#43 Team News Archive

(NOTE: some older links may not work)


2013 News

  • 2013 Races [27 + 2] that Smithfield Foods was the primary sponsor:
    Daytona, Sprint Unlimited - 2/16, Smithfield
    Daytona - 2/24, Smithfield
    Phoenix - 3/3, Eckrich
    Las Vegas - 3/10, Farmland
    Bristol - 3/17, Smithfield
    Auto Club - 3/24, Farmland
    Texas - 4/13, Eckrich
    Talladega - 5/5, Gwaltney Foods
    Darlington - 5/11, Smithfield
    Charlotte, Sprint Showdown - 5/18, Smithfield
    Dover - 6/2, Smithfield
    Pocono - 6/9, Smithfield
    Michigan - 6/16, Eckrich
    Sonoma - 6/23, Farmland
    Kentucky - 6/29, Eckrich
    New Hampshire - 7/14, Smithfield

    Indianapolis - 7/28, Eckrich
    Watkins Glen - 8/11, Smithfield
    Michigan - 8/18, Eckrich
    Atlanta - 9/1. Smithfield
    Richmond - 9/7, Gwaltney
    Chicago - 9/15, Eckrich
    New Hampshire - 9/22, Smithfield
    Dover - 9/29, Smithfield
    Kansas - 10/6, Farmland
    Charlotte - 10/12, Smithfield
    Texas - 11/3, Farmland
    Phoenix - 11/10, Smithfield
    Homestead - 11/17, Smithfield

  • 2013 Races [2] that STP is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Martinsville - 4/7, with Jani-King as the co-sponsor
    Kansas - 4/21

  • 2013 Races [2] that the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Charlotte - 5/26
    Daytona - 7/6

  • 2013 Races [1] that the GoBowling.com is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Pocono - 8/4

  • 2013 Races [1] that the RainEater Wiper Blades is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Bristol - 8/24

  • 2013 Races [1] that the Charter is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Talladega - 10/20

  • 2014 Races [1] that the Fresh From Florida is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Darlington - 5/10

  • Congrats to the Petty's: Congrats to Austin and Sarah Petty on the birth of their son, Adam. It's Richard Petty's newest great grandson and first "Petty" newborn in 30 years! (RPM Facebook) and see a picture of the King and Adam at FoxSports. Adam is named after the late Adam Petty (Austin's brother), who was killed in a 2000 crash at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.(12-16-2013)

  • Owens reportedly taking over as Almirola's crew chief UPDATE: Trent Owens is the latest Nationwide Series crew chief to get a full-time shot at the NASCAR Sprint Cup level. Sources tell FOXSports.com that Owens will lead the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team with driver Aric Almirola. Owens, a former race car driver turned crew chief, most recently guided the #32 Turner Scott Motorsports team with rookie Kyle Larson. The team finished eighth in the NNS standings. Although the 37-year-old Davidson, N.C.-native is Richard Petty's nephew, Owens proved himself as a crew chief over the last decade by guiding five different drivers to Victory Lane, including Dave Blaney to his only NASCAR win (2006). He also earned victories with Mark Martin, James Buescher, Reed Sorenson and Nelson Piquet Jr. over the last two seasons.(Fox Sports)(12-2-2013)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports announced the hiring of one of the sports most talented crew chiefs in the NASCAR garage. Trent Owens has been assigned as the leader of Aric Almirola and the #43 Ford team beginning immediately. Owens has made his name known in the NASCAR Nationwide Series over the past seven years as a crew chief at both Braun Racing and Turner Scott Motorsports. The 38-year-old is a five-time winner on the Nationwide circuit with five different drivers. This will be Owens first full-time opportunity to be a crew chief at the Sprint Cup level.(RPM)(12-2-2013)

  • Congrats: to #43-Aric Almirola and wife Janice on the birth of their daughter Abby Lynn Almirola, who was born Thursday. Abby joins big brother Alex. Mother and baby are doing well.(11-29-2013)

  • Eckrich Wins PromaxBDA Award for Operation Inspiration Campaign: Eckrich, sponsor of the #43 Ford of Aric Almirola, was awarded top honors for its "Operation Inspiration" campaign at this year's PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards contest. The campaign won Gold in the "Just Cause" category, which recognizes best community outreach initiative. Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, launched in 2013 "Operation Inspiration", a campaign designed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us. Through the "Operation Inspiration" campaign, Eckrich donated a portion of product sales to Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization which supports military families and wounded warriors. Through the campaign, Eckrich also surprised several military families with well-deserved items and experiences, including a new car, mortgage-free home and special trips, many of which included surprise visits from Al Roker and NASCAR legend Richard Petty among others. The PromaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Awards contest is a celebration of the campaigns that best demonstrate excellence, creativity and strategic promotion, marketing and design, and the winners exemplify the best the industry has to offer.(Eckrich PR)(11-28-2013)

  • The King to be a guest of President Obama: This Wednesday, Richard Petty will be a guest of President and Mrs. Obama at a dinner at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The dinner is in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Petty was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1992 by President George Bush. He was the first motorsports athlete to be given the award. Petty will attend the black-tie dinner with his daughter, Lisa, and be joined by other recipients of the highest civilian Award in the United States. Petty keeps his Medal on display at the Richard Petty Museum which will open back in its original location, Level Cross, N.C. in early 2014 on the site of the former Petty Enterprises. Petty views receiving the Medal of one his proudest accomplishments, Its an Award that I really cherish, maybe the most of all, says Petty. Im honored to be a recipient and look forward to attending this dinner with the President and other recipients this Wednesday. This month, the #43 STP Pontiac that Petty raced to his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Victory in front of President Reagan at the Daytona International Speedway, was featured by Smithsonian Magazine as one of the 101 Objects That Made America.(RPM/Breaking Limits)(11-20-2013)

  • "Fresh From Florida" Motorsports Campaign to be Led by RPM: The marketing arm of Richard Petty Motorsports announced they will lead a fully integrated motorsports marketing campaign for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services beginning this weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and extend through 2014. "Fresh From Florida" is a marketing, advertising and promotional campaign focused on building awareness and sales of fresh seafood, produce and other Florida products. In 2014, the "Fresh From Florida" campaign will include various marketing elements centered around motorsports including race promotion, team sponsorship, track sponsorship, marketing services, public relations, experiential marketing and retail partnerships along with traditional and digital media. The campaign will be executed across the state of Florida and throughout the Southeast at motorsports events including NASCAR, IMSA, and NHRA events at iconic motorsports venues.
    Richard Petty Motorsports will brand the message with primary sponsorship beginning this weekend on its #43 Nationwide Series entry and continuing into 2014 with primary sponsorships at Bristol in March, Charlotte in May and Daytona in July. "Fresh From Florida" will also appear as the primary sponsor on the famed #43 Richard Petty NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry of Aric Almirola at Darlington in April 2014 and be positioned as an associate sponsor throughout the season.(RPM)(11-16-2013)

  • Richard Petty's #43 Stock Car Featured in Smithsonian Magazine: The November Issue of the Smithsonian Magazine features Richard Petty's famed #43 stock car as a part of a feature entitled, 101 Objects That Made America. After sourcing over 137 million artifacts held by 19 different museums, the Smithsonian selected 101 items to be featured. Included in the list is the 1984 #43 Pontiac Grand Prix that carried "The King" Richard Petty to his 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win at the Daytona International Speedway in July of 1984. The fact that Petty won the race with President Ronald Reagan in attendance, the first sitting United States President to visit the track, helped carry the moment, the car and "The King" into American history.
    The STP-sponsored, red, white and Petty Blue machine is featured along other iconic American objects such as the Bald Eagle, the Discovery Space Shuttle, the Model T, the Barbie, the U.S. Olympic Hockey Jersey and more. Writer Jeff MacGregor writes about the car and Petty in a look at what made the #43 stock car make this exclusive list. MacGregor points out that the "genius of this car lies not in what it is, but in what it did." He also singles out Petty as a "throwback" with his signature jean and cowboy look as he explained Petty's place in the history of stock car racing. Petty himself is honored to be featured in the magazine.
    "I just think the fact that it's the Smithsonian, and they had all these pieces of history or objects to look at, and they picked our car is what makes it special," said Petty. "That just made us feel pretty good that they include the car and mentioned a little about what we did. You look at everything on that list, it's our history, and it's humbling that they think we're a part of that." You can find the complete list and read more by visiting www.smithsonian.com.(RPM)(11-10-2013)

  • Petty Museum moving back to Level Cross: The Richard Petty Museum is coming home. After 10 years of being located in downtown Randleman, North Carolina, the museum that holds memorabilia and personal collections of the most decorated American stock car driver in history is going back home to Level Cross. The Museum will be located on the site of the original Petty Engineering and later Petty Enterprises race shop. The site currently is the home of Petty's Garage and the Petty Family Foundation. The Museum was founded at the race shop in Level Cross in 1988 by Lynda Petty but moved to Randleman in 2003 after space demands of the expanding race operation. Randleman, the neighboring city where Richard Petty went to high school, then became the home of museum. With the race operation, Richard Petty Motorsports, now operating in Concord, North Carolina, it was decided to move the museum back to its original location.
    After it's relocation and renovation, the museum will not only recover its spot in the building first built to house Kyle Petty's race program but will eventually expand to include the "Reaper Shed," first home of Petty Engineering where Lee Petty found the family dynasty. The museum will also include the Dodge Barn, built in the days of the team's close connection to Dodge and Plymouth. Finally, fans will be able to also visit the Lee Petty House, birthplace of both The King and his brother Maurice. The new-look museum will also feature exhibits of the Petty family's four members in the Hall of Fame (Lee, Richard, Dale Inman and Maurice), of "Mr. and Mrs. The King" from the Pixar film "Cars" and of the family's many contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
    The move is effective immediately, and while the new exhibits will not open until February of 2014, the museum will provide limited tour opportunities at the Level Cross facility during the move and renovation period.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(11-5-2013)

  • Todd Parrot suspended by NASCAR UPDATES - Released by RPM, Comments: Todd Parrott, a crew member in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (#43 team crew chief), has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's Substance Abuse Policy. On Oct. 17, Parrott was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy) of the 2013 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR)(10-17-2013)
    UPDATE: Upon notification today that employee Todd Parrott had violated NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy, Richard Petty Motorsports fully supports his indefinite suspension from NASCAR. Sammy Johns, Vice President of Operations and Competition, will handle crew chief duties on the #43 Ford this weekend at Talladega. He will also handle these duties on an interim basis until further notice. "We have an expectation of all RPM employees to conduct themselves at the highest level of professionalism and within the competitive confines as set forth by NASCAR," said Johns. "We are very disappointed that one of our employees did not meet our expectations and we completely support NASCAR, their policies and final decisions when it comes to the substance abuse policy."(RPM)(10-17-2013)
    UPDATE 2: Todd Parrott was released from Richard Petty Motorsports on Monday for violating NASCAR's substance-abuse policy. The 19-year veteran crew chief won the 1999 Sprint Cup championship with Dale Jarrett and most recently oversaw the #43 Ford team and driver Aric Almirola. Parrott has been with RPM since 2010. He has 31 Sprint Cup wins. Parrott has already submitted his application for NASCAR's Road to Recovery program. Greg Ebert will take over as the interim crew chief for Aric Almirola's team.(Fox Sports)(10-22-2013)
    UPDATE 3: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced Greg Ebert will serve as the interim crew chief for the #43 Ford and driver Aric Almirola starting this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Ebert will fulfill this role on an interim basis for the remainder of the season. Ebert has served in the role of car chief of the #43 Ford for the past two seasons and has been a car chief with RPM since its inception. Before joining RPM, Ebert spent nine years at Roush Fenway Racing serving the last five of those seasons as the car chief for Matt Kenseth. Ebert replaces Todd Parrott who is no longer with the organization.(RPM)(10-22-2013)
    UPDATE 4: "(The dismissal) was just automatic," Richard Petty told reporters Tuesday afternoon during an appearance at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. "When he done what he did, he did his own thing. All we've done is said, 'This is the way it's got to be.'" Petty said he was "really shocked" when Parrott failed a drug test and said he never saw the crew chief acting suspiciously. But because drivers and crew members put their lives on the line every weekend, Petty said, the team took a zero-tolerance approach to Parrott's offense. "One hundred percent ain't good enough, so if anyone breaks the rule, there ain't no room in our organization for that," Petty said. (USA Today)
    AND Crew chief Todd Parrott said Tuesday night on Motor Racing Network's "NASCAR Live" that he's sorry for his actions, which caused him to violate NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy and lose his job at Richard Petty Motorsports. "I was in a dark moment and it happened," Parrott told host Eli Gold. Parrott declined to reveal what banned substance he took. NASCAR indefinitely suspended him Thursday. Gold asked Parrott during "NASCAR Live'' if it was a long-time issue or something that happened that caused Parrott to be suspended. "It's just something that happened and my number came up," Parrott said. "Not a whole lot I can say. I feel bad about it, and I'm sorry for it and I'm ready to move on." Parrott said he's scheduled to meet with a counselor Wednesday to begin NASCAR's Road to Recovery program. "I have the support of my family and a lot of friends in the garage to go down this path,'' he said. "I'm sorry it came down to this, but it's a blessing, too ,that NASCAR has a path that helps you ... to be able to get back to work."(Motor Racing Network)(10-23-2013)

  • Almirola to drive #41 at Martinsville: Richard Petty Motorsports will make special tribute this weekend to the latest Petty family member to be elected into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The team announced that current driver Aric Almirola will race a #41 Ford Fusion this weekend at the Martinsville Speedway, replacing the traditional #43. The#41 Ford will be Petty Blue and feature the likeness of 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Maurice Petty, who raced the number during his driving career. The car was unveiled at the NASCAR Hall of Fame with Maurice Petty, his brother "The King" Richard Petty, Almirola and Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell all present. Winston Kelley, NASCAR Hall of Fame Executive Director, led the ceremonies in Charlotte, N.C. Maurice used the #41 for nine starts over his five-year driving career from 1960 to 1964. During that span, Petty entered 26 race events and finished in the top-10 in 16 of those. Maurice also earned seven top-five finishes with a best result of third in Spartanburg, S.C., in 1961. Maurice used the #41, staying consistent with the family heritage of racing subsequent numbers in the 40's. His father, Lee, raced the #42 and his brother, Richard, raced #43. Maurice was a driver, crew chief and a car owner, but is most known for being the engine builder for the family's operation. Maurice developed his craft in the engine room learning from his father, Lee, as he helped the family business win three championships with Lee. He then came into his own and was the horsepower behind the seven championships of Petty Enterprises and also behind 212 wins with drivers such as Richard Petty, Jim Paschal, Marvin Panch and Buddy Baker. Maurice was the crew chief for Pete Hamilton during the 1970 Daytona 500 which he won. Maurice later built engines in the Truck Series and played a role in the return of Dodge to the sport in 2001. Maurice is the third Petty to be elected into the NASCAR Hall of Fame following his father and brother. He is also the first to enter under the merits as an engine builder. Richard Petty Motorsports will use the #41 this weekend only and collect owner and driver points under the #43. The change of car number was approved by NASCAR.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(10-22-2013)

  • RPM expected to announce #43 crew chief plans this week: Aric Almirola won't shy away from admitting that not having crew chief Todd Parrott in the garage the rest of the season will impact his race team. "It certainly has had some impact for sure but for all weekends for something like that to happen, Talladega is a pretty easy one," Almirola said after winning the pole. RPM competition director Sammy Johns [served] as interim crew chief [at Talladega] while Parrott is suspended. Parrott is not expected to return before the end of the season. He must meet with a substance-abuse professional, who will diagnose him and determine what steps he must take to complete NASCAR's "Road to Recovery" program. That typically takes at least six weeks. Parrott is the first Cup crew chief suspended since NASCAR started random drug testing in 2009. "We are working on a plan, and I am sure they will announce the plan next week as to our plans for the rest of the year moving forward," Almirola said. "We just have to work through that and we will keep that internal until we are ready to announce it. "We have sat down and talked about it and tried to come up with the best solution for what is best for us."(Sporting News)(10-21-2013)

  • Charter on the #43 at Dega: Driver of the #43 Charter Ford, Aric Almirola says the keys to racing the Gen-6 car at the Talladega Superspeedway are track position and aggression. The No. 43 team hopes to have both to position them for the win in Charter's primary race with the #43 team. Almirola has 13 NASCAR starts at the 2.66-mile track. In seven Sprint Cup starts, he tallied his best finish of 10th this spring. He has two Nationwide and four truck series starts at the high-banked track and posted his best finish of second in the truck races in 2009 and 2010.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(10-17-2013)

  • Almirola, Ambrose set to return to RPM: The paperwork hasn't cleared yet but #43-Aric Almirola and #9-Marcos Ambrose both expect to be with Richard Petty Motorsports next season, the drivers told Popular Speed on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. "That's the plan," Almirola said. "We're real close on finishing everything. The continuity of keeping everything the same and working with this team and (crew chief) Todd Parrott will be a huge advantage. All the guys on this team do a good job and they understand these cars and what it takes to make them go faster." When asked about his plans for next season, Ambrose simply took a sip of water and pointed down at his hauler and said 'right here.' During a season where drivers are changing seats at rapid-fire pace, both RPM pilots emphasized the importance for the team to establish some continuity from season-to-season.(Popular Speed)(8-31-2013)

  • RainEater Wiper Blade to sponsor Amirola: RainEater Wiper Blades, an Erie-based company, will have "Erie, PA" on the hood of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford driven by Aric Almirola at Bristol. The logo also will appear on the team's pit stall during the race. "We are so very proud of our hometown that we wanted to share it with all of the NASCAR car Sprint Cup fans," RainEater president Lance Thornton said in a prepared statement. "When we founded RainEater Wiper Blades, it was conceived so I didn't have to leave Erie and be able to raise our children in this beautiful community. This is my way of saying thanks to Erie. Maybe it will help other businesses look at our community also." Fans from Erie can enter to win a piece of the Cup car by liking RainEater's Facebook page after the race weekend. "It's great to see a new partner come support Richard Petty Motorsports and our #43 team," Almirola said in a statement.(GoErie), , see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(8-21-2013)

  • Eckrich and RPM Driver Aric Almirola Race to Military Family Home: With the sounds of a revving race engine, Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Eckrich-sponsored NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Aric Almirola made a different kind of pit stop Thursday evening in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And it was all to the surprise of military family, the Kotts, in their own driveway. Almirola drove a replica of the famed #43 Eckrich stock car right up to the house of Sergeant First Class Howard Kott and his wife Dawn to surprise them with the opportunity to be honorary crew members this Sunday at the Michigan International Speedway. Once Almirola stepped out of the car, he surprised the Kott family by presenting them with crew uniforms and VIP passes and then asked them to be part of the famed #43 team this Sunday. But Eckrich and Almirola weren't done honoring the family just yet. In addition to the VIP crew member experience, Eckrich brought a gift basket that Almirola presented, including Eckrich #43 hats, water bottles and plenty of Eckrich products. The family will also be given a pace car ride around the track on Sunday, attend the driver's meeting with Almirola and be introduced to the race crowd with "The King" Richard Petty prior to the start of the race. Sergeant First Class Howard Kott is currently active in the Army and has been deployed twice for service. He and his wife, Dawn, are race fans who are now looking forward to their first VIP experience thanks to Eckrich. To learn more about Operation Inspiration, please click here.(Eckrich/RPM)(8-17-2013)

  • Almirola Gives Military Families in Indianapolis a Big Surprise: Military families experienced disbelief and then excitement Saturday afternoon thanks to Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola, Eckrich and Operation Homefront. A group of military families and wounded warriors, invited by Operation Homefront and Eckrich, were gathered at a private home to enjoy the summer afternoon with games, music, friends and family. When time came to start grilling, however, the party goers realized there was a problem. Their hosts had forgotten a key element to the cookout: the Eckrich smoked sausage.
    However, the roar of a race car quickly diverted their attention as Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola wheeled the #43 Eckrich Ford through the neighborhood and into the backyard to surprise the guests and save the day with plenty of Eckrich smoked sausage on hand. After climbing out of the famed #43 machine, the driver unloaded bags of Eckrich smoked sausage for the cookout. In addition, Almirola handed out gift bags filled with Eckrich products, coupons, t-shirts and #43 Eckrich team hats for the military guests to give thanks for all they have sacrificed. But that's not all. Almirola then encouraged each guest to look closely through their bag. Inside they found a ticket to Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where they could watch Almirola race the #43 Eckrich Ford. The tickets were provided by Eckrich and the cookout surprise was a re-enactment of the new Eckrich commercial featuring both Richard Petty and Aric Almirola that will air Sunday during the pre-race show on ESPN. Click here to watch the commercial. This surprise is part of the ongoing efforts of Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, and Operation Homefront to support and thank military men and women and their families. Earlier this year the Operation Inspiration campaign was launched to thank, honor and support military families, the heroes behind our heroes. The campaign includes the Operation Inspiration TV special hosted by Al Roker which debuted in June and will air in syndication in markets across the country throughout the summer.(Eckrich)(7-28-2103)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports may get new landlord: Boris Said is selling his race shop in Concord, NC. Normally, that wouldn't be a big deal. But in this case, it's currently the home of Richard Petty Motorsports. "We're looking at our options right now," said RPM director of operations Sammy Johns. "It's nothing that's a surprise. We're working through it.' Johns is optimistic that RPM, which has leased the property since 2010, will continue a similar relationship with the new owner.(Fox Sports)(7-17-2013)

  • Sixteen Cup teams found with modified roof flap spacers UPDATE: Sixteen teams found to have modified roof flap spacers (lighter) during NASCAR inspection. Teams listed: #1-McMurray, #2-Keselowski, #9-Ambrose, #11-Hamlin, #13-Mears, #15-Bowyer, #16-Biffle, #17-Stenhouse Jr., #18-Busch, #20-Kenseth, #21-Bayne, #22-Logano, #43-Almirola, #55-Waltrip, #56-Truex Jr. and #99-Edwards. The modified/confiscated roof-flap spacers are on display at Daytona in the NASCAR hauler. NASCAR's Kerry Tharp addressed media on confiscated roof-flap spacers - "Spacers not in compliance with those kits." The roof-flap kits are supplied to teams for #NASCAR by one company (a Roush company) and are not to be changed.(SPEED's, Dustin Long Fox/NASCAR on Twitter)
    AND Thirty-one cars, including 16 in the Sprint Cup Series, failed inspection before Thursday's practices at Daytona International Speedway. NASCAR confiscated the teams' roof flaps, which are designed to keep cars on the ground during spins and wrecks at high speeds, for further inspection. Penalties could be possible. The roof-flap spacers had been illegally machined down to reduce weight. NASCAR inspectors made those Cup teams install new, unaltered roof flaps before drivers were allowed on the track for the first of two practices. Inspectors then went to the Nationwide garage and found similar issues on 15 cars. "When you find something in one garage, you communicate to the other garage," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We looked into it and this is what we found."(Associated Press)(7-4-2013)
    UPDATE: NASCAR Sprint Cup teams expect widespread penalties after 16 cars were found with illegal roof-flap spacers at Daytona Thursday, but they don't know how severe those penalties might be. The teams caught scrambled Thursday to make compliant spacers, which are used to attach the hinge of the roof flaps. Teams and manufacturers get roof flaps from Roush Composites and, according to the NASCAR rulebook, "the hinged air deflectors must be installed as specified in the instruction sheet supplied with the hinged air deflector kit." But it was apparent that many teams had lightened the spacers or changed them. It wasn't clear what tipped off NASCAR inspectors to the violations, but after a sweep of the Sprint Cup garage Thursday, NASCAR went through the Nationwide garage and took pieces from 15 Nationwide teams Thursday night. A non-compliant part might just be a monetary penalty but because it dealt with a safety piece  the roof flaps pop up during a spin to try to keep the car on the ground  a points penalty is definitely possible, as well as crew suspensions. NASCAR traditionally issues penalties the Tuesday after a race weekend. NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton said the widespread use of the illegal spacers most likely indicates that those pieces had gotten through inspection previously. "It's probably not something that was on a normal inspection routine," Pemberton said. "The teams are told that they must assemble all that stuff using all the parts that's in the kit. Once in a while you'll find things like that and it's probably something that teams have probably done a little bit in the past." Whether the number of teams involved will impact the penalties and whether crew chiefs who are on probation will face more severe penalties will be determined Monday and Tuesday, Pemberton said. Because teams didn't have extra kits at Daytona, NASCAR allowed the teams to make spacers that were compliant.(Sporting News)(7-5-2013)

  • Purple Heart Recipient Surprised With 'Ride of a Lifetime' at Kentucky: Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver #43-Aric Almirola logged some extra time on the track this weekend at the Kentucky Speedway. With sponsor Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, and Operation Homefront, they surprised a special member of the U.S. military and his family with a 'Ride of a Lifetime'. United States Marine Corps Corporal Sebastian Gallegos, a 23-year-old Purple Heart recipient, and his wife, Tracie are VIP guests of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team, Eckrich and Operation Homefront this weekend. Saturday morning, the Gallegos received a 'Ride of a Lifetime' around the 1.5-mile track with Almirola in an Eckrich-branded Richard Petty Driving Experience Ford Fusion. In addition to the morning event, the Gallegos will get a behind-the-scenes tour of the garage and track and all-access with the #43 team prior to settling in atop the pit box for the night's race. The couple's story and the surprise in San Antonio will be featured in the half hour NBC special hosted by Roker, which airs on local NBC stations across the country tonight, June 29, and in syndication throughout the summer. The special, sponsored by Eckrich, is aimed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us. Eckrich is providing additional assistance to military families by donating up to $250,000 to Operation Homefront this year through the donation of five cents from the purchase of specially-marked packages through July 4.(RPM)(6-29-2013)

  • RPM announces partnership with GoBowling.com: The number one recognized car in NASCAR will now feature the number one participatory sports activity - bowling! Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) and Strike Ten Entertainment announced today at the International Bowl Expo (IBE) the launch of a new partnership that will feature GoBowling.com as a primary sponsor of the #43 Ford Fusion driven by Aric Almirola. Also at IBE was the official unveiling of the #43 GoBowling.com Ford Fusion. Richard Petty appeared on the Expo floor and helped give attendees a first look at the historic car as well as posed for photos and signed autographs. Later this summer the car will make its on-track debut at the GoBowling.com 400 on August 4 at the Pocono Raceway. The GoBowling.com Ford will also be the primary partner for the #43 team at the same event in 2014. GoBowling.com is the website to visit to learn more about the 2,100+ bowling centers around the country. Fans can learn about their local bowling centers, promotional offers, bowling tips and more. Currently, GoBowling.com is running a national promotion for one lucky race fan to wave the green flag to start their NASCAR Sprint Cup event (GoBowling.com 400) on Sunday, August 4. This partnership with RPM is their first with a team and driver.(RPM), see images of the car/scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)

  • Eckrich and Operation Homefront return to the #43: This weekend Aric Almirola and the #43 race team will head to the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway for Saturday night's 400-mile event. The team will again be carrying the logos of Eckrich and Operation Homefront on the hood and sides of the Petty Blue Ford. Eckrich, through their Operation Inspiration program, will be hosting some special guests this weekend. A San Antonio military family will be VIP guests of the team and be surprised with a 'Ride of a Lifetime' this Saturday morning courtesy of Almirola. This special couple receiving the "Ride of a Lifetime" will be one of three families featured on the half-hour television special 'Operation Inspiration' hosted by television personality Al Roker, with appearances by Almirola and "The King" Richard Petty. The show, sponsored by Eckrich, is aimed to honor, thank and support the military families who inspire us. It will air on local NBC stations across the country this weekend and in syndication throughout the summer.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-27-2013)

  • Military Veteran Father and Son Receive Special Father's Day Surprise at Michigan: Joel Correll, a United States Marine Corps veteran, and his 15-year son, Jarrett, who lives with cystic fibrosis, received a Father's Day surprise of a lifetime today at Michigan International Speedway. Joel and Jarrett Correll, along with Jarrett's mother, were on a VIP tour of the track - or at least that's what they thought - when Aric Almirola, "The King" Richard Petty and representatives from Operation Homefront and Victory Junction surprised the family with an experience they will not soon forget.
    As part of the "tour," the family was brought to the facility's media center to listen to a press conference involving Almirola and NASCAR Hall of Famer, Petty. In the middle of the press conference, Almirola called the family to the front. The driver of the famed #43 announced that Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, would be providing Jarrett with a week at Victory Junction, a camp founded by the Petty family that hosts children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.
    But, the surprises weren't over yet. "The King" then offered Joel and his son Eckrich crew uniforms and asked them to be a part of the race team on Sunday as special guests of the team, Eckrich and Operation Homefront. Petty and Almirola also informed Joel and Jarrett that they would have their names on the #43 Eckrich Ford on Sunday to honor them and help celebrate Father's Day. This Father's Day surprise was a part of "Operation Inspiration," a campaign launched by Eckrich and Operation Homefront earlier this year to help honor, thank and support the military families who inspire their fellow Americans. Eckrich is providing additional assistance to military families by donating up to $250,000 to Operation Homefront this year through the contribution of five cents from the purchase of specially-marked packages from May 1 through July 4.(RPM)(6-15-2013)

  • McCollum amendment to ban military sponsorship fails: An amendment to cut off government spending on sponsorships of NASCAR and pro wrestling events sponsored by Rep. Betty McCollum, DFL-Minn., fell short in the U.S. House on Friday. McCollum, who sits on the powerful appropriations committee, has been trying to highlight Pentagon spending she considers wasteful. Her biggest target: money the National Guard spends on pro sports sponsorships which the Guard says helps with recruiting. "The fact that $53 million in taxpayers' funds is going to sponsor some of the most violent and sexist entertainment on television and NASCAR racing teams that results in zero recruits is a waste of money," McCollum said. The amendment was defeated by a wide margin. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., represents a district with a big NASCAR track. "We would be stealing from our nation's military and hard-working taxpayers if this amendment were to pass," Hudson said.(MPR News)(6-14-2013)

  • Chinese company buys Smithfield Foods: Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has agreed to buy Smithfield Foods Inc. for approximately $4.72 billion, the largest acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese company. Hong Kong-based Shuanghui owns a variety of global businesses that include food, logistics and flavoring products and is the majority shareholder in China's largest meat processing enterprise. Smithfield, the world's biggest pork producer, owns brands such as Armour, Farmland and its namesake. Both companies' boards have unanimously approved the transaction, which still needs approval from Smithfield's shareholders. The transaction may also be subject to review by the U.S.'s Committee on Foreign Investment, which evaluates the potential national security effects of transactions. The process typically includes a 30-day initial review, followed by a 45-day investigation before making a recommendation to the president. Smithfield's stock will no longer be publicly traded once the deal closes.
    Under the agreement, there will be no closures at Smithfield's facilities and locations, including its Smithfield, Va., headquarters in the historic southeastern Virginia town of about 8,100 where it was founded in 1936, the companies said. Smithfield's existing management team will remain in place and Shuanghui also will honor the collective bargaining agreements with Smithfield workers. The company has about 46,000 employees.(Associated Press), no word how or if this will affect the sponsorship of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team and driver Aric Almirola.(5-29-2013)

  • #43 Team Wins 1st Qtr Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew Award: The #43 Smithfield Ford over-the-wall Richard Petty Motorsports crew of driver Aric Amirola has been named the Quarter One Mechanix Wear Most Valuable Pit Crew  an honor determined by a vote of each NASCAR Sprint Cup Series crew chief given quarterly to top-performing pit crews. "It's just awesome," said rear tire changer Dwayne Ogles. "Just the history of the 43 car in itself and us kind of being the underdogs, it's pretty cool to bring the 43 back. Everybody's looking at us and it's cool for the spotlight to be back on the 43 team." The #43 crew's precise performance this season has helped to cement Almirola's solid start to the 2013 campaign. The team's four straight top-10s, accumulated from the April 13 race at Texas to May 5 at Talladega, marked the first time since 1996 that the storied Petty Enterprise's #43 had finished in the top-10 in four straight races. In addition to Ogles, the 43 over-the-wall pit crew consists of a combination of newcomers and experienced pit road veterans, including: Joe Karasinski (gas man), Jeremy Neeley (jackman), Greg Donlin (front tire changer), Lance Hanna (front tire carrier), and Eric Wallace (rear tire carrier). Andrew Carter is the team's pit crew coach.(NASCAR)(5-26-2013)

  • Almirola Honors Air Force with Patriotic Paint Scheme in Coke 600: Aric Almirola and the #43 Air Force Ford team look to repeat last year's speed in the Coca-Cola 600. Almirola and team won the pole in last year's 600-mile event and finished 16th in his Charlotte Motor Speedway debut. In just his second start at the 1.5-mile track, Almirola started 15th and drove to the 12th position. The United States Air Force will adorn the hood of the #43 Ford this weekend. This will mark the 13th consecutive season the Air Force has been involved in NASCAR, five of which were with Richard Petty Motorsports. Charlotte Motor Speedway has many events that include the Air Force, as well as other branches of the military, as the sport works to give back during this patriotic weekend.(RPM), see an image of the Air Force scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(5-22-2013)

  • NASCAR legend makes south Georgia' teen's wish come true: A south Georgia boy's wish will come true this weekend when he meets a NASCAR legend. 16 year-old Jacob Entrekin from Sumner lives with a rare form of muscular dystrophy. He left for Charlotte Wednesday where he will attend the NASCAR All-Star race as a special guest of Richard Petty Motorsports. Jacob will get to meet Petty and driver Marcos Ambrose. The Make a Wish Foundation helped make the trip possible.(WALB)(5-18-2013)

  • Almirola looks to extend streak: Aric Almirola and the #43 Smithfield Ford team are looking to make history this weekend at Darlington Raceway with a fifth consecutive top-10 finish. If the team can finish in the top-10, it will mark the first time that the Petty-owned #43 has more than four consecutive top-10 finishes since Richard Petty posted seven consecutive top-10s in 1983. It will also mark the first time Richard Petty Motorsports has posted five consecutive top-10 finishes. With a 10th-place finish at Talladega, the team moved to the seventh position in championship points, a first for any Richard Petty Motorsports team after 10 races. The #43 team is trailing the sixth spot by six points and has a 14 point lead on 11th.(RPM)(5-9-2013)

  • Ambrose, Almirola complete test at Sonoma: Richard Petty Motorsports teammates Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola completed a successful two-day test session at Sonoma Raceway on Wednesday. It marked the first test for the new Gen-6 car on a NASCAR-sanctioned road course, and the debut of the new car on the 10-turn, 1.99-mile Sonoma circuit. Ambrose completed approximately 75 laps, while Almirola completed 100 laps, all in race trim. Lap times were not available. "We always want to try to get an advantage on the competition, so we feel like it's been worthwhile to be out here and hopefully it will pay off for the race," said Ambrose, who won the pole in Sonoma last year. "We're happy with the progress, but we would love to be faster, always. We're confident that we've learned a lot and we'll come back with a better package in June." (Sonoma PR)(5-9-2013)

  • Ambrose, Almirola Set to Test at Sonoma, May 7th: Race fans will be treated to a FREE NASCAR test session and also get a sneak peek at some tasty new food options on Tuesday, May 7, at Sonoma Raceway. The test will also mark the debut of the new NASCAR Gen-6 car in Sonoma. Richard Petty Motorsports will visit the road course for a two-day NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test with #9-Marcos Ambrose and #43-Aric Almirola in preparation for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, June 21-23. This will be the first time the new Gen-6 NASCAR stock car will lay tracks on the Sonoma Valley road course. Ambrose claimed the pole in Sonoma last year and nearly took the checkers in 2010 before a late-race stall cost him the victory. In addition to the great on-track action, fans can also preview the raceway's newest concession concept, the Sears Point Grill. Located at the north-end of the main grandstand, the Sears Point Grill will feature handmade burgers, locally-sourced sausages and other savory grilled items. Three Sears Point Grill locations will open officially during NASCAR race weekend, but fans can purchase food and drinks near the main grandstand during the test session from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. A press conference and fan event with the drivers will be held at the Sears Point Grill during the lunch break at approximately 12:15 p.m., and fans are welcome to attend. Fans can also test their skills with Grand Prix Karting in front of the Simraceway Driving Performance Center during the test session. Karting will take place from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Tuesday in front of the racing school and is free for attendees. Testing will span from approximately 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Fans who purchase tickets to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 during the test on May 7 can save up to $50 on a special NASCAR ticket package. Tickets for NASCAR's 25th annual visit to the Sonoma Valley are also available at 800-870-RACE (7223) or racesonoma.com/nascar. Great options are still available, including the all-new NASCAR Express train package, Save Mart 2-Pack and more.(Sonoma Raceway)(5-2-2013)

  • Eckrich making first appearance of the year with Almirola: Aric Almirola and the Richard Petty Motorsports team will travel to the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway this weekend with familiar logos. Returning for its first of six primary events, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, will once again be featured on the hood and sides of the famed # 43. The car will continue to showcase the Petty Blue base that Smithfield Foods returned back to the #43 earlier this season. In addition, Eckrich, through its continued partnership with Operation Homefront, will once again showcase the nonprofit colors on the car to support military families in need.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(4-10-2013)

  • Jani-King on the #43: The partners joining the #43 team this week include old and new. One of Richard Petty Motorsports newest partners, Jani-King, will make their 2013 debut on the hood, while STP will boast the Gas Booster logos on the sides of the #43. Almirola's paint scheme will commemorate STP's relationship with Petty and the first time the STP logo was on Petty's car at Riverside in 1972.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(4-3-2013)

