Avoiding Worst-Case Scenarios
By David Smith (on Twitter at @DavidSmithMA)
Richard Petty Motorsports
Open Rides: No. 9 (Marcos Ambrose in 2012), No. 43 (Aric Almirola)
Worst-Case Scenario: Well, the absolute worst-case scenario is if Ambrose bails RPM for some reason. He’s the last serviceable Cup Series driver remaining without a contract for 2013, but since there are no real places in the current landscape in which to take his talents, his re-signing is almost a foregone conclusion. The more realistic worst-case scenario is if Almirola, an unsurprising replacement-level driver, returns for a second year after a de-facto rookie season completely void of any progress or shining moments.
What They Should Do: The No. 43 entry is the team at RPM that is only partially funded. Tapping Almirola in the first place was not an awful idea; he came cheap and on a one-year deal after leading the Nationwide Series in Relevance in 2011. Something along the same lines — Justin Allgaier? Michael Annett? James Buescher? — could make for another worthwhile experiment for the cash-strapped team ... Read More
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