Richard Petty Motorsports makes executive change

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Richard Petty Motorsports announced Wednesday that it has parted ways with Sammy Johns, vice president of operations.

The team stated that Philippe Lopez and Scott McDougall will temporarily oversee all competition duties previously held by Johns.

“The past several years, we have made significant investments in our organization with the goal of winning races and to compete at a high level on a weekly basis,” said Brian Moffitt, chief executive officer, Richard Petty Motorsports, in a statement. “We now have direction over our own chassis and bodies and work closely with Ford Performance on technology and engineering. With these investments, unfortunately, we have not seen the on-track results that we expected this season.

“As we look ahead to 2017, we are taking steps forward to improve our on-track product to better serve our partners and fans. This means analyzing every part of our organization and making adjustments where needed. Sammy Johns has been a big part of our organization; he helped us succeed in many different ways and helped us become a winning race team. We wish him nothing but the best going forward.”

Richard Petty Motorsports does not have a driver in the top 20 in points heading into Sunday’s Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

Aric Almirola is 25th in the standings. Brian Scott is 33rd. Neither has scored a top-10 finish this season. Almirola has four top-20 finishes in the last 10 races. Scott has one top-20 finish in the last 19 races.