  • #43 to feature Farmland at ACS UPDATE: Aric Almirola will make his ninth NASCAR series start at the Auto Club Speedway this weekend in the #43 Farmland Ford. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver looks to surpass his best California finish of sixth, which he posted in 2010 in the Nationwide Series, in Sunday's Auto Club 400. As part of their Race to End Hunger, Almirola will join Farmland Foods this week to present a cash and protein donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. The donation will help feed thousands of families, children and seniors in the Inland Empire. The announcement and presentation will be held at the Auto Club Speedway on Friday, March 22 at 9:30am and will include remarks from Farmland, Aric and Second Harvest Food Bank representatives, as well as photo opportunities.(RPM)(3-22-2013)
    UPDATE: Farmland Foods presented $20,000 to Second Harvest Food Bank serving Riverside and San Bernardino Counties on Friday as part of an expanding effort by the company to raise awareness of hunger issues around the country. Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola joined Farmland in presenting the check. In addition, 43 cases of Farmland's famous Hickory Smoked Bacon were donated in honor of the legendary #43 Ford made famous by Richard Petty. The bacon donation will help to ensure families, children and seniors in the Inland Empire have access to much-needed protein. Farmland's "Race to End Hunger" is raising awareness about hunger issues in a growing number of communities in conjunction with race weekends for the famous #43 car, and in partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports,. In 2013, Farmland is expanding their efforts in the "Race to End Hunger" as part of the Helping Hungry Homes initiative of Smithfield Foods, Farmland's parent company. Farmland is providing cash and protein donations to food banks such as Second Harvest as part of a continued partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the No. 43 team. Earlier this month as part of the Race to End Hunger, Farmland donated an additional $20,000 and 43 cases of Oven Perfect to St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix, Ariz., and Three Square Food Bank in Las Vegas.(RPM)(3-24-2013)

  • Smithfield & RPM return Petty Blue Color Scheme to Famed #43: Richard Petty Motorsports and its partner Smithfield Foods announced that the Petty Blue tradition and heritage will return for the majority of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season in 2013. Smithfield Foods, and its family of brands including Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney and Smithfield, will showcase the historic color on the #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola in 24 races this season. It will be the first time in over 40 years that the Petty Blue color will be primarily featured on the #43 for nearly the entire race schedule. The color, introduced by the Petty family and then made famous by "The King" Richard Petty, has come to define the winning tradition and heritage of the Petty family and the famed #43. The legions of Petty race fans have long waited for the return of the famous Petty Blue paint scheme. Smithfield Foods is proud to return the tradition and winning heritage back to the track.
    "We want to connect the tradition and history of Richard Petty and Richard Petty Motorsports fans to our Smithfield Foods family of brands," explained Larry Pope, chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods. "There is no better way to do that than to bring back the Petty Blue color scheme that all race fans recognize and relate to on the #43 Ford. We will now make sure that each time we race this season, our fans will be able to easily recognize Aric (Almirola) on the track and the strong heritage that the Petty and Smithfield Foods brands represent."
    The first Petty Blue scheme will adorn the #43 this weekend when Almirola will race the Famland Ford at the Phoenix International Raceway. This car, along with the Eckrich and Smithfield (Gwaltney) Ford were unveiled today by team owner Richard Petty and Smithfield Director of Public Affairs, Dennis Pittman.
    "I'm really humbled by everyone at Smithfield and all their companies to decide to make this change," said team owner Richard Petty. "They have been great partners for us as a company and this really proves that. Our fans will now be able to easily recognize the No. 43 Ford and Aric on the track throughout the season. It will also bring back a lot of good memories for me each time I see it."
    Also this weekend, Almirola will make his return to NASCAR Nationwide Series competition for the first time since competing full-time in 2011 when he finished fourth in the point standings. Almirola will substitute for Michael Annett, who was injured in a crash at Daytona, in the #43 Flying J Ford at Phoenix.(RPM), see images of the cars on the #43 Team Schemes page.(2-28-2013)

  • Richard & Kyle Petty Dedicate Muscle Cars Forever Stamps: Raw power will get a stamp of its own when seven-time NASCAR National Champion Richard Petty will dedicate new America on the Move: Muscle Cars Forever stamps. On Friday, Feb 22nd at 2pm/et, Petty, joined by son Kyle, will dedicate the limited-edition stamps at the Daytona International Speedway where "King Richard" won a record seven Daytona 500 Championships. Typically equipped with big, powerful engines, these high-performance vehicles began roaring across America in the 1960s. The stamps feature five iconic muscle cars: the '66 Pontiac GTO, the '67 Shelby GT-500, the '69 Dodge Charger Daytona, the '70 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda and the '70 Chevelle SS. Three classic muscle cars, '67 Shelby GT-500, '70 Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda and '69 Dodge Charger Daytona will be in the Sprint FANZONE on Friday! Customers may view the America on the Move: Muscle Cars stamps, as well as many of this year's other stamps, on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps or at beyondtheperf.com.(2-22-2013)

  • STP to sponsor April race at Martinsville: co-sponsor on #43: Martinsville Speedway and the STP brand announced a multi-year entitlement sponsorship agreement at Daytona International Speedway. The sponsorship kicks off with the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for April 7, 2013 at the historic Virginia track. "STP and Martinsville Speedway have both been a part of the NASCAR family for decades. To work with a company that has such legendary status in our sport is exciting to me," said Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell. "Bringing together two companies that have so much history and such fan recognition is going to be a winning combination for everyone, especially the fans." The Martinsville Speedway entitlement is the latest addition to the STP brand's motorsports portfolio which includes entitlement sponsorships of NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide events at Kansas Speedway and Chicagoland Speedway, respectively, and the entitlement sponsorship for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series.
    In addition to sponsoring the race, the STP brand will be a co-primary sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports and the #43 Jani-King STP Ford Fusion driven by Aric Amirola at the Martinsville spring race. The paint scheme will be commemorative of the first time the STP logo was on Petty's car at Riverside in 1972.
    "STP, Richard Petty Motorsports and Martinsville Speedway were made for each other. It is surprising this hasn't happened sooner! Everyone at the STP brand is very proud to support Martinsville Speedway, the fans and Richard Petty Motorsports," said Jamie Kistner, Brand Director, STP. "The sponsorship is a perfect way to introduce our latest product innovation, STP Gas Booster" Concentrated Fuel System Treatment. This is the first time that we've leveraged an entitlement sponsorship to launch a new product. The STP brand continues to develop innovative technology and believes NASCAR provides a perfect platform to share the news with fans."
    STP Gas Booster is a modern approach to fuel system treatments. One treatment of STP Gas Booster starts working immediately to help restore lost power and performance, and this unique formulation also helps to restore fuel economy by cleaning the fuel system. The STP brand continues to develop breakthrough technology to help consumers keep their engines running better longer.
    "It is hard to believe my relationship with STP started more than 40 years ago, and here we are today announcing yet another chapter in the brand's history with me, Richard Petty Motorsports and NASCAR," said Richard Petty. "During my time with STP I've watched the brand become a fan favorite with products that give them The Racer's Edge and this partnership is yet another example of their commitment. I can't wait to see the '72 Riverside STP car paint scheme back on the track."
    Richard Petty and the #43 STP machine have a storied history at Martinsville: Petty has the most wins with a total of 15
    · Petty has the most grandfather clocks, awarded to the winner, with a total of 12
    · Petty has an amazing 67 starts, the most of any driver
    · Petty has the most top-10 and top-five finishes
    · In 1960, Petty won the spring race at the age of 20, becoming the youngest winner at Martinsville
    · The last "ride" by Petty came on the side door of the famous #43 STP car with John Andretti driving him to Victory Lane in April of 1999; that year also marks the last time the #43 STP machine won there
    The STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Sunday, April 7, the day after the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Pole Day is Friday, April 5. Ticket prices for the STP Gas Booster 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race start as low as $37. Tickets for the STP Gas Booster 500, the Kroger 250 and Martinsville Pole Day may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com.(Martinsville Speedway)(2-12-2013)

  • Richard Petty special to air tonight: Richard Petty: A Racer's Life: Richard "The King" Petty shares the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR as reported by Steve Byrnes. The Richard Petty Stories delivers the vanguard family of Nascar in a remarkably open manner that has never been documented before. At his request, The King, Richard Petty sat down with Steve Byrnes to share the real truths behind this "simple man" and his family's impact on NASCAR. The premiere is scheduled for Monday, February 18th at 8L30pm/et on SPEED with re-airs scheduled.(SPEED)(2-18-2013)

  • Drivers run in Daytona Beach Half Marathon: #5-Kasey Kahne apparently had slightly better equipment than Hendrick Motorsports teammate #48-Jimmie Johnson for Sunday's Daytona Beach Half Marathon. Kahne finished the chilly 13.1-mile run -- which began on pit road at Daytona International Speedway and included a brief stint on the beach -- in 1:28:45. Johnson came in at 1:29:48. Aric Almirola and Michael Waltrip also participated. Almirola crossed the lined in 1:46:12. Waltrip, who was hoping for a 10-minute-mile pace, said he had a good time, too.(ESPN)(2-18-2013)

  • Allstate Peterbilt Group providing Petty Motorsports with tractors: Richard Petty Motorsports and Allstate Peterbilt Group have joined forces for the 2013 NASCAR season. Allstate Peterbilt Group announced they will supply Richard Petty Motorsports' NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide Series teams with Peterbilt tractors. Allstate Peterbilt Group has 17 locations throughout the Midwest and over forty years of experience supporting the Peterbilt line of products. The company will provide the teams with Peterbilt model 389 tractors, the flagship of premium traditional trucks, with aerodynamics that provide the team more fuel efficiency. The tractors will haul the race cars and race equipment of the #9 and #43 Sprint Cup teams of Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola and the #43 NASCAR Nationwide team of Michael Annett. With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 36-race schedule and the NASCAR Nationwide Series 33-race schedule, all three teams are spending a total of over 200,000 miles transporting each team's cars and race equipment to each racetrack, making reliability a top-concern.(RPM)(2-7-2012)

  • Drivers to run Daytona Half Marathon: Prior to turning two high-speed qualifying laps in Daytona 500 Qualifying Presented By Kroger, several NASCAR drivers will first compete in the fifth annual Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start and end at historic Daytona International Speedway. The Central Florida Sports Commission and Daytona International Speedway, in partnership with Volusia County, will host the Daytona Beach Half Marathon on Sunday, Feb. 17, just one week before the 55th running of the Daytona 500. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon, which will start at 6:30 a.m. ET, is being held for the first time during Budweiser Speedweeks. Among the NASCAR drivers that have submitted applications to compete in the Daytona Beach Half Marathon are #48-Jimmie Johnson, #30-Michael Waltrip, #5-Kasey Kahne and #43-Aric Almirola. The Daytona Beach Half Marathon is open to runners and walkers, at least 12 years of age or older, who can complete the course in less than 3 hours and 30 minutes.(DIS)(2-6-2013)

  • Air Force renews sponsorship ofAlmirola: The U.S. Air Force will once again partner with Richard Petty Motorsports to connect with America's best and brightest young adults. The U.S. Air Force will serve as an associate sponsor on Aric Almirola's #43 Ford for the entire 2013 season and as a primary sponsor at the Memorial Day weekend race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Fourth of July weekend race at Daytona International Speedway. The star-studded Air Force paint scheme adorned the historic No. 43 Ford for the same two marquee races in 2012 - the Coca-Cola 600 (Charlotte), where Almirola earned his first career pole, and the Coke Zero 400 (Daytona). The Air Force will also continue its experiential marketing activities at NASCAR events, air shows and festivals throughout the year, taking the No. 43 U.S. Air Force Ford show car and "Hangar 43" interactive display to environments where recruiters can connect with young adults. It will also continue to hold swear-in ceremonies of Airmen in the Delayed Entry Program at NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, giving fans an up-close, in-person look at the moment when groups of young Americans commit themselves to their country.(RPM)(2-4-2013)

  • 2013 silly season notes for #43-Aric Almirola / Richard Petty Motorsports:: Almirola re-signed with RPM for the 2013 season. RPM stayed with Ford after thinking about switching to Chevy or Dodge. Smithfield Foods expanded their sponsorship of the team, going from 18 races in 2012 to 25 in 2013. The U.S. Air Force will be the primary sponsor for a few races and looks like STP will return for a race, the STP 400 at Kansas is likely. Todd Parrott returns as Almirola's crew chief in 2013 after taking over in late 2012. Almiorla had three crew chiefs in 2012: Greg Irwin, Mike Ford and Parrott. See many images of some #43 schemes on my #43 Team Schemes page. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(1-28-2013)

  • Smithfield Foods Expands Partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports: Smithfield Foods announced it will expand its partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports to include primary sponsor of the legendary #43 Ford in 25 events during the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Smithfield Foods and its family of brands including Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney and Smithfield will all participate as primary sponsors throughout the year. Aric Almirola will drive the Smithfield Foods-backed #43 Ford in his second full-time season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
    Smithfield Foods, the world's largest producer of pork products, will continue to engage fans with unique marketing initiatives that introduce NASCAR fans to the company's many brands and products. Both rich with history, Smithfield Foods and Richard Petty Motorsports are a natural match while both pursue continued excellence in their respective industries.
    "We are thrilled to come back as a partner of Richard Petty Motorsports, Aric and the #43 team this season," said Joe Luter IV, Executive Vice President of Smithfield. "We were very pleased with the value that the partnership provided us and our customers in our first year together. We are already working hard to make our race program better this year."
    In his first full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season, Almirola and his #43 Ford team secured a pole, earned one top-five and four top-10 finishes and finished 20th in the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship standings. "We are happy to continue our partnership with Smithfield and its family of brands," said Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. "The folks at Smithfield put some great programs into place last season, and we can't wait to see what they have in store this year. Smithfield came on board at a pivotal time for our company and helped us develop to the team we are today. Aric and Todd came on strong at the end of the year last year, and we're looking forward to a solid year in 2013."
    Almirola not only became a partner of Smithfield last season, but also became part of its marketing programs, playing a key role in giving back. "I had a great time working with Smithfield and its companies last season," Almirola commented. "Together, we gave back to the community through Smithfield's initiative Helping Hungry Homes, Eckrich's Operation Homefront and to Harvesters Food Bank with Farmland Foods among others. It has been a privilege to work with a company that focuses on giving back. Not to mention, their quality products." Smithfield Packing will kick off the season aboard the #43 Ford at Daytona International Speedway for The Sprint Unlimited and the Daytona 500.(RPM)(1-24-2013)

  • Ford Racing - RPM & RFR Notes from the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour: the first stop on the final day of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Media Tour was at the hotel where Ford drivers from Richard Petty Motorsports and Roush Fenway Racing talked and met with the media: Some notes from Twitter world
    Roush on working with Penske: "They have a dramatically different car than our car. The underbody and the suspension doesn't relate."
    Robbie Reiser promoted from general manager to vice president of competition at Roush Fenway.
    Roger Penske says his team's main contact with the RFR is Robbie Reiser.
    Jack Roush said he's looking to put Trevor Bayne in a Cup car, full-time for the 2014 season, depending on sponsorship and driver performace.
    Roush Fenway Racing had 9 sponsors up for renewal entering 2012 who are back.
    There is sponsorhip available for #17-Stenhouse.
    Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was asked directly whether he is dating Danica Patrick. He said he preferred not to talk about his personal life.
    Smithfield Foods will expand the number of races it will sponsor the #43 to 25 races.
    Marcos Ambrose shaved off his bushy beard he sported at testing.
    (from many Twitter reports/feeds)(1-24-2013)

  • The King & Dale Jr. team up: Dale Earnhardt Jr., the most popular driver in NASCAR racing today, is joining Goody's longtime spokesman, Richard "The King" Petty, in a new multi-media campaign that will introduce consumers to the fast-dissolving headache remedy. Beginning in early 2013, the driving duo's radio, television and digital campaign will tell fans how to be unstoppable with Goody's. Goody's Powder will be the title sponsor for the Goody's Fast Relief 500, the October 27 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville. Goody's also will continue its longstanding tradition of sampling the product at racetracks and, to the delight of fans, bring Earnhardt and Petty together for personal appearances. "This partnership is unprecedented," said Joseph Juliano, Brand Director, Goody's. "It is the first time that these two NASCAR legends have worked together. Each of them has a huge fan base, and they are both synonymous with the sport of auto racing. Goody's is all about speed, and nobody personifies the idea of speed better than Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Jr."
    "I am really looking forward to working with Dale Jr. on the new campaign for Goody's, which will introduce the product to a whole new generation," Petty said. "He is a great driver and a smart businessman, and nobody is more popular with NASCAR fans."
    "Richard Petty is a role model for me and every other driver in NASCAR," Earnhardt said. "I am honored to be working with him and thankful Goody's brought us together. I signed on with Goody's in part because of their long-term commitment to NASCAR. They helped start the trend of non-car companies coming into the sport. In my mind, they are synonymous with NASCAR racing. I am also a big fan of their product because it works so fast."(JR Motorsports)(1-22-2013)

  • Ambrose to run Rolex 24 At Daytona: Even with the best laid plans, sometimes you have to call an audible. Fortunately for the defending Rolex 24 At Daytona Champions Michael Shank Racing, the audible is an excellent play as the team has confirmed that NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose will join Michael Shank Racing for the 2013 Rolex 24 At Daytona to drive the #60 Michael Shank Racing Ford-Riley. Ambrose, who impressed in testing with the team during the "Roar Before the 24" over the weekend, will supplement the driving line up of AJ Allmendinger, Justin Wilson, John Pew, and Ozz Negri as Negri continues to heal from an off-season testing injury. The Roar testing proved productive for the Shank organization, as the team led five of eight practice sessions during the weekend between the two team Daytona Prototype entries. Negri will continue to push ahead with his physical therapy and expects to be able to compete in the 51st running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Ambrose has previous experience in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and with the NASCAR Preseason Thunder kicking off this weekend, is getting plenty of seat time on both the oval and the 3.56-mile road course at Daytona International Speedway as he prepares to kick off a busy season.(RPM)(1-11-2013)

2012 News

  • 2012 Races [15] that Smithfield Foods is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Daytona - 2/26
    Phoenix - 3/4, Allez Cuisine
    Martinsville - 4/1
    Texas - 4/14
    Richmond - 4/30
    Kentucky - 6/30, Eckrich
    Indy - 7/29, Eckrich
    Watkins Glen - 8/12
    Michigan - 8/19, Eckrich
    Richmond - 9/8
    Chicago - 9/16, Farmland
    Talladega - 10/7, Gwaltney
    Charlotte - 10/13
    Kansas - 10/21, Farmland
    Martinsville - 10/28, Gwaltney
    Texas - 11/4, Farmland
    Phoenix - 11/11, Farmland

    Homestead - 11/18

  • 2012 Races [1] that STP is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Kansas - 4/22

  • 2012 Races [1] that Verifone is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Talladega - 5/6

  • 2012 Races [2] that the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Charlotte - 5/27
    Daytona - 7/7

  • 2012 Races [1] that Gravely Mowers is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Darlington - 5/12

  • 2012 Races [2] that Goody's has been the primary sponsor:
    Bristol - 8/25

  • 2012 Races [1] that AdvoCare is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Atlanta - 9/2

  • 2012 Races [1] that TrimFit All-Natural Weight Loss Water has been the primary sponsor:
    New Hampshire - 9/23

  • 2012 Races [1] that Super 8 Hotels has been the primary sponsor:
    Dover - 9/30

  • 2012 Races [4] that Medallion Financial has been the primary sponsor:
    Auto Club - 3/25
    Michigan - 6/17
    Sonoma - 6/24
    New Hampshire - 7/15

  • Richard Petty: Phone rule made up: Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty says NASCAR was "hypocritical'' in fining point leader Brad Keselowski for carrying a cell phone in his car last weekend at Phoenix. "I think it's hypocritical because he [did] it at Daytona, and then NASCAR had a big meeting with everybody and said, 'Oh! Man! That's great. Everybody go out there and do it just as much as you can.' And then they say, 'Whoo! You ain't supposed to do it in a racecar,' '' NASCAR's all-time win leader said on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "I don't think that was in the rulebook. I think they made that one up as they went.''(ESPN)(11-18-2012)

  • RPM re-signs Ambrose and Almirola: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) confirmed today its current drivers, Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola, have re-signed for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Ambrose will enter his third season driving for the organization. He will again be behind the wheel of the #9 Ford with partners Stanley and DEWALT. Almirola will begin his second season as the driver of the #43 Ford with primary support from partner Smithfield Foods and its family of brands, Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland and Gwaltney. In addition, long-time Petty sponsor, STP, will also continue as a primary partner of the #43.
    Ambrose returns to the Petty organization where he has his two Sprint Cup victories. The Australian native has won consecutively at Watkins Glen for RPM. This season, Ambrose also earned his first two Sprint Cup Series poles at Michigan and then Sonoma. In addition to this year's win and two poles, Ambrose has collected eight top-10 and three top-five finishes. He was also in position to earn a berth in the Sprint Cup "Chase" for the second consecutive season.
    "It's good to come back to Richard Petty Motorsports and focus on our future together," said Ambrose. "We had success this year and recently have made plans to get better for 2013 and beyond. It was great to win at Watkins Glen, earn my first two poles and also have the opportunity to make the 'Chase' this year. I think the Petty organization, and this #9 team under the leadership of 'The King,' Sammy (Johns) and Drew (crew chief Blickensderfer), is going to be even stronger next season. I can't think of a better place to be and am ready to win."
    Almirola is completing his first full season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. He also found success with RPM behind the wheel of the famous #43 Ford. Almirola won his first career Sprint Cup Series pole at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May. He also collected three top-10 and one top-five finish so far this season. Recently, Almirola has been under the crew chief leadership of RPM veteran Todd Parrott. The combination has helped Almirola lead the most laps in his young Sprint Cup career. The team also recently finished fourth at Martinsville in October.
    "We went through some changes this season, but since being paired with Todd (Parrott) and this crew, I've had the most fun I've had in a Cup car," said Almirola. "I think we have a lot of things 'clicking' right now and have a lot of momentum heading into 2013. Everyone at RPM seems to have good chemistry right now and that's a good feeling as we all prepare for 2013."
    RPM previously announced its continuing relationship with Ford Racing and the addition of crew chief Drew Blickensderfer. Also confirmed earlier this season, RPM will continue to field the #43 Pilot/Flying J Ford in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with driver Michael Annett. Annett is currently fifth in the Nationwide Series championship. With all the pieces in place for 2013, director of competition Sammy Johns has high expectations in 2013 for all teams.
    "We have shuffled our Cup team line-ups a few times this season to maximize our results," commented Johns. "We feel that the chemistry that we are developing now with both teams is very strong. We have seen marked improvement over the past few weeks. It's important that we continue to better our communication and continuity with Marcos, Aric and their teams into 2013. We feel confident that both teams are capable of competing for wins and making the 'Chase' next season."(RPM)(11-17-2012)

  • Farmland returns to sponsor the #43: Sunday's AdvoCare 500 marks the final of four races that the Farmland colors will adorn the #43 Ford Fusion this year. Before strapping into his race car on Friday, driver Aric Almirola will strap into an F-16 fighter jet on Thursday at Luke Air Force Base in nearby Glendale, Ariz. The U.S. Air Force, a #43 team sponsor, is giving Almirola the flight of a lifetime, courtesy of the 56th Fighter Wing. Almirola will go through flight training and be fitted for his own flight suit before climbing aboard the F-16 Fighting Falcon for an authentic training exercise.(RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(11-7-2012)

  • Almirola close to deal to stay in #43: Aric Almirola said he is close to a deal that will keep him in the famous #43 at Richard Petty Motorsports in 2013 following Sunday's fourth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway. "I feel like I'm close to getting it done,'' said Almirola, who was given a one-year deal for this year. "I want to be there.'' Sunday's finish equaled Almirola's career best. He was fourth last season in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. RPM also is close to finalizing a deal to keep Marcos Ambrose in the #9 next season. Team officials said they hope to have everything wrapped up in the next few weeks.(ESPN)(10-28-2012)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports renews with Ford: Richard Petty Motorsports and Ford Racing announced they will continue their manufacturer partnership. The announcement ensures that Richard Petty Motorsports' two NASCAR Sprint Cup race teams and its Nationwide Series race team will race under the Ford Racing banner into 2013. It will be the fourth consecutive season the team has raced with the manufacturer. Subsequently, RPM will continue its services contract with Roush-Fenway Racing and Roush-Yates Racing to supply new Ford Fusions and Ford horsepower for its entries. RPM will continue to enter the #9 Ford Fusion with partners Stanley and DEWALT and the # 43 Ford Fusion with Smithfield Foods and its family of brands, Smithfield, Eckrich, Farmland and Gwaltney, in the Sprint Cup Series, as well as the #43 Pilot/Flying J Ford Mustang with driver Michael Annett in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The team is currently in the process of securing its Sprint Cup Series driver agreements.(RPM)(10-19-2012)

  • Almirola "Bacon a Difference" at Kansas: Aric Almirola and the #43 Farmland team head to Kansas Speedway a couple days early this week to participate in a two-day test on the newly repaved track. But there's one "test" that this partnership has already passed - that together they can raise awareness for hunger relief. The Farmland Foods paint scheme on Almirola's Ford Fusion marks the success of "Bacon a Difference," a summer-long campaign that raised funds for Harvesters-The Community Food Network. With each package of Farmland bacon purchased from Memorial Day to Labor Day in the Kansas City area, Farmland pledged to donate 4.3 cents to the area food bank, with a minimum donation of $43,000. Total funds raised will be announced by Farmland, Harvesters and race team owner Richard Petty at a special event on Thursday in Kansas City, Mo.(RPM)(10-17-2012)

  • Gwaltney to wrap #43 Ford at Talladega Superspeedway: Gwaltney Foods, producer of quality bacon, franks, lunchmeats, sausage and hams, will wrap Aric Almirola's #43 Ford with its signature red and yellow colors for the October 7, 2012 race at Talladega Superspeedway. "Gwaltney is a trusted family brand with over 140 year history of producing the quality meat products at a popular price point," said Will Brunt, Vice President of Marketing at Smithfield Packing. "Gwaltney proudly boasts America's number-one rated chicken frank and bologna, and we're excited to be running our prize sweepstakes in conjunction with the Talladega race, as many of our customers are stock-car racing fans."(Richard Petty Motorsports)(10-2-2012)

  • Super 8 to Paint RPM #43 Car in Signature Colors for Dover: The signature colors of Super 8 will adorn Aric Almirola's #43 Ford at Dover International Speedway this Sunday and, to celebrate, the hotel brand is offering sweepstakes prizes based on the driver's finish. This month, the first prize winner of the Super 8 Road Trip Challenge Sweepstakes--which launched in March 2012 and awards weekly and monthly race-themed prizes--has a chance to win additional prize money based on the performance of the #43 car in the upcoming AAA 400.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(9-25-2012)

  • New look for the #43 at New Hampshire: The #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford will have a new look on the track this week for driver Aric Almirola, with TrimFit All-Natural Weight Loss Water joining the team as primary sponsor for the first time this season in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. TrimFit is eager to showcase its unique product to the NASCAR audience. The first-ever weight loss water is formulated to help users lose weight, lower body fat and build lean muscle (RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(9-20-2012)

  • Petty expects to stay with Ford; Ambrose and Almirola to return: UPDATE: Richard Petty is busy lining up his team for 2013 (and, hopefully, beyond), and he is moving in waters that remain choppy and with changeable tides. Discussions about Richard Petty Motorsports' future continue, but the landscape as it currently is painted appears to keep the RPM cars in the Ford camp for the next season, although the King has been talking with more than a few other possible partners. "It looks like there is not going to be a lot of change there for next year, but there's no concrete stuff yet," Petty said Friday at Chicagoland Speedway. "We're figuring on staying in exactly the same place, with the same operation from a manufacturing standpoint. We don't see a change unless somebody else comes up with something." Petty said he expects drivers #9-Marcos Ambrose and #43-Aric Almirola to return but admitted the die is not cast.(SPEED)(9-15-2012)
    UPDATE: The director of Ford Racing said on Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway that the manufacturer is "very close'' to a new deal with Richard Petty Motorsports. "All the pieces are in place,'' Jamie Allison said before the Chase opener. "We're working on giving them the tools so they can be competitive. It's all going to work." There was a report last week that Chevrolet might be in the mix for RPM, but sources close to the situation said the plan is to re-sign with Ford. Allison was excited about the prospects of keeping RPM in the Ford camp. He also mentioned maintaining a relationship with Marcos Ambrose, the driver of RPM's #9 car who is in the final year of his contract. He did not mention Aric Almirola, the driver of the #43 who also is in the final year of his contract.(ESPN)(9-17-2012)

  • #43 Farmland Ford Debuts at Chicago: Aric Almirola will take to Chicagoland Speedway this week with a new look and a new team. His #43 Ford will sport the Farmland paint scheme for the first of four races. The Kansas City, Mo.-based producer of pork products is part of the Smithfield Foods family, with which Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports have celebrated a successful relationship all season. Sunday's GEICO 400 will also be the first race with new crew chief Todd Parrott atop the #43 pit box. Farmland's sponsorship of the #43 Ford coincides with its 2012 launch of a series of innovative pork offerings. The Farmland colors will also adorn the #43 Ford at Kansas, Texas and Phoenix this season.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(9-12-2012)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports Makes Change to Sprint Cup Teams: Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) announced it has made changes to its crew lineup in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Mike Ford will now lead Marcos Ambrose and the #9 Ford while Todd Parrott has been assigned as the crew chief for Aric Almirola and the #43 Ford. In addition, team members from both teams will also make the switch with their respective crew chief. Several pit crew members were also recently changed. The move is made to strengthen the entire RPM organization and improve the performance level now and into the future. The change is effective immediately. Richard Petty Motorsports currently has one win, three poles, 10 top-10 and three top-five finishes this season in the Sprint Cup Series. The team was also in position to make the Chase for the second consecutive season with driver Marcos Ambrose.
    "We're continuing to make improvements at Richard Petty Motorsports and we've added talented people to our organization this season," said Sammy Johns, director of competition. "This move is to make sure that we are using that talent to the fullest to get the best results for our teams each weekend. We feel this adjustment will strengthen the organization, allow us to continue to compete for wins and ultimately challenge for championships."
    Ford and Parrott are both veteran, winning crew chiefs. Parrott has one Sprint Cup championship, a Daytona 500 championship and 31 Sprint Cup wins to his credit. Ford has six Chase births and 25 Sprint Cup race wins on his resume. Both are looking at the change as an opportunity to better Richard Petty Motorsports.
    "Aric has really shown the desire and dedication to get his first Sprint Cup Series win," Parrott said. "It was great our team helped lead Marcos to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win and poles. We are now ready to help direct Almirola and the #43 team to the same results and better."
    Ford is also ready to work with Ambrose and the #9 race team. "Marcos is a racer who has proven to win poles and races," Ford said. "Our goal is to take my experiences and make sure we can consistently run up front and continue to win races." Ford, Parrott and their teams will be working with their new respective drivers this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(9-10-2012)

  • Petty to Chevy?: According to sources, principals from RPM met with Richard Childress Racing management earlier this week to discuss the possibility of becoming a satellite team similar to the relationship that the Welcome, N.C.-based organization has with #78 Furniture Row Racing. "No comment on anything because I don't have a clue what's going on," Richard Petty said. "When we get everything squared away, we'll talk to you. Other than that, there ain't nothing. There ain't nothing there 'til we bring something there, and right now we have nothing." Sources say the move to Chevrolet would include technical support from the manufacturer in the form of sheet metal, wind tunnel time and engineering. Petty Enterprises last ran Pontiacs under the General Motors banner before switching to Dodge in 2001.(FoxSports)(9-8-2012)

  • Congrats - Aric Almirola: Richard Petty Motorsports driver $43-Aric Almirola and wife Janice welcomed a baby boy, Alex, on Tuesday.(9-5-2012)

  • Petty's 1992 STP Pontiac Grand Prix SE Race Car on display: Richard Petty, The King of NASCAR, ran his 1992 Cup Season as his farewell Fan Appreciation Tour. Petty concluded his 34-year racing career on November 15, 1992 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in the legendary 1992 STP Pontiac. On the 94th lap, Petty was involved in an accident causing the car to go up in flames. Petty was fortunate to walk away uninjured. His crew was able to get the car back on the track to finish the race. After the race, Petty circled the track to salute his fans one last time in the trademark STP Pontiac. Visit the famed car located in Atlanta Motor Speedway's Fan Zone at the Goody's display.(AMS)(8-31-2012)

  • Almirola gets Truck ride for Atlanta:
    Aric Almirola will pilot the #5 Jordan Truck Sales- Courtesy Ford Wauters Motorsports F150 Friday night in the Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Almirola has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins with Richie Wauters as the crew chief (Dover, Michigan 2010) and three previous starts at Atlanta's tricky, high-speed quad-oval in the series, with a best finish of third-place position in 2010. Sponsors of the #5 Ford F150, Jordan Truck Sales & Courtesy Ford, are based in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Rimrock Design, Lake City, Florida and Quick Lane Tire and Auto Center, Georgia will also be on the NASCAR truck for Friday nights event.(Wauters Motorsports)(8-31-2012)

  • RPM to return in 2013: Richard Petty Motorsports will remain a part of the Sprint Cup Series in 2013 despite a loss of manufacturer money and limited sponsorship, the co-owner told ESPN.com. Petty said he hopes to have a new deal with Ford in the next three weeks, but acknowledged it probably won't be as good financially since much of the manufacturer's money that went to RPM is going to Penske Racing. Penske is moving from Dodge to Ford in 2013. Petty did say that RPM currently has enough sponsorship to put two Cup cars on the track next year. "We've always been here, so we're going to be here,'' the Hall of Fame driver said. Petty wasn't so adamant on whether his driver lineup -- Marcos Ambrose in the #9 and Aric Almirola in the famed #43 -- would remain the same. Ambrose appears safe -- he's won this year and is safely inside the top 20 in points at 16th. Almirola signed a one-year deal and is 22nd in points. "We'll see," Petty said on his driver lineup. "Right now, everything we've got going is in the air, just like it has been the last three or four years."(ESPN)(8-30-2012)

  • AdvoCare to Sponsor #43 Ford at Atlanta: Health and wellness company AdvoCare will power the #43 Ford Fusion on Labor Day weekend, sponsoring Aric Almirola at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The award-winning company, which offers energy, weight-loss, nutrition, and sports performance products, will also be the title sponsor of the September 2 Sprint Cup race, the AdvoCare 500, for the second consecutive year. The event will mark the 2012 debut of the AdvoCare blue and white colors on Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 Ford Fusion. But the company is no stranger to Almirola. The 28-year-old driver is a regular user of AdvoCare products in his nutrition and fitness regimen.(RPM)(8-28-2012)

  • RPM makes crew changes: Richard Petty Motorsports made changes to its two pit crews on Monday in preparation for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. "We're trying to move things around to improve the performance on both teams," says Sammy Johns, director of operations for RPM. RPM swapped the rear tire combination of changer Justin Fieldler and carrier Eric Wallace from Marcos Ambrose's team with Aric Almirola's rear tire changer Kyle Power and rear tire carrier Blake Haugland. The jackmen positions were also exchanged. Rodney Fetters will now jack Almirola's #43 Ford while Kevin Wing is the jackman for Ambrose and the #9 Stanley team.(FoxSports)(8-23-2012)

  • Goody's on the #43 at Bristol: Goody's Powder is bringing its fast pain relief to a race that's considered by some as the "king of pain" ... the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 25. Goody's® will be the title sponsor on the Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola. Goody's has been involved in the sport for 35 years, but this marks only the third time it's appeared on Richard Petty's famed #43 car. The paint scheme will include the traditional blue and white colors that customers associate with the fast pain reliever.(RPM)(8-21-2012)

  • Almirola to have Eckrich colors back at Michigan: Aric Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford team will once again carry the distinctive colors of Eckrich this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. As Eckrich continues to honor military families, the #43 Ford will again carry a splash of red-white-and-blue by featuring the star-spangled logo of Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. This summer, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families. The company has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(8-15-2012)

  • Richard Petty talks about Ford Richard Petty said Sunday after his driver, #9-Marcos Ambrose, won at Watkins Glen that his company would have to renegotiate with Ford after the season. "I seen some of the Ford people there today. I told them, `Me and Marcos won the race.' I had the contract in my pocket. I was going to let them sign it right there. I don't think it went over too good."(Associated Press)(8-13-2013)

  • Furniture Row and RPM looking to firm up manufacturer deals: Sprint Cup teams flirting with a move to Dodge will try to land other manufacturer deals for next season now that Dodge has decided to leave the sport after this season. Richard Petty Motorsports, a Ford team, and Furniture Row Racing, a Chevrolet team, both had contemplated moves to Dodge before the announcement Tuesday that the manufacturer will not field a Sprint Cup car next year. RPM fields cars for Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola while Furniture Row fields a car for Regan Smith.
    "RPM is still looking at all their options as far as manufacturers go," said Ambrose. "For the sport, Dodge pulling out was not a great thing. It's been really healthy to have four manufacturers in the sport. As a fan of NASCAR, I'm disappointed that Dodge has taken that choice. I understand it, though. For us, we're building to the future at RPM and I look forward to playing my part and helping them make good choices. It's exciting times for RPM."
    It would appear that RPM's options are limited. Chevrolet (13 cars) and Toyota (seven) appear to be content with their number of teams. RPM likely will return to Ford, but it has added Penske Racing to its lineup for next season. Furniture Row has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing for cars and Earnhardt Childress Racing Engines. "What it does is it allowed us get focused on what we're doing now and what we're doing for next year," Furniture Row Racing general manager Joe Garone said. "All of our contracts were open after this year. We're starting to meet with (Childress) this weekend and start working on that." Now that it has a good idea of its manufacturer situation, Garone said the team can also focus on Smith, who's contract is up after this season. "Now that that is behind us, we'll go into that process of evaluating where we're at, looking at the whole thing and trying to get everything done," Garone said.(Sporting News)(8-11-2012)

