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Greg Biffle, Regan Smith strike me as good options for Richard Petty Motorsports

It’s unknown how long Aric Almirola will be out of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series after Saturday night’s fiery crash in the GoBowling.com 400 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. But one thing’s for sure; RPM is going to need a fill-in driver for the foreseeable future, and Carl Edwards won’t be that driver. In case you didn’t hear, the race team already has reached out to Edwards and he declined the offer.
I’m thinking RPM has several options, and the race team could go in a couple of different directions.
The unwanted predicament could be used to develop a driver. Granted, Richard Petty Motorsports no longer has its own Xfinity Series program, but the team has an affiliating with Roush Fenway Racing, and RFR has a couple of full-time Xfinity drivers it may want to test the Cup waters in Darrell Wallace Jr. and Ryan Reed.
But, then again, RPM may have no interest in developing Roush Fenway’s crop of drivers or being RFR’s guinea pit team.
Obviously, Richard Petty Motorsports is open to using the services of a veteran driver that has walked away from the sport, at least somewhat, either by his own decision or being forced out by sponsorship issues, etc. After all, somebody from Petty reached out to Edwards.
What about Greg Biffle? Maybe RPM has reached out to “The Biff;” maybe it hasn’t. Of course that may lead to awkwardness, given Biffle’s departure from Roush Fenway Racing at the end of 2016 and Richard Petty Motorsports’ affiliation with the Roush group. I’m sure all parties involved could put that aside, though, if Biffle and RPM are interested.
Here’s a name that you may have never heard for awhile, except for in blood-thinning medication commercials — Brian Vickers. I’m guessing Vickers would be interested, but he may be too big of a health risk. Remember Michael Waltrip Racing’s botched effort to bring him back to the fold a few years ago? Maybe I should scratch the Vickers idea. Besides, to my knowledge, it’s been a few years since Vickers has been in a race car of any kind.
That brings me to Casey Mears. Mears isn’t off the NASCAR landscape. He’s running a partial schedule for Biagi-DenBeste Racing, a Ford team in the Xfinity Series. Then, there’s Regan Smith. Smith also is racing a Ford, but in the Camping World Truck Series. I have a feeling that either of these drivers would jump at the chance to drive a Cup car again, even on a limited bases, and there’s no manufacturer conflict. If it were up to me, and I had the choice of either of these two, I think I’d go with Smith. Nothing personal against Mears, I just think Smith would produce better results at this point in his career, given recent-year stats.
All the above being said, if I were in the position of Richard Petty Motorsports, needing to hire a fill-in driver, I think I would narrow my choice down to two drivers, Biffle and Smith, and go from there.
Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer)

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Posted by on May 17, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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