A switch from Dodge to Toyota has long been in the cards for Richard Petty Motorsports. But an announcement today may have brought the deal even closer.
It was announced today that Richard Petty Motorsports and Nationwide Series team, Braun Racing, have teamed up to form a partnership, which will allow RPM to field the #9 car in 5 Nationwide Series events.
What’s unusual about this? RPM fields Dodges; Braun fields Toyotas.
The manufacturer of the #9 car has yet to be determined. But if the car RPM will be fielding is a Dodge, then why not partner up with a Dodge team instead of a Toyota team?
The only other explanation for the partnership would be that Braun wants to switch manufacturers; from Toyota to Dodge. But why? Especially when Dodge’s future in the sport isn’t even certain?
Here is my theory: RPM will most likely make the switch to Toyota regardless of what happens with the Chrysler/Fiat merger. And if that falls through, Dodge will most likely be done with NASCAR, and RPM will have to make the switch anyway. Perhaps RPM and Braun are partnering up to bring Braun Racing into the Sprint Cup Series.
Braun has 2 talented drivers in the Nationwide Series, Jason Leffler and Burney Lamar. He has full funding from Dollar General and Great Clips. The only thing he’s missing are Cup cars. Perhaps RPM will make the switch to Toyota, Braun will make the leap to Cup, and Braun will operate as a satellite team for RPM.
It is all pure speculation right now. We will keep you posted as we learn more info.