  • Dream Come True: Richard Petty Super Fan Designs RPM #43 Car: This weekend, the Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola will once again showcase the black and "Petty blue" colors of the Smithfield paint scheme designed by longtime Richard Petty super fan Kevin Gates. The scheme, featured earlier this year at the Charlotte Motor Speedway during the All-Star race, will once again be on the track this weekend at Watkins Glen International Speedway. Gates, who has been a Richard Petty devotee for more than 25 years, used his graphic design skills to create an updated paint scheme for the legendary RPM car. On a whim, he sent the sketch to RPM sponsor Smithfield Foods who, in turn, decided to make his vision a reality by updating the scheme to reflect his design. The car then raced at the All-Star race in May at Charlotte. It now returns to the track this weekend and the base scheme will be used for the remainder of the Smithfield-sponsored race events in 2012. The opportunity to see his scheme on the track has been a dream come true for the humble 27-year-old Connecticut native.
    "We at Smithfield have been excited to be able to showcase Kevin Gates' great work on the RPM #43 car this season and again this weekend at Watkins Glen," said Will Brunt, Vice President of Marketing. "The passion and enthusiasm racing fans possess is inspiring and is one of the many things we love about this sport. We are thrilled to be able to reward a lifetime racing fan in this manner."
    "Designing the car has been an overwhelming experience for me," said Kevin Gates. "I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity Smithfield has given me. This is a dream come true for a fan like myself and it's been awesome to see this car race on the track. To know that I had a part in the process of creating the King's car is undoubtedly one of the stand alone highlights of my life."
    "Smithfield started looking at their paint scheme and told us that one of our fans had created something they really liked," said Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. "We looked at it too and thought he did a pretty good job so we decided to check it out under the lights during the All-Star race. Everyone seemed to like it so we'll bring it out in the day this weekend at Watkins Glen."
    Gates' affinity for "The King" goes beyond just his skills on the racetrack; he also shares Petty's passion for charity with special needs and chronically ill children. Gates' own younger brother Scott was diagnosed with a very rare chromosome disorder at birth and has served as an inspiration and blessing in Gates' life. He greatly admires and supports Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp, a camp that provides life-changing experiences for kids with lasting medical conditions or serious illnesses, for providing these children with a place to enjoy themselves and gain self-confidence. (RPM), see images of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(8-8-2012)

  • Almirola to carry Automotive Lift Institute Safety Message at Pocono: The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) will be the primary partner on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford driven by Aric Almirola in this weekend's Sprint Cup Series Pennsylvania 400 at Pocono Raceway. The sponsorship provides a unique platform to share ALI's vehicle service lift safety message with millions of NASCAR fans as the Institute launches the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program. The Automotive Lift Institute #43 Ford wears a stunning paint scheme of orange, white and black. ALI is a trade association dedicated to promoting the safe design, construction, installation, inspection, service and use of vehicle service lifts. It sponsors several national vehicle lift safety standards, offers a third-party Automotive Lift Certification Program and is launching North America's first national Lift Inspector Certification Program.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint scheme page.(7-31-2012)

  • Almirola and Eckrich Hand-Deliver Surprise to Indianapolis Military Member: Imagine answering your front door and finding a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and race car outside. And the driver is bearing gifts. That's exactly what happened to an Indianapolis family when Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Eckrich® Ford, rang the doorbell of the Baier home Friday afternoon. Almirola and sponsor Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, made the surprise visit as part of their partnership with Operation Homefront, a national non-profit organization that provides emergency financial assistance to the families of United States service members and wounded warriors. The driver presented retired U.S. Army serviceman Scott Baier and his family with a gift package that included Eckrich products as well as Eckrich shirts and hats autographed by Almirola and Richard Petty Motorsports team owner and racing legend Richard Petty. Almirola also gave the family VIP passes to Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Eckrich has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4.(RPM)(7-28-2012)

  • #43 to honor military families with sponsor Eckrich: The Petty family has a long history of supporting our nation's heroes. This weekend, with the help of driver Aric Almirola, the team will once again take time to honor America's military families with team partner Eckrich. This summer, Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families. The company has already donated $200,000 to Operation Homefront through the contribution of five cents from each purchase of specially marked products from May 1 through July 4. It has also partnered with Operation Homefront and Richard Petty Motorsports to honor a military family at the track during its three primary race events, including this weekend at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Honoring the military is not new to Almirola or Petty. The team already has partnerships with the U.S. Air Force and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. For Almirola, who was born on Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, it's also in his family blood (RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(7-27-2012)

  • Congrats: Roy and Sara Gangdal welcomed their second child, Jasmine Gangdal into the world on June 20th, weighing in at 5lbs and 10oz. Roy is the shock specialist for Richard Petty Motorsports #43-Aric Almirola.(7-22-2012)

  • Air Force returns to the #43: The U.S. Air Force returns to the #43 Ford of Aric Almirola as the nation celebrates the Fourth of July holiday week at the "Birthplace of Speed." The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its second trip of the season to Daytona Beach, Fla., for Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 at the super-fast Daytona International Speedway. The U.S. Air Force scheme is not only an appropriate salute to the military for Independence Day, it also brings good luck. The last time the team ran the Air Force scheme (May in Charlotte) Almirola won the pole.(RPM), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(7-4-2012)

  • Andretti is considering forming NASCAR team: UPDATES: One of IndyCar's biggest names could branch out to the Sprint Cup Series as Michael Andretti told SI.com that he is hoping to start a NASCAR team. "We were looking at NASCAR real close last year, too, but it fell apart," Andretti said. "We were looking at it just as hard last year as this year and the year before." If Andretti is able to find the right sponsorship, he could team up with Dodge and base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. A Dodge source told SI.com that Andretti could probably team up with the engine manufacturer for $5 million to $6 million. That's because Dodge is losing its primary team in Sprint Cup at the end of this season as Penske Racing switches to Ford. Because of that, it is looking for a flagship team and Andretti could be a good fit, especially if it were to team up with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. "I'm always looking at all options," Andretti said. "I'd be stupid not to listen to Dodge or any other manufacturers. It doesn't matter that we are a Chevy IndyCar team. It might be nice if it was all under one roof but, in our contract, we're a Chevy IndyCar team."(Sports Illustrated)(6-27-2012)
    UPDATE: Sources have confirmed to PitPass.net that Michael Andretti has purchased the engine program from Penske Racing and will field at least one full time Dodge in the Cup series in 2013 and beyond. No word on who the driver is, but with Matt Kenseth leaving Roush at the end of the season, the 2003 Cup series champ did confirm to the Journal Sentinel on Wednesday that he will drive for "a new cup team" in 2013 and beyond. One option on the table is for Andretti to base his team out of the old Evernham Motorsports shop at the Statesville Regional Airport in Statesville, N.C. Also hearing from this unnamed source that this new deal with Dodge is also with Richard Petty Motorsports -- currently a Ford team paired with Roush Fenway Racing, but has a long history with Dodge. (this is why we didn't get the announcement of Petty to Dodge in Michigan a few weeks ago, they were trying to get Kenseth). Hearing that an offical announcement could come as early as next weekend.(PitPass.net)(6-282012)
    UPDATE 2: In response to inquiries about the company's NASCAR motorsports program, Beth Paretta, Director of Marketing and Operations - SRT Brand and Motorsports, Chrysler Group LLC, offers the following statement: "While we continue to evaluate plans in NASCAR for 2013 and beyond, we have no commitments with any partners at this time. We continue to be pleased with the amount of interest from the media and fans in our motorsports program and will continue to follow our process as established in a timely manner. When decisions are finalized, we will announce them at that time. Currently what is most important is that we have not lost any focus on 2012 and our partnership with Penske Racing. Our commitment to win races and compete for championships with Penske Racing in both the Sprint Cup Series and Nationwide Series this season remains firm. We will not lose focus on that partnership as we make decisions about our future in NASCAR."(Darnell Communications for Dodge)(6-29-2012)
    UPDATE 3: Tim Cindric, President of Penske Racing, issued the following statement: "Contrary to recent published speculation, Penske Racing has not sold its engine company. The team's focus continues to be on successfully completing the 2012 season, competing for championships and victories in the both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series for Dodge and our other sponsor partners."(Penske Racing)(6-30-2012)

  • Eckrich to make first appearance on #43: For the first of three NASCAR Sprint Cup events this season, the Eckrich colors will adorn the hood and sides of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford this weekend at the mile-and-a-half Kentucky Speedway. But, that will not be the only logo that driver Aric Almirola will race with. In a partnership with Eckrich, the Operation Homefront logo will also be on the car. Eckrich, part of the John Morrell Food Group, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, has partnered with Operation Homefront to support military families by donating five cents from the purchase of specially-marked products, up to $200,000, from now through July 4. In addition to the awareness on the car, Almirola and his Petty team will be hosting a military family at the track this weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(6-27-2012)

  • Almirola Takes the Medallion Cab Road Racing: The #43 Medallion Financial Ford should look right at home at Sonoma this weekend - weaving right and left as if it were navigating the streets of New York City. Behind the wheel of that taxi-themed Fusion, driver Aric Almirola will make his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career start at the 1.99-mile road course for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350. Richard Petty Motorsports tested at Virginia International Raceway (VIR) last month to help Almirola and the team prepare their #43 Ford for the twists and turns of the Sonoma track. Almirola has only one previous Cup start at Sonoma, finishing 28th on the course in 2008. He brings additional left-and-right-turn experience from his Nationwide Series career, in which he made four road/street-course starts and earned a top finish of eighth (Watkins Glen, 2011).(RPM)(6-22-2012)

  • Almirola to run Taxi Cab colors at MIS: Don't try to hail the yellow-and-black cab that you'll see flying around Michigan International Speedway (MIS) next weekend. It will probably be going too fast. Aric Almirola will take the #43 Medallion Financial Ford to the newly repaved track for this weekend's Quicken Loans 400, plus a one-day test session on Thursday to feel out the new surface. A tire test in April at the two-mile oval, which was repaved in the off-season, showed speeds topping 210 miles per hour, far exceeding the track qualifying record of 194.232 miles per hour (RPM), see images of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(6-14-2012)

  • The King helps to promote PVA campaign: NASCAR legend Richard Petty joined Food City officials at a press conference today to promote a campaign that raises money for Paralyzed Veteran's of America. From July 8 to Aug. 18, Food City is making donation slips available at all Food City locations. A similar event last year raised $125,000 for Paralyzed Veteran's of America. "This year we intend to do the same thing and kick it up a notch," Food City President and CEO Steven C. Smith said. The organization assists veterans who were paralyzed and are having a difficult time receiving benefits from the Veterans Administration. It also helps veterans integrate back into society and find a job after the injury.(Bristol Herald Courier)(6-13-2012)

  • Petty to switch to Dodge? UPDATE 2 denied RPM & Dodge: according to AR1.com sources, Richard Petty Motorsports will announce on Friday in Michigan that they will switch to Dodges next year. No word yet on whether Penske, which is switching to Ford, will continue to build the Dodge engines for RPM.(AR1.com)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports says they do NOT have any press conferences planned this weekend at Michigan International Speedway. The team does not have any plans to discuss their manufacturer status this weekend (RPM)(6-12-2012)
    UPDATE 2: Dodge on Tuesday denied that it has concluded a deal for 2013 with NASCAR team Richard Petty Motorsports, even though rumors to the contrary continue to swirl through stock-car racing circles that Petty was ready to make the switch from Ford. "I would be the person to ask," Beth Paretta, SRT Motorsports operations manager, told Autoweek. "We know there is a ton of interest out there to hear what our plans are for 2013. I keep being asked and it's honestly the same answer: We're simply not there yet." Various teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports, have been considered potential Dodge runners, but Paretta insisted that a lot of the rumors are "simply speculation." Richard Petty, meanwhile, reacted with understandable confusion and concern. "I don't know nothing about it," the seven-time NASCAR champion said in a Tuesday afternoon phone call to Autoweek. "I came in from a meeting at the Petty Foundation and got hit over the head with a bunch of people asking me what I was gonna announce on Friday in Michigan. I called Victory Junction and they said they didn't have anything. I called my people at RPM and they said they didn't have anything. I talked to my people here [at Petty Garage] and they said they didn't have anything. I don't know what this is all about or where it started. I know that sometimes one media cat will tell another guy something and it'll go from there, but this one is all news to me."(AutoWeek)(6-13-2012)

  • Transportation Impact on the #43 at Ponoco Coming off their second top-10 finish of the season, Aric Almirola and the #43 team of Richard Petty Motorsports will take new sponsor Transportation Impact to Pocono Raceway for an extended weekend that will include a two-day open test. Sunday's Pocono 400 will mark the NASCAR debut for Transportation Impact, an Emerald Isle, N.C.-based parcel spend management company.(Richard Petty Motorsports), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(6-5-2012)

  • Air Force joins Almiola for the Coca Cola 600: Aric Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team will carry the colors of the U.S. Air Force this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series marks the Memorial Day holiday and pays tribute to the nation's fallen military. Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway is the first of two primary sponsorship races [the other is Daytona in July] for the Air Force, which is also an associate sponsor on the #43 Ford for the entire 2012 season. In addition to his on-track activities this weekend, Almirola will also participate in Richard Petty Motorsports' third annual Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday from 7 am to noon at the RPM shop in Concord, N.C. The first 200 fans in line who donate a nonperishable food item to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina will receive a commemorative ticket allowing them access to the shop and an autograph session with Richard Petty, Almirola and his teammates, Marcos Ambrose and Michael Annett (RPM), see images of the car/scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(5-23-2012)

  • New sponsor for Almirola on the #43: Richard Petty Motorsports continues to introduce new partners to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012. The latest company to unite with the legendary organization is Transportation Impact who will make their NASCAR debut as the primary sponsor of the #43 team and driver Aric Almirola during the Pocono 400 at the Pocono Raceway on June 10. The company is a parcel spend management firm headquartered in Emerald Isle, NC. A fast-growing, small business founded in 2008, Transportation Impact comes into the sport for the first time with Petty to help high-volume parcel shippers reduce cost through innovative audit and negotiation services, helping companies large and small identify and obtain savings they can then use to fund new initiatives, retain employees or hire new ones. The company was co-founded by Travis Burt and Keith Byrd. Co-owners Burt and Byrd are also anxious to work with the team. "When people see the Richard Petty brand, the first things that come to mind are being the best and doing so with integrity," said Burt. "As a business owner, I always want my company to be the best, but only as long as success doesn't interfere with doing the right thing."(RPM)(5-15-2012)

  • Fan Appreciation Richard Petty Motorsports: Marcos Ambrose, Aric Almirola, Michael Annett & Richard Petty are scheduled to participate in the Richard Petty Motorsports third annual Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday, May 24, 2012 from 7:00am - 12:00 noon/et. The first 200 fans in line who donate a nonperishable food item to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina will receive a commemorative ticket allowing them access to the shop and an autograph session with Ambrose, Aric Almirola, Michael Annett and Richard Petty. Other activities include a Q-and-A session with the RPM drivers and Richard Petty hosted by Miss Sprint Cup, raffles, give-a-ways and free food.

  • Gravely Mowers turn the #43 red at Darlington: Aric Almirola and the No. 43 Ford team plan to mow down the competition at Darlington Raceway this week with a new partner: Gravely Professional Mowers. The maker of commercial lawn and garden equipment will see its bright red paint scheme on the team's Sprint Cup Series car for one of NASCAR's most historic races - Saturday night's Bojangles' Southern 500. The NASCAR partnership is the first for Gravely, which has been a power equipment workhorse since 1916. Gravely is part of Ariens Company, a fourth-generation, family-owned company based in Brillion, Wis., and sells a complete line of professional mowers and outdoor power equipment, including the legendary Sno-Thro, through a national dealer network. The company's partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports will also include endorsements of Gravely products by team owner and racing legend Richard "The King" Petty in sales displays and advertisements.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(5-9-2012)

  • Mike Ford replaces Irwin as Almirola's crew chief: Richard Petty Motorsports asserted its commitment to winning with the hiring of Chase-proven Mike Ford as crew chief for the #43 team and driver Aric Almirola. The veteran crew chief joins the team after leading Denny Hamlin's #11 team to six straight post-season appearances in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Ford will join the team immediately and will be atop the pit box in Talladega. The 42-year-old Morristown, Tenn., native spent the past six seasons with Joe Gibbs Racing as Hamlin's crew chief. In that span, he led his team to 17 wins, 66 top-five finishes and 108 top-10 finishes and never missed a Chase appearance. The 12-year Sprint Cup veteran also previously held crew chief roles for Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing and Bill Elliott at Evernham Motorsports. Ford replaces Greg Erwin, who joined the team in mid-2011.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-30-2012)

  • Almirola gets sponsors for charity races: #43- Aric Almirola, Smithfield/Helping Hungry Homes and Eckrich announced that they will team up to race for charity. Almirola and Smithfield will compete this Thursday night in the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at the Richmond International Raceway. The event is a 100-lap asphalt late model all-star race that will help raise awareness and funding for the specific needs of individuals afflicted with Cystic Fibrosis as well as other programs that support chronically ill children. The race is sanctioned by NASCAR. Almirola will also compete in the Prelude to The Dream dirt late model event hosted by Tony Stewart at the famed Eldora Speedway dirt track located in Ohio on Wednesday, June 6th. Eckrich will adorn Almirola's #43 dirt late model for the special that is televised live by HBO Pay-Per-View. The "Prelude" has grown to become one of the most seriously-challenged charity events motorsports stars compete in all year. The race benefits Feed The Children. Both Smithfield and Eckrich are in their first season as primary sponsors of Almirola and the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports team. They have now taken this next step to be more involved with Almirola and the charitable events of NASCAR.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-26-2012)

  • Verifone sponsoring Almirola at Talladega: VeriFone will join Richard Petty Motorsports as the primary sponsor on the #43 Ford for one of NASCAR's wildest and most-watched races. The provider of secure electronic payment systems will be showcased on Aric Almirola's Ford Fusion at Talladega Superspeedway for the May 6 Sprint Cup Series event. The appearance will be the first NASCAR sponsorship for VeriFone, a San Jose, Calif.-based company that provides merchant-operated, consumer-facing and self-service payment systems for the financial, retail, hospitality, petroleum, government and healthcare industries. The sponsorship is the first for the team in the software category and first for VeriFone in NASCAR.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-25-012)

  • Farmland to sponsor #43 for four races UPDATE: On Saturday, April 21st, Farmland will unveil the details around its partnership with the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR team for select Sprint Cup Series events in 2012. As part of the partnership, Farmland will feature Harvesters on the famous #43 Ford during their hometown NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Speedway this October and will make a significant donation to fight hunger in Kansas City. During the launch event, Farmland and Harvesters will join forces with "The King" and his team to unveil a new paint scheme.(RPM)(4-17-2012)
    UPDATE: Farmland Foods announced a partnership with the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR team. Farmland will appear on the iconic #43 Ford Fusion as the primary sponsor in four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events in Chicago, Kansas, Texas and Phoenix. "Farmland is proud to partner with 'The King' and NASCAR's first family," said George Richter, President and Chief Operating Officer of Smithfield Foods Pork Group. "Richard Petty Motorsports is an ideal team to help raise awareness of the good work our company is doing." Through the partnership, Farmland will bring greater awareness to hunger relief efforts in its hometown of Kansas City. As part of Farmland's "Bacon a Difference" initiative, Farmland will feature HarvestersThe Community Food Network on the famous #43 Ford for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Kansas Speedway in October. During the "Bacon A Difference" promotion, which runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend (May 26September 3), Farmland will donate 4.3 cents to Harvesters for each bacon product sold at participating grocery stores in Kansas City. When the #43 Ford featuring Farmland and Harvesters returns to the Kansas Speedway for the Sprint Cup Series event in October, Farmland will present Harvesters with a check for no less than $43,000. "Farmland is just the kind of company we like to call our partner," indicated Richard Petty, NASCAR legend and co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. "We're excited to have Farmland and Harvesters on the #43 Ford at the Kansas Speedway this fall. That's a victory in itself." Farmland Foods, which reached over $4 billion in sales in 2011, is a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods.(RPM PR)(4-21-2012)

  • Petty not ruling out return to Dodge: Richard Petty Motorsports is trying to negotiate a deal to stay with Ford and retain its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing. But team namesake Richard Petty isn't totally ruling out a return to Dodge, the manufacturer with which he became a racing icon as a driver. "Right now, we've got our sponsors pretty much lined up for next year,'' Petty said Friday at Kansas Speedway. "Where we go with the cars and engines and things like that ... we've got a plan, but I don't know if anybody is going to go along with it.'' Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark is optimistic his organization can continue supplying Ford engines and chassis for RPM. "We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Richard Petty and his entire team, as it is a first-class organization,'' Newmark said. "We believe it has been a mutually beneficial relationship and sincerely hope to be able to continue the partnership into the future."
    Dodge has been looking for an anchor organization since Penske Racing announced it would move to Ford in 2013. Because of Petty's past association with Dodge, RPM is among several organizations speculated to be a target for Dodge. "Right now, they are pretty confused,'' Petty said of Dodge. "They got a plug pulled out of them and wasn't really expecting it. ... We'll consider going anywhere to make a living out of this. Right now, we're still up with the Ford deal and we're going everything we can to win races with them.''(ESPN)(4-21-2012)

  • STP to donate to Victory Junction, run scheme: To celebrate 40 years with "The King," STP is presenting Richard Petty and Victory Junction campers with a $43,000 donation on Friday, April 20, 2012. Petty and STP forever changed the sponsorship landscape within the sport of auto racing back in 1972, and this weekend STP will like to thank Richard for 40 wonderful years. As part of the celebration, Richard Petty Motorsports driver Aric Almirola will pilot the #43 STP Ford Fusion featuring a modern replica of the 1972 paint scheme with the original Petty Blue and STP Day-Glo Red. After the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway, STP, in conjunction with Victory Junction and Richard Petty Motorsports, will auction off Aric Almirola's race-worn firesuit signed by both Almirola and Petty. In addition, as part of the celebration STP will be providing race-day tickets for service members from Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth. Service members will enjoy an afternoon of fun, taking in all the action on the 1.5 mile tri-oval. To cap off the 40th Anniversary, STP will be launching a national television campaign, entitled the Left Lane Club, featuring Richard Petty. The advertisement will premiere during the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway on FOX and will continue to run through the summer.(RPM PR), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(4-18-2012)

  • Jani-King Joins Richard Petty Motorsports: Jani-King, the world's largest commercial cleaning franchise company with more than 12,000 franchise owners, is the newest partner to join Richard Petty Motorsports and driver Aric Almirola on the famed #43 Ford. The company and its crowned logo will be on Almirola's Ford Fusion as an associate sponsor for the rest of the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season and serve as a Co-Primary sponsor on the #43 for the June 3 race at Dover International Speedway. Launched by an entrepreneurial college student in 1969, the Texas-based Jani-King now services tens of thousands of business clients in 15 countries and has consistently been ranked at the top of the commercial cleaning industry. "I admire Jani-King for the way it began  just one guy working hard while in college  and growing it into a worldwide business," said team owner Richard Petty. "We're proud to have another 'King' working with us and looking forward to them joining our family. I think I'll wear the cowboy hat and let them wear the crown." The partnership, that was initiated by Medallion Sports Media, in cooperation with Richard Petty Motorsports, begins this weekend at Texas with branding on the #43 Ford.(Breaking Limits for Richard Petty Motorsports)(4-13-2012)

  • STP on the #43 at Kansas: STP signed their first deal with Richard Petty in 1972, forever changing the motorsports sponsorship landscape. This year they are proud to celebrate their 40th Anniversary with "The King." As part of the celebration, STP will be back on the #43 Ford Fusion for the second consecutive year during the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway. The #43 STP Ford Fusion will feature the iconic Petty Blue and STP Day-Glo Red colors and will be piloted by new Richard Petty Motorsports driver, Aric Almirola. "I've been an STP man since '72 and it's hard to believe that it has been 40 years since I started working with STP," said Petty. "They have remained a big part of my career and it's been great having them back at the track. I look forward to seeing Aric in the driver's seat at the STP 400 as we celebrate 40 years with STP."(STP), see an image of the car on the #43 team paint schemes page.(3-27-2012)

  • Almirola to sport different sponsor at Bristol: The colors of Charter Communications will debut as the primary sponsor on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford that Aric Almirola will drive this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. Charter, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, is a yearlong associate sponsor for the organization.(RPM)(3-16-2012)

  • Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp on the #43: The famed #43 Ford will race with the colors and messaging of the Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp. The Richard Petty Fantasy Racing Camp is the ultimate stock car experience for racing enthusiasts and this year's 12 participants names will be on the hood of the #43 this weekend.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(3-8-2012)

  • Allez Cuisine to sponsor Almirola at Phoenix: Chairman of Iron Chef of America, Mark Dacascos, is likely to exclaim, "Allez Cuisine!" when he cheers on the #43 Ford Fusion during the SUBWAY Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Dacascos, who made the phrase popular in his starring role on the Iron Chef TV series, will serve as Honorary Race Official during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, March 4. Allez (ah-LAY) Cuisine is the brand name for The Chairman's Choice line of heat and serve marinated meats and seafood owned by Dacascos. The phrase, "Allez Cuisine," is used by Dacascos to waive the green flag on the Iron Chef's cooking competition.(PIR)(3-2-2012)

  • Where does Dodge go in 2013? A new manufacturer in Cup? Dodge will unveil its 2013 Sprint Cup car on March 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. However, the bigger question now is who will be driving Dodges next year? #7-Robby Gordon Motorsports would be the lone team at this point after Penske Racing announced Thursday that it was moving to manufacturer Ford in 2013. But Dodge has also reached out to other teams, including Richard Petty Motorsports [#43 & #9], according to owner Andy Murstein. "We received calls from several manufacturers today asking if they could meet with us," Murstein said. "It seems that while sponsorship is down, car manufacturer support is strong. That is probably due to the fact that the car companies are all doing significantly better these days than a few years ago. Thus Petty has been approached by several manufacturers recently. What's interesting is that while there are the usual suspects there is one new manufacturer that is trying to break into the sport. RPM's contract with Ford is up at the end of the season. Petty ran Dodges from 1972 to 1978. Petty Enterprises aligned with Dodge again when the manufacturer returned to NASCAR competition in 2001 through most of the 2009 season, then under the RPM banner. Earnhardt Ganassi Racing president Steve Lauletta said the company had not yet been approached by Dodge.(Fox Sports)
    AND: Richard Petty Motorsports said: "We welcome Penske Racing to the Ford Racing Family in 2013. Additional teams mean more information for everyone and that's a very good thing from a competition standpoint. We have a partnership with Roush Fenway Racing and we are happy to be a part of the Ford Racing program. As we always do, we will evaluate all of our options and make decisions based on what is ultimately best for our race team."(RPM)(3-2-2012)

  • Allmendinger creates karting scholarship: #22-AJ Allmendinger announced a new program that will see a deserving young karter receive a scholarship to race in the 2012 World Karting Association championship starting March 23-25 at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC. The scholarship winner will also be set to compete in the Rotax Grand Nationals in August and SKUSA SuperNationals in November. The scholarship prize winner will also receive media and management training from Walldinger Racing, Allmendinger's management firm. Serious applicants ages 13-16 are asked to send their CV, racing credentials, photo, and short summary of their racing goals. Deadline for entry is March 10, 2012. For additional information and how to apply, visit ajallmendinger.com.(TRPR)(2-17-2012)

  • Petty discusses Robbie Loomis: Richard Petty said chief operating officer Robbie Loomis was not fired, that his contract simply expired, and he still maintained a "personal" relationship with the organization that has struggled financially the past few years. Loomis had been in charge of turning around Richard Petty Motorsports's on-track program for the past six years. He previously was at Hendrick Motorsports, where he was the crew chief for Jeff Gordon when he won the 2001 Sprint Cup title. Petty said the decision not to offer a new deal had nothing to do with Loomis being outspoken about wanting to sign 2004 Cup champion Kurt Busch after Busch was released from Penske Racing. "That was the business part of it," Petty said of Loomis' departure. "Personally, nothing has changed. Anything we do at the shop, we call him and let him know. He's up on the very latest thing we do at the shop." Petty said all of Loomis' responsibilities at the track and shop have been re-assigned to other people. He did not rule out Loomis returning at some point, if it is financially feasible. "He has a personal connection to Richard Petty Motorsports," Petty said. "Right now, that's all it is."(ESPN)(1-25-2012)

  • Loomis out at Petty: Richard Petty Motorsports has elected not to renew Robbie Loomis' contract for 2012. Loomis, who was most recently listed at Chief Operating Officer for RPM, first joined Petty Enterprises as a crew chief in 1991 at the end of the King's driving career. "I'm taking some time off," Loomis said. "My contract was up in December and I'm looking to explore what's next. Richard is still family -- so is everyone else at Richard Petty Motorsports. The future is exciting because it's unknown but there's still a lot of uncertainty in what the future brings." Loomis wouldn't acknowledge whether or not he would continue on as a consultant for the team but added that he'd "Do anything to help Richard Petty Motorsports be in a better place." But with Best Buy pulling out of RPM and Smithfield signing up for a limited schedule on the #43 Ford, it's become increasingly clear that the company could no longer afford Loomis' reported seven figure salary. While no successor for Loomis has been named, certainly with 20 years of racing experience, Sammy Johns, RPM's director of operation, is more than capable of overseeing the competition department.(Fox Sports)(1-22-2012)

  • Petty says sponsors didn't want Kurt Busch: UPDATE: Richard Petty said the reason Kurt Busch wasn't hired to drive his famous #43 was "personality." "Sponsorships," Petty said during a break in Thursday's test session at Daytona International Speedway. "Nobody at the time wanted to pay the bill for him. That's how simple it was." Busch, who was released from Penske Racing after a tumultuous 2011 season that led the 2004 Cup champion to seek professional help for anger issues, ultimately signed with Phoenix Racing. Petty said Smithfield Foods, which he introduced Thursday as a primary sponsor for the No. 43 car he drove to a record 200 victories and seven Sprint Cup championships, was among those that wouldn't come on board if Busch was involved. "Everybody has to protect their brand," Petty said. "Smithfield has a pretty laid back, pretty good down-home persona in the general public. If they had taken him on it would have changed their ... they just didn't like the personality." Petty said Best Buy, which left the #43 to join Roush Fenway Racing as a sponsor, had the same concern.(ESPN)(1-13-2012)
    UPDATE: In between talking about how much fun he's having "old school" racing and how he needs to learn how to better handle adversity better, Kurt Busch let it be known that he's focused on the big "prize": 2013. "Yes, 2012 is going to be a unique year for somebody such as myself," Busch said Friday at Daytona International Speedway. "But to take a step back for me personally and look at all of this, this is what I need. And all along we're going to keep our eyes on the prize in 2013." And according to Busch, he could have several quality options. Busch said he talked to a number of team owners about 2012, including Richard Childress, Michael Waltrip and Richard Petty, who on Thursday said he didn't sign Busch because sponsors were leery of the 2004 champion. "It was weird to hear his comments yesterday because he was ready to throw me in the car and we would have been down the road," Busch said. "But the contracts just didn't align on where they were and where I wanted to be, and so I talked with [James] Finch, made the deal happen. " Listening to Busch, it's clear his plan is to be with Finch - a single-car owner who gets support from Hendrick Motorsports - for only one year. Then it's on to bigger and better things. But to get that opportunity, Busch realizes he has to change. Busch said he plans to use on using 2012 as a platform to reintroduce himself to sponsors - to get in front of as many of them as possible and show them that he's more than just a hothead.(Yahoo Sports)(1-14-2012)

  • Smithfield Foods will sponsor #43 team: UPDATE: Smithfield Foods Inc., and Richard Petty Motorsports announced Wednesday they have entered into a multiyear partnership starting this year. Smithfield will be a primary sponsor for Richard Petty Motorsports in 15 NASCAR Sprint Cup series events this season. Helping Hungry Homes, a Smithfield initiative, is the primary sponsor for the Daytona 500. Last week, Richard Petty Motorsports announced Aric Almirola would drive the No. 43 car.(Virginian Pilot)(1-12-2012)
    UPDATE: Smithfield Foods, Inc. and Richard Petty Motorsports announced that the consumer packaged foods company headquartered in Smithfield, Virginia has entered into a multiyear, integrated partnership with the legendary Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR team starting in 2012. As part of its agreement with Richard Petty Motorsports, Smithfield will be utilizing a number of its core brands as well as unique and engaging promotional initiatives throughout this racing season to communicate with existing customers and introduce others to the company's many fine products. In addition, NASCAR fans will see a variety of Smithfield brands adorning the legendary #43 Ford Fusion as primary sponsor in fifteen Sprint Cup Series events in 2012, including the first event of the season, February's Daytona 500. Smithfield brands include Farmland, Eckrich and Curly's, among others, as well as Helping Hungry Homes, one of Smithfield's premier community-outreach brands. Smithfield and Helping Hungry Homes will be Smithfield's featured brands for the Daytona 500. Helping Hungry Homes is Smithfield's initiative focused on alleviating hunger across America. The initiative provided more than eight million servings of protein last year through food banks, school nutrition programs, disaster relief, and community outreach programs.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-12-2012)

  • Several drivers getting new spotters: In addition to getting adjusted to new personnel on their teams, several drivers will be working with new spotters when testing opens Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. Jeff Dickerson, who has spotted for #24-Jeff Gordon the last couple of years, left to pursue an opportunity in racing that will give him more time with his family. He has not announced where he is going.
    • Eddie D'Hondt, who had won 39 races across all NASCAR series with #18-Kyle Busch, will move to Hendrick Motorsports to work as Gordon's spotter.
    • Tony Hirschman, who was spotter for AJ Allmendinger, will replace D'Hondt as Busch's spotter.
    • Busch isn't the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to have a new spotter for 2012 as two spotters whose drivers have not announced 2012 rides have found new gigs - Chris Lambert, who was the spotter for Brian Vickers, will replace Curtis Markham as spotter for #11-Denny Hamlin and Rocky Ryan, who was spotter for David Ragan, will replace Joey Civali as spotter for #20-Joey Logano.
    • Chris Osborne, who was spotter for Kurt Busch at Penske Racing, will start the season spotting for Allmendinger while Busch will use his new boss - Phoenix Racing general manager Steve Barkdoll - as his spotter.
    • #15-Clint Bowyer, who has moved from Richard Childress Racing to Michael Waltrip Racing, will go to the test with MWR general manager Ty Norris as his spotter.
    • Kevin Hamlin, who was Bowyer's spotter, will remain at RCR and work with Ty Dillon in the Camping World Truck Series.
    • #43-Aric Almirola will use Tyler Green as his spotter. Green spotted for Almirola at JR Motorsports and will now spot for him at RPM.(Scene Daily)(1-11-2012)

  • #43 driver to be announced? UPDATE 5 Almirola Officially Named: Sources say David Ragan is likely to replace A.J. Allmendinger [who went to the #22 Penske Dodge] in the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, with an announcement possible as soon as tomorrow [Friday].(Sirius Speedway)(12-23-2011)
    UPDATE: Aric Almirola, who finished fourth in points in the Nationwide Series this season, has emerged as the leading candidate to take over the #43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports in the Sprint Cup Series in 2012. The deal, which has come together very quickly, will be officially announced after the Christmas and New Year's holidays and will include a sponsor announcement. Almirola, was set to begin his second full season with JR Motorsports' #88 team in 2012, but his move to the Cup series now leaves his future with that organization unclear. A spokesperson for RPM said Friday night the organization did plan to make a driver announcement for the #43 after the holidays but would have no other comment at this time.(Charlotte Observer)(12-24-2011)
    UPDATE 2: David Ragan and Cole Whitt are the leading candidates to replace Aric Almirola in JR Motorsports' #88 Nationwide team in 2012, sources said. A decision is expected early next week, around the time Almirola's move to the Sprint Cup Series and Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 Ford should be officially announced.(Charlotte Observer)(12-29-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Aric Almirola is the top candidate to take over the seat of the famed #43 car with Smithfield Foods as his sponsor at Richard Petty Motorsports. Fourth in the Nationwide Series points standings in 2011, Almirola had another year left in his contract with JR Motorsports but could obtain his release, according to sources, to go to RPM. A JR Motorsports spokesman would not comment on Almirola's status with the team and an RPM spokesman did not return requests for comment. Almirola would not be able to drive for RPM, which Ford has heavily invested in, and continue to drive for the Chevy-backed JRM at the same time. The Almirola-RPM deal is not complete, sources said, but JRM already has talked to drivers about his replacement for the Nationwide Series ride. David Ragan, Reed Sorenson and Cole Whitt are among the top candidates. Air Force and Smithfield Foods are expected to sponsor races on the #43 car next year.(SceneDaily)(12-30-2011)
    UPDATE 4: supposedly Cole Whitt will drive the #88 JR Motorsports Chevy in the Nationwide Series in 2012.(Florida Times-Union)(1-3-2012)
    UPDATE 5: Richard Petty Motorsports announced today that Aric Almirola will drive the legendary #43 Ford Fusion in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition beginning in 2012. Almirola has made 35 starts in the Sprint Cup Series, his most recent stint coming in 2010 when he finished the last five races of the season in the #9 Ford. During the final race of the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Almirola posted a career-high, fourth-place effort. Almirola drove a JR Motorsports entry [#88 Chevy] in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in 2011 and capped off a successful season with a fourth-place finish in the championship point standings. "One of the things I am most excited about is to have the chance to drive a car as iconic as the #43," stated Almirola. "There is so much history surrounding that number and to have my name above the door will be really special for me. This is the first real opportunity I've had to drive in the Cup Series full time. Last year the #43 team had a lot of speed and was competitive on a weekly basis. Greg Erwin is a great crew chief and I'm excited to work with him. Everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports has a lot of enthusiasm and drive and I'm really looking forward to getting to work."
    Almirola will join a team that is poised to compete for a spot in the 2012 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Paired with veteran Crew Chief Greg Erwin, Almirola will get behind the wheel for a team that earned one top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 2011 en route to a 15th-place finish in the owner point standings.
    "We are thrilled to welcome Aric Almirola into the RPM family," said team Co-owner Richard Petty. "We feel extremely fortunate to have had a number of very talented drivers interested in joining our organization, but ultimately we felt Aric would be the best fit for the team and for our current and potential partners. We have had the chance to watch his progress for the past several years and we had success with him in the past. We are really confident in his potential as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver. We think Aric has all the makings to be the next bright star in our sport."(Richard Petty Motorsports)(1-4-2012)

  • Evernham settles lawsuit with Gillett: Ray Evernham has settled his lawsuit against George Gillett over money owed from the 2007 sale of his Sprint Cup organization. Evernham, the former owner of Evernham Motorsports and a three-time Cup champion as the crew chief for Jeff Gordon at Hendrick Motorsports, was seeking $19 million from Gillett. The case was settled outside of court and dismissed last week. No details of the settlement were released.(ESPN)(1-3-2012)

