Richard Petty Motorsports: Sleepers of 2013

By Michael Guzman
Jerome Miron-US Presswire

It sounds strange to think of anything associated with Richard Petty to be a sleeper. But due to previous year’s lackluster performances, Richard Petty Motorsports isn’t considered an elite team, and despite their namesake, not much is expected from this fully developed team.

But, something that solidifies this team as a legitimate is the dedicated sponsors standing behind Richard Petty Motorsports. Stable committed sponsors are something that teams can only dream about, and Petty has a plethora of them.

The two car structure has proven to work, especially considering Penske’s championship last year. Overexpansion has set back a lot of teams including Richard Childress Racing and Roush Racing in the past few years. More cars often hurts, not helps, because of the lack of crew talent that is forced upon lower teams.

For 2013, the team is equipped to the teeth with talent capable of not only winning races, but contending for championships. Both crew chiefs, Drew Blickensderfer and Todd Parrott, are proven winners, with Parrott winning championships as crew chief for Dale Jarrett.

The crew chiefs may already have proven to be successful, but the two drivers Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola are also ready to step up on NASCAR’s biggest stage. Almirola is developing well as a driver, and his hard work came to fruition with some amazing runs towards the end of the 2012 season. Both Petty drivers have amazing potential, but Marcos Ambrose may be closest to reaching the next level, the Chase to The Sprint Cup.

Marcos Ambrose is evolving from road course ace to a contender no matter what type of track he is faced with. Ambrose’s raw talent is undeniable, and his development as a driver is crucial to the team’s success.

The feedback he gives is crucial to the team, and Ambrose’s speed has not only been evident on Sunday, but on the practice leaderboards on Friday. If everything goes as planned, the driver crew-chief relationship will not be an issue for the Petty team.

With a strong nucleus in place, and commitment from sponsors alike, Richard Petty Motorsports is ready to evolve into a top tier team in 2013.

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