Mergers seem to have come commonplace in NASCAR the past few years. So much so that a few teams have merged multiple times. For example, remnants of the team Ray Evernham formed several years ago has gone through so many mergers that it has gradually faded away over time. He has since pretty much gotten out of the sport as his original team merged with the former Petty Enterprises to form Richard Petty Motorsports.
As a result of the merger, Richard Petty went to victory lane for the first time as a winning car owner since 1999 with a car and driver acquired from the merger with the former Evernham organization.
Then, Richard Petty Motorsports merged with the former Yates Racing organization prior to the start of the 2010 season, with the newly-formed team maintaining the RPM moniker. The newly-formed team, as a result of this most recent merger, became a four-car Ford operation—a change from the Dodge the previous RPM drivers, Elliott Sadler and Casey Kahne, were used to.
Is this most recent merger the nail in the coffin for RPM? It looks like it may very well be. Earlier this season, Kahne, arguably the team’s best and highest-profile driver, admitted that he was going to leave RPM at the conclusion of the 2010 season to venture over to the greener pastures of NASCAR super team Hendrick Motorsports to drive for team owner Rick Hendrick in 2012.
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