2011 News

  • Allmendinger to Penske? Ragan to the #43? UPDATES: Rumors floating around that A.J. Allmendinger could be headed to the #22 Penske Dodge and David Ragan to the #43 RPM Ford. If true Allmendinger moves over from the #43 RPM ride and Ragan moves from the sponsorless possibly closed up #6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.(12-21-2011)
    UPDATE: AJ Allmendinger will be named the driver of the #22 Sprint Cup car at Penske Racing on Wednesday, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com. Allmendinger finished 15th in points this past season driving the #43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports. He became available after RPM lost primary sponsor Best Buy to Roush Fenway Racing. Allmendinger will replace 2004 Cup champion Kurt Busch, who reached a "mutual'' agreement to leave Penske Racing after a 2011 season in which he had several profanity-laced run-ins with the media and his team. He was picked over David Ragan, who interviewed with the Dodge team and sponsor Shell Pennzoil shortly after Busch was released. Ragan could be a candidate for the 43. He also could drive for Phoenix Racing, with which he had a tentative agreement before pursuing the 22.(ESPN)(12-21-2011)
    UPDATE 2: Penske Racing has named AJ Allmendinger as the driver of the team's #22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge Charger for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Allmendinger, who has competed in the Cup Series since 2007, is coming off a strong season that saw him finish 15th in the series standings while battling for a position in the Chase for the Championship. The 30-year-old native of Los Gatos, Calif., earned one top-five, 10 top-10 and 22 top-15 results in 2011 while driving the #43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports.
    "AJ is a very talented and motivated driver and we believe he will be a terrific fit with our team," said Roger Penske. "He has shown great promise and consistent results on the track over the last few seasons and working with Todd and the Shell-Pennzoil Dodge team will allow him to take the next step and compete for race wins and a spot in the Chase in 2012."
    "Shell and Pennzoil are extremely pleased by Penske Racing's selection of AJ Allmendinger to drive the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Dodge," said Lisa Davis, President of Shell Oil Products U.S. "AJ has consistently demonstrated great potential and continuous improvement as a driver, and with Penske's track record, our employees and customers can look forward to seeing him contending for wins and ultimately a championship in the NASCAR Cup Series. We know he will represent our brands well on and off the track and we look forward to a successful 2012 with AJ behind the wheel."(Penske Racing)(12-21-2011)
    UPDATE 3: Statement from Richard Petty Motorsports: "Richard Petty Motorsports has released AJ Allmendinger to pursue other opportunities within the sport," stated team Chief Executive Officer Brian Moffitt. "AJ is a talented driver whom we all enjoyed working with and we wish him the best." Our plan remains to run a two-car team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012 and we are continuing down that path," said Moffitt. "We believe there are several very talented drivers who are still available and would embrace the opportunity to get behind the wheel of the legendary No. 43 Ford Fusion. We continue to move forward and are optimistic about the future of this race team."(RPM)(12-21-2011)

  • Best Buy to sponsor Kenseth?: UPDATE: Roush Fenway Racing and #17-Matt Kenseth appear to be well on their way to securing the Best Buy sponsorship for 2012, according to sources familiar with the situation. The Roush organization has pledged to run Kenseth, the 2003 Cup champion, without sponsorship but has been working hard to find funding for the driver coming off a three-win season where he placed fourth in the Cup standings. Kenseth's primary sponsor Crown Royal opted not to sponsor a race team in 2012. Best Buy's sponsorship of #43-AJ Allmendinger at Richard Petty Motorsports was for 24 races in 2011. RPM has not announced any sponsorship for the #43 car for next season. An RPM spokesman said the team would have no comment on its sponsorship search.(SceneDaily)(12-15-2011)
    UPDATE: Best Buy Co., Inc. announced a new sponsorship deal for the 2012 Sprint Cup Series Season. Best Buy will serve as primary sponsor of Carl Edwards' #99 Ford for two races and the Matt Kenseth #17 Ford for nine races. In addition, Best Buy will serve as associate sponsor for each. "Best Buy is thrilled to announce this new NASCAR sponsorship deal with Roush Fenway Racing," said Drew Panayiotou, senior vice president of marketing for Best Buy. "Roush Fenway Racing is a great fit for Best Buy Racing. NASCAR continues to be a relevant way for us to connect with our customers. Our goal is to reach our target audiences in a meaningful way, while maximizing the value of our marketing and sponsorship investments." Best Buy has been a NASCAR sponsor for the past 7 years.(Best Buy)(12-20-2011)
    AND: Richard Petty Motorsports statement: "We have had a successful and rewarding relationship with Best Buy for the past few years and appreciate all they have done for us," stated Richard Petty, co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. "Although it is very disappointing that Best Buy is changing directions at this late date, we wish all of our friends there the best in their future endeavors. Our plan has always been to run a two-car team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2012 and we are continuing down that path," said Petty. "We have several partners that remain committed to the #43 team. We will move forward and explore all of our options in regard to the #43 program in the coming weeks."(RPM)(12-20-2011)

  • "The Loopies": The Fifth Annual Best-Of Loop Data For 2011 #4: For the fifth consecutive season, NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications combed through the statistics to hand out a number of awards celebrating the best  and worst  Loop Data performances of 2011. The fourth award goes to:
    "Rope-A-Dope" Award: Attention NASCAR Hall of Fame: Richard Petty's plaque needs a re-write -- he has just won a Loopie. The King's two drivers, A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose, ranked 1-2 in the "Closer" statistic -- the number of positions gained or lost in the last 10 percent of races. Allmendinger gained a whopping 134 spots as races winded down; Ambrose improved 85 spots. In case you're wondering, Kevin Harvick (aptly nicknamed "The Closer") ranked third, with 78 positions improved.(NASCAR)(12-20-2011)

  • RPM considering Kurt Busch in #43 car? UPDATE Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that in an effort to retain sponsor Best Buy, Richard Petty Motorsports has proposed replacing AJ Allmendinger as driver of the legendary #43 Ford with Busch. RPM struggled to re-sign Best Buy a year ago, negotiating until early January before inking a one-year contract. The electronics retailer served as major sponsor of the #43 team in 26 events this season.
    Richard Petty Motorsports Chief Operating Officer Robbie Loomis confirmed today that discussions have been held regarding Busch, saying, "Best Buy has been a great partner for a long time, and AJ Allmendinger has done a fantastic job for us. He's coming off his best season yet, but I can tell you there is a lot of interest on our part in having Kurt Busch in the fold. It makes sense to have Kurt with our team, if we can make it work.
    "Our main focus is to continue building on what we finished the season with last year," said Loomis. "But right now, I feel like I'm running down two different sets of train tracks. From a personal standpoint, nothing has excited me more than when I heard Kurt had become available. I'm excited about the opportunity to add a driver like Kurt Busch to Richard Petty Motorsports. I would mortgage my house to make Kurt a part of this team. We value what he has done on the race track. He has won a (Sprint Cup) championship and worked for a first-class operation like Penske Racing. Guys like that don't come along every day."
    Allmendinger finished 15th in 2011 Sprint Cup Series championship points, with one Top-5 and 10 Top-10 finishes. His best finish was a fifth in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in late May. Busch won a pair of races this season at Infineon and Dover en route to 11th in points, tallying eight Top-5 and 16 Top-10 finishes. He parted company with Penske Racing earlier this month, in the aftermath of a much-publicized verbal confrontation with ESPN pit reporter Dr. Jerry Punch during the 2011 season finale at Homestead Miami Speedway (Sirius Speedway).
    AND no word what Allmendinger would do IF this happens; and not too sure Jack Roush [who Busch drove for before Penske and had issues with], who team supplies cars and engines to RPM would allow this to happen.(12-13-2011)
    UPDATE: RPM struggled to re-sign Best Buy a year ago, negotiating until early January before inking a one-year contract. The electronics retailer served as major sponsor of the #43 team in 26 events this season. RPM did not release an official statement on the speculation that either Allmendinger had been released or if Best Buy was ready to remain with the team for 2012. The possibility of adding Busch as a third entry has also been discussed but contingent on finding additional sponsorship.(CBS Sports)(12-14-2011)

  • Erwin re-ups with RPM: #43 crew chief Greg Erwin has re-signed with Richard Petty Motorsports. Erwin joined the #43 team prior to the Brickyard 400 in July and led Allmendinger to a career-high 15th-place finish in the points standings.(FoxSports)(12-14-2011)

  • Relativity Media co-sponsoring #43 at Texas with Immortals movie: Relativity Media and Virgin Produced will promote its upcoming epic adventure Immortals to millions of NASCAR fans by co-sponsoring the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford. Through its partnership with Sir Richard Branson's Production Company Virgin Produced, Relativity will join Best Buy and Richard Petty Motorsports in this co-branding initiative. AJ Allmendinger will drive the car at the Sprint Cup Series event at Texas Motor Speedway on November 6, 2011, five days before Relativity's Immortals opens in theaters on November 11, 2011. Branded with Best Buy logos, The #43 race car will also feature the Immortals title treatment placed on the hood, upper rear quarter panels and deck lid. In addition, the crew and Allmendinger will wear Immortals hats and shirts, as well as the title treatment on the pit wall banner.(RPM)(10-29-2011)

  • Allmendinger partners in IndyCar team: Michael Shank will expand his race operations to include an IZOD IndyCar Series team in 2012. The principal partners in Michael Shank Racing will also include NASCAR driver AJ Allmedinger and businessman Brian Bailey. The IndyCar team will join Shank's Daytona Prototype effort in the Grand-Am Rolex Sport Club Series and be based in Columbus, Ohio. While Allmendinger's focus will remain in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, he is expected to reprise his role for MSR in the 2012 Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway. Allmendinger is currently 14th in the Cup standings.(Fox Sports)(10-13-2011)

  • JTG Daugherty ending alliance with MWR? UPDATES: Michael Waltrip Racing currently fields two teams with #56-Martin Truex Jr. and #00-David Reutimann, and supplies cars for #47-Bobby Labonte and JTG Daugherty Racing out of its Mooresville, N.C., shop. Sources said JTG Daugherty Racing may cut its tie to MWR but remain in the sport with Labonte as its driver in 2012.(ESPN)(9-16-2011)
    UPDATE: MWR has paved the way for a third full-time entry [with Clint Bowyer] by ending its affiliation with JTG Daugherty Racing, which had housed its #47 entry at the team's headquarters as part of its alliance. Team owner Brad Daugherty plans to keep his organization on track next season but is currently looking at options to align with another team, with speculation of a partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports. Daugherty's affinity to and admiration of Petty has even included the former college basketball and NBA star wearing the #43 throughout his career. An association as NASCAR business partners would further that connection. RPM was close to launching a third team with Bowyer before contract talks with the driver broke down so the desire to expand is evident.(CBS Sports)(9-22-2011)
    UPDATE 2: JTG Daugherty Racing hasn't decided on an affiliation for next season, and retaining its relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing is still an option, team owner Tad Geschickter told Sporting News on Thursday. Geschickter said his phone had been "blowing up" in the wake of a report on CBSsports.com that MWR had terminated its relationship with JTG Daugherty, which fields Toyotas for Bobby Labonte, and speculation in the same story that JTG Daugherty might align itself with Richard Petty Motorsports. "I haven't talked with Richard Petty Motorsports," Geschickter said. "There's no truth to that at all." Geschickter said that, to his knowledge, MWR was still exploring its capacity to supply cars to JTG in light of possible expansion.(Sporting News)9-23-2011)

  • AdvoCare sponsoring Allmendinger at Martinsville: Richard Petty Motorsports announced a new primary partnership with AdvoCare International, LP, an award-winning, premier health and wellness company headquartered in Plano, Texas. AdvoCare will serve as primary sponsor of the AJ Allmendinger driven #43 Ford during the Sprint Cup Series race weekend at Martinsville Speedway in October.(RPM)(9-20-2011)

  • RPM no longer interested in Bowyer: Richard Petty Motorsports has withdrawn its offer to Clint Bowyer to drive a car for the organization in 2012. Team owner Andrew Murstein confirmed to FOXSports.com that RPM has decided to go in another direction with the program. "We are no longer in discussions with Clint," Murstein said. "We just feel that RPM is in a great place today, especially how far we have come since last year. Both #9-Marcos (Ambrose) and #43-A.J. (Allmendinger) are not only having career years, but they are both moving in the right directions and improving. "Clint is a great driver and we wish him the best wherever he ends up. For now, we will continue to focus on our two teams and continuing to make great strides as we return the King and his unmatched tradition and legion of loyal fans back into Victory Lane." The most recent organization in the Bowyer sweepstakes is Michael Waltrip Racing. Bowyer was seen touring MWR last Thursday. If he ends up at MWR, expect the company to a run a third team along with current drivers #00-David Reutimann and #56-Martin Truex, Jr.(Fox Sports)(9-14-2011)

  • Allmendinger talks about a possible third RPM team: Frontstretch.com's Amy Henderson sat down with #43-A.J. Allmendinger in Atlanta to discuss many things, including his thoughts on a third team at Richard Petty Motorsports:
    Henderson: "There has been some talk of adding a third team at RPM. That's a long way from the team that, a year ago, the speculation was you weren't even going to be here this year. You stuck around through that and it turned out for the better. Is adding a third team something that would be helpful to you?"
    Allmendinger: "It's helpful if it's done the right way. The thing is that we can't try to take off too much right away, we can't bite off too much. If all the sponsorship is there for all three cars and it's done the right way? Sure, it can only help. If you get a guy, say, like Clint Bowyer who's won races and got great experience, that can only be a benefit. But it's got to be done in the right way. That's the stuff for me, that you look at. As you said, we're a team that just barely missed bankruptcy, and we're still making sure that we've got everything kind of buttoned up for next year among our two cars. It's only good if it's done the right way. There are other teams that have shown that. You look at Richard Childress Racing when they first went to four cars. They were terrible because of it. You take a team like Gibbs, who could easily do a fourth car, but they won't do it unless it's done the right way. I think that's the main thing."(Frontstretch)(9-7-2011)

  • Bowyer talking to other teams: Although he hopes to return to Richard Childress Racing in 2012, #33-Clint Bowyer is weighing offers from other teams. The latest is from Richard Petty Motorsports. According to RPM co-owner Andrew Murstein during a Saturday radio interview on SiriusXM Radio, Bowyer has an offer to drive a third car next year. "When we had that media day opportunity at the beginning of the year, I perhaps went a little further than I should and I said I wanted to add a third team pretty quickly, and Danica (Patrick) and Clint Bowyer came to mind," Murstein told SiriusXM at Bristol Motor Speedway. So we've been thinking about the third team for the last six months or so, and we're close to doing something. I don't know if it will be Clint." Bowyer admitted after the driver's meeting that he has talked to numerous teams about his next deal. "Obviously, that's what you've got to go and do right now, you've got to go out and get every offer possible, you know?" Bowyer said. "Go home and when it's time to make a decision, weigh them all out and make the best decision for your life, your performance and other things. Sources told ESPN.com that the big hang up has been Bowyer not wanting to take a pay cut, which many drivers have taken over the last year. Childress said he still expects things to work out with Bowyer. Bowyer, speculated to have a deal with 5-hour Energy to sponsor a portion of his races at RCR, said he "hopes" to return to RCR.(ESPN)(8-28-2011)

  • Sadler settles suit with Richard Petty Motorsports: Elliott Sadler and Richard Petty Motorsports have settled a lawsuit filed by Sadler against his former team. The settlement terms are confidential, said Sadler attorney John Buric. Sadler had filed the suit in May in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C., and claimed in court documents that his former team was withholding a payment to him because it accused him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. The amount Sadler was seeking was never listed in the complaint.(Scene Daily)(8-25-2011)

  • Bowyer talking to other teams: #33-Clint Bowyer is seriously considering offers from one or more Sprint Cup teams to leave Richard Childress Racing -- his home since making his series debut in 2005 -- following the 2011 season. Bowyer talked openly of his desire to remain at RCR earlier this season, but negotiations have dragged and, according to multiple sources, deteriorated. "They are at loggerheads right now," a source said. Discussions between Bowyer and team owner Richard Childress have been complicated by the lack of a primary sponsor for the #33 Chevrolet. For the past three seasons General Mills brands Cheerios and Hamburger Helper have been that sponsor. Childress had expressed confidence that General Mills would return a month ago, but it's now believed the company is looking at other options. With #99-Carl Edwards off the market, Bowyer is the top free agent available. In addition to Childress, Richard Petty Motorsports, Roush Fenway Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing are said to be interested in hiring Bowyer.
    Petty has been pursuing Bowyer for several months in an attempt to expand to a three-car operation. Chief operating officer Robbie Loomis has been diligently working to put together a package for Bowyer that includes a Ford-backed deal similar to the Wood Brothers. Petty buys chassis from Roush Fenway and leases engines from Roush-Yates and the equipment may be attractive to Bowyer.
    Waltrip also would like to expand to three cars and may have some support from Toyota to acquire Bowyer.
    David Ragan seemed safe at Roush Fenway after his win at Daytona in July. It put him in the Chase, but he's since fallen out. Ragan, 23rd in points, needs a second victory to make the Chase. He's under contract to Roush Fenway for next season, but the team could move him to Petty and sign Bowyer.
    Gibbs president J.D. Gibbs has said that a fourth car for next season was a "long shot." Its earlier attempt to sign Edwards was financially backed by Toyota. The manufacturer would have to spend less money to land Bowyer, but it certainly could outbid the other offers.
    Childress should not be counted out. He has shown the ability to be resourceful in retaining drivers and finding sponsors. Negotiations between Bowyer and Childress are at a critical stage and the atmosphere isn't healthy. The overall situation regarding Bowyer's next contract is said to be "sensitive." Bowyer probably would like to make a decision as soon as possible to remove the uncertainty and distraction that comes with it. He'd much rather focus on making the Chase than worry about whom he'll be driving for next year.(Sports Illustrated)(8-19-2011)

  • Partial Cup schedules for Bayne, Stenhouse in 2012? Roush Fenway Racing still is sewing up sponsorship on the Sprint Cup Fords of #99-Carl Edwards, #16-Greg Biffle, #17-Matt Kenseth and #6-David Ragan. Trevor Bayne said Wood Brothers Racing still is hunting sponsorship, too, and he would like to run full time in 2012 if the money were available. The #21 hasn't run a full schedule since 2008, and Bayne said he is slated for 13 to 15 races next year.(USA Today)
    AND: Ironically, had Edwards not announced last week that he was not leaving Roush Fenway Racing for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2012, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and Trevor Bayne would have been in line for Edwards' Cup ride. Now, Bayne likely will return to a part-ride Cup ride in the #21 Wood Brothers car and run a full or part-time Nationwide schedule at Roush. Stenhouse said he has no definitive plan other than he'd like to run a full Nationwide schedule for Roush and part-time Cup schedule. Stenhouse mentioned that Richard Petty Motorsports, which gets chassis and engines from RFR, might be looking to expand.(ESPN.com)(8-10-2011)

  • New sponsor for Richard Petty Motorsports: Roger J. Catarino, President and CEO of First Fruits Beverage Company, LLC, and Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) officials have announced a partnership centered around the new patented weight loss water beverage TrimFit. The associate sponsorship will showcase the brand on uniforms as well as on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Ford. TrimFit will have a presence with both of the RPM NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams for the remainder of the 2011 season. In addition to a logo on the sleeve of the firesuit of Marcos Ambrose, driver of the #9 Stanley Ford Fusion, the company will be featured on the deck lid of the #43 Ford machine.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(8-3-2011)

  • Moffitt is new CEO of RPM: According to the Richard Petty Motorsports website, Brian Moffitt has been named CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports. Prior to his July 2011 appointment to CEO, Moffitt served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. A long-time Petty associate, Moffitt spent the past 15 years overseeing the acquisition of sponsorship and services for team owner Richard Petty and his entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Before that, he held the position of Sales Representative at UPS. Moffitt has Associate Degrees in both Marketing and Business Administration. He also attended East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C.(7-21-2011)

  • Crew chief change on the #43 team? UPDATE: from SPEED's Bob Dilner's Twitter: Hearing Mike Shiplett out and Greg Erwin in as crew chief for A.J. Allmendinger for the #43 at RPM.(7-18-2011)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports officials announced that Greg Erwin has joined the team and will replace Mike Shiplett as crew chief for the #43 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry driven by AJ Allmendinger. Prior to joining Richard Petty Motorsports, Erwin held the crew chief position with the #16 team at Roush Fenway Racing. Erwin joined that team in May 2007 and during his tenure at RFR, led Biffle to five victories, 36 top-five and 66 top-10 finishes. Erwin's team made the Chase for the Championship three times, finishing as high as third in the year end point standings.(RPM)(7-18-2011)

  • CEO leaves RPM: Lisa Brown has left her position as CEO of Richard Petty Motorsports to become senior adviser to Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial Corp. Brown orchestrated the restructuring of the Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup program under its new ownership group and guided the company through that transition. She will now help Murstein build his latest venture, Medallion Sports Media, which was launched in April. Brown introduced the Nautica brand to NASCAR and will roll out several additional new sponsors for RPM through the remainder of the season.(FoxSports)(7-6-2011)

  • SPEED honors Richard Petty with documentary: Independence Day 1984 & The twofold historic significance of that memorable day may have been foreshadowed by the unprecedented command to start engines, delivered via telephone by President Ronald Reagan from aboard Air Force One en route to Daytona International Speedway. Seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Richard Petty won his 200th and final race July 4, 1984, in front of an audience that included the first sitting United States president ever to attend a NASCAR race. In honor of Petty's final win, SPEED and NASCAR Media Group examine one of NASCAR's finest hours in a one-hour documentary special entitled The Day: The 1984 Firecracker 400 premiering Thursday at 8:00pm/et. SPEED reflects on the landmark race from sunrise to sunset, focusing on the events and emotions for everyone involved, and how The King's victory and the president's visit left an indelible, defining and matchless mark on the sport. Petty, who celebrates his 74th birthday Saturday, retired at the conclusion of the 1992 season with 1,184 Cup Series starts (SPEED)(6-30-2011)

  • RPM owner still looking to bring NASCAR to NYC: Andrew Murstein made the roughly two-hour drive from New York City to Pocono Raceway for this Sunday's 5-Hour Energy 500 without complaint. But he is trying to revive interest in having NASCAR build a track so some day he can watch a race live without having to venture far from the heart of America's largest city. Murstein, who along with investor Douglas Bergeron purchased more than a 50% interest in Richard Petty Motorsports last November, said Saturday that he believes he could help such a venture succeed where previously similar efforts have failed. Asked how important Sunday's race that Pocono hosts is to the New York market, Murstein replied: "It's pretty important. Obviously it's the track that's closest to New York City. One of the things I'm talking to people back in New York City about -- in the really early stages -- is putting a track one day in New York City. Therefore, the people follow this to find out how well it does and how the fans turn out. I hope one day there is a track in New York City, because between that and Pocono, it would be great for the sport." Murstein, who is founder, president, board member and largest shareholder of Medallion Financial Corp., said he has opened preliminary discussions about the possibility with NASCAR as well as current and former New York state government officials. "I called NASCAR and said, 'Do you have any interest in looking at something for New York City?' And they said, 'Eventually.' But it's not at the top of their list," Murstein said.(NASCAR.com)(6-12-2011)

  • New sponsor for the #43 at Pocono: #43-A.J. Allmendinger will have a different look this weekend as Medallion Financial will be the primary partner of the #43 Ford Fusion. Allmendinger and team owner Richard Petty will be going to Nashville, Thursday on behalf of Richard Petty Motorsports partner, Super 8, to participate in media activities taking place around the CMA Music Festival.(RPM) Medallion Financial is a New York-based company that specializes in taxi medallion lending and commercial lending. The company is run by Alvin and son Andrew Murstein. The Murstein family is the largest shareholder in Medallion, owning approximately 20%.(6-8-2011)

  • Petty pleased with 2 car effort: Richard Petty believes the decision to cut from four to two Sprint Cup teams is working for Richard Petty Motorsports. Another thing that could make running well easier is that improved performance always helps when seeking sponsorship. The team has STP on Allmendinger's # 43 car as part of a renewed relationship between Petty and the company. STP, which is under new ownership, is looking to revive its rich motorsports heritage and it's obvious it wants to do it with "The King," who drove an iconic STP paint scheme for decades. The easiest way to entice STP to come back for more races is with performance. The organization gets its cars from Roush Fenway Racing and its engines from Roush Yates Engines. The improved performance by both those groups has helped RPM. "[We wanted to] get a real good, strong two-car team before we ever even look at going to three or four cars," Petty said. "Eventually we would like to do that. But we're not going to do that until we get a good base with our two cars."(Scene Daily)(6-5-2011)

  • Sadler suing Petty Motorsports: Elliott Sadler is suing Richard Petty Motorsports for an unspecified amount of money, claiming in court documents that his former team is withholding a payment to him because it is wrongly accusing him of influencing Hunt Brothers Pizza to leave RPM and sponsor him at Kevin Harvick Inc. Sadler filed the lawsuit Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Concord, N.C. The lawsuit is against the new ownership group of RPM, which was sold by the Gillett family to Richard Petty and two investors last November. Sadler drove for RPM from 2006-2010 and has a separation agreement with the new owners of RPM that require payments to him, according to the lawsuit. That separation agreement had a non-solicitation provision and RPM alleged that Sadler violated it after Hunt Brothers, which sponsored Sadler in 2010, announced it was sponsoring him and driver Kevin Harvick at KHI this year. In the lawsuit, Sadler claims that RPM is accusing him of violating the non-solicitation clause in their separation agreement in order not to pay him. RPM did not make an April 20 payment, Sadler alleges in the lawsuit.(Scene Daily)(6-1-2011)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports Fan Appreciation Day: Don't miss out on your chance to meet "The King", AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose during Richard Petty Motorsports' second annual Fan Appreciation Day on Thursday, May 26 from 7-11:30am/et. The event will provide fans with a morning full of family-fun and entertainment at the RPM shop in Concord, NC.
    In an effort to say thank you to the fans, Richard Petty Motorsports will offer its loyal supporters with a unique experience to see the shop, obtain driver autographs and attend a Question-and-Answer session.
    The first 200 people in line who donate a 24-pack of pencils to Classroom Central, will receive a commemorative ticket allowing them access to an autograph session that will include RPM drivers Allmendinger, Ambrose and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty. In addition, ticket holders will be provided with free breakfast and a goody bag courtesy of RPM and its partners.
    After the distribution of the commemorative tickets, fans will be invited to attend a Q-and-A session with Allmendinger, Ambrose and Petty. The Q-and-A session will be hosted by Miss Sprint Cup and is open to the public.
    Everyone attending Fan Day will be given one raffle ticket that will put them in a drawing to be eligible to win items donated by Richard Petty Motorsports partners. Items up for raffle include a VIP meet and greet with AJ, Marcos and Richard, followed by lunch, various pieces of autographed sheet metal including a Stanley and Insignia racecar hood, Best Buy gift cards, a tool set courtesy of MAC Tools and a year supply of STP Octane Booster among other things.
    In addition, four lucky raffle winners will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to dunk crew chiefs Mike Shiplett and Todd Parrott in the dunk tank. Participants in the Q-and-A session will also get the chance to answer trivia questions allowing them a shot at dunking the pair.
    Following the raffle, shop tours will conclude and only participants with the commemorative ticket will proceed inside the RPM shop for the autograph session.
    All fans attending this fun-filled event will be able to see the inner workings of the RPM shop, tour one of the transport haulers, take photos next to Allmendinger's Best Buy Ford, Ambrose's Stanley or DEWALT Fords and Richard Petty's 1972 STP show car, visit the merchandise hauler and stop by partner displays to receive free give-a-ways. More info at richardpettymotorsports.com.(5-23-2011)

  • Richard Petty teams up with Tag Heuer: Known throughout the world for his signature sunglasses and cowboy hat, NASCAR legend Richard Petty has partnered with TAG Heuer and can now be seen sporting the TAG Heuer brand of sunglasses everywhere he goes. "I've been thoroughly enjoying my TAG Heuer sunglasses," stated Richard Petty "The fit is great, the quality and workmanship is outstanding and I couldn't ask for a better pair of glasses for protection of my eyes. Whether I'm at the race track or working around the farm, my TAG Heuer sunglasses are always on." Richard Petty is the owner and chairman of Richard Petty Motorsports.(RPM)(4-29-2011)

  • New sponsor for Allmendinger at Richmond: Nautica, a part of VF Corporation and a leader in branded quality apparel, will serve as primary sponsor of Richard Petty Motorsports' #43 Ford for Saturday evening's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Richmond International Raceway. "We feel good that an organization as well known as Nautica has decided to showcase its brand on the #43 Ford," said team owner Richard Petty. "We welcome them to the RPM family and look forward to showing them everything the sport has to offer this weekend in Richmond. The #43 team has shown great promise this season and AJ is a force to be reckoned with every week. We're excited to have Nautica here this weekend and we think NASCAR's legions of fans will be enthusiastic as well." The #43 Ford will carry the familiar Nautica logo all weekend at the three-quarter-mile track. Allmendinger has made eight starts at the track and posted his career best finish of eighth at the venue last fall after starting from the third position. Founded in 1983, Nautica is a leading global lifestyle brand ranging from men's, women's and children's apparel and accessories to a complete home collection.(RPM Facebook)(4-26-2011)

  • Tire testing at Dover: hearing that #24-Jeff Gordon, #43-A.J. Allmendinger and #11-Denny Hamlin are Goodyear tire testing at Dover International Speedway, Tuesday, April 19th. Also Brett Moffit is testing his NASCAR K&N Pro Series car.(4-19-2011)

  • STP jumping back into racing: UPDATE: On Wednesday afternoon, STP will announce its return to big league racing, an aggressive sponsorship plan that will have the old familiar "racer's edge" mantra back in NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the NHRA, plus multiple racetrack sponsorships. It begins with NASCAR's split weekend of June 4-5, when the Saturday night Nationwide Series event at Chicagoland Speedway will be the STP 300 and the following Sunday afternoon's Sprint Cup race will be the STP 400. That same weekend, Richard Petty's famous #43 car, driven by A.J. Allmendinger, will carry The King's iconic 1972 STP paint scheme, marking the first time that car has carried those colors since a two-race deal in 2006. In addition, STP has signed track sponsorship deals with International Speedway Corp. properties, including Daytona, Talladega, Richmond, Darlington, Michigan, Chicagoland and Kansas. The company has also inked a multiyear sponsorship of Infineon Raceway, including title sponsorship of its Wednesday night drag racing series.(ESPN.com)(4-13-2010)
    UPDATE: When STP and Richard Petty first signed a deal in 1972, it forever changed the sponsorship landscape within the sport of auto racing. To mark its 39 year history in racing, the STP brand is building its presence in the sport through multiple series' including NASCAR, NHRA, World of Outlaws, Infineon Speedway, and at several International Speedway Corporation (ISC) tracks. STP's racing portfolio includes:
    • Multi-year title sponsorship of the Nationwide and Cup races at Chicagoland Speedway and Kansas Speedway, respectively. This year, the STP 300 Nationwide Series race will take place on June 4 and the STP 400 Cup race will run on June 5.
    • The STP-branded #43 car will make its return to the track driven by Richard Petty Motorsports driver, AJ Allmendinger, during the STP 400. The No. 43 STP Ford Fusion will be a modern replica of the 1972 paint scheme featuring the original Petty Blue and STP Day-Glo Red.
    • Primary sponsor of two-time NHRA Full Throttle Nitro Funny Car Champion Tony Pedregon for three races (Las Vegas, Houston and Infineon) and an associate sponsorship for the balance of the season.
    • Multi-year track sponsorships with a number of ISC properties including Daytona, Talladega, Richmond, Darlington, Michigan, Chicagoland and Kansas.
    • Multi-year track sponsorship of Infineon Raceway and title sponsor of Wednesday Night Drags and Bracket Drags.
    • Continued sponsorship of Tony Stewart Racing and four-time World of Outlaws Champion Donny Schatz and the World of Outlaws Series.(MATTER, Edelman/STP)(4-13-2011)

  • Petty says team now has good foundation: Richard Petty Motorsports hasn't had a great year on the track so far, but off the track team co-owner Richard Petty can see a big difference. Petty now has operational oversight of the team that bears his name, something he didn't have for the previous two years under the ownership of George Gillett and the Gillett family. Performance aside, Petty can feel the difference in the shop. "All the guys working on the cars and stuff act like they enjoy what they're doing more," Petty said Thursday night at Texas Motor Speedway. The team does not have the debt that it had in the past and while it is designed to eventually make money, it can create its budget based off sponsorship revenues and race winnings to cover operations of the team and not to pay off loans. "We've got a better foundation," Petty said. "And I know the foundation is pretty good. The last three years, it's not been that steady. We feel like with the team, we've got something to build off of now that's going to be steady. We've got to work hard to build something."(Scene Daily)(4-9-2011)

  • Allmendinger goes karting on off weekend: While the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took an early season weekend off, #43-AJ Allmendinger was returning to his roots with another karting outing in the WKA Manufacturers Cup this past weekend. Running in the second round of the World Karting Association (WKA), Allmendinger was on hand at Carolina Motorsports Park at the 7/10 mile 16-turn kart track in Kershaw, South Carolina. Allmendinger first got his start in karts in California, picking off championships one at a time on his way up to earn a shot at formula car competition. But he's never lost the bug and always is looking to get back behind the wheel of a kart. The race weekend was a successful one as Allmendinger was back in form straight away, nabbing a second place finish in Saturday's finals in both classes that he ran (TAG Senior and Parilla Leopard).(PR)(3-15-2011)

  • John Andretti has ride for Indy 500 UPDATE: John Andretti will drive the fifth Andretti Autosport car in the Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The others will be for IndyCar regulars Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti, Mike Conway and Danica Patrick.(Indianapolis Star)(3-11-2011)
    UPDATE: Andretti Autosport announced it will join forces with co-entrant Richard Petty Motorsports and primary sponsor Window World, Inc., to field an entry for IndyCar veteran John Andretti in this year's 100 anniversary edition of the Indianapolis 500. John, who has made 11 prior Indy 500 starts including last year's run for the Petty-Andretti combo, will drive the #43 Window World car with a traditional "Petty Blue" and "Day-Glo Red" color scheme. However, the livery featured on this year's entry was inspired by the 1982 race-winning car of Gordon Johncock and designed to commemorate that historic car. In conjunction with the effort, Window World and ABILITY Magazine have created the "$1,000,000 WIN-WIN" promotion that will provide one, lucky contestant the chance to win $1 million should John win the 2011 Indianapolis 500. 2011 marks the third-straight year Window World has served as John's primary sponsor in the Indianapolis 500. Headquartered in North Wilkesboro, N.C., Window World remains America's largest replacement window company with offices in more than 200 cities nationwide. This will also be the third-consecutive Indy 500 to include participation from Richard Petty, a racing icon and one of the most-recognizable figures in NASCAR history. A 200-time NASCAR race winner and seven-time NASCAR champion, Petty witnessed the Indianapolis 500 in person for the first time in 2007 and participated as a co-owner for the first time in 2009.(RPM)(3-15-2011)

  • Should drivers communicate with each other during races? UPDATE: Drivers were able to communicate with non-teammates for the first time during the Daytona 500, which added an intriguing element to NASCAR's biggest race. Because there was a need for two-car tandems to work together while the race was going on, many drivers set their radios up so they could speak with their competitors. But some drivers believe the practice should be banned. "I think NASCAR should step in on drivers getting on other teams' radios," #22-Kurt Busch said. "... We shouldn't be able to communicate with radios." #5-Mark Martin had only four drivers among his options for chatting: His three teammates and #43-AJ Allmendinger. But the veteran agreed with Busch, saying he hopes his competitors "clean the radios up." #27-Paul Menard said he had 12 different drivers on his radio during the Daytona 500 - and was just fine with continuing the practice for future restrictor-plate races if NASCAR doesn't pass a rule against it. #99-Carl Edwards backed the open radio communication between drivers based on safety reasons, calling it "necessary."(SB Nation)(2-26-2011)
    UPDATE: According to Mike Mulhern, "NASCAR's Robin Pemberton says no changes planned for radio rules for Talladega April 17th.(3-6-2011)

  • Allmendinger interested in IndyCar offer: Former open-wheel driver #43-A.J. Allmendinger says he might be open to racing in IndyCar's season finale in Las Vegas for a chance at $5 million. Allmendinger, who switched to NASCAR in 2008, says while driving in the Oct. 16 race is an unlikely scenario, the prize money would be good incentive to give it a try. IndyCar announced last week that it will allow up to five qualified drivers from outside the series a chance to win $5 million if they're able to win the race. Allmendinger, Juan Pablo Montoya and Tony Stewart have been mentioned as drivers who might give it a try because of their backgrounds in open-wheel racing. Montoya said it would be logistically impossible since NASCAR races in Charlotte that same weekend.(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(2-26-2011)

  • Evernham suing Gillett: Ray Evernham has filed a lawsuit seeking $19.3 millon from the man who purchased the majority interest of Evernham Motorsports from him in 2007. The suit, filed on Tuesday in North Carolina Superior Court in Mecklenburg County, was filed against Booth Creek Management and Gillett GEMS, LLC for money not paid in the sale. Gillett GEMS, LLC is a corporation of four members that includes George Gillett Jr., who purchased Evernham Motorsports, which later became Gillett Evernham Motorsports and then Richard Petty Motorsports. Evernham charges in the suit that Gillett breached an agreement to pay the remaining 20 percent owed for the Sprint Cup organization.(ESPN.com)(2-24-2011)

  • Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
    AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include an annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)

  • RPM already looking in to expansion: Expansion is already on Richard Petty Motorsport's plate for 2012, Team co-owner Andrew Murstein is looking towards growth to help boost a program whose #43 car hasn't won since Spring 1999 at Martinsville. Here's the catch: in a world full of 2012 free agents, where Carl Edwards, Brian Vickers, and Greg Biffle top the list of possibilities, this car owner is looking to break the mold by picking an unproven driver -- but not just any rookie. "If there was one driver that was out there, I would go for something new and different," he says. "I think that's what the sport's lacking. There's no perfect answer for that, but a woman driver would be a terrific accomplishment for us. Whether it's someone like Danica [Patrick], or it's someone like Johanna Long. If there was an up-and-coming African-American driver, that would be my focal point. I want to make a game-changing decision in this sport to try to bring it to another level."(Sports Illustrated)(2-18-2011)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports owner interested in Danica, Bowyer: Now that Richard Petty Motorsports is on firm financial footing, don't be surprised if Danica Patrick is part of a conversation about the organization's future. Financier Andrew Murstein, one of Richard Petty's partners in the revamped RPM, thinks Patrick would be an excellent fit for the Sprint Cup team. When 2012 arrives, however, Murstein would like to see a third car in the stable, and Patrick, who currently drives part-time for JR Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, is an intriguing possibility. Clint Bowyer of Richard Childress Racing is another driver who has caught Murstein's eye. Murstein said he eventually would like to see four Cup teams at RPM.(Sporting News)(1-27-2011)

  • Evernham concerned with owners' ability to walk away: Former Evernham Motorsports owner Ray Evernham told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Tuesday that he is troubled by the ability of owners to pull up stakes and leave the sport without paying their bills. While never identifying former partner George Gillett by name, Evernham said, "When a company goes out of business or leaves without paying people, it's not just drivers and crewchiefs (who are affected). There are tons of other people who get hurt. People are allowed to fly back to their lives on private jets, drink champagne and (go) skiing, while other people are left trying to figure out how to put food on the table. That kind of pisses me off. It's a shame that there are a lot of really good people who are owed a heck of a lot of money," said Evernham. "The press releases go out talking about how great everyone is doing now, and that's not totally true. There are a lot of people who have been left holding the bag, and a lot of people out of work. All you can do is hope that what goes around, comes around, and that the legal system -- or karma -- take care of it at some point."(Sirius Speedway)(1-27-2011)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports announces sponsor lineup: Richard Petty Motorsports announced the 2011 partner lineup for the #9 and #43 Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The sponsor line up for 2011 includes several organizations that have partnered with Richard Petty in the past. Stanley, an RPM sponsor since 2005, returns for the 2011 season. The 2011 season will also have a new addition to the RPM partner family as DEWALT returns to the sport. Both brands will serve as primary sponsors of the #9 Ford driven by Marcos Ambrose. Best Buy will return to sponsor the #43 Ford and driver AJ Allmendinger for 24 races. Leading that team will be Mike Shiplett, who has worked with Allmendinger for several years at Richard Petty Motorsports. Valvoline, U.S. Air Force, WIX Filters, Reynolds and Paralyzed Veterans of America will round out the sponsorship package on the famed # 43 car for the 2011 season.(RPM)
    AND Air Force officials announced that it would renew its NASCAR partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the # 43 car with driver A.J. Allmendinger for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The Air Force is both a primary and associate sponsor of the #43 car, driven by A.J. Allmendinger. As a primary sponsor, the car will feature the Air Force paint scheme in two of 36 NASCAR points races this season.(Air Force PR)(1-24-2011)

  • Allmendigner, McDowell team up for Rolex 24: Fully committed to earning the best possible result in the team's eighth consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona, Michael Shank Racing will stage the strongest campaign in team history with three Daytona Prototype entries for the 49th running of the endurance classic on Jan. 29-30. On Friday, team owner Mike Shank announced the driver lineup for the third entry, with the #6 Ford-Dallara being driven Sprint Cup Series drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Michael McDowell and IndyCar driver Justin Wilson. The 2011 Rolex 24 At Daytona will mark Allmendinger's sixth attempt in the Rolex 24. McDowell has Grand-Am experience stretching back to 2004, as the Phoenix native broke through for his first Daytona Prototype victory one year later in Mexico City.(Michael Shank Racing PR)(1-9-2011)

  • Best Buy renews with RPM: Best Buy Co. and Richard Petty Motorsports announced their continued partnership for the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season. The agreement extends Best Buy's status as primary sponsor of the #43 driven by AJ Allmendinger. Best Buy will be the primary sponsor for 24 Sprint Cup Series events in 2011 and will be featured as the primary sponsor for two non-points events, The Duels and the Sprint All-Star race. In addition, Best Buy will serve as an associate sponsor for the #9, driven by Marcos Ambrose. The deal marks the company's second year with driver AJ Allmendinger and its seventh year in the sport of NASCAR.(Best Buy/RPM)(1-4-2011)

2010 News

  • 2010 Races [23] that Best Buy/Insignia is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Daytona - 2/14, Best Buy
    Auto Club Speedway - 2/21, Best Buy
    Atlanta - 3/6, Insignia
    Bristol - 3/21, Insignia
    Texas - 4/18
    Talladega - 4/25
    Darlington - 5/8
    All-Star Race - 5/22
    Charlotte - 5/30
    Michigan - 6/13
    Infineon Raceway - 6/20
    Chicago - 7/10, Geek Squad
    Pocono - 8/1, Insignia HDTV
    Michigan - 8/15
    Atlanta - 9/5
    Richmond - 9/11
    New Hampshire - 9/19
    Dover - 9/26
    Kansas - 10/3
    Martinsville - 10/24
    Phoenix - 11/7
    Homestead - 11/21

  • 2010 Races [1] that Paralyzed Veterans of America was the primary sponsor:
    Daytona - 7/2, Mission: ABLE

  • 2010 Races [1] that Charter Communications was the primary sponsor:
    Martinsville - 3/28

  • 2010 Races [1] that WIX Filters is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Charlotte - 10/16

  • 2010 Races [6] that Valvoline was the primary sponsor:
    Las Vegas - 2/28
    Phoenix - 4/10
    Indianpolis - 7/25
    Bristol - 8/21
    Talladega - 10/31
    Texas - 11/7

  • 2010 Races [1] that Berlin City Auto Group was the primary sponsor:
    New Hampshire - 6/27

  • Allmendinger/McMurray karting it at Daytona: The new NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season hasn't even started yet and AJ Allmendinger is already turning competitive laps at Daytona International Speedway. For the second straight year, Allmendinger is participating in Daytona KartWeek, which showcases hundreds of karters from across the country in World Karting Association races. "We've had three off weekends now so I'm bored," said Allmendinger, who drives for Richard Petty Motorsports. "I had to get away from the house. It's time to go racing. As soon as Christmas is over, it's time to go racing." Allmendinger didn't enjoy last year's Daytona KartWeek as much as he wanted. He struggled on the track and packed up early and headed back home to North Carolina. This year, he comes ready for what is a competitive field that also includes 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray.(DIS)(12-29-2010)

  • New RPM owner wants to build race track in New York: Now that the president of Medallion Financial Corp., Taxi tycoon Andrew Murstein, has purchased NASCAR racing team Richard Petty Motorsports for less than $50 million, sources close to the situation tell us, Murstein intends to finally establish a track here [New York City area] and make New Yorkers fans of the supercharged sport. It's not a new idea. A company called International Speedway attempted to build a track on Staten Island earlier this decade, until opposition from nearby residents killed the project by 2007. The Medallion mogul's idea is to build the track to co-exist with horse racing at Aqueduct in Queens or at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. [New York Daily News] sources say he'll soon begin lobbying state and city officials. Even if local officials are receptive, Murstein could face a tough sell with the public. Though NASCAR is second only to NFL football in sports TV ratings, audiences have reportedly declined.(New York Daily News)(12-16-2010)

  • Layoffs precede Richard Petty deal: Richard Petty Motorsports cut 75 jobs a week before the company was acquired by the racing legend and other investors. The Concord-based team had struggled financially and announced Nov. 22 its plans to field two cars in the NASCAR circuit in 2011, down from four. That same day, the firm notified N.C. regulators of the termination of 75 employees. On Tuesday, Richard Petty Motorsports announced its sale to an investment group comprised of Richard Petty, Medallion Financial Corp. of New York and DGB Investments of San Jose, Calif. The sales price was undisclosed. Andrew Murstein, Medallion Financial president, says the layoffs leave the race operation with about 80 employees. The cuts reflect Petty Motorsports' financial struggles and had been planned for some time. "I hope to get back to four teams and hire them back," Murstein adds. Murstein hopes to gear up to three teams in 2012 and reach a fourth "shortly thereafter."(Charlotte Business Journal)(12-2-2010)

  • RPM purchased by Richard Petty and others MORE: Richard Petty Motorsports signed and closed a sale of its racing assets to an investment group comprised of Richard Petty, Medallion Financial Corp. and DGB Investments. Richard Petty will serve as Chairman and will be actively involved in overseeing day-to-day operations of the company. As previously announced, the team will operate the legendary #43 car driven by AJ Allmendinger and the #9 car driven by Marcos Ambrose. "Today is a great day for me, my family, our fans and our wonderful sponsors. Ford, Stanley, Best Buy, Valvoline, Reynolds, Air Force, Super 8, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), WIX Filters and Menards have supported me through thick and thin and I thank them from the bottom of my heart," said Petty.
    Andrew Murstein, President of Medallion Financial, commented: "We could not be happier to be able to acquire these assets together. Richard is one of the greatest names, not only in NASCAR, but in all sports. His name and image are a world recognized brand with unlimited potential to grow and expand in racing. Ample working capital has been invested in the company to insure this great team and legend will not only continue to perform, but will thrive and be back in the winner's circle."
    "George and Foster Gillett deserve a great deal of credit for running a successful race team," commented Petty. "They made a significant investment into the business and helped get back into Victory Lane. Going forward, we have put together an all-star ownership team consisting of myself, Medallion, and VeriFone CEO Doug Bergeron."
    Medallion Financial, a publicly traded investment company, has invested over $3 billion in companies since its IPO in 1996 and its board members include such notables as former New York Governor Mario Cuomo, former Connecticut Governor and Senator Lowell Weicker, and another "King" of his sport, Hank Aaron. The Murstein family is the largest shareholder in Medallion, owning approximately 20 percent.
    DGB Investments is an investment vehicle of Canadian-born investor Douglas G. Bergeron, CEO of VeriFone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY), San Jose, Calif. In 2001, Bergeron and DGB participated in the acquisition of VeriFone Systems from Hewlett-Packard in a transaction valued at $50 million. Today, VeriFone's market value exceeds $3 billion dollars and Bergeron remains CEO and one of the largest individual shareholders.
    Douglas Bergeron commented, "With Richard Petty's unmatched name and reputation in the motorsports industry, I know this investment is well-timed to succeed. We are going to help put Richard Petty Motorsports back in Victory Lane." Richard Petty concluded, "Our partnership with Andy Murstein and Doug Bergeron will help take us to a whole new level and I could not be more excited about our future."(RPM PR)(11-29-2010)

  • MORE: RPM will operate as a two-car organization with AJ Allmendinger in the famed #43 that Petty drove to 198 [of 200] wins and seven championships and Marcos Ambrose in the #9. Sources said rights to the owner's points for the #98 driven by Paul Menard are moving to Menard at Richard Childress Racing [#27 Chevy] and the points from the #19 driven by Elliott Sadler are expected to go to the #21 owned by the Wood Brothers. Andrew Murstein, the president of Medallion Financial, said he agreed to get involved only if Petty made a substantial commitment along with his company and DGB. While he couldn't divulge details due to a confidentiality agreement, Murstein said all three parties invested millions of dollars. Murstein said the more than $100 million of debt on RPM operations has been paid off. "A fresh start for Petty coming in with no debt,'' he said. The sale of RPM's racing assets to Medallion Financial and DGB Investments not only takes Gillett out of ownership but also Ray Evernham, who remained a minority owner after selling what was Evernham Motorsports to Gillett in 2007.(ESPN)
    Ford Statement: Statement from Jamie Allison, Director, Ford North America Motorsports, on Richard Petty Motorsports: "We're elated that Richard Petty has been able to complete this very complex task of restructuring Richard Petty Motorsports. Everyone knows that The King is a motorsports icon and to have him part of the Ford Racing family is something we cherish. We're also excited about moving forward with Andy Murstein and Doug Bergeron, two men whose knowledge and understanding of what it takes to be successful will serve RPM well in the future. I am extending a personal welcome to Andy and Doug from all of us at Ford. Now, we can concentrate on the task at hand, which is getting AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose the resources they need to win races and make the Chase in 2011."(Ford Racing)(11-29-2010)

  • Petty says RPM will compete in 2011: Stopping short of saying he has financial investors to keep his Sprint Cup organization afloat, Richard Petty said Saturday that Richard Petty Motorsports will compete in 2011. This came a week after the minority owner of RPM said he was in limbo for next year. Employees at RPM will get an indication Monday morning of how the company will move forward. According to a memo, a mandatory 8:00am/et meeting has been called, with instructions for no one to come to work before then. "We're going to make it," Petty said. "That's all I can say now." A source in the Cup garage said RPM, in order to restructure its financial situation, may have to shut its doors for at least a day, release most employees, then re-open. Petty would not confirm that, saying only "nothing's off the table." Regardless, major layoffs will occur as RPM will shrink from four cars to two after this season, with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose the only drivers under contract. Petty would not confirm he has found investors to make it, but several sources in the Cup garage said the pieces appear in place. Ford Racing officials met with Petty for a briefing Saturday. Afterward, Ford spokesman Kevin Kennedy said: "It was a good meeting. We're confident it will get worked out.'' Edsel Ford II, a member of Ford's board of directors, said keeping RPM in the fold is paramount. "We've done everything we can,'' he said. "Quite frankly, a lot of their suppliers have done the same."(ESPN)(11-21-2010)

  • Evernham no longer legally bound to RPM: Famed crew chief and ESPN analyst Ray Evernham is free to return to the competition side of the Sprint Cup Series. Evernham said Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway that he no longer is legally bound to the exclusivity deal at financially strapped Richard Petty Motorsports that kept him from entertaining offers from other organizations. He said he will entertain offers of being a consultant, making it clear he does not want to return full-time. "Ray Evernham, for the first time coming into the final race of a NASCAR season, does not have a complete direction for next year,'' Evernham said. "Obviously, I have been buried under a mire of legal paperwork, caught up in something I don't really want to be involved in. But it is what it is. I'm probably as apprehensive or a little bit nervous about my future as Ray Evernham has been. I am free and clear according to my people now. Basically, every contract I've had has been breached in every shape or form.'' Evernham sold majority interest in Evernham Motorsports in 2007 to George Gillett. That organization later merged with Petty Enterprises to become Richard Petty Motorsports, but it kept Evernham in the loop as a consultant and would not allow him to work with other teams. Evernham said he has not brought legal action against Gillett for outstanding money owed him in the original transaction, but he has hired attorneys that have plans in place to do so, if necessary. "Honestly, the thing before you file a lawsuit, you have to make sure there is something to get,'' he said. Evernham isn't sure whether he'll remain with ESPN in 2011 or be with a race organization, or both. There has been speculation that he could return to Hendrick Motorsports, where he helped Jeff Gordon win three of his four titles and help turn around the struggling Dale Earnhardt Jr. "I love my ESPN job and the people I work with,'' Evernham said. "So we're talking about that. We haven't talked about specifics. I haven't made any decisions because I haven't had enough time to talk about it.''(ESPN.com)(11-20-2010)

  • Gillett at Homestead, refuses to talk: Foster Gillett appeared at a NASCAR track for the first time since financial problems began consuming his team. As he climbed from the top of the #19 Richard Petty Motorsports hauler, Gillett, the managing partner of the company his father, George Gillett, purchased in August 2007, refused to answer questions that have been on the minds of many  from suppliers to whom RPM owes money to drivers who want to know what their situations are for next year. When asked where have you been, Gillett refused to answer. When asked if his family still had majority interest of Richard Petty Motorsports, Gillett refused to answer.
    The latest scenario in the garage has RPM closing the doors on Monday and reopening under a newly founded company with two teams  the #43 and #9  and the ability to rehire select employees from the existing rosters and some fresh faces. A.J. Allmendinger is signed to drive the #43, and Marcos Ambrose will take over the #9. Stanley, which is currently the sponsor on the #19 of Elliott Sadler, has signed on to return next year. Best Buy, the primary sponsor of the #43, has not yet.
    RPM has three teams in the top 25 in the points standings, but sources say that #98-Paul Menard, who is joining Richard Childress Racing in 2011 [running the #27 at RCR], has commandeered his points for next year. That means his Childress team will be exempt from having to qualify for the first six events next year.(in part from FoxSports)(11-19-2010)

  • RPM on road to Homestead: After a brief delay Wednesday at Roush Fenway Racing, which supplies Richard Petty Motorsports with its NASCAR Sprint Cup cars, the team is on the road to Homestead-Miami Speedway. The organization has faced financial struggles in recent weeks and was delayed transporting its cars from the race at Texas to last week's race at Phoenix International Raceway because of those (FoxSports)(11-18-2010)

  • If Allmendinger wins 42 fans win a car; special scheme 'the elf': AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #43 Insignia/Best Buy Ford Fusion, will have the chance to win an all-new Ford Fiesta for 42 race fans on Sunday if he can earn his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory in the Ford 400. This weekend is the culmination of Ford's 43 Fiestas promotion, which also included Richard Petty and rally driver Ken Block. Allmendinger talked about his feelings heading into Ford Championship Weekend (Ford Racing). Allmendinger will run a 'Kenneth the Blue Elf' scheme at Homestead this weekend. Best Buy, which already announced that it will offer tech support through New Years- including on Christmas Day- has gotten the point across with a new 30-second commercial starring a cartoon elf. In the ad, Best Buy uniform-clad Kenneth the Blue Elf is asked by Santa to give a pep talk to the other elves heading into Christmas, see an inage of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(PettyFans)(11-17-2010)

  • Edwards wins with FR9 Engine, will run all races in 2011: Carl Edwards' Ford Fusion has been on an impressive winning streak, earning front row starting positions and capturing the win in the last two Nationwide Series races. Edward's also qualified on the pole during this week's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway and swept the weekend by winning the Kobalt Tools 500. Edwards drives the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion powered by Roush Yates' new FR9 engine. The FR9 is the first Ford purpose-built race engine ever engineered and produced at Roush Yates Engines in Mooresville, NC. The new Ford engine has been integrated slowly into the Sprint Cup Series throughout the second half of the 2010 season with help from Roush Fenway Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports' cars racing the engine intermittently. It has been a remarkable learning period for the FR9, with a total of 5 poles and 3 wins, including Edwards' win this weekend that required both horsepower and efficient fuel mileage to beat Championship contenders Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. "The new FR9 engine that Ford helped us with certainly was a factor today," said Jack Roush, owner of Roush Fenway Racing. "The fact that we were able to save gas and still have enough speed to maintain position on the race track was all very good. I'm thrilled to be in Victory Lane this weekend." Even though a Championship is out of reach for Ford this year, the FR9 engine has shown an impressive increase in performance and reliability throughout the second half of the 2010 Sprint Cup season. These improvements bring enthusiasm to the Ford Racing and Roush Yates Engines camps, as they plan to run the FR9 in all Ford cars for the full 2011 Sprint Cup Season.
    "I'm excited to be running the FR9 in all Fords for the entire 2011 Sprint Cup Season and soon to come for the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series," said Doug Yates, CEO of Roush Yates Engines. "Carl's win at Phoenix is just another testament to the power Roush Yates' FR9 engine is capable of. Everyone at the engine shop has been working hard to get this engine just right, and we are extremely proud of Roush Fenway Racing and their accomplishments with it this year. I look forward to watching the FR9 race at Ford Championship weekend next week at Homestead, as well as the 2011 Sprint Cup Season."(Roush Yates Engines)(11-15-2010)

  • RPM at Phoenix, plan on being at Homestead: While the four Richard Petty Motorsports teams were prepping cars for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday morning, the regular chain of command was nowhere to be found. Robbie Loomis, executive director of racing operations, was scheduled in before qualifying. Sammy Johns, director of operations was preparing to run a half-Ironman in the Beach to Battleship Triathalon in Wilmington, N.C. In the lounge of the #43 transporter was Dr. Eric Warren, former technical director of Evernham Motorsports who revised his role at RPM specializing in simulation projects, who jokingly deferred responsibility to Mike Shiplett, crew chief of the #43 team. "We're here to sit on the pole and win the race," Shiplett said, sounding like Loomis. Shiplett is encouraged about this weekend's activities after his driver, AJ Allmendinger, won the pole at Phoenix in April and finished 15th. And since Allmendinger participated in the Goodyear tire test at Homestead in September, Shiplett feels the team will be strong in the season finale next weekend. "I think he'll be good there," Shiplett said. "He really liked the new tires  thought they had more grip and were able to fall off. When you have speed and fall off that makes for great racing. That puts the racing back in the driver's hands." As far as whether RPM will have cars for next week, Shilplett says everything is right on schedule. "We have our Homestead cars ready and are expecting delivery on the engines today," Shiplett said. "We'll put the engines in on Monday, chassis dyno the cars on Tuesday, Wednesday we'll do the final scales and the cars will be ready to go to Homestead (FoxSports)(11-13-2010)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports on hold UPDATE: The situation at Richard Petty Motorsports remains tenuous at best, despite reports to the contrary. Last week team officials said everything was set for this weekend's Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway as well as the season finale the following week. But five truck drivers remained in Fort Worth at Texas Motor Speedway waiting for the call as to whether they were heading west to the next race or back to the shop in the east as of Tuesday evening. The organization has been in limbo as team owner George Gillett is still reeling from the financial hit he took Oct. 15 when the English soccer team he co-owned -- Liverpool Football Club -- was taken over.
    RPM had planned to run two cars next season with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose. However, until money can be secured to settle the current debts at RPM, it's uncertain how much longer the organization will be around. Sources told FOXSports.com that Richard Petty, the team's namesake, was in talks with Andrew Murstein, President of Medallion Financial Group, in a bid to gain financial control of the company from Gillett.
    As a backup plan for Paul Menard, who has already announced that he will leave RPM to drive for Richard Childress Racing in 2011, the #10 Stavola Labonte Racing Chevy stayed within two hours of Texas Motor Speedway in case it needs to turn around and head to Phoenix for Menard's use. Stavola Labonte Racing has a technical alliance with RCR.(FoxSports)(11-10-2010)
    UPDATE: Eight Richard Petty Motorsports Fords scheduled to compete this weekend at Phoenix international Raceway remain at Texas Motor Speedway today, waiting to be paid for so they can be released to travel to PIR. Reliable sources tell Sirius Speedway that as of 1:00 pm/et today, the cars sit on an unmarked, white Roush Fenway Racing transporter in a parking lot at Texas Motor Speedway. Alongside sit the respective Richard Petty Motorsports transporters, empty and waiting for permission to load the cars and begin their drive from Fort Worth to Avondale, Arizona.
    "The plan was to take RPM's Phoenix cars to Texas and hold them there until the check cleared," said a source close to the situation, speaking on the condition on anonymity. "The money was supposed to be there Monday, but that didn't happen. It didn't happen again yesterday, and everyone's still there today, on hold. Everyone knew this was going to happen before they left for Texas. Our hands are tied and there's nothing we can do but wait."
    A representative for Richard Petty Motorsports said early this afternoon, "(The transporters) are headed to Phoenix. We're all scheduled to leave as planned tomorrow morning. Nothing has changed." Federal regulations allow transporter drivers to drive for only 10 hours before getting 10 hours of rest. It is approximately 18 hours from Texas to Phoenix, and teams are required to sign in at the track at 7:45 am/et (5:45 am local) on Friday.
    Richard Petty Motorsports employees have been required to work on their cars at Roush Fenway Racing in recent weeks, since Roush will not release the cars until they are paid for. RPM faces other financial obligations in the near future. The team is scheduled to make winnings and retainer payments to each of its drivers on the 15th of this month.(Sirius Speedway)(11-10-2010)

  • RPM 'in limbo' in quest for backing beyond 2010: Richard Petty says he is closer than he was two weeks ago to finding a solution that will keep Richard Petty Motorsports alive. "What that something is I don't know yet," Petty said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. "We thought it was [done] last week. Last week we thought it was the week before. Still in limbo." Petty has been seeking investors to help regain majority control from George Gillett since it was reported two weeks ago that Gillett's financial difficulties that escalated from the recent sale of the Liverpool soccer club were putting his racing organization in jeopardy. The situation was so dire that there were concerns whether RPM would keep its doors open for the remainder of the Sprint Cup season. Robbie Loomis, vice president for competition, said Saturday that the organization had enough backing to finish the final three races -- at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedway. "As far as I know," Petty said. "The cars are here [and] ready to go to Phoenix." Petty said the outpouring of support to keep RPM on the track has been overwhelming. "There's been a lot of support to keep us running from all facets, from manufacturers and fans and NASCAR, even the competitors," Petty said. Among those who have offered help is former team owner Ray Evernham, who still has a minority interest in RPM after selling majority interest of what was then Evernham Motorsports to Gillett in 2007. "He called and said, 'What can I do?' " Petty said. "Right now, we don't know." Petty declined to comment on whether he would have majority control ultimately. "I don't know what we've got to do to make it work," he said. "Until we figure it out, can't do nothing."(ESPN)(11-8-2010)

  • RPM will finish out season with four cars: Richard Petty Motorsports has the financial backing to finish the season and is working toward running a two-car Sprint Cup car operation in 2011, vice president of competition of Robbie Loomis said on Saturday. "It's been amazing to me, the support from owners and drivers who have come up and been able to help keep us going ... past crew chiefs," Loomis said after the final Cup practice at Texas Motor Speedway leading up to Sunday's race. "People have really been supportive of helping us continue along and get to a better place." Among those helping RPM is former team owner and crew chief Ray Evernham, who still has a minority ownership stake in the team after selling what was then Evernham Motorsports to George Gillett in 2007. Gillett later merged with Petty Enterprises to form Richard Petty Motorsports. Gillett's recent financial difficulties surrounding the sale of the Liverpool soccer club left the racing team so strapped for money that two weeks ago there were questions of whether RPM could pay the bills necessary to finishing the season. Since then minority owner Richard Petty has been looking for investors to retake majority ownership from Gillett and keep the team afloat through the final race of this season. Loomis said the latter no longer is an issue. "Every car owner, every manufacturer has been behind us," he said. "Ford has been incredible in their ability to keep us healthy. Jack Roush and what his crowd has done has been amazing. For Richard it has been very rewarding to see everybody supporting us the way they have." Roush Fenway Racing supplies cars for RPM and Roush Yates Engines supplies engines. Roush said two weeks ago at Martinsville that RPM was up to date on its bills, but added there was at least one payment to be made before the season ended. Loomis said RPM is undecided with which crew members from the #19 team of Sadler and #98 team of Paul Menard will be retained. "We've definitely got some plans," he said. "The roster is already put together. ... Everyone knows we're a four-car team and working on laying out our plans to get to two cars. We've had a lot of talk about running a third car for the first five races with other interests. We've got the points for it."(ESPN)(11-7-2010)

  • Evernham to help Petty with RPM: Richard Petty Motorsports minority owner Ray Evernham confirmed today that Petty is assembling the financing necessary to bid for control of the troubled team, and said he will do whatever he can to ensure the success of that venture. Evernham told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody, "I'm going to do everything I can to help (Richard). The situation surrounding that team lately has been a... legal and financial nightmare. I don't have an interest in owning a piece of the team anymore, but if it comes down to helping Richard bridge a financial gap for the time being, I would absolutely do what it took to help him achieve his goal."
    Evernham expressed confidence that Petty will be able to field a full roster of four cars in the remaining races of the 2010 season. "(Richard) has a lot of people behind him," said Evernham. "He is doing the right thing for racing and doing his best to keep a lot of people employed." Despite still owning a minority stake in the team, Evernham said, "I don't get communication from George Gillett. I haven't spoken to him in months. All I know is that there are good things happening from the Richard Petty side of things. The #43 and Richard Petty need to be in NASCAR, both now and in the future. There are lots of people -- including me and in addition to me  who want to see him succeed."
    One of the team's drivers, Stanley Tools Ford driver Elliott Sadler, said news of Petty's involvement has helped calm fears among team employees about the future of the company. "I think people were more scared at Martinsville than they are now," said Sadler. "Richard Petty has gotten a lot more involved in the last couple of weeks and that has put people at ease. I'm confident that we're going to be here for the remainder of the season. Richard Petty deserves to be part of this sport. He's a good guy, and he's lots of fun to race for. It wouldn't seem right to be at the racetrack without seeing that cowboy hat and sunglasses."(Sirius Speedway)(11-3-2010)

  • Bud to remain on the #9: Budweiser will remain on the #9 Ford at Richard Petty Motorsports for the final three Sprint Cup events of the season, a team spokesman said on Tuesday. There was speculation the sponsor would not be on the car past last weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway after a report surfaced that Anheuser-Busch would not make its final payment to RPM with Kasey Kahne no longer in the car. RPM officials said Tuesday that Anheuser-Busch has paid through the end of the season, assuring the Bud logo will remain on the #9 car. "The Budweiser car is a fixture in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and we look forward to finishing out the season," an Anheuser-Busch spokesperson said. Aric Almirola will drive the #9 for the third straight race this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. He replaced Kahne, who was released to move to Red Bull Racing, where he will compete full-time next season. All four RPM cars are entered in Sunday's race at Texas. According to a member of the team's public relations department, it has been business as usual at RPM's shop in Concord, N.C. Meanwhile, minority owner Richard Petty continues to seek investors that would help him purchase controlling interest of RPM from financially-strapped owner George Gillett Jr. Gillett has not returned repeated phone calls from ESPN.com seeking comment (ESPN)(11-3-2010)

  • Petty still looking for control of RPM: Richard Petty continues to seek investors in a bid to purchase a controlling stake in the team that bears his name. In addition to Petty, at least one other group has expressed interest in making a bid for the financially troubled Richard Petty Motorsports team, but sources say Wachovia Bank -- lead lender for majority owner George Gillett and holder of a defaulted $90 note on the team -- is waiting for Petty to assemble his investor group. Petty's initial offer was said to be long on demands for operational control of the team, but short on cash.(Sirius Speedway)(11-2-2010)

  • Budweiser not making final payment to RPM? Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Budweiser has told Richard Petty Motorsports that the team will not receive the final installment of its 2010 sponsorship contract. Bud's contract called for Kasey Kahne to be the driver of the Budweiser Ford, and when Kahne left the team five races early to join Red Bull Racing, that contract became null and void. There has been no confirmation from either the team or Budweiser, and no word on what the final installment of that sponsorship would have been worth to the team.(Sirius Speedway)(10-29-2010)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports' director of competition Robbie Loomis expects the organization to stay status quo until the end of the season. Despite rumors of doom and gloom surrounding the organization - and the latest allegation that Budweiser will not fulfill its contractual obligations with the final payment on its sponsorship of the #9 entry - Loomis insists that RPM will field four cars throughout the remainder of the NASCAR season. When asked about the status of the #9 Ford, a spokesperson for Budweiser said, "Our policy is to not comment on contractual agreements." However, rumors of their early departure has been floating around for a week - ever since Kasey Kahne extricated himself from the car after Charlotte. RPM had planned to run two cars next season with AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose. However, until money can be secured to settle the current debts at RPM, it's uncertain what the lineup will look like. Multiple sources insist that Richard Petty will divest himself from majority owner George Gillett as early as next week. However, Loomis said he is in constant contact with the Gilletts and they will remain the owners of the company. This weekend on the competition side, Loomis and Sammy Johns, director of operations, are calling the shots.(Fox Sports)
    AND: Another source close to RPM said lenders had taken back the team from majority owner George Gillett and had approved a plan for Richard Petty to manage the team's day-to-day operations, but official team sources would neither confirm nor deny that, nor say who was currently running the team or if Gillett was gone.(SPEED)(10-30-2010)

  • RPM looking for Investors: UPDATE 2: George Gillett's financial difficulty following the sale of Liverpool FC has thrown the future of Richard Petty Motorsports into doubt and left the NASCAR team's owners and lenders searching for investors to keep the team afloat. The Gilletts and Pettys, which are two of the NASCAR team's principal owners, began an aggressive search for investors this month. RPM has hired the Gordian Group, a New York-based investment bank, to assist them in their search, while the syndicate of banks that lent Gillett more than $90 million to buy the team have been working with FTI Consulting, a global consultancy specializing in corporate finance, to find investors, sources said. A spokeswoman for RPM declined to comment. The search for funding for RPM follows a challenging financial year for Gillett. The team reportedly defaulted on its roughly $90 million loan last February, and Gillett, who owns as much as 70% of the team, has been unable to restructure it. Gillett was counting on the sale of his stake in Liverpool FC to assist him in funding the NASCAR team. But Liverpool sold two weeks ago for $475 million, a sum far less than Gillett and co-owner Tom Hicks expected and one that has put a heavy strain on Gillett's liquidity.
    The team was renamed Richard Petty Motorsports in 2009 after Gillett formed a partnership with Petty that gave the NASCAR great a roughly 4% stake in the team. The partnership followed the closure of Petty Enterprises. RPM plans to run two cars next season after running four this year. Only one of the 2011 cars, the #9 Stanley Tools Ford to be driven by Marcos Ambrose, is sponsored. The team remains in negotiations with Best Buy about extending its sponsorship of the #43 car driven by AJ Allmendinger.(full article at the Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal)(10-26-2010)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports majority owner George Gillett, Jr., made a major move to shore-up the financial standing of the team Tuesday. His Booth Creek Resort Properties LLC sold its stock in the companies that operate the Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Resort to Vail Resorts Tuesday for $63 million. Gillett reportedly owes approximately $70 million to Wachovia Bank from his purchase of the team formerly known as Evernham Motorsports. It is also believed that he continues to make payments to Evernham for the team, and Evernham told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that Gillett is current in his payments. The former car owner and championship-winning crewchief declined to discuss the inner workings of the team, beyond confirming that he receives regular updates on RPM's finances. Informed sources say that without the infusion of capital, RPM would not have been able to compete at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, despite the return of the team's Talladega chassis and engines by Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Racing Engines late last week. There is no word on whether today's $63 million cash infusion will allow RPM to compete for the remainder of the 2010 season, or on how it might impact Richard Petty's attempt to secure financing for a purchase of Gillett's ownership stake.(Sirius Speedway)(10-27-2010)
    UPDATE 2: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that the sale of a Lake Tahoe Ski Resort by Richard Petty Motorsports majority owner George Gillett this week apparently brought far less to the team's financial coffers than initially believed. Gillett's Booth Creek Ski Holdings, Inc., sold its stock in the companies that operate the Northstar-at-Tahoe Ski Resort to Vail Resorts Tuesday for a reported $63 million. However, a search of public records shows that Northstar-at-Tahoe actually sold for $80 million in November of 2007 to CNL Lifestyle Properties, a real estate investment trust. CNL's company prospectus outlines terms of the sale, and makes it clear that since late 2007, Gillett's company has only managed the resort on their behalf, and not owned it. Industry sources say those management rights likely sold for far less than the claimed $64 million. Further, they say that Gillett personally owns only 2% of Booth Creek Ski Holdings, with his wife accounting for an additional 2%. Thus, Gillett would have received very little cash from Tuesday's sale. Richard Petty Motorsports confirmed late yesterday that it will field all four cars this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway for drivers AJ Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler, Paul Menard and Aric Almirola. Today's news raises new concerns, however, over the team's long-term viability.(Sirius Speedway)(10-28-2010)

  • RPM will have all four cars at Talladega: Richard Petty Motorsports will field all four of its cars at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend, a team spokesman confirmed Wednesday afternoon. The team's presence at the Amp Energy Juice 500 this weekend was in question as employees were told last week that their jobs weren't guaranteed through the end of the year and that last week's race at Martinsville might be their last. Team co-owner Richard Petty, whom the SportsBusiness Journal said owns just 4 percent of the team, is working to take over control of the organization from George Gillett, according to sources familiar with the situation. Gillett, who had taken a $90 million loan to purchase the team from Ray Evernham in 2007 and then merged the organization with Petty Enterprises and Yates Racing in the last two years, has a majority ownership in the organization. Ray Evernham and Boston Ventures also have a minority interest.(Sporting News)(10-27-2010)

  • RPM to Toyota? Could there be a Toyota in the King's court? Multiple sources have confirmed to FOXSports.com that Richard Petty met with principals from Toyota and Michael Waltrip Racing at Martinsville on Sunday and the meetings continued through Monday in Charlotte. In the past week, Petty has scrambled to salvage what is left of his brand and the #43. This latest development, however, doesn't appear to involve Petty's current partner George Gillett, the majority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. Currently, RPM fields four Fords in the Sprint Cup Series. [George] Gillett is named as the owner of record on the #s 9, 19 and 98. Petty's name is on the #43. The only sponsor signed for RPM in 2011 is Stanley Tools, a deal rumored to be worth $10 million and expected to be aligned with driver Marcos Ambrose. Gillett and Petty turned to Toyota once before in the summer of 2009, but the automaker could not match the eight-figure financial support that RPM had previously received as a factory-backed Dodge organization. RPM began the transition to Ford with select races at the end of the 2009 season.(Fox Sports)(10-27-2010)

  • The King says he is staying in the sport; could buy the team? Richard Petty doesn't plan to let financial woes run him out of the Sprint Cup series. "I've been here since 1949 and I'm going to be here till they run me off," the minority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports said on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Petty would not comment on whether he is attempting to put together investors to purchase majority interest from George Gillett, whose legal dispute over the sale of the Liverpool soccer team has impacted the finances of the racing organization to the point there was concern it wouldn't be able to compete past this weekend. But Roush Fenway Racing owner Jack Roush, whose organization leases cars and engines to RPM, told ESPN.com that Petty was attempting to purchase controlling interest of the team. "I haven't got anything to tell you except speculation on somebody else's part and my part and that ain't going to get anybody anywhere," Petty said from the back of the #9 hauler. "When we do get all of it together we'll get it together.''(ESPN)(10-24-2010)

