing in the top ten in the standings, but the bright forecast 2013 had took a dark turn at Daytona.
At the time of the crash, it didn’t look too bad, but when Annett had to be transported to the local hospital, the team feared the worst. What caused all of this was a monster of a wreck with 5 laps to go in the Nationwide Series’ season opener at Daytona and when the wreck unfolded, the No.43 car was sent straight up into the turn 2 wall. That injured Annett and put him out of the car until Charlotte in May. The team’s championship hopes went out the window on that afternoon.
So 2013 has just been a year to run as best they can in and they’ll start to prepare for 2014 because their legitimate championship shot will come then. Of course, adding a second entry increases their shot at the championship and a third car would raise it even more. RPM has two hot talents on their hands and a decision on who gets what car next season will have to be in the team’s best interest because their future lies on that decision.
By Jason Schultz