Richard Petty says he doesn’t think Sam Hornish Jr. will be back with team


Richard Petty said Saturday that he doesn’t expect Sam Hornish Jr. to be back with Richard Petty Motorsports next year but wouldn’t say who would drive the team’s No. 9 car.

Asked if he thought Hornish would return to the team next year, Petty said: “No, I don’t think so.”

Asked if the team wanted a young driver or a veteran racer in the car next year, Petty said: “We’ve got to look at sponsorship as much as anything else. It’s a combination deal. We can’t just go with the driver and then not have the money. We can’t go with the money and not have a driver.”

The team has made it clear for weeks that sponsorship would be key to determining who would drive the No. 9 car next year.

Petty said the team will not cut back to one car.

“We’re a two-car team,” Petty said.

Hornish joined the team before the season. He’s 25th in the points entering Sunday’s race at Phoenix International Raceway. He has three top-10 finishes this season. His best finish this year is sixth at Talladega in the spring. Hornish has four top-20 finishes in the last 10 races.

RPM Teammate Aric Almirola is 17th in the points in the No. 43 car.