  • Loomis discusses RPM's plans: Richard Petty Motorsports is looking forward to finishing this season strong and already is making plans for 2011. Robbie Loomis, the director of competition for RPM, answered questions at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday amid speculation that the organization is facing an uncertain future. The team and driver Kasey Kahne parted ways earlier this week, and Loomis said he thinks the sudden departure of the driver has fueled talk about the team's stability.
    "Like I said before, there's been a lot of speculation about a lot of things," Loomis said before practice while behind the team's #43 hauler. "There always has been in this sport, but what gives me confidence is that we've always had the ability to move forward." Loomis says the team will be at Talladega next weekend, but he did not say who will be driving the car. Aric Almirola is taking Kahne's place in the #9 Ford this weekend. "Most of the things we've been working on has been our models for 2011 and what our race teams look like moving forward," he said. The team is planning to field two cars in 2011, with A.J. Allmendinger staying in the #43 and Marcos Ambrose driving the other car [supposedly the #9].
    RPM is co-owned by George Gillett Jr. and seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty. Questions about the team's financial health have followed it for almost two years and Gillett was recently ousted as a co-owner of Premier League soccer club Liverpool. Loomis said Gillett still owns RPM, and declined to comment on speculation that Petty is trying to round up investors that would allow him more control of the organization. "There are a lot of people working collectively together to make this thing more successful as we go forward in the future," he said. Loomis said Petty might make it to the track Sunday, but that he's been spending most of his time with his ailing wife, Lynda.(Associated Press)(10-23-2010)

  • Allmendinger / Ambrose talks about RPM: from a Frontstretch interview by Jay W. Pennell with #43-Allmendinger and #47-Ambrose about the Richard Petty Motorpsorts situation:
    Jay W. Pennell, Frontstretch.com: I asked you last week about your situation at RPM and you described it by saying, "at least there's light at the end of the tunnel. It's not like there's a train coming back at you to hit you." Do you still feel that way now?
    Allmendinger: "I feel like the train is coming back now.Honestly, I'm not exactly sure what's happening. I don't have any hardcore answers about what's going on inside the team. There are certain people that need to answer those questions. For me, all I can do is focus on driving the race car. Can't fix anything else. I feel bad for my guys that work so hard, my guys here at the race track, back at the shop, my guys that get told things like we might not be going to Talladega  which we are, we got the cars and the motors. They're the ones that work really hard and bust their butts. All I can do is take care of it as best I can, just try to keep us focused on coming to the race track. We can't fix what's going on and I don't know the true answers. We still have fast race cars. We're still working hard. The last couple of weeks we've had a couple of setbacks when it comes to engine problems during the race, but we've been running well, so that's all we can focus on."
    Pennell: Are you worried about your situation for next season?
    Allmendinger: "I'd be freaking lying to your face if I said, 'It's all good."
    Pennell: What about Talladega or Texas? Are you worried about making it to those races?
    Allmendinger: "I can't worry about it, honestly. If I let that take away from this weekend, then it doesn't really matter. If I go out there and suck it's kind of irrelevant when it comes to anything. There's definitely question. I think (we'll be at) Talladega, for sure, and I think we're getting our stuff together for Texas and things like that, but there's nothing set in concrete. For me, it's working hard at the race track and making sure we're running well. To me you've always got to look at the worst case scenario, and if it's the worst case scenario and we have to go work on other stuff and make that happen. That's why I pay Tara Ragan for and my management to work on that so I can worry about the race car."
    Marcos Ambrose, moving to RPM in 2011: "I believe in the program over there (at RPM). I made the choice to commit to them because I believe it is a great fit for me. I wish them the best of luck to get themselves sorted out and back on the right path. I'm not involved in the decision making (at RPM). All I can do is voice my commitment to them. I believe the choices I made were right, I still do. I'm looking forward to the opportunity, they have a great program with assistance from Roush and the program's a great place. With Stanley coming on board supporting it, it's a great place for me to be. I was joking about it when we ran well in Richmond, but I believe in the program over there and want the chance to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports."(Frontstretch.com)(10-23-2010)

  • RPM owes millions UPDATE none to Kahne: More details are being revealed concerning the current financial situation at Richard Petty Motorsports, including approximately $12 million owed to the team's chassis and engine suppliers and former driver Kasey Kahne. Speaking on the condition on anonymity, a source with knowledge of the situation told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that RPM had fallen $9-10 million behind in its payments to Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Racing Engines for race cars, engines and rear gear assemblies. That debt prompted Roush to repossess the team's Talladega cars, engines and gears earlier this week, but the cars were returned to RPM late Thursday morning after a partial payment was made. The engines reportedly remain in the possession of Roush Yates Racing Engines, awaiting an additional payment.
    The same source revealed that Kahne is owed between $1 million and $1.25 million by RPM, and that those past-due paychecks played a major role in his criticism of the team following last Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As of mid-afternoon Thursday, Kahne had not received a signed copy of his release from RPM, potentially compromising his ability to compete for Red Bull Racing this weekend at Martinsville. However, legal experts tell Sirius Speedway that Wednesday's press release from RPM announcing Kahne's release was legally binding, and will allow Kahne to drive for Red Bull this weekend without violating his contract with RPM. A second source within Richard Petty Motorsports confirmed that a series of high-level meetings were held throughout the day Thursday in an attempt to ensure that the team will be able to compete past next weekend's race at Talldega Superspeedway.(Sirius Speedway)(10-22-2010)
    UPDATE - Kahne is paid: Kahne said RPM has met all its financial responsibilities to him, dismissing rumors that the decision to split early made sense for both sides. Red Bull Racing will pay Kahne's salary the rest of the season. Kahne said talks about a split began on Monday, two days after the brakes failed on his car for the second time in three races (and third time this season), leaving the driver frustrated. Kahne defended his decision not to return to the race after repairs were made, saying he was sick and unable to continue. He was offended that an RPM official questioned his commitment, saying he needed to do his part to help the team. "Anybody that questions my commitment doesn't know me very well,'' Kahne said. "I don't know if there is anybody out there that puts as much into it as I do throughout the week. I was sick to my stomach and it was time for me to call it a day. I'm happy I did it and ready to get on with this weekend.'' Kahne said the decision to split was not based on speculation that financial difficulties concerning RPM. He said he wished the team well the rest of the season. Kahne said he has agreed to maintain his commitments to sponsor Budweiser for the remainder of the season, including all meet and greets. He added this was not the way he wanted to end his relationship with Budweiser or RPM, but reiterated it was best for all parties.(ESPN)(10-22-2010)

  • RPM may not run past Martinsville UPDATE 3: The house of cards is finally falling for George Gillett's Richard Petty Motorsports. The assembly line from Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates engines has stopped running to RPM. Engines have been picked up, cars have been repossessed, and sources on both sides -- RPM and RFR -- say no cars will be delivered beyond Martinsville this weekend. On Thursday morning, crewmen at RPM were told they may not have jobs after the race at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. Neither Petty team CEO Foster Gillett nor team Vice President Robbie Loomis could be reached for comment. RPM currently fields four cars in the Sprint Cup Series -- the #9, #19, #43 and #98. Kasey Kahne was released from his contract as of Wednesday night and is expected to drive for Red Bull Racing for the remainder of the year and in 2011. Elliott Sadler is expected to drive for Kevin Harvick Inc. next year. Paul Menard signed a multi-year deal to drive for Richard Childress Racing starting next year. His current crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe will continue his duties at RCR [supposedly Labbe will stay at RPM thru 2011....if they still exist]. AJ Allmendinger re-signed a multiyear deal to drive the #43 Ford this summer. Allmendinger is currently 20th in the point standings. Marcos Ambrose was signed to drive the #19 [actually the #9 car, not the #19] Ford in August. Ambrose currently drives for JTG/Daugherty Racing and is 26th in the point standings.(Fox Sports)(10-21-2010)
    UPDATE: The story has now been updated to include: "Sources tell FOXSports.com that the Talladega cars were returned after 11:00 am/et Thursday, but they do not have engines or gears yet."(10-21-2010)
    UPDATE 2: Multiple sources confirmed to SPEED.com on Thursday that Roush Fenway Racing, which builds RPM's cars, briefly repossessed RPM's Talladega cars and engines because of non-payment. Roush Fenway Racing allowed RPM to take the cars back Thursday morning, sources told SPEED.com. Additionally, sources said that one of the reasons Kahne was released from the team is that RPM owed him a substantial amount of back salary. A team spokesperson contacted Thursday afternoon declined to say whether or not Kahne was owed money, Roush Fenway Racing was owed money, when team owner George Gillett would publicly discuss his team's situation or what RPM's plans were beyond this weekend. "There's just nothing much to comment on right now," said Tiffany Breaux of Richard Petty Motorsports.(SPEED)(10-21-2010)
    UPDATE 3: Sources tell Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that a number of Richard Petty Motorsports employees who had planned to join Kasey Kahne at Red Bull Racing next year were told my management today that their services are no longer required, effective immediately.(10-21-2010)

  • Wix Filters scheme on the #43: The #43 Ford Fusion will showcase the familiar Petty Blue color this weekend as WIX Filters hops on board the car to serve as primary sponsor. WIX Filter's history in racing started with NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty, who began using the product to protect his stock car engines in 1967. WIX partnered with Petty to win his second NASCAR championship that season, and WIX filtration technology went on to help him win five more throughout his illustrious career.(RPM), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2010)

  • RPM owner Gillett, fighting takeover of soccer club: Richard Petty Motorsports majority owner George Gillett has fired the Board of Directors of his Liverpool soccer club in an attempt to derail a takeover of the club by New England Sports Ventures, owners of the Boston Red Sox. The board was scheduled to meet yesterday to consider bids from two potential buyers, but Gillett and co-owner Tom Hicks filed an injunction claiming the board was not acting in their best interest by entertaining those offers. The injunction sought to replace board chairman Martin Broughton and directors Christian Purslow and Ian Ayre with Hicks' son, Mack Hicks, and Lori Kay McCutcheon, giving Gillett and Tom Hicks majority control of the club. New England Sports Ventures is controlled by John W. Henry [part owner of Roush Fenway Racing] and a group of partners that includes the New York Times Company and television producer Tom Werner. They purchased the Red Sox in 2002 and a subsidiary of NESV  Fenway Sports Group -- purchased a 50% ownership stake in what is now Roush Fenway Racing in February of 2007. How the sale will impact RPM, which recently restructured a $90 million loan agreement, is not immediately clear.(in part from Sirius Speedway see other articles if interested at scenedaily.com and guardian.co.uk)(10-6-2010)

  • RPM not ruling out 3rd team next year: It's a given that Richard Petty Motorsports will field at least two teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2011, but team officials said this past weekend that it's possible that the organization could field a third team as well. RPM currently fields four Cup teams for drivers #43-AJ Allmendinger, #9-Kasey Kahne, #98-Paul Menard and #19-Elliott Sadler. Kahne is scheduled to drive for Red Bull Racing next season while Menard is slated to join Richard Childress Racing; Sadler has said he isn't expected to return to the organization's #19 team. Team co-owner Richard Petty hasn't ruled out the possibility of a third team. "We've talked to a lot of people about a third car, but our main deal is make sure we've got two really good cars, and then we try to do a third deal," Petty said. "We've got until the end of the year [to make a decision]. If we're downgrading from four teams to three teams, we've still got plenty of everything it would take to run that third car. It wouldn't be like just having two, and then all of a sudden we've got to go out and get cars, people and trucks and all the equipment to run the third car. We can wait a pretty [long time], I think, as far as being able to get cars ready."(Scene Daily)(9-27-2010)

  • Drivers visiting Walter Reed: NASCAR's annual visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center is set for Thursday, with a total of 10 drivers scheduled to attend along with NASCAR President Mike Helton. Drivers expected to visit include #43-AJ Allmendinger, #16-Greg Biffle, #2-Kurt Busch, #38-David Gilliland,#17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Brad Keselowski, #98-Paul Menard, #87-Joe Nemechek, #39-Ryan Newman and #82-Scott Speed. Show cars on display are expected to be #39 U.S. ARMY Chevy, #88 National Guard Chevy, #99 Scotts Ford, #2 Miller Lite Dodge, #11 FedEx Toyota, #24 National Guard Chevy, #10 Sprint show car and a NASCAR/Walter Reed Army Medical Center car.(NASCAR)(9-22-2010)

  • NHMS & RPM give tickets to employee's of Hartford Distributor: New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Richard Petty Motorsports are teaming up to make this weekend a little brighter for the employees impacted by the Hartford Distributor tragedy, by sending 250 tickets for all employees to the Sylvania 300 and four Richard Petty Motorsports NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers to the facility Thursday morning. One of the victims, Doug Scruton, had dreams of retiring in New Hampshire before the tragedy occurred. Scruton, 56 had worked for the company for 30 years and was months away from retirement in the White Mountains. Jerry Gappens, executive vice president and general manager of New Hampshire Motor Speedway was more than willing to donate the tickets to the employees and families. "I think it is just such a positive thing to give these folks the opportunity to come out to the speedway and enjoy themselves this weekend with some exciting NASCAR racing," said Gappens. "It was just the right thing to do." The Richard Petty Motorsports haulers will make a pit stop on their way to the speedway tomorrow at 8:00 am. The employees will have the opportunity to tour and visit with the four haulers and teams.(NHMS)(9-16-2010)

  • Petty Blue to be released: Petty Blue is the story of the Petty family's dramatic rise to the top of a sport, told in their own words. Through vintage film, dynamic race footage, archival photos, and candid conversations, relive Lee becoming the face of NASCAR in its earliest years, his son Richard "The King" winning a staggering 200 races, The movie, which is an engrossing and moving documentary about the life and times of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and his extraordinary family, will be released on DVD September 21, 2010 from Paramount Home Entertainment. Petty Blue will make its cable debut on CMT on October 8th. Produced by NASCAR Media Group and CMT Films and narrated by Academy Award winner Kevin Costner, Petty Blue takes fans beyond the track to examine the Pettys' individual accomplishments, their influences on the sport and the personal tragedies that shaped them into the racing icons they are today. Petty Blue, which refers to the famously distinctive color of Richard Petty's #43 racecar, is an inspirational story of dedication, perseverance and family tradition. The Petty Blue DVD is packed full of special features including deleted scenes, bonus interviews with NASCAR notables such as David Pearson, Bobby Allison, Franklin Graham and Robbie Loomis, archival footage and interviews from the 1960s, Kevin Costner's "Backyard" music video and more. A must-own DVD for any sports fan, Petty Blue will be available in stores nationwide for the suggested retail price of $19.99. This is the third project CMT Films and NASCAR Media Group have partnered on, having previously produced the critically-acclaimed and Emmy Award-nominated Dale, which presented an unparalleled examination of the story of Dale Earnhardt, as well as The Ride of Their Lives, the most comprehensive look at the sport since its inception. More info at CMT.(9-10-2010)

  • The King to be inducted into High School Hall of Fame MORE: been told that on Friday, August 27th, Richard Petty, the all-time winningest driver in Sprint Cup Series history, will be inducted into the Randleman High School Athletic Hall of Fame during halftime of the Tigers football game. The Randleman High School Athletic Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving the colorful tradition of high school athletics in Randleman. The Hall of Fame seeks to highlight the past in order to insure a promising future for Randleman High School Athletics. Hall of Fame inductees shall receive an appropriate plaque and ring furnished by the Randleman High School Athletic department and shall be formally inducted at the first home football game. Space in the Randleman High School main lobby shall be set aside to commemorate the inductees.(8-26-2010)
    MORE: Randleman High School will forever honor five names as its inaugural Hall of Fame class. "Since 1904, Randleman High School has been blessed with a rich athletic heritage. It would be a shame to let this important part of RHS die and never be remembered," said RHS Hall of Fame committee chairman Terry Linthicum, who has been a part of the project which started early this year and will become reality Friday night. "Also, our present athletes need role models and inspirations to reach a higher standard." Charles Gregory, Joe Brookshire, Richard Petty, Don Rich and Shelly Whitaker Barnes will be the first to enter the hall when induction ceremonies formally take place Friday night during halftime of the Tigers' football home-opener against Central Davidson at Charles R. Gregory Stadium.
    Richard Petty is arguably Randleman's most famous alum. While not sporting such acclaimed athletic career bestowed with honors as his classmates, the three-sport athlete has maintained his steadfast commitment to his alma mater to this day. And as NASCAR's still-reigning winningest driver since his retirement from racing in 1992, the King is still the benchmark for success, character and philanthropy in sports and life.
    Earlier this year, a Hall of Fame committee was formed based on the knowledge of Randleman High School athletics, their years attending RHS  involving different decades  and dedication to the school. A member was named from each decade, beginning with the 1950s and four members were nominated.(Courier-Tribune)(8-27-2010)

  • Two cars for RPM in 2010 and: [Richard] Petty said Tuesday that the main focus at Richard Petty Motorsports will be on two cars next year. The organization is running four teams this season, but Kasey Kahne is leaving to join Red Bull Racing next year before heading off to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. Also, Paul Menard leaves after this season to join Richard Childress Racing. Richard Petty Motorsports signed #43-AJ Allmendinger to a multi-year contract extension and added Marcos Ambrose [in the #9 Ford] to its lineup for next season. Petty said the organization could add another car "if something falls out of the sky, then naturally we're open.''(Roanoke Times), also Richard Petty says team has left it up to #9 crew chief Kenny Francis on if he returns and that they expect Best Buy back (all but contract done).(Dustin Long Twitter)(8-25-2010)

  • Allmendinger staying at RPM: UPDATE: Free-agent Sprint Cup Series driver #43-AJ Allmendinger will stay put after signing a contract extension with Richard Petty Motorsports, Sporting News has learned. The contract, signed Tuesday, is a multiyear deal, according to sources close to the situation. The team is optimistic about the prospect of re-signing Allmendinger's sponsor, Best Buy, though sponsorship was not settled before Tuesday's contract signing. A formal announcement will take place Friday at Watkins Glen International. The driver of the #43 RPM Ford is 22nd in the series standings. Now that Allmendinger has decided to remain in the organization's flagship car, RPM will work toward filling the remaining slots on the team. Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler have announced plans to depart at the end of the season. Marcos Ambrose, who will leave the #47 JTG/Daugherty Toyota team at season's end, is a leading candidate to fill the seat of one of the RPM Fords. Paul Menard, who drives the #98 RPM Ford, has not announced plans for next year but has talked to other teams, including Richard Childress Racing, according to multiple sources.(Sporting News)(8-4-2010)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports announced that driver AJ Allmendinger has signed a multiyear contract extension with the organization. Allmendinger will remain behind the wheel of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford in the Sprint Cup Series. "I am really excited about my future here with Richard Petty Motorsports," said Allmendinger. "It's been such an honor to be behind the wheel of The King's #43 car. I am happy to be able to continue to be his driver and feel for the first time in my NASCAR career I have the chance to build on something. Everyone at RPM and Ford Racing has worked hard to be successful this year and I know we're right on the verge of big things."(RPM)(8-6-2010)

  • Allmendinger Lends a Hand at Victory Junction: AJ Allmendinger made several young kids' day on Tuesday as he volunteered at Victory Junction with members of his Richard Petty Motorsports Best Buy Racing squad. The visit was not AJ's first to Victory Junction, but the NASCAR racer never leaves the camp without having a deep impression made. "It is amazing how energetic the kids are-it just blows me away," said AJ of the youngsters who get a sponsored opportunity to experience summer camp despite their condition to live and play just like children should. "It always feels good to do something like this away from the race track and I'm always humbled by the attitude of the kids, it just amazes me. It was cool to have my crew guys there with me as well because this is of course such a big part of the Petty legacy, and it was great for us to experience something like this together away from the track."(Allmendinger PR)(7-29-2010)

  • Silly Season kicking in gear at IMS:
    " All signs point to Richard Childress Racing announcing the week of the Watkins Glen Race next month that Budweiser will be on #29-Kevin Harvick's car. Mobile 1 had been courting #24-Jeff Gordon, but HMS ended that by reupping with Quaker State. Don't be surprised to see that sponsor pop up at Stewart-Haas.
    " Richard Petty Motorsports' future seemingly hangs on what #43-AJ Allmendinger does. If he and sponsor Best Buy stay, then #98-Paul Menard and his sponsor may hang around, as well. But Allmendinger has talked to several teams, including Penske Racing. Menard is beating the bushes as well, with speculation he'll be in the fourth car at Richard Childress Racing. All we know for sure is Stanley is the only sponsor contractually committed to the organization beyond this season. Odds are RPM will shrink from four teams to three, two or none. The last would be a huge blow to the garage and increase the possibility of fields of fewer than 43 cars next season. It also could end Richard Petty's presence in the garage, which would be sad to see.(ESPN.com)(7-25-2010)

  • 100th start for Allmendinger: #43-A.J. Allmendinger is set to make his 100th career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start this weekend in Indianapolis. Since he began his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career in 2007, Allmendinger has earned one pole position (Phoenix, 2010), one top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He has led 43 laps in Cup Series competition.(RPM PR)(7-20-2010)

  • Allmendinger, Petty exchange words UPDATE: #43-AJ Allmendinger and car owner Richard Petty had a heated exchange in the garage area at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night. Allmendinger pulled away from the seven-time NASCAR champion, turned his back on his boss and then stormed away from The King. Allmendinger declined to talk to reporters, but the executive vice president of Richard Petty Motorsports said his driver was merely frustrated by having a strong car and a poor finish. "I always say the car owner shouldn't talk to the driver anytime after the race, especially after an accident," Petty VP Robbie Loomis said. "I think Richard's been here so many times, he's been through this stuff and he was just trying to get him to loosen up and let the boys do their stuff on fixing the car and getting back out there. Anytime you talk to somebody at the wrong time, it always causes discussion that needs to be worked out. That's all that happened." Allmendinger was still hot when Loomis got to the garage a few minutes after the incident, which happened 66 laps into the 400-mile race. "He's a hard-charging competitor and he's as passionate as anybody out there," Loomis said. "Unfortunately, two Daytona races with great cars and we haven't been able to bring the finish home."(Associated Press/ESPN.com)(7-4-2010)
    UPDATE: It was Allmendinger's passion that pushed him to the limit on Saturday night when cameras caught the racer in a heated exchange with his company's namesake, seven-time champion Richard Petty. According to Robbie Loomis, RPM vice president of competition, the King broke one of his own personal rules against approaching a driver during a race. "Richard has been in this position more times than anybody as both a driver and an owner," Loomis said. "He knows the car owner doesn't talk to a driver after a race or after an accident. You never criticize or condemn someone in public. There's nothing you can say to anybody that's going to make them feel worse that they already feel." Loomis went through a similar situation at Martinsville Speedway in 1997 with the late Bobby Hamilton not long after the King had retired from the cockpit. The former crew chief contends, "the longer you're out of the driver's seat the easier it seems to you. And it isn't easy." Loomis feels that Allmendinger is integral to RPM's future. He admits that it's the company's responsibility "to nurture" the driver. He's seen Allmendinger "adapt quickly" to a lot of different tracks, including Daytona, which likely added further to the driver's disappointment. "The King told me, 'AJ has a knack for that place. He's got it figured out,'" Loomis said. "There's not a lot of people that do." Allmendinger is in the final year of his contract with RPM. Although he has been offered a renewal, there are other suitors in the Cup garage as well.(in part from FoxSports)(7-8-2010)

  • Mission: ABLE on the #43 at Daytona: The Paralyzed Veterans of America new initiative Mission: ABLE will be featured on the #43 Ford this weekend. The PVA is the nation's leading veteran organization and its national network provides comprehensive support for veterans. In addition to featuring its new Mission: ABLE initiative, which raises awareness and funds to enable veterans to find jobs, secure benefits and receive care and camaraderie, three members of the PVA will attend the race and be guests of RPM.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR)(7-1-2010)

  • Crew Member Suspended Due To Violation Of Substance Abuse Policy: Chris Moore, a crew member for the #43 team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On June 22, Moore was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (violation of the NASCAR substance abuse policy) of the 2010 NASCAR Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)(6-29-2010)

  • Allmendinger hopes to decide on future soon: #43-A.J. Allmendinger told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody on Friday that he hopes to make a decision on where he will race next season within the next 30 days. "I've had some great talks with the people at Richard Petty Motorsports, and I've had some great talks with other teams, too. I can't tell you right now how it's going to turn out, but I hope to have this all wrapped up by the middle or the end of July." Allmendinger and teammates #19-Elliott Sadler and #98-Paul Menard are in the final year of their respective contracts, and #9-Kasey Kahne has already announced plans to go elsewhere in 2011.(Sirius Speedway)(6-26-2010)

  • New Ford engine to run in some cars at Pocono: Robbie Reiser, general manager at Roush Fenway Racing, said that some cars in the organization and at Richard Petty Motorsports will use the new Ford engine next week at Pocono before all the teams for both organizations use it the following week at Michigan. The engine debuted last season but has been used sparingly this season with plans for all the Ford teams to be running the engine this summer. Only the Wood Brothers, who are running a limited schedule, have used the new engine throughout this season. Scheduled to run the new Ford engine at Pocono next weekend are #43-AJ Allmendinger, #17-Matt Kenseth, #16-Greg Biffle and #99-Carl Edwards. Roush and RPM will use the new engine in all the remaining races, Reiser said, except next month at New Hampshire and Infineon Raceway and at Watkins Glen and Bristol in August.(Roanoke Times)(5-31-2010)

  • Andretti wrecks at Indy:
    John Andretti, driving the #43 Indy car in the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, crashed on lap 65, jusr after getting black flagged for blocking. Andretti walked from the wreck ok. The Petty Blue & red Indy car was not so lucky. Andretti finished 30th(5-30-2010)

  • Petty's Garage opened: On May 26th Petty's Garage will open its doors to the public for the first time. Founded by Richard Petty and operating from the historic Petty facility in Level Cross, NC, Petty's Garage is building high performance street cars infused with over 60 years of NASCAR racing experience. The first production based cars released by Petty's Garage are the 43 sequentially numbered Dodge Challengers and delivery of the first customer cars will take place on the 26th. On the 26th they will have an all day open house from 9:00am till 9:00pm with a Cruiz'in for local car clubs and automobile enthusiasts from 5:00-9:00pm. There will be no formal autograph sessions during this open house. More info at pettys-garage.com.(5-26-2010)

  • AJ and Best Buy Employees Volunteer at Victory Junction: It's a busy time right now for #43-AJ Allmendinger, and he's making the most of it. After spending time at Charlotte Motor Speedway with the three stars and Best Buy-supported karters from the recently-released Racing Dreams this weekend, AJ got busy once again on Monday as he teamed up with over 100 Best Buy employees to make a visit and volunteer at Victory Junction. It was a really good day at the Victory Junction Camp today, said AJ. There were a ton of Best Buy employees out and some of my team to help get the camp ready for the campers coming. I did some landscaping and things like that. This is such a great camp and place for these kids and their families to go and find some fun. I'm always happy to lend a hand and really proud of the turn out from my Best Buy team." Allmendinger will see a different set of friends from Richard Petty Motorsports and Best Buy on Tuesday, as everyone gets geared up for the Kings Cup karting race to raise money for PVA.org. More than 30 teams are expected to participate, with a host of NASCAR drivers joining the fun. On Wednesday, AJ will be joining the folks at the Best Buy in Concord for an in-store appearance, with Thursday making for another Sharpie kind of day as RPM throws the doors open for Fan Day on the 27th before he heads to the track for practice and qualifying.(PR)(5-25-2010)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports To Honor Petty At Dover: As a tribute to team owner and NASCAR legend Richard Petty, the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford will adorn old familiar colors for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The Ford driven by AJ Allmendinger will bring back the "Petty Blue" and "Day-glo Red" colors in honor of "The King," who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of the inaugural class on Sunday, May 23. The throwback paint scheme will resemble the #43 machine Petty drove in 1984. That season, the driver collected his 199th career win at Dover. Petty holds the record for the most wins in NASCAR with 200. Petty will serve as the Grand Marshal for the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway on Sunday, May 16. The seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion won the inaugural race at Dover in 1969. He is also tied with Bobby Allison for the most wins at the one-mile track with seven.(RPM PR)(5-9-2010)
    IMAGE see images of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(5-14-2010)

  • Warren back in NASCAR: Dr. Eric Warren will return to the NASCAR circuit starting on Monday. Warren, who worked as an engineer with Evernham Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing before joining the fledgling U.S. Formula One effort, will handle simulation projects for Richard Petty Motorsports.(FoxSports)(5-3-2010)

  • Good news for Lynda Petty: Update on the status of Lynda Petty: Lynda went to Duke today [Monday] for another MRI and the Brain Tumor/Cancer is completely gone, but she will still continue to undergo chemo for the next 6 months. The entire Petty Family is very pleased and would like to thank everyone for the many, many prayers and thoughts as she went through a very difficult time! This is GREAT news! Thanks again to everyone!(Petty Family Foundation Facebook page)(4-22-2010)

  • Allmendinger has made no decision on 2011: #43-AJ Allmendinger says hes had discussions with management about his future with Richard Petty Motorsports, but no decision has been made for 2011. With Kasey Kahnes defection from RPM at the end of the season, signing Allmedinger, 28, should be at the top CEO Foster Gilletts to-do list  if he can pull it off.. Although Allmendingers been pleased with the progress the outfit has made this season, theres still work to do. Still, from Allmendingers perspective, morales high.
    Its only race seven or eight but as long as I do my job and make the sponsors happy, I dont think Ill have anything to worry about, Allmendinger said. Everything will work out. If you talk to Foster or talk to George (Gillett, team owner), theres still a lot we have to talk through. But when it comes to sports, theres the trickle down effect. The first big move was made but no one expected that to start in April. We know every weekend we are getting better as a race team. (Crew chief) Mike Shiplett and my whole group on that (No. 43 team) are learning from each other every week, and I think were getting better.(FoxSports)(4-19-2010)

  • Gillette says RPM will recover from losing Kahne: Foster Gillett, the managing partner of Richard Petty Motorsports and son of team owner George Gillett Jr., said Friday the team will recover from #9-Kasey Kahne's decision to leave RPM after this year and sign with Hendrick Motorsports. Gillett said he knows Kahne's departure, along with some financial difficulties his family is experiencing, have caused doubts about RPM's future. "Many people last year were saying the same thing," Gillett said. "You know what? We're still here. We survived and thrived and we'll do it again. When change like this happens, it opens up opportunities for others. We are focusing on the opportunities we have more than what we lose." The move leaves RPM in limbo after losing its star driver. The other three drivers for RPM -- #43-AJ Allmendinger, #98-Paul Menard and #19-Elliott Sadler -- also have contracts that expire at the end of 2010. "It's a work in progress next season for our driver lineup," Gillett said. "That's not a secret. We are working to have the best drivers we can. Richard preaches to us to focus on building the best race cars we can and we'll have sponsors and drivers." Gillett said he hopes to keep Budweiser, which sponsors Kahne's car. "My family has a wonderful relationship with Anheuser Busch," Gillett said. "We will put out a maximum effort to keep them. If they ask me to run through this wall, I'll do it." George Gillett is in the process of restructuring a $90 million debt on a loan that's in default. The Gillett family also is trying to sell its interest in the Liverpool soccer team of the English Premier League. "It's no secret that my family is looking at all our options and doing all we can," Foster Gillett said. "The more liquidity we have, the better it is for NASCAR. This is a process we're trying to go through. We're nearing closure on that and I think good news is ahead. We've made a number of enormous changes to get better. I really believe in what we've done." Gillett had good things to say about Kahne and believes the No. 9 team will race well the rest of the season. Kahne ranks 26th in the standings, but made the Chase last year. "We are focused more on what we can do while we have him," Gillett said. "A lot of teams would take a 30-race contract with Kasey. He's one of the best guys in the sport and we are honored to have him. I know what a gentleman Kasey is. He's a quality person and he has great ability as a race car driver. If you give him great equipment he'll go win, and I believe we have a championship-caliber team in the 9. I know Kasey will do his best to uphold all his commitments." Gillett emphasized that he and his father are committed to NASCAR for the long haul. "My family made a choice to be in NASCAR," he said. "We've learned some hard lessons and I have to take responsibility for how things have gone. We've had some hardships, but we've gone through worse."(ESPN.com)(4-17-2010)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports in default on loan UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports, the NASCAR team owned by George Gillett, has been in default on a roughly $90 million loan since at least February but expects to soon restructure the obligation, sources said last week. The default on the debt underscores the harm NASCAR suffered from the economic collapse of late 2008 and, in particular, the impact of contraction among Detroit's Big Three automakers on race teams. Gillett, who last year sold the Montreal Canadiens and still owns half of Liverpool FC, lost Chrysler's backing of his race team when that company filed for bankruptcy protection. Ford is now supporting the four-car team. Gillett declined to comment on specifics of the restructuring because of the ongoing creditor talks, but he emphasized the default is technical in nature, meaning that he did not miss a payment but, rather, failed to meet terms of at least one covenant. Loans commonly have covenants that might, for example, require the borrower to sustain a certain level of cash flow. Prior to the economic troubles of late 2008, lenders were relatively lenient with these kinds of defaults, but they since have become more stringent and less forgiving. One finance source, who requested anonymity because of knowledge of the deal, denied Gillett's characterization, insisting the default was payment-related.(Sports Business Journal / Fox News)(4-13-2010)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports agreed Monday night to a deal that would restructure the debt of the company, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com on Tuesday. According to the source, the deal is subject to final signatures and that 10 of the 11 banks involved in the restructuring have agreed to terms. This comes on the heels of a report that RPM, owned by George Gillett, has been in default on a loan of about $90 million since February. The source said the loan is closer to $70 million and that it was allowed to lapse with the hope that it would provide leverage with the banks to restructure. Had the banks opted to foreclose on the loan they could have taken possession of team assets and some revenue from sponsors, but none of Gillett's personal assets. Gillett would not comment on specifics of the deal but said RPM has no plans of going under. "I don't think we'll just survive, we'll thrive," Gillett said. Gillett said RPM is operating in the black and making a profit. He said debt incurred over the past few years is the result of trying to survive in a tough economy that saw RPM lose financial support from Chrysler, forcing the move to Ford, and sponsors. "When you look at some of the curveballs thrown at us they're substantial," Gillett said. "Yet we've overcome them. We've overcome the loss of all that revenue from sponsors and Chrysler. Based on everything I know our intention is to restructure the debt, enter into an agreement with banks and buy out the debt with new capital that our family would put into and end up with a company that may end up a few million in debt but end up with a company that is fundamentally debt-free," he said.(ESPN)(4-14-2010)

  • Valvoline back on the #43: Allmendinger has made three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway. Valvoline returns to sponsor Allmendinger's #43 Ford this weekend. Allmendinger finished 13th in the fall race in Phoenix last season.(RPM PR), see an image of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(4-7-2010)

  • Richard Petty and John Andretti to run Indy 500 again: Andretti Autosport announced it will work in a joint effort with racing legend Richard Petty and Window World, Inc., to field a fifth IZOD IndyCar Series entry for veteran driver John Andretti, first at Kansas Speedway on May 1 and then in the 2010 Indianapolis 500 on May 30. After his debut run at Kansas, John will attempt to make his 11th Indianapolis 500 start behind the wheel of the #43 Team Window World car. A successful qualifying attempt for John on May 22 or 23 will deepen the Andretti family legacy at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he drives for the team owned by his cousin, Michael. Window World will enjoy its second-consecutive Indy 500 as primary sponsor of the #43. Window World and Petty first teamed together with the #43 driven by John for last year's Indy 500. The car will once again feature Petty's traditional "Petty Blue" and "Day-Glo Red" color scheme made famous by "The King" during his unparalleled career. The car will also sport the marks of Window World Cares, the charitable foundation of Window World, Inc., which supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Petty, a racing icon and one of the most-recognizable figures in NASCAR history, will be participating in his second-straight Indianapolis 500. A 200-time NASCAR race winner and seven-time NASCAR champion, Petty witnessed the Indianapolis 500 in person for the first time in 2007 and participated as a co-owner for the first time last year.(Andretti Autosport/Breaking Limits)(4-1-2010)

  • Different primary colors for Allmendinger: Insignia, a Best Buy exclusive brand will be the primary sponsor/colors for the #43 Richard Petty Racing Ford of A.J. Allmendinger in the 19 remaining scheduled races Best Buy is sponsor the car/team. Insignia was the sponsor at Atlanta and Bristol and Best Buy blue was on the car at Daytona.(DingerWorld), Valvoline was the sponsor at Las Vegas and Charter Communications is the scheduled sponsor for the #43 at Martinsville. See images if the Insignia and Best Buy colors on my #43 Team Scehemes page.(3-24-2010)

  • Petty updates wife's condition: Richard Petty updated his wife Lynda's condition on Sunday, saying doctors are confident she can defeat cancer. Lynda Petty is being treated at Duke University Medical Center for central nervous system lymphoma, a form of brain cancer. "She's already had a couple of treatments and she went through them real good," Petty said. "Yesterday she looked at me and said, 'Get up and get out of here and get on to Daytona.' So I know she's doing pretty good. They [her doctors] feel like they can completely wipe the cancer out." Petty, who shares the Sprint Cup record of seven championships along with Dale Earnhardt Sr., is the co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. Petty said he hasn't been involved with the team much since Lynda became ill. RPM merged with Yates Racing last month. "Since November I've spent a lot of time with Lynda Gale," Petty said. "After more than 50 years together, I thought that's what I needed to do. I've still been involved in all major decisions [at RPM]. But some of the PR stuff I put on the back burner. She is more important than racing right now." Petty said his wife started showing systems of vision problems a year ago, but it took doctors a long time to diagnose the problem. "It took until December for them to really understand the problem and the way to treat it. They have operated on both her eyes to make sure they are in good shape when the cancer goes away." Petty said he's thankful for all the interest and support his family has received from fans and friends. "Just keep us in your prayers," he said. "We've been real fortunate. We appreciate everybody thinking about her."(ESPN)(2-14-2010)

  • The King to drive pace car for Daytona 500 Richard Petty will find himself in a very familiar place on Sunday afternoon, leading the field in the Daytona 500. Petty, who holds the NASCAR record with seven Daytona 500 victories, has accepted the role as "Pace Car Driver" for the 52nd running of "The Great American Race," and will pace all 43 cars to the green flag behind the wheel of a special edition 2011 Mustang GT, powered by Ford's all-new 5.0-liter V-8 engine. Petty is back as a member of the Ford Racing family after Richard Petty Motorsports merged with Yates Racing during the recently concluded off-season. "The King" previously drove for the blue oval in 1969 and won nine races that season in a Ford Torino. Ironically, the last and only other time Ford served as pace car for the Daytona 500 was one year later when a Ford Torino GT convertible started the 1970 event. In addition to the special paint, this year's Mustang pace car features a Brembo brake package, Ford Racing suspension, strut tower brace and mufflers, unique 19-inch painted wheels, and summer-only tires. The actual car that Petty will drive recently was sold for $300,000 at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz., with all proceeds above the MSRP being donated to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.(DIS)(2-13-2010)

