Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Crew chief change at Richard Petty Motorsports

    Richard Petty Motorsports announced Tuesday Drew Blickensderfer has been assigned as the crew chief of the No. 9 Sprint Cup Series team and driver Marcos Ambrose. Blickensderfer replaces Mike Ford who has left the organization.

   The Mount Zion, Ill., native comes to RPM most recently from Richard Childress Racing where he was the crew chief for Jeff Burton. Prior to his time there, Blickensderfer spent the majority of his career with teams associated with Ford Racing and Roush-Fenway Racing. He is a former Daytona 500 champion and has multiple Cup and Nationwide Series wins with drivers Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth.

   "Drew has a lot of experience with Ford Racing and also how our current operation works," said team owner Richard Petty. "His knowledge can immediately improve the performance of the No. 9 race team. Marcos has proved to win races and compete in the top-five. The addition of Drew will hopefully provide those results on a more consistent basis."

   Ambrose has one win, eight top-10 and three top-five finishes this season. In addition, Ambrose has won two poles this year.

   "We have had success this season and now we're just looking for more consistency as we prepare for next season," said Ambrose. "Drew brings a strong resume to our team and can help us find the results that we want each week. I'm looking forward to working with him."

Keselowski: 'We like our role in this Chase'

   The points race may be tight in the Sprint Cup Series and the pressure may be building for Brad Keselowski, who will go two-to-toe with five-time champion Jimmie Johnson to earn his first series championship.

   That doesn't appear to change Keselowski's approach heading into this weekend's race at Texas Motor Speedway.

   Keselowski's thoughts going into this weekend:

   When you have a team like we have on the Miller Lite Dodge, it’s easy to stay calm in the face of adversity. We all have each other’s back. We like our role is in this Chase. While we aren’t being overlooked by any means, there are many who think that we are still too young of a team to seriously challenge the 48 team. We like it that way," he said.

   "In reality, we are a very good race team that is primed to take this fight right down to the last lap at Homestead-Miami Speedway next month. I’m very confident in our abilities at Texas this weekend. The mile-and-a-half tracks have been really good to us this year. We had an awesome car in April at Texas – probably the best car I’ve ever had there – but fuel issues kept us from challenging for the win. This weekend, I’m expecting to challenge for the win.”