  • Get well Lynda Petty UPDATE: Lynda Petty, wife of NASCAR legend Richard Petty, will undergo a medical procedure Friday to determine the underlying cause of an ongoing medical condition. "My family has always been my number one priority. I hate to miss any racing or racing-related event but at this time being with my wife Lynda is where I need to be," Richard Petty said. The Petty family is thankful for the support from family, friends, fans, and all those in the racing community and asks for the continued respect for their privacy during this time. Richard and Lynda Petty celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2009.(NASCAR.com)(1-22-2010)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty's wife, Lynda, has been diagnosed with CNS (Central Nervous System) Lymphoma. Mrs. Petty will be treated at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center. "We are thankful for the medical team at Duke. My wife Lynda is in good hands," Richard Petty said Thursday in a team statement. "The doctors and our family are very optimistic that the treatment for this cancer will be successful." The Petty family appreciates the support from family, friends, and fans as well as the continued respect for their privacy during this time.(NASCAR.com/RPM)(2-4-2010)

  • Most NASCAR drivers don't fare well in Rolex 24: Full-time NASCAR drivers were shut out from the winners circle and even podium finishes Sunday at the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The 24-hour race was won by the Porsche of Action Express Racing driven by Joao Barbosa, Terry Borcheller, Mike Rockenfeller and Ryan Dalziel. They finished 50 seconds ahead of Chip Ganassi Racings car driven by Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas as well as Germain Racing part-time Cup driver Max Papis and IndyCar Series driver Justin Wilson. Ganassis other car  co-driven by his Cup drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray as well as his IndyCar Series drivers Dario Franchitti and Scott Dixon  blew an engine while leading less than nine hours into the event at Daytona. About half the field did not finish the race, including four-time defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson as his Bob Stallings Racing car had an oil pump issue and retired with about four hours remaining. Richard Petty Motorsports had two drivers in the field. AJ Allmendinger drove for Michael Shank Racing and was in third when his engine blew less than two hours prior to the finish and the team had to settle for seventh. Paul Menard drove for Spirit of Daytona Racing, which retired before the halfway point and wound up 32nd. Roush Fenway Racing Nationwide Series driver Colin Braun had the best day of the NASCAR contingent as he was part of the fourth-place Krohn Racing team. TRG Motorsports Bobby Labonte drove one of the team cars and was leading before running out of fuel and having to be towed back to the pits with about five hours remaining. Other mechanical issues plagued the team, which finished 16th overall, ninth in the Grand Touring class. Part-time Cup driver Boris Said was part of a Turner Motorsport team that finished 15th overall, eighth in the GT class.(Scene Daily)(2-1-2010)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports Merger Now Complete: Rumors of a Richard Petty Motorsports/Yates Racing merger began circulating a few months ago but it wasn't until today that the racing community could stop calling them rumors. "I'm here to announce the best kept secret in all of motorsports, which is that the merger between Yates Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports is officially completed," said Foster Gillette, managing partner of Richard Petty Motorsports, in a press conference Tuesday morning. The merger, which happened in December, brought some big changes along with it. During the 2010 season Richard Petty Motorsports will be running Ford Fusions, ending its long relationship with Dodge. Also, RPM will leave behind its previous home in Statesville, N.C., moving to the Yates Racing facility in Concord, N.C. Filling the four driver positions at RPM will be #19-Elliott Sadler, #9-Kasey Kahne, #43-AJ Allmendinger and #98-Paul Menard. "The addition of a great team, great talent of drivers - we have Elliott, Paul, Kasey, and AJ adding to the fleet of Fords out there on every Sunday," said Jamie Allison, Director of Ford Racing. "That's something to be looking forward to." Richard Petty Motorsports will maintain the alliance that Yates Racing had with Roush Fenway Racing and Doug Yates will be in charge or the Roush Yates engine program.(Charlotte Motor Speedway Sprint Media Tour Notes)(1-20-2010)

2009 News

  • 2009 Races [?] that McDonald's is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Bud Shootout - 2/7
    Daytona - 2/15
    Texas - 4/5
    Richmond - 5/2, McCafe
    All-Star Race - 5/16, McCafe
    New Hampshire - 6/28, McCafe
    Chicago - 7/11, McCafe
    New Hampshire - 9/20, McCafe
    Kansas - 10/4, McDonald's Monopoly
    Martinsville - 10/25, McDonald's Monopoly

  • 2009 Races [?] that Charter Communications is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    California - 2/22
    Martinsville - 3/29

  • 2009 Races [?] that Valvoline is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Las Vegas - 3/1
    Darlington - 5/9, crew chief tribute
    Pocono - 6/7, Valvoline Engine Guarantee
    Infineon - 6/21
    Bristol - 8/22
    Dover - 9/27
    Texas - 11/8

  • 2009 Races [2] that Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Phoenix - 4/18 Auto Value
    Michigan - 8/16 Bumper to Bumper

  • 2009 Races [2] that Paralyzed Veterans of America is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Bristol - 3/22
    Phoenix - 11/15

  • 2009 Races [5] that U.S. Air Force is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Talladega - 4/26
    Lowes - 5/24
    Dover - 5/31
    Daytona - 7/4
    Atlanta - 9/6

  • 2009 Races [4?] that Super 8 is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Atlanta - 3/8
    Lowe's Motor Speedway - 10/17

  • 2009 Races [1] that Reynolds Wrap is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Richmond - 9/12

  • 2009 Races [1] that Rosies Organic Chicken is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    California - 10/11

  • 2009 Races [1?] that Liberty Medical is scheduled to be the primary sponsor:
    Talladega - 11/1

  • McMurray & Allmendinger to run Karts at Daytona: Hundreds of go-kart racers from across the country will spend their holidays at the Daytona International Speedway participating in World Karting Association races on three different courses. The Speedway's three-ring circus includes its famous 3.56-mile road course, the Sprint track in Turns 3 and 4 and the newly constructed quarter-mile dirt track outside Turns 1 and 2. For the third straight year, Jamie McMurray, is expected to return to his racing roots during Daytona KartWeek. AJ Allmendinger, who drives a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, is also expected to compete in the karts. Meanwhile, Volusia Speedway Park is hosting the second day of its Christmas In Dixie dirt racing program. Those races are sanctioned by the American Kart Racing Association.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-28-2009)

  • Rick Russell out at Petty: Rick Russell is the latest casualty in the Richard Petty Motorsports/Yates Racing merger. The president of the team has parted ways with the company. Russell, who had been with Evernham Motorsports since its inception in 2000, came to the company following a seven-year stint with Action Performance (currently Motorsports Authentics) where he served as vice president and general manager. Max Jones, principal of the team formerly known as Yates Racing, will assume Russell's position.(Fox Sports)(12-12-2009)

  • Petty-Yates Merger supposedly a done deal: Richard Petty Motorsports officially became a Ford operation on Thursday. The merger deal was signed between principals from RPM and Yates Racing and the appropriate paperwork was filed with Ford Motor Company. Richard Petty Motorsports brings three additional teams to the table, the #9, #19 and #43. Ford officials have said repeatedly what a coup it was to gain #9-Kasey Kahne, who finished 10th in the Sprint Cup point standings, into the fold as well as 28-year-old #43-AJ Allmendinger. #19-Elliott Sadler will also join the driver roster which included #98-Paul Menard from the former Yates organization. RPM is currently operating out of Statesville, N.C. The former Yates Racing buildings in Concord, N.C. are currently being remodeled to accommodate all four teams. That move is scheduled for Speedweeks in February.(FoxSports)(12-4-2009)

  • Dale Inman Named 2009 Buddy Shuman Award Winner: Dale Inman, among the foremost crew chiefs in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history, collected one of NASCARs most prestigious and longest-running awards today in Las Vegas. Inman received the Buddy Shuman Award during the 2009 NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards. Presented since 1957, the award annually recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to NASCAR racing. It honors the late Buddy Shuman, a pioneering NASCAR driver who died in a hotel fire in November 1955. Dale is one of the first crew chiefs I worked for and remains a true trailblazer for that position, said NASCAR Vice President of Competition Robin Pemberton. Hes a major reason and inspiration behind many of the current talented people working in the NASCAR Sprint Cup garage. Inman, Richard Pettys first cousin, was responsible for eight NASCAR Sprint Cup championships  one more than his famous relative, also a Buddy Shuman Award winner. The 73-year-old Inman, from Level Cross, N.C., won 298 races. His victory total boasted 27 wins  and 10 straight  in 1967. Inman won NASCAR Sprint Cup titles with Petty in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979. His final championship came with Terry Labonte in 1984.
    Petty once described his cousin as the sports first official crew chief. Inman and brothers Richard and Maurice Petty began working on father Lee Pettys cars during after-school hours and on weekends in the 1940s and 50s. When the younger Petty began racing, Inman was assigned engine-building duties and later became crew chief for Petty Enterprises. He was responsible for 192 of the teams victories. From 1986 through Pettys retirement in 1992, Inman handled the business side of Petty Enterprises. Inman worked with the teams drivers in a consulting role until his retirement in 1998. Away from the track, Inman played an integral role in helping the Petty family launch the Victory Junction which enriches the lives of chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.(NASCAR)(12-4-2009)

  • Sorenson could end up at Braun Racing: Reed Sorenson wont be part of the new Richard Petty Motorpsorts driving stable following the planned RPM-Yates Racing merger. He has driven for Braun Racing in the Nationwide Series, but no deal for next year has been announced. Reed has a formal offer from a team now that would be a mixture of Cup and Nationwide, said Sorenson's agent, Jeff Dickerson. I feel really good about Reed and what he can do.(SceneDaily)(11-27-2009)

  • Best Buy moving to the #43? IMAGE added Team officials familiar with RPM's personnel moves tell The Associated Press that sponsor Best Buy will move from Sadler's car next season to Petty's famed #43 with AJ Allmendinger as the driver. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the changes have yet to be announced. Stanley Tools will become the sole primary sponsor for Sadler. Both Best Buy and Stanley had shared Sadler's car this season.(Associated Press)(10-28-2009)
    IMAGE see an image of the Best Buy scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(11-25-2009)

  • Blue Changes at Yates Shop: The building used by Yates Racing in Concord, N.C., soon will be gutted and prepared to expand into a four-car Sprint Cup garage when the merger with Richard Petty Motorsports is completed. The building was used to field two cars owned by Yates/Hall of Fame Racing in 2009. With the merger it will expand to the #9 of Kasey Kahne, #19 of Elliott Sadler, #43 of AJ Allmendinger and #98 of Paul Menard. The building is expected to be painted the famous Petty Blue since the organization will take on the RPM name.(ESPN Insider)(11-25-2009)

  • Siemens to sponsor the #43; Sorenson thanks RPM: Reed Sorenson drives the #43 Siemens Dodge at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. Sorenson is behind the wheel of the #43 for the final time for Richard Petty Motorsports. SORENSON: I want to thank the Richard Petty Motorsports organization for giving me the chance to race the #43 Dodge this year. I did the best I could and tried to represent the number and company in a way that would make Mr. Petty and our sponsors proud. I learned a lot this year. The opportunity to work with people like Richard Petty and Dale Inman is something that Ill never forget. I also want to thank all of the people that Ive worked with this year. I know that everyone put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into getting us to the racetrack every week. I wish we could send them off with a win. They are all first class people and I look forward to hopefully working with some of those people again in the future wherever that takes us.(RPM)(11-18-2009)

  • Roush's Smith not retiring: Roush Fenway Racing president Geoff Smith has decided to delay his retirement. Smith said because of tough economic times and the merger between partner Yates Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports that he will stay on at least through the 2010 season. Smith is handling a lot of the paperwork in the merger that he said is agreed to on all major issues and should be announced soon. He also plays a major role in bringing sponsors to the cars for the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Smith has yet to wrap up a full season of sponsorship for the #17 of Matt Kenseth.(see more at ESPN Insiders)(11-17-2009)

  • Richard Petty says with merger nearing completion: Richard Petty said the Richard Petty Motorsports-Yates Racing proposed merger is still in the hands of the lawyers, but with the likelihood of it happening, RPM had to begin its staff reductions this week. Sources indicated more than 150 people were laid off earlier this week or were told they would be laid off after the season ends next week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. RPM, which fields four teams, and Yates, which fields two, announced in September they planned to merge  and with NASCARs four-team limit, the staff reductions were anticipated. If were going to do what were going to do, weve got to start somewhere, Petty said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. This is basically where were starting. Many of those laid off were in the engine shop and the car manufacturing department, sources said. The new organization will use Roush Yates Engines and likely will be based in the current Yates shop in Concord, N.C.  about 45 miles from the current RPM shop in Statesville, NC. I think were moving there to the [Yates shop near the] airport, Petty said. As far as I know. Tune in next week.(SceneDaily)(11-14-2009)

  • Latest on RPM 'layoffs' and switches: The dominos continue to fall at Richard Petty Motorsports. When Keith Barnwell was released on Tuesday, that left #44-A.J. Allmendinger sans spotter. On Thursday, the decision was made to reunite Allmendinger with former spotter Tony Hirschmann, who had been reassigned to #43-Reed Sorenson in the crew chief swap. Sorenson's crew chief Sammy Johns will spot for him this weekend. Kevin Buskirk, who was #19-Elliott Sadler's crew chief earlier this season, is expected to make the calls on the #43 pit box. Pete Rondeau, who served as the director of research and development at RPM since July 2005, was also released on Tuesday. The former crew chief for Dale Earnhardt Jr. says he's ready to become a road warrior again and is interested in any upcoming crew chief openings.(FoxSports)(11-13-2009)

  • PVA.org colors on #43 at Phoenix: Reed Sorenson drives the #43 Paralyzed Veterans of America Dodge at Phoenix International Raceway this weekend. The Paralyzed Veterans of America and radio station AM570 KLAC  Los Angeles, Calif. are holding a Help a Hero radio campaign on Thursday, November 12, 2009 from 3 p.m.  2 a.m. (eastern). The campaign is designed to raise funds and awareness for the Paralyzed Veterans. Radio Listeners will be asked to call in and make a donation of $45 or more to Help a Hero. Additionally, there is an online auction site (click HERE) with over 60 prizes that will help raise funds for PVA. Four Star Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr. - Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, will sit on top of the #43 pit box this weekend as a guest of Sorenson and the Petty team.(RPM). See images of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(11-12-2009)

  • Richard Petty Raceway opens Friday: NASCAR's all-time wins leader Richard Petty and Phoenix International Raceway have teamed up to open Richard Petty Raceway, a 1/16-mile go-kart track on the Midway that is the first such permanent karting facility located within a major NASCAR venue. Petty and Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger will appear at the grand opening of the track, scheduled for 2:00pm on Friday, November 13.(PIR)(11-12-2009)

  • WIX Filters Inks Deal with Richard Petty Motorsports: WIX Filters has signed on with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 as an associate sponsor of the #43 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. In addition, WIX is offering their customers the unique opportunity to join the WIX team to cheer the #43 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Banking 500 in October 2010 and the ability to treat their best customers or salespeople to a once in a lifetime race weekend. The associate sponsorship with Richard Petty Motorsports provides WIX secondary brand placement on the #43 car, and driver and pit crew suits, pit box and car hauler for the entire 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. It also puts WIX as the primary sponsor of the NASCAR Sprint Cup paint scheme for the October 2010 NASCAR Banking 500 at Charlotte.(Camp and Assoc)(11-11-2009)

  • RPM Engine shop to shut down UPDATE: What's left of the original Evernham Motorsports engine shop is expected to shut down on Monday, according to multiple sources. Richard Petty Motorsports will retain the necessary personnel to complete the final two races of the season when engine duties will revert to Roush Yates engines with the move to Ford. With the merger of RPM and Yates Racing, the Petty crew chiefs were told that each team would be able to keep 17 crewmen per team. The overall reduction for the organization is expected to be 200 of 250 employees once the deal is complete.(FoxSports)(11-9-2009)
    UPDATE: The NASCAR workforce shrunk by 47 people on Monday as Richard Petty Motorsports took the first steps toward shutting down its engine department in Concord, NC. RPM is making reductions in its staff with the impending merger with Yates Racing. Additional cuts are expected in the car shop in Statesville, N.C. on Tuesday. Sources said on Sunday that the three remaining teams expected to join forces with Yates will retain 17 crewmen per team. But given the move to Ford  which started at Talladega with #19-Elliott Sadler on Oct. 30th and continued this past weekend with #44-AJ Allmendinger at Texas, there's no need to continue building new Dodge cars or engines. The engine department will continue to employ 14 employees through the end of the season to assist in the organization for the final two races. Roush Yates Engines will supply powerplants for the team in 2010.(FoxSports)(11-10-2009)

  • Sorenson and Mears candidates for #09 ride in 2010: Casey Mears, currently running the #07 Jack Daniel's Chevy for Richard Childress is a leading candidate for the #09 Phoenix Racing ride in 2010. Reed Sorenson, out of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports ride after the 2009 season is also a candidate for the #09 ride.(FoxSports)(11-7-2009)

  • Liberty Medical on the #43: This November, Liberty Medical is sponsoring #43-Reed Sorenson in observance of American Diabetes Month, to help raise awareness of this dangerous disease that has reached epidemic proportions. Liberty Medical is also a proud sponsor of The American Diabetes Association, which observes American Diabetes Month every November. Liberty Medical Supply, Inc., a Medco Health Solutions Inc., company, is the nation's largest provider of blood glucose testing supplies and related services to people with diabetes, serving over one million diabetes patients. Liberty also offers a full service pharmacy to meet patients' medication needs and provides education to help its patients better manage their health conditions.(RPM PR)(10-28-2009)

  • Where may some of the drivers looking end up in 2010? Those drivers looking for rides in 2010  #07-Casey Mears, #96/71-Bobby Labonte, #43-Reed Sorenson and #12-David Stremme  qualified sixth, eighth, ninth and 11th, respectively at Martinsville. How their futures pan out could depend on the status of Jamie McMurray, who remains the top candidate for the #1 Earnhardt Ganassi ride. Mears could stay put in the #07 if sponsorship can be found. Labonte is a strong candidate for one of the two TRG [#71 team] Racing rides. Sorenson is the favorite for the vacancy at Braun Racing [Nationwide Series ride] and Stremme's name has been mentioned for the #34 Front Row Motorsports car[currently a Chevy] (where he would be reunited with crew chief Steven 'Bones' Lane) or in a Nationwide car with Rusty Wallace Inc.(FoxSports)(10-24-2009)

  • McArdle back at the track: Mark McArdle, former director of competition at Richard Petty Motorsports, was at the track Friday for the first time since departing the team at Richmond in September. McArdle and the team parted ways after a disagreement between McArdle and car owner George Gillett. McArdle is looking for a position with another team in the sport but has to receive approval from Richard Petty Motorsports. Most contracts feature non-compete clauses and require a team's approval to move to another team. McArdle would not discuss details of his departure except to say it was time for a change. "I've always advised those who work under me that if the bus is going somewhere you don't want to go, then maybe you need to get off the bus,'' he said.(Roanoke Times)(10-17-2009)

  • RPM could use Ford engine this season: Richard Petty Motorsports is exploring the option of using a Ford engine in at least one of its four cars before the end of the season, team co-owner Richard Petty said on Thursday. Petty, whose team will continue to use Dodge engines this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway, said nothing can happen until the merger with Yates Racing is complete. He gave no timetable, saying only that "it's in the hands of lawyers." But Petty said switching at least one car to a Ford before the end of the season is the goal, if the transition can be worked out. He could not say whether #9-Kasey Kahne, who is in the championship Chase for the Sprint Cup, would be that driver. "Right now there are like 400 options," Petty said. "We don't know right now if we'll make the transition before the end of this season or do it all before the start of next season."(ESPN)(10-15-2009)

  • Roush to visit RPM: Jack Roush is scheduled to take a tour of the Richard Petty Motorsports facility on Wednesday. Other managers from Roush Fenway Racing will join Rosuh on the tour of the Statesville, N.C., shop. There have been ongoing talks since before September of a merger between Yates Racing, a sister organization of Roush Fenway, and RPM. Regardless of whether RPM merges with Yates, majority team owner George Gillett has said his team will be running Fords in 2010. Given that Roush is the principal supplier of Ford engines, RPM will be working directly with RFR in one form or another.(FoxSports), see an image of a real #9 Budweiser Ford for 2010 on my #9 Team Schemes page.(10-14-2009)

  • Allmendinger in a Ford at Lowe's? Sadler at 'Dega? Richard Petty Motorsports has had a Ford in its possession ready to race since after New Hampshire. It would not be a surprise if AJ Allmendinger is driving a Fusion at Lowe's Motor Speedway next weekend or the week after that. Once the #44 car flips over to Ford, it will remain a Fusion the rest of the season. In addition to Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler is expected to drive a Roush-prepared Ford with a Yates engine at Talladega. Whether or not RPM's proposed merger with Yates Racing goes through, team owner George Gillett has said his team will run Ford's next season.(FoxSports)(10-11-2009)

  • Sorenson to run chicken scheme at Auto Club: Reed Sorenson drives the #43 Rosies Organic Chicken [link seems down] Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports this weekend at Auto Club Speedway. Rosie was the first chicken in the United States to carry a certified organic label. Rosie is free range and humanely raised with no antibiotics on a 100% organic vegetarian diet with no animal by-products or GMOs as independently verified by Oregon Tilt, a third party certifier. Rosie is sold in a styro-foam free package that produces 73% less landfill and a reduced carbon footprint.(RPM Facebook), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-7-2009)

  • Gillett says Yates-RPM merger on track UPDATE: George Gillett Jr., majority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports [#9,19,43,44], said he hopes to form a stock-car league in Saudi Arabia as part of a contractual agreement he signed this week with Saudi Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, a member of the Saudi Royal Family. But Gillett emphasized that he is not selling the team. He said he hopes to finalize a merger with Yates Racing soon, and that RPM will race Fords in 2010. Gillett felt the need to address many issues about RPM after some reports this week falsely stated Gillett's new deal with the Saudi prince would lead to the prince's sports management team taking over RPM. "I came back from Europe into a maelstrom of massively inaccurate stories," Gillett said Saturday at Kansas Speedway. "So I thought we could correct it and move forward. As part of out conversations [with the Saudis], it became clear we should have aligned interest. We discussed if they had an interest in buying a small interest in RPM. A majority? Heck #It was a very early conversation, but it was completely distorted. I come here today as a man with a clear conscious and potentially a very attractive partner. If he becomes a small investor [in RPM] I can't imagine it would be anything but positive for the sport. That's the story." Gillett said he and the Saudis are in the talks to form some type of stock-car league overseas Gillett said the merged RPM/Yates operation will be at least a three-car team and hopefully four cars. He would not confirm who if those four drivers would be Kasey Kahne, A.J. Allmendinger, Elliott Sadler and Paul Menard, which was reported earlier.(ESPN)(10-3-2009)
    UPDATE: The Yates transaction is on track, said Gillett, whose RPM organization fields cars for A.J. Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson in the Sprint Cup Series. Were going now from letter of intent to a full contract.(Racin' Today)(10-4-2009)

  • McDonald's Monoploy scheme for Sorenson: Monopoly is back at McDonald's, starting Tuesday, October 6th. This Sunday at Kansas Speedway, the #43 McDonald's Monopoly Dodge Charger will feature Mr. Monopoly rolling McDonald's dice to promote the new exciting element in this year's event: The $1 Million dollar daily roll. For 29 straight nights, a McDonalds customer has a chance to win as much as $1 million, in primetime on NBC's "The Jay Leno Show" and "Sunday Night Football." An NBC celebrity will roll two dice into a see-through lottery machine. If both show sixes, the contestant wins the top prize. Other combinations are worth $10,000. Go to www.playatmcd.com to enter for the chance to be the one person each day to take part in the roll for $1 million.(McDonalds), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-1-2009)

  • Petty says merger neogiations still ongoing: Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Richard Petty says that negotiations on the teams proposed merger with Yates Racing are continuing, and he still expects the deal to be completed. RPM and Yates officials announced Sept. 10 that they planned to merge. At the time, Petty said he thought the deal would close within a few weeks. Its still in negotiations, and so far they aint signed nothing, Petty said Wednesday following a news conference to promote the upcoming races at Lowes Motor Speedway. I feel like if it went this far, we are going to go forward with it.(SceneDaily)(10-1-2009)

  • Kahne using R5 Engine at Kansas...and beyond? UPDATE: #9-Kasey Kahne, Teleconference Transcript (in part) from September 29, 2009:
    Q: What engine will you run this weekend at Kansas?
    Kahne: I'm using the R5 again this weekend, the same as what we had last week.
    Q: Do you anticipate going back to the R6?
    Kahne: I think it will be all about reliability. If they think they can get it back where it's really reliable like the R5, then I would think we would probably go back to it. What I told them was that we have some points to make up and if we have anymore issues where we fall outside of the top 35, we're screwed&we have no chance. The very little power that you gain with the R6, it's not nearly enough power for me to say let's take a chance. We definitely want it to be reliable. Maybe we're down a couple horsepower, but that's it. At the end of the day it's not a big deal.(Dodge Motorsports NASCAR PR )(9-30-2009)
    UPDATE: Kahne will be using the old R5 Dodge engine this weekend for the second consecutive race, and Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Richard Petty said time will tell if he gets an R6 back in the car. Teammate #19-Elliott Sadler will have a developmental R6 in his car at Kansas. Until it proves its reliability, we feel like its already got us behind, so we dont want to take that chance, Petty said.(SceneDaily)(10-1-2009)

  • Gillett, RPM partnering with Saudi Prince UPDATE2 Petty comments: In what could turn out to be one of the oddest pairings in the history of American stock car racing, Richard Petty Motorsports' primary shareholder George Gillett Tuesday signed an 'exclusive commercial collaboration' agreement for his stake in the team to Prince Faisal bin Fahd bin Abdullah al-Saud, a member of the Saudi Royal Family. The agreement signed Tuesday forms a partnership that will see the development of a NASCAR racing circuit and Richard Petty racing schools in the Saudi Kingdom and elsewhere in the Middle East. "The Middle East sport market has immense growth potential as eager fans in the region demand access to more diverse, higher caliber competition. I am delighted, enthusiastic, and honored to have the opportunity to partner with such a visionary in His Highness Prince Faisal," said Gillett after the signing. According to many however, the agreement signed Tuesday is the first step to Gillett selling his stake in the team. As the two were publicly confirming the agreement, behind the scenes, Gillett and Prince Faisal acting on behalf of the Saudi sports investment group F6 he chairs, have begun a process of 'due diligence', the examination of financial records, with the goal being that Gillett would be bought out by the end of the year. The primary deal in the works actually centers on British football club Liverpool that Gillett owns a 50% stake in, but the deal would also include Richard Petty Motorsports. The Prince was at Anfield Stadium in England on Saturday as a guest Gillett, who confirmed that he has secured funding from the Saudi prince for his NASCAR team and an agreement to build Liverpool-branded football academies in the Middle East. The entire deal is reportedly worth up to $560 million.(NASCAR Examiner)
    UPDATE Foster Gillett has confirmed there are no major ownership changes contemplated at Richard Petty Motorsports. The Gilletts are the majority owners of Richard Petty Motorsports and plan on being so for a long time.(RPM)(9-29-2009)
    UPDATE2: Richard Petty Motorsports co-owner Richard Petty said he didnt know much about the business relationship formed between RPM majority owner George Gillett and Saudi Prince Faisal bin Fahad bin Abdullah Al Saud to explore commercial opportunities with Gillett and his soccer and motorsports properties. Thats one of Georges deals, Petty said. Youll have to talk him on that. Thats purely his deal. Hed been meeting with these guys for a pretty good while about his [English] football team.(SceneDaily)(10-1-2009)

  • Petty-Yates deal still pending: The two big unknowns about the pending merger between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing can be summed up in two words: "When?" and "If." The two sides have executed a letter of intent and are working toward finalizing the deal. The new organization will continue under the Richard Petty Motorsports name and will switch from Dodge to Ford next season. According to a joint release two weeks ago at Richmond, the team's lineup will include current RPM drivers #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Elliott Sadler and #44-A.J. Allmendinger as well as Yates driver #98-Paul Menard. Team co-owner Richard Petty estimated Sept. 12 at Richmond that the deal could be concluded within two weeks, but that projection now appears optimistic, as the parties are still ironing out the details. Menard is a key element, in that he brings with him sponsorship from Menards, the Midwestern home-improvement chain founded and owned by his father, John Menard. Though Paul Menard affirmed his commitment to the deal Friday at Dover International Speedway, his assessment of the merger was frequently qualified by the word "if."(Sporting News/NASCAR.com)(9-27-2009)

  • Back to Nationwide for Sorenson? ESPN reported during Nationwide Series qualifying that #43-Reed Sorenson is talking to Braun Racing about running the #32 Toyota a majority of the races next season in the Nationwide Series.(9-26-2009)

  • Allmendinger drove for free earlier; could be in a Ford by Talladega: Richard Petty Motorsports' Executive Director of Race Operations Robbie Loomis says the team could field a Ford before the end of the 2009 season. Loomis told FoxSports.com's Lee Spencer, "I don't want to talk about things that are pure speculation, but I don't think it would surprise anybody if we did." A spokesperson for RPM told Sirius Speedway today that there are no plans to field a Ford before 2010, but off the record, sources inside RPM say that the team has already built at least one Ford Fusion, installing a Ford powerplant in an existing RPM chassis. Initial plans were to have #44-AJ Allmendinger debut the car at Kansas Speedway next week, but that timetable was pushed back when Roush-Fenway Racing's Jack Roush expressed reservations about the quick ramp-up. Now, tentative plans call for Allmendinger to drive a Richard Petty Motorsports Ford at Talladega Superspeedway on November 1, with additional outings possible -- though not certain -- at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedways. Calls to Richard Petty Motorsports seeking comment were not immediately returned. Loomis also confirmed today that #43-Reed Sorenson is not the first RPM driver to race for free, saying that Allmendinger also waived his paycheck for a time, in order to remain on the racetrack. "AJ and all the employees at Richard Petty Motorsports made sacrifices in order to continue being a four-car team," he said. "When those guys stepped up, it really said a lot to me about the character of Reed Sorenson, AJ Allmendinger and everybody at Richard Petty Motorsports."(Sirius-Speedway)(9-25-2009)

  • Sorenson currently racing for FREE: When Richard Petty Motorsports announced last week a merger with Yates Racing, most considered #43-Reed Sorenson the big loser, since it appeared he was left out of the 2010 driver lineup as a result. He in fact wasn't. He was already gone by that point. Multiple RPM sources confirmed to ESPN.com that team executives approached Sorenson during the summer with a pair of options: (1) Race the remainder of the season for no salary; or (2) take a buyout and go away. Conflicted, frustrated, shocked and confused, Sorenson chose the former. In NASCAR, out of sight is out of mind. And out of mind is out of work. "The decision I made was to keep racing. The reason I did that is I thought it would help me find a job next year," Sorenson said. "And any race car driver that has the choice to sit at home or race is probably going to choose to race, unless they're at the end of their career. I'm 23 years old. I want to have a long future in the sport. I didn't figure sitting at home was a good option to do that." Sorenson would not divulge specifics of his agreement with RPM but did say he was never given a true reason for the development. "They didn't really have much justification for it," he said. "They basically just said, 'This is the deal we have, but you've done nothing wrong. We feel bad.' But it sucked. I don't really get it. It never made sense when it was going down, and it doesn't make sense now. I definitely didn't envision them coming to me halfway through this year and saying this. I felt like I was moving to a team where I could make a home and work with new teammates and maybe be there for five years or whatever it might be. I didn't even get halfway through the year, and this comes up. Then I was told I haven't done anything wrong at the same time. So that's the most sickening thing about it."
    Sorenson's agent, Jeff Dickerson from Mooresville, N.C.-based Motorsports Management, also would neither confirm nor deny that Sorenson was given an ultimatum. He did agree, though, that when he speaks with other team owners and managers about Sorenson's future, the driver's level of desire to compete is often broached. "If people knew the sacrifices he has made to stay on the racetrack, they wouldn't ask that question anymore," Dickerson said. "He's been a great teammate both on and off the track. He stood up for the guys that work on these cars and their families and refuses to let that team be shut down. People think a guy that drafts with you is a good teammate. I think Reed rewrote that definition in this situation."
    Asked for comment for this story, RPM spokesman Drew Brown wrote in an e-mail that "it wouldn't be fair to comment on internal matters relating to Reed's contract. I will say that all of us have had a blast with Reed this season and wish he could be part of us next season, but it's a numbers game." Sorenson will use the final 10 races of the season as an audition for 2010. There are few Sprint Cup rides available, so the hope for Sorenson is a part-time Cup program to supplement a full-time Nationwide ride. "If I have to run full-time Nationwide and part-time Cup to wait until the economy gets better and I get a good full-time ride again, then that would be the best-case scenario," he said. "I just want to race. I don't want to sit around and wait."(in part from ESPN.com)(9-18-2009)

  • RPM & McArdie part ways UPDATE: The deal between Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing already has cost one top official his job. Richard Petty, the minority owner of RPM, said on Saturday that Mark McArdle, the vice president and managing director of competition at RPM, was fired on Friday after a heated confrontation with team co-owner George Gillett Jr. at Richmond International Raceway. Petty would not speculate on how many others in the engine and chassis department might lose jobs if RPM uses Roush-Yates engines and Roush Fenway chassis as planned. Petty said RPM is moving from Dodge to Ford because Dodge could not offer financial support for 2010 and beyond. Yates already has a financial commitment for two Ford teams, and Petty hopes that will increase once the economy is restored.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2009)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports today announced the departure of Mark McArdle, the teams vice-president and managing director of competition. The company and Mark have decided to go in different directions. It was an amicable departure and we are finalizing some details with him, said Rick Russell, team president. We appreciate all of Marks many contributions and wish him well in all future endeavors he may pursue. McArdle said his departure comes after achieving his goal of restoring the team to championship contention. We have all worked really hard to get Richard Petty Motorsports back in the Chase and we accomplished that goal Saturday night, McArdle said. Everyone at the team should take great pride in that. I wish the company nothing but success in the future. There will be nobody rooting harder for the #9 to win the championship than me.(RPM)(9-17-2009)

  • Petty would like to put Allemndinger in the #43: Richard Petty, the minority owner of RPM, said no decision has been made on who will take over the famed #43 that he drove to seven championships, but added that he would like to see Allmendinger in the car if all sponsors agree.(ESPN.com)(9-13-2009)

  • More details on the Petty 'buyout' of Yates: The deal that brought together Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing for next season is more of a buyout than a merger, minority owner Richard Petty said on Friday. "We're basically taking over their deal," the seven-time Sprint Cup champion said before qualifying at Richmond International Raceway. "As far as I know all of that whole operation will be Richard Petty Motorsports." Petty said George Gillett Jr., who declined to comment earlier Friday, would remain the controlling owner. He said Robbie Loomis, the executive director of race operations at RPM, will continue to run day to day operations. He was unsure what role Max Jones, who co-owned Yates Racing with Doug Yates, would take but speculated that he would stay on as the general manager. Jones declined to comment. Sources close to the situation said Yates would continue to run the Roush-Yates engine program that will supply engines to RPM's four teams -- Paul Menard from Yates and Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and A.J. Allmendinger from RPM. Petty said plans are to move from RPM's Statesville, N.C., shop to Yates' facility in Concord, N.C., to be closer to Roush Fenway Racing, which will continue to supply parts, pieces and technical support as it did with Yates. Because engines will come from Roush-Yates, RPM will have to shut down its engine department that employed more than 40 people. Petty said the potential of letting more people go during tough economic times was the tough part of the deal.(in part from ESPN.com)(9-12-2009)

  • Sorenson discusses Petty-Yates merger: Thursday, September 10, 2009 on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with #43 RPM Dodge driver Reed Sorenson after the announcement that Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing have signed a letter of intent to merge for the 2010 season and race a four car team in Fords:
    Host, Dave Moody: When did you first learn of this?
    Reed Sorenson: Well, to be honest with you, Ive heard rumors and things like that and whatnot of something going on with a merger but as far as knowing exactly whats going on, I havent really paid too much attention to it. Ive just been working with my team and when Ive been to the shop this week I really didnt talk to anybody in upper management or anything. I was hanging out with my guys and working with my crew chief there so I didnt know when this was going to happen or what they were working on but obviously it came along this week.
    Moody: So in terms of actually having a face-to-face conversation or even a telephone conversation with somebody in upper management to tell you that youre not apparently a part of the plan for next year, have you or have you not had that conversation as of yet?
    Sorenson: Well, not really pertaining to this I havent got any conversation but there have been some conversations in the past few weeks just discussing next year and Ive kind of known for a few weeks now that Im looking for a job next year. I think everything for the rest of this year is set as far as what our plans are and what our goals are but as far as next year for me as a driver, just looking to the future and looking for a ride.
    This is a tough time to not only get a ride but get a good ride. And thats probably the toughest thing about it is trying to put yourself in a position where you can get yourself in a car where you can see yourself having a future at. Thats the toughest thing right now. Im only 23 years old and I thought this was going to be a place where I could get down with a team and start a long future but obviously that hasnt worked out. The sponsors Ive worked with this year have been great and weve had zero problems with them. All the sponsors, theyve wanted to work with me again next year so I dont think thats a problem. I just think its the circumstances of the economy and what everybodys having to do to get through it.
    At the end of the day it is a business but I think the most depressing thing about it is I like everybody that I work with including my teammates and all the guys at the shop. So thats probably the most depressing thing about it all is just not being able to set up long term goals with the guys at the shop and [not] being able to work with them again next year. You know, our cars have gotten a lot better throughout the year and it would be awesome to go through the offseason and build something up to start next year but thats not going to happen.
    Moody: Are there any irons in the fire for you for 2010 as of right now? Sorenson: Still working on it, man. As we talked about, its not a good time to be looking for a ride, especially a good one. The one good thing I have is that I am young and Im going to work my butt off the rest of this year to try and find a job and just keep doing the best I can. Thats all you can do. Just like I said, the sad thing is just everything was going really well here with all the team members and with all the sponsors so thats probably just the worst thing about it all is just how well everything was going and now its all coming to an end.
    SIRIUS Speedway airs every weekday (3-7 pm ET) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio 128.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(9-11-2009)

  • Gillett about finalizes Montreal Canadiens sale: George Gillett, tears in his eyes, announced Thursday that the sale of the Canadiens to the Molson family is all but finalized, saying his eight years as owner of the historic team were the best of his family's life. He says his one regret was not to have won a Stanley Cup during his tenure with the Canadiens. The sale confirmation comes on the same day Quebec announces a $75-million loan to facilitate the transaction. The government loan hinges on a guarantee the hockey club stays in Montreal. Closing is expected to take place in the next few weeks, subject to ultimate approval by the National Hockey League, according to a statement released by the partnership purchasing the team. In addition to the Molson brothers and members of their family, the partners include Bell, the Woodbridge Company Limited, the QFL Solidarity Fund, Michael Andlauer and Luc Bertrand. Two thirds of the capital is invested by Quebec-based partners.(Montreal Gazette), Gillett is co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports [#9, #19, #43, #44 teams](9-11-2009)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports to run Fords in 2010, merge w/Yates: Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing announced today they have signed a letter of intent to merge operations in time for the 2010 season. The four-car team will race Fords under the Richard Petty Motorsports banner.
    Richard Petty: This is a pretty big deal for us. Were thrilled to partner with Ford. Weve talked with a lot of folks, but in the end it came down to the success the Gilletts and I think we can achieve with Ford Racing. Right now this deal is real new. There are lots of details still left to be ironed out so we dont have a lot of answers for anyone right now. Well be working on all that in the coming days, weeks and months, but we do intend to have everything in place before the start of next season. Ive won races with Ford and plan to again.
    Team Managing Partner Foster Gillett: Richard and Kasey (Kahne) showed us Sunday night in Atlanta that they like winning quite a bit and Ford is going to provide the support that we need to go to victory lane more often. If you are going to compete with the other teams in this sport you need a lot of support. We bring a lot to this relationship as well. Weve won twice this season and the power of Richard Petty is hard to beat, plus we have the support of some of the biggest names in corporate America.
    Yates Racing Co-owner Max Jones: This is certainly a great opportunity for both Yates Racing as well as Ford Racing. I have had a long-term relationship with Ford and look forward to continuing that relationship at Richard Petty Motorsports. Over the coming weeks we will continue to work with Ford and Richard Petty to lay out the best plan for Paul Menard and all of the employees at Yates Racing. We will continue to field both the #98 and #96 Ford Fusions for the remainder of the season and look forward to continued success on the track with Paul, Bobby Labonte and Erik Darnell.
    Yates Racing Co-owner Doug Yates: This plan is clearly in the best interest of the Ford Racing community. On a personal level, I am excited about the opportunity to focus my full energy on building Ford horsepower. We look forward to working with Richard Petty Motorsports to produce power second to none. There are many details to be worked out with Richard Petty Motorsports and as we finalize those details we will keep everyone informed.
    Director of Ford North America Motorsports Brian Wolfe: "I am very pleased that Richard Petty Motorsports has made the decision to switch to Ford for the 2010 season. They had choices to consider other than Ford and it's gratifying to us that they have enough faith in the Ford Motor Company and what we're doing to make the switch. We believe we can provide them with superior analytical tools and powertrain, and we will work with them closely on the technical front to help them become even more competitive than they are. What's also really cool to me is the chance to have someone with the class and the legacy of Richard Petty involved with Ford. Combine that with the chance to work with the Gillett family, who we have great respect for, and add some great drivers to the Ford camp, well, it's hard not to be excited about this opportunity."
    Note: Paul Menard will be one of the drivers in the Petty team joining #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Elliott Sadler and #44-AJ Allmendinger.(Richard Petty Motorsports)
    and the PR doesn't mention Reed Sorenson or what car number Menard will run and with this merger, looks like the #26 Roush Fenway Racing team may now go away as they it not merge with Yates Racing now, since Yates and RPM merging is at the four car limit mandated by NASCAR. So unless something changes, two more cars/teams are lost: would expect RPM to run the #9, #19 and #43 so either the #44 team or the #98 team would go away and the #26 Ford that was rumored to be going to Yates.
    UPDATE: on Sirius NASCAR Radio Channel 128, Sirius Speedway radio show, Reed Sorenson, current driver of the #43 RPM Dodge, was interviewed and said he knew a few weeks ago that he would not be back with Richard Petty Motorsports in 2010 and he is looking for a ride in 2010. Sorenson says he has enjoyed working with all his current sponsors in 2009 and a few would like to stay with him.(9-10-2009)

  • Petty staying with Dodge? It appears Richard Petty Motorsports will not move from Dodge to Toyota next season. At least that's the impression that Lee White, who heads Toyota Racing Development, gave last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway. White said he believes that Mike Accaviti, the president of the Dodge brand, is doing all he can to keep RPM in the fold. He also said that would be a good thing, that the sport needs all four manufacturers to be strong. He actually seemed to wish them luck and didn't seemed bothered that Toyota will not be welcoming in another organization. It makes sense -- Toyota's interest in RPM was tweaked when Red Bull Racing appeared set to leave the fold for General Motors and an association with Hendrick Motorsports. Now that Red Bull is set to re-sign with Toyota, there is not the urgency to get another organization. Having said that, there are no guarantees that RPM will be back with Dodge even if Toyota is out of the picture. The organization has had talks with General Motors as well. But all signs point to Dodge fielding cars for RPM and Penske Racing moving forward.(ESPN Insider)(8-27-2009)

  • Richard Petty to be honored at Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance: The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance Foundation, Inc. announced that NASCAR legend Richard Petty will be the honoree at the 15th annual Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, scheduled for March 12-14, 2010 at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and The Golf Club of Amelia Island at Summer Beach. Petty will serve as the key note speaker at the Concours' annual Gala Dinner Saturday, March 13, 2010. In addition to Petty's presence, this year's Concours will honor the 40th anniversary of Porsche's inaugural victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona and Le Mans and showcase a number of influential 917s, a model that is widely considered to be one of the most significant racecars of the modern era. This year's Amelia will also honor Sir Stirling Moss, OBE and the 50th Anniversary of Moss' victory in the last Cuban Grand Prix. The Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance is one of the nation's most innovative vintage auto events featuring over 250 rare classics from seldom-seen private collections nationwide. For more information, visit ameliaconcours.org.(Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance)(8-12-2009)

  • RPM Still Talking To Toyota: Multiple sources at Richard Petty Motorsports tell Sirius Speedway that RPM is still mulling the possibility of moving its entire operation to the Toyota camp in 2010. RPM spokesmen have downplayed reports of a possible manufacturer switch in recent weeks, but sources say that talks are ongoing with both Dodge and Toyota. No decisions have been made, but in an attempt to cover all their bases, the team recently had a series of publicity photos taken of Kasey Kahne and a Budweiser-sponsored #9 Toyota Camry.(Sirius Speedway)(8-12-2009)

  • #43 and #44 Crew Chief and Crew Switch official: Crew Chief Mike Shiplett and the crew that fielded the #43 Dodges for Reed Sorenson will begin working on the #44 Dodge with A.J. Allmendinger at Michigan and the rest of the 2009 season. Sam Johns and his crew that worked on the #44 will begin working on the #43 with Sorenson at Michigan. At Michigan, the #44 will sport a Super 8 scheme while the #43 Dodge will have Bumper to Bumper colors. Says Allmendinger:" Im pumped about working with Mike (Shiplett) and his crew again. We went testing at Dover last week and worked real well together. Sammy Johns and those guys did a heck of a job getting us ready to go racing right before the season and we had some really good runs. They are going to go over with Reed (Sorenson) and well pool the information and improve our teams. Were here to win and get a jump on 2010. Mike and I want to work on everything that will make us a contender the rest of the season and hit the ground running in Daytona in February.(Richard Petty Motorsports)(8-12-2009)

  • More on possible changes within RPM UPDATE 2: Despite recent rumors that Richard Petty Motorsports would be a three-car team by Watkins Glen next weekend, the King said Sunday at Pocono Raceway that there will be four cars through the end of the season. "We're going to have four cars, but we're going to do some changing around," Petty said. "We're looking to finish up this season (and) preparing for next season. We've got one car, hopefully, that's going to be in the Chase and the other three we've got to get squared away and anticipate for next year. There will be some swapping around with different personnel and stuff like that to put in motion this year the opportunity to see how it works in preparation for next year. Then if it doesn't work, we've still got time to make changes for next year." Don't be surprised if there isn't a crew chief change among the non-title contending teams  #19, #43 and/or #44  before the Chase begins.(FoxSports)(8-3-2009)
    UPDATE The #43-Sorenson and #44-Allmendinger teams at Richard Petty Motorsports will change crew chiefs and crews following the race at Watkins Glen. According to team sources, drivers Reed Sorenson and AJ Allmendinger will remain with their respective car numbers and sponsors. However, Mike Shiplett will now oversee the #44 Dodge with Allmendinger and Sammy Johns will be the crew chief for Sorenson and the #43 squad. The cars and equipment will remain with the crew chiefs.(Foxsports)(8-3-2009)
    UPDATE: it has reported a few times on TV coverage this weekend that the #43 and #44 crew chief's and crews have made the swap BUT have been told by RPM reps that the change has not been made yet and that Mike Shiplett is still crew chiefing the #43 Dodge of Reed Sorenson and Sammy Johns is still crew chiefing the #44 Dodge of A.J. Allmendinger. And see image of the #43 McDonald's Angus Third Pounders scheme.(8-8-2009)

  • Villeneuve was offered the #43 for Watkins Glen UPDATE2 not happening: Dominic Fugère of Rue Frontenac reports that Jacques Villeneuve will run the Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at The Glen Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International. Villeneuve said "It's already qualified a car, a good car" [meaning a car/team that is in the top-35 of owners points, looking thru the list a few stand out as possible teams: #12-Stremme, #6-Ragan, #34-Andretti]. But no team is mentioned in the article.(Rue Frontenac - translated)(8-5-2009)
    UPDATE: Jacques Villeneuve will be back in Sprint Cup this weekend at Watkins Glen. Villeneuve, who is currently in Europe, has received an offer from Richard Petty Motorsports replace Reed Sorensen at the wheel of the #43 Dodge [for Watkins Glen]. Villeneuve, said that in talks with the new team USF1 for a possible return to Formula 1, and said that other proposals to run in NASCAR by the end of the season.(Translated from monvolant.cyberpresse.ca)(8-5-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Jacques Villeneuve came close to a return to Sprint Cup this weekend at Watkins Glen. Villeneuve received an offer from the Richard Petty Motorsports team to replace Reed Sorensen at the wheel of the # 43 Dodge. Sorenson, injured last weekend [had not heard this] at Pocono, had agreed with his team to skip the demanding road race circuit and be back in the #43 for the remainder of the season.(translated from monvolant.cyberpresse.ca)(8-5-2009)

  • Petty says all four teams will stay...for now: Richard Petty shot down rumors that Sorenson was in danger of being yanked from the #43 Dodge for #44-Allmendinger for performance and financial reasons. "We're going to run all drivers the rest of the year," Petty said. "We'll sort of see what happens after this season and we'll make our decisions on next year." All four drivers are signed through 2010, but Petty said there are no assurances the team can keep all the drivers. "The economy is going to dictate to us what we need to do," he said. "Right now, we're just trying to keep our head above water, hoping that the economy comes around so that we can continue to run four cars." RPM laid off employees and sliced salaries earlier this year in the fallout from Chrysler's Chapter 11 filing. Petty's first choice is to run all four cars in a full Cup season, but economics may decide otherwise. "We can't sacrifice three to try and run a fourth car," Petty said. "Right now, we're still breathing air and we're able to run four cars the rest of the season."(in part from the Associated Press)(8-2-2009)

  • RPM downsizing? Sorenson out? UPDATE2 denied: Rumors persist that Richard Petty Motorsports will shrink to three cars in the next few weeks, with A.J. Allmendinger moving to the #43 Dodge, replacing Reed Sorenson, and the #44 team being shut down.(Ford Racing)(7-29-2009)
    UPDATE: An internet report claiming that Reed Sorenson will be released by Richard Petty Motorsports as part of a downsizing of the team's Sprint Cup roster appears to be premature. The Ford Racing website reported on rumors that Sorenson will be replaced by former Champ Car star A.J. Allmendinger when Allmendinger's #44 Dodge is mothballed within the next few weeks. However, a source close to the team - speaking on the condition of anonymity - said today that while the move is being discussed, Sorenson's release is not yet a done deal. "No one is sure that it's going to happen," said the source, "but it's definitely being talked about. The team is working on the details right now." If RPM does indeed decide to trim its roster from four cars to three, Allmendinger's current sponsors would transfer to the #43 Dodge. Calls to Richard Petty Motorsports seeking comment were not immediately returned.(Sirius Speedway)(7-29-2009)
    UPDATE: a Richard Petty Motorsports representative says that the team will remain a four car team and Sorenson will stay with the #43 team.(7-31-2009)

  • Petty working with Chrysler on debt; Kahne in Toyota in Nationwide next year: Chrysler is working on a deal to pay off some of its debt to Richard Petty Motorsports [#9, #19, #43, #44] , co-owner Richard Petty said on Friday at Daytona International Speedway. Petty said last month that Chrysler's bankruptcy put cash flow from the manufacturer to the organization on hold. The subsequent layoff of nine RPM employees also was blamed on anticipated cuts from the bankruptcy. "They've stopped everything,'' he said of Chrysler's support. Petty said on Friday that RPM should expect some money soon. "Yeah, we'll get some money from them,'' he said. "Right now we're in the process of figuring out exactly what they can do to get back to us to see what we can do." Petty's initial comments increased speculation that RPM may leave Dodge for Toyota after this season. The organization is in the final year of its contract and has partnered with Toyota's Braun Racing for five Nationwide Series races in 2009.(ESPN.com)
    AND: Braun Racing [Nationwide Series team] announced that Great Clips, Inc., will return for another three seasons to sponsor the #38 Toyota in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Jason Leffler will pilot the #38 Great Clips Camry for 27 of the 35 scheduled races while Kasey Kahne will drive the #38 in the remaining eight races.(Braun Racing PR)(7-4-2009)

  • McDonald's to serve up McCafé twice more in July: The mocha brown and creamy white of McDonald's McCafé returns on two Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge Chargers racing under the lights in July. First, Kasey Kahne will pilot the #10 McDonald's McCafé Dodge Charger around Daytona in the July 3rd Nationwide Series race. The next week Reed Sorenson will take the #43 McDonald's McCafé Dodge Charger to Chicagoland Speedway for the July 11th Sprint Cup race. Summer nights are heating up with great racing. McDonalds McCafé has two delicious ways to chill down with creamy and cold Iced Latte and cool, chocolaty Iced Mocha. Both are available now at McDonalds as part of the new McCafé menu of sweet and indulgent drinks at an affordable McDonald's price.(McDonald's), see images of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(6-30-2009)

  • The King to 'share his thoughts': Richard Petty has plenty of NASCAR memories. He'll be sharing those tonight as the Warner Theatre in Torrington, CT presents "An Evening with 'The King.'" The winningest driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup history also will have a current success story to talk about. A 10-year absence from victory lane as a car owner ended at Infineon Raceway Sunday, when Kasey Kahne drove a Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge to a win in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 on the road course in Sonoma, Calif. Petty, who will turn 72 on July 2, won a record seven titles on the way to 200 victories in a career that started in 1958 and ended in 1992. Next weekend at Daytona International Speedway he will celebrate the 25th anniversary of his last victory in the 1984 Firecracker 400. Petty isn't quite sure about what fans can expect to hear at the Warner Theatre, a show that is being hosted by officials from Lime Rock Park in Salisbury. Lime Rock owner Skip Barber, a legend in American sports car racing, will moderate. "It will be a question-and-answer deal," Petty said. "We'll sign a few autographs. Whatever they want to do. To me it's a chance to say thank you to the fans that support Sprint Cup racing. Without the fans, there wouldn't be a Richard Petty as far as being a celebrity or whatever it might be that people want to call me. I wouldn't have been able to have been the race car driver I was without the fans there every week."(Hartford Courant)(6-26-2009)

  • "The King" dicusses Toyota rumors: Tuesday, June 23rd on Sirius Speedway on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody spoke with NASCAR legend Richard Petty. Petty was asked about the rumors that Richard Petty Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne might be switching from a Dodge to a Toyota.
    Host, Dave Moody: Lot of rumors swirling around about Kasey Kahne and a possible affiliation with Toyota, on again, off again, conversations that may or may not be happening. What can you tell us on that, if anything?
    Richard Petty: Exactly what you just said. Thats how much I know about it, too. Its all swirling around. You grab some of it. I dont really know, okay? And I dont think anybody knows right now exactly where were sitting, what were gonna do, whats gonna happen, you know, three weeks from now let alone the beginning of next year. Were like everybody else. Were trying to put ourselves together with our sponsor deals, make sure weve got monetary deals to be able to go do the deal. Then were going to look at whatever we think is going to be the best for Richard Petty Motorsports in the short run and the long run. Because after being here for 50 or 60 years anyway Im not looking for a quick fix, okay? Were trying to put stuff together so that we can go on down the road next year, the year after next, the year after that. What happens? I dont know. Were open about anything right now to look at. So were going to put everything on the table and then were going to say, Okay, this happens and that happens and this over here happens. Then we hope well make the right decisions on where we go. Other than that, thats about all I know about it.
    Moody: I know youve been fiercely loyal to Dodge over the years but at the end of the day loyalty doesnt feed the dog, does it?
    Petty: Well, youve got to look at it from the standpoint that can Dodge be loyal to us now that the government owns Chrysler, okay, or whoever owns it? So I dont know if the people that are head of whats going on right now, are they race fans? If they are then thats going to be great. But if theyre not then, you know, it affects so many people and theres so much going on out there, under the table deal or under the ground, that we dont know about. So what Dodge does next year or what Chevrolet does or what Ford does or Toyota or whoever, were just going to have to sort of wait and let things sort of let the dust settle and then were going to run in there and pick up the best thing we can.
    Moody: Would it be even theoretically feasible to field two different brands of race cars out of the same race shop? Could that be done?
    Petty: You know, Ive asked the same question. (laughs) Really, I have. I said, What if? And I think thats what were gonna have to do. Were gonna have to say, What if? and then see if its done and what would it be to be able to do something like that. The problem I see with running two different kinds of cars out of the same shop is basically the engine shop. The cars have got the same wheels, same brakes, same chassis, same basic body so all that stuff would be easy. The big deal was how could you do the motor situation? That would be the big question mark. I dont know if its ever been done but if it could be done we could probably do it.
    SIRIUS Speedway airs every weekday (3-7 pm ET) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.(SIRIUS XM Radio)(6-24-2009)

  • Kahne to Toyota? by August? denied UPDATE 4: Speculation is increasing that Dodge driver #9-Kasey Kahne, who runs for Richard Petty, could switch to a Toyota by the July 11th Sprint Cup race at Chicago. Petty has said that Chrysler has cut its payments to his four-car operation, and apparently Petty has only enough engine parts for one of the new Dodge NASCAR engines. Petty's business partner, George Gillett, tried last season to make a deal with Toyota. There is no immediate comment from Toyota officials.(mikemulhern.net)(6-22-2009)
    UPDATE: And speculation that Richard Petty and Kasey Kahne could switch to Toyotas as soon as July? Lee White, head of Toyota' racing development operations, says "I've never talked to the King or his driver. I'm pretty sure that no one at Toyota/TRD has talked to either of them."(mikemulhern.net)(6-22-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Sirius Speedway has learned that Richard Petty Motorsports will begin fielding Toyotas for driver #9-Kasey Kahne in mid-August, with at least part of the team remaining in Dodge livery for the time being. Published reports this week claimed the team will begin fielding Toyotas for Kahne at Chicagoland Speedway on July 11, but an RPM source speaking on the condition of anonymity tells Sirius Speedway that the change will not happen until team officials are able to hammer out a financial settlement with their current manufacturer. Dodge owes the team a ton of money, and theyre trying to negotiate some kind of settlement right now, said one source. Until thats done, the team cannot make a move. Once the settlement is signed, youll see Kasey Kahne in a Toyota. RPMs familiar #43  driven by Reed Sorenson  will remain in Dodge livery for the foreseeable future. A decision on future manufacturer affiliations for the #19 and #44 cars -- driven by Elliott Sadler and AJ Allmendinger  is pending.(Sirius Speedway)(6-22-2009)
    UPDATE 3 - denied: Been told by sources within Richard Petty Motorsports that there are no plans to switch manufacturers with any of their Sprint Cups teams in 2009.(6-23-2009)
    UPDATE 4: sources inside the walls at RPM say plans have been made to field Toyota Camrys for Kasey Kahne beginning in mid-August, as soon as team officials finalize a financial settlement package with Dodge. Those negotiations have reportedly taken a sudden turn in recent days, though, with the possibility now existing for Kahne and his RPM teammates to remain in the Dodge camp, after all.(Sirius Speedway)(6-23-2009)

  • RPM owner sells NHL team: George N. Gillett Jr [owner of Richard Petty Motorsports #'s 9,19,43,44] and Geoff Molson announced that they have reached an agreement in principle for the sale of the Gillett family's interests in the Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club, the Bell Centre and Gillett Entertainment Group. They will hold a news conference as soon as the agreement is finalized.(NHL.com)(6-21-2009)

  • New sponsor for Sorenson at MIS #43-Reed Sorenson heads to Michigan International Speedway (MIS) this weekend with a new sponsor, Reynolds Wrap, on the hood of the famous #43. Reynolds Wrap is serving as the primary sponsor of the #43 Dodge for the first time. For more information on Reynolds Wrap, Reynolds products or easy recipe ideas please visit www.ReynoldsKitchen.com.(RPM), see image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(6-12-2009)

  • RPM lays off nine employees, heading to Toyota?: Richard Petty Motorsports has laid off nine employees and reduced salaries throughout the organization, a byproduct of Chrysler's bankruptcy filing. A person familiar with the moves tells The Associated Press that RPM officials are anticipating significant cutbacks from Dodge. Chrysler is Dodge's parent company, and the automaker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month. Team co-owner Richard Petty has said the bankruptcy filing slowed the money flow from Dodge over the past few weeks. RPM fields cars for #9-Kasey Kahne, #19-Elliott Sadler, #43-Reed Sorenson and #44-AJ Allmendinger. The team has funded Allmendinger's car largely out of pocket all season. RPM is in the final year of its contract with Dodge, and the team is widely believed to be trying to negotiate a switch to Toyota in 2010. The team made a move in that direction late Monday by partnering with Braun Racing, a Toyota team, for five Nationwide Series races beginning with next month's event at Daytona. RPM gave no indication what brand, Dodge or Toyota, its drivers will use in the five races with Braun.(Associated Press)(6-8/9-2009)

  • Special scheme for Sorenson at Pocono IMAGE added: There arent many guarantees in racing but this weekend in Pocono, #43 Valvoline Dodge driver Reed Sorenson will carry a guarantee on the hood of his Dodge. Sorenson will drive the Valvoline Engine Guarantee Dodge for Richard Petty Motorsports. The paint scheme is part of Valvolines new engine guarantee program. Anyone can go to Valvoline.com and signup and Valvoline will guarantee the engine for up to 300,000 miles. The guarantee program couldnt come at a better time. The front stretch at the 2.5-mile triangular shaped track is the longest one of the toughest on engines in the sport.(RPM)(6-3-2009)
    IMAGE see scheme, posted on my #43 Team Schemes page.(6-5-2009)

  • Dodge support "on hold" Team owner Richard Petty says the Chrysler bankruptcy has put cash flow from the manufacturer to the Richard Petty Motorsports organization he co-owns with George Gillett "in a holding pattern." From the point of view of the Dodge Motorsports program, however, the commitment to racing is undiminished. "They've stopped everything," Petty said in the garage at Dover International Speedway this past weekend. "They went into bankruptcy, and they're sort of in a floating stage right now. They're trying to see where they come out of this at. If they've got new people running the show, are they still going to continue to back everything exactly like they are, or whatever? They're in a holding pattern right now. I think GM's that way -- I don't know about Ford -- and I know Chrysler's that way. The rest of them I don't know. I don't deal with them." Walter Czarnecki, vice chairman of Penske Racing, which has three Dodge teams, said the legal proceedings also have held up payments to his organization. "In the legal procedure, you have to file what's called a 'Cure Letter' that lists all the things that you are owed. And when it's submitted and approved, they'll pay. We have money that was due April 30 that has not been received yet and probably won't be received for several weeks." Mike Accavitti, director of brand marketing and strategy for Chrysler, acknowledged the reorganization has affected the flow of cash from Chrysler but affirmed the company remains committed to Cup racing and that at-track services provided to the teams continue to be available.(NASCAR.com/Sporting News)(6-2-2009)

  • Richard Petty may do Indy 500 again: Richard Petty might be looking at a repeat trip to the Indianapolis 500. NASCAR's "King" fielded an Indy 500 entry for the first time in his prolific career when he put John Andretti behind the wheel last Sunday. Petty enjoyed the pageantry of race day, but couldn't stick around for the finish because of his NASCAR obligations. About an hour after the green flag dropped at Indy, Petty hopped a plane to Charlotte, N.C., for the Coca-Cola 600. Andretti finished 19th and the NASCAR race was rained out. Petty enjoyed his day so much at the IRL spectacle, that he would consider another run next season. "I told John that being that we ran pretty good up there, maybe we can get him in a couple of other races and get him practiced-up so when we get back to Indy he can do a better job," Petty said on Saturday.(Associated Press)(5-31-2009)

  • Andretti finishes 19th at Indy: John Andretti finished 19th in the #43 Richard Petty's car at the Indianspolis 500 on Sunday. Penske Racing's Helio Castroneves won the race for the third time.(5-24-2009)

  • The King and King of Beers Drive Home Responsible Drinking Message: The King and the King of Beers hope adult race fans cheering on their favorite NASCAR drivers will make responsible choices before the green flag waves. Richard Petty, the most decorated driver in the history of NASCAR, and Anheuser-Busch announced today they are teaming up on a new Budweiser responsibility campaign aimed at reminding fans to use a designated driver. The new campaign is being launched nationwide this week in time for Sundays NASCAR race in Charlotte. Racing is about winning, and we think its important to remind fans that everyone wins by choosing a designated driver, said Petty. Were very excited to work with Anheuser-Busch to help make sure everyone gets home safely on race day and anytime their activities include alcohol. The campaign materials read, Designated Drivers&Preferred By Kings Everywhere, and include the text, The King of the Road and the King of Beers remind you to choose a designated driver. Two out of three American adults have been or used a designated driver. Thanks for making sure everyone gets home safely.
    Its truly an honor for us to partner with Richard on this important message to race fans, stated Carol Clark, Anheuser-Buschs vice president of Corporate Social Responsibility. Choosing a designated driver is a sure route to victory lane.(Elevation Group)(5-23-2009)

  • Air Force sponsoring Sorenson at Lowes: #43 Air Force Dodge driver Reed Sorenson has scored the 13th most points over the last four races and climbed seven positions since Texas. The Richard Petty Motorsports driver hope to keep that string going this weekend when he races in the 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte.(Richard Petty Motorsports PR), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2009)

  • Andretti bumps way into Indy 500: Bump Day drama can even affect an Indy 500 veteran like John Andretti. But the Indy native shook off any nerves Sunday in last-ditch qualifying effort to make his tenth Indianapolis 500 field. Driving his #43 Richard Petty Window World Honda Dallara, Andretti had not been fast enough to make the 33-driver field in his first two qualifying attempts Sunday with a best of 220.2 miles per hour with twenty minutes remaining in time trials. But a quick change by the Window World crew helped the NASCAR regular make the field in his third and final attempt. With six minutes left in Bump Day, Andretti posted laps of 221.571, 221.393, 221.201 and 221.098 for a four-lap of 221.316 m.p.h. and claim the 28th spot in next Sundays starting grid. Andrettis start will be his third consecutive at Indy after taking a 13-year hiatus to drive on the NASCAR circuit. In fact, Tony Stewart even texted Dreyer & Reinbold Racing competition director Larry Curry [who Stewart drove for in the IRL] for advise for Andretti during the afternoon qualifying excitement. The text said, "If he is uneasy about opening the entry, ask him to let it have its head on the exit. He is a full car width off the wall on the exit binding it up."(see more at petty-andretti.com)(5-18-2009)

  • Reddin quits as RPM's CEO: Tom Reddin has resigned as chief executive officer at Richard Petty Motorsports, multiple team sources told ESPN.com on Friday. Foster Gillet, son of team owner George Gillet, will oversee day-to-day operations, effective immediately, team sources confirmed. Reddin joined RPM just prior to the start of the 2008 season, overseeing the organization's four Sprint Cup Series teams. The team's management had come under fire of late in the wake of poor performance and the residual frustration from its driving corps. Reddin wasn't immediately available for comment. Reddin came to RPM from LendingTree, where he was also CEO.(ESPN.com)(5-15-2009)

  • If Sorenson gets voted in, he wil donate: Reed Sorenson will donate his winnings to charity if fans vote him into Saturday nights All-Star Challenge. The #43 McDonalds McCafe Dodge driver plans to transfer into the All-Star Challenge by finishing first or second in the Showdown. But if he doesnt, Sorenson will give his portion of the winnings to Ronald McDonald House Charities if he transfers into the race through the fan vote. Sorenson: The fan vote is pretty important as Kasey proved last year. If Im fortunate enough to transfer in through the fan vote then Ill gladly give my prize money to char­ity. The Ronald McDonald House Charities do some great work with kids and families. Im fortunate to do what I love in life and I think giving back is important. If the fans give me a way into the All-Star race then I dont have a problem giving that money to people doing a lot of good in the world.(RPM)(5-13-2009)

  • Richard Petty Motorsports will hold a Fan Appreciation autograph session on Friday, May 22 at the teams race shop in Statesville N.C. Five hundred custom-made, collectible tickets will be distributed at 10 a.m. the day of the event. At 11 a.m. each ticket holder will receive an autograph from drivers Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, AJ Allmendinger, Reed Sorenson as well as team co-owner Richard Petty. The event will also include a radio remote from Sirius NASCAR radio, team show cars, behind the scenes look at the team shops, driver fan club displays, as well as a take home gift for each person that receives one of the commemorative tickets. The team museum and gift shop will open at 8 a.m. the day of the event. Richard Petty Motorsports is located at 320 Aviation Dr, Statesville, NC 28677, near the Statesville Regional Airport. If you are traveling from I-77, take I-40 West toward Hickory/Asheville to Exit 146, Stamey Farm Road. Turn left at the top of the ramp and cross over I-40. Go straight at the stop sign, and make the first left onto Aviation Drive.(5-8-2009)

  • Valvoline to Pay Tribute to Inman, Crew Chiefs at Darlington: Valvoline will pay tribute to legendary crew chief Dale Inman, and all crew chiefs, with a special paint scheme on the Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Dodge Charger for Saturday night's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Darlington Raceway. The Valvoline Dodge, piloted by Reed Sorenson, will feature the names of Valvoline crew chiefs from both NASCAR and NHRA, and a crew chief-tribute logo on the hood. The decklid will feature Inman, who was a crew chief for eight NASCAR Cup championships -- seven with Richard "The King" Petty and one with Terry Labonte. Inman, 72, who continues to be involved at Richard Petty Motorsports, said he was proud of the crew chief recognition on the famed #43 car. "I am biased, but in my opinion crew chiefs are the backbone of a racing operation and I salute Valvoline for not only being a great technological partner but also for this special tribute," said Inman. Valvoline captured 60 professional victories with its sponsored NASCAR and NHRA teams in 2008, and has already notched 13 wins in 2009, including Matt Kenseth's Daytona 500 victory. Valvoline is used by about one-third of the Sprint Cup field. In addition to the Richard Petty Motorsports #43, some of the other teams include the rest of the Richard Petty Motorsports stable, Roush Fenway Racing and Robby Gordon Motorsports.(DMF Communications PR), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(5-6-2009)

  • RPM plans to use new Dodge engine: Richard Petty Motorsports plans to switch to the new Dodge engine in time for the May 31 race at Dover, vice president of race operations Robbie Loomis said Tuesday. Loomis said only one of the organization's four drivers likely will use the R6P8 that the other Dodge organization, Penske Racing, has used all season. A decision on which driver will use it will be made in the upcoming weeks. #9-Kasey Kahne could get the nod if the organization believes the engine will help get him back into the top 12 to qualify for the Chase. RPM's marquee driver is 17th in points after Saturday night's 29th-place finish at Richmond. If not Kahne, then #44-A.J. Allmendinger (28th), #19-Elliott Sadler (29th) or #43-Reed Sorenson (22nd) will get the engine. "We talked about using it for the All-Star race or maybe the [Coca-Cola 600]," Loomis said of the upcoming races at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "It's just risk versus reward. We were not comfortable bringing it out in the 600." Loomis said RPM is about a month behind the planned schedule to introduce the engine. He said the process was slowed when the organization committed to Allmendinger beyond the first five races, noting that engineers who might have spent time on the R6P8 had to build engines for an additional car. Loomis said the lack of horsepower with the old engine has been obvious, particularly at Talladega Superspeedway, where RPM's top driver qualified 35th.(ESPN.com)(5-5-2009)

  • Special McDonald's scheme for the #43 at RIR: This week, when Reed Sorenson takes to the track at Richmond, the #43 McDonald's Dodge will sport a new look to promote the national roll out of the McCafé menu of made to order drinks. McCafé features a range of five indulgent drinks that satisfy both your sweet tooth and your coffee fix at an affordable McDonald's price. The car design, which will appear this weekend at Richmond International Raceway and again at the Sprint All-Star Race in Charlotte, prominently features the McCafé logo on the hood, sides and rear of the car. The driver's side features a chocolaty Iced Mocha topped with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup, while the passenger's side features a frothy Cappuccino.(McDonald's PR)(5-1-2009)

  • Sorenson running Auto Value scheme at Phoenix: This Saturday's Subway Fresh Fit 500 will mark the first time Sorenson climbs behind the wheel of an Auto Value-sponsored #43 Dodge. Auto Value, a longtime sponsor of the organization now known as Richard Petty Motorsports, begins its four-race 2009 NASCAR schedule.(RPM PR) See an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(4-15-2009)

  • NASCAR team owner to run Indy 500? UPDATE 3: According to a press release from TB Communications, a press conference has been scheduled for Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a "NASCAR team owner" to announce an entry into the 93rd running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. The release said the team owner will be making his debut as a car owner in the Indy 500. Two Sprint Cup Series team owners can be eliminated. Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi have both won the Indy 500 as car owners. The NASCAR team owner announcing the entry is also expected to announce a major sponsor for the deal and also who will drive his car. The release did not say if the NASCAR team owner involved is an owner in the Sprint Cup Series.(Hartford Courant)(4-3-2009)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Motorsports will field an Indy 500 entry for driver John Andretti, sources have confirmed to NASCAR.COM. The official announcement will be made Monday. Given that RPM currently does not have an IndyCar operation, it was unclear Friday how the program would take shape.(NASCAR.com)(4-3-2009)
    UPDATE 2: Richard Petty will make his first foray into the Indianapolis 500 as an owner when he fields a car for John Andretti in next month's race. A news conference is scheduled Monday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but details were confirmed Friday by a person familiar with the arrangement. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to The Associated Press because the deal has not been announced. In 1994, Andretti became the first driver to run both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR event in Charlotte on the same day, finishing 10th at Indianapolis and crashing and finishing 36th at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Tony Stewart and Robby Gordon have both since done the double, but the grueling feat is no longer possible since Indianpolis changed its starting time several years ago. Petty is a partner in NASCAR with George Gillett in Richard Petty Motorsports, the team formerly known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Gillett is not expected to be part of the Indy deal. Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, which runs the full IndyCar Series, will work with Petty at Indy, providing equipment and personnel.(Associated Press)(4-4-2009)
    UPDATE 3: Richard Petty will field an entry for the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, with John Andretti driving the Window World-sponsored car in the 2009 edition of "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" on Sunday, May 24. Seven-time NASCAR champion Petty unveiled the #43 Window World Dallara/Honda/Firestone for Indy 500 veteran and NASCAR regular Andretti on April 6 at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Window World, the world's largest replacement window company, brought Andretti to the Daytona 500 earlier this year. Petty's new entry will feature the traditional "Petty Blue" and "Day-Glo Red" from his stock cars in the "King's" debut as a team owner in the Indy 500 after participating in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard for the past 15 years. Richard Petty Motorsports currently campaigns four Dodge cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Window World and Petty will combine efforts with the Indy-based Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team to field the #43 Honda-powered Indy car for Andretti, an Indianapolis native.(see more, a transcript and photos at Indy500.com)(4-6-2009)

  • Gillette could sell NHL team, could race team be next? UDPATE: denied There are no indications yet that the financial troubles apparently plaguing George Gillett will force him to sell part or all of his interest in Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM). ESPN.com reported on Monday that the 24-time Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens owned by Gillett could be sold in order for Gillett to divest some of his properties. Gillett also is the majority owner or RPM, the English Premier League soccer team Liverpool as well as several ski and golf clubs. Two people close to RPM and its ownership are not aware of any plans to put the Sprint Cup organization on shopping block. That doesn't mean it couldn't change as the economy worsens. Gillett purchased Evernham Motorsports from then-owner Ray Evernham two years ago and renamed it Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Evernham still is a minority owner. Gillett recently purchased Petty Enterprises owned by seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty and renamed it RPM.(ESPN Insider)(3-24-2009)
    UPDATE: Montreal Canadiens majority owner George N. Gillett Jr. Thursday vehemently denied that his hockey club is for sale, contradicting a rumored Forbes magazine report that ultimately never was published. The Colorado resident's finances have been ripe for speculation in recent days. His cash flow and debt load have been scrutinized in several published reports, especially related to his co-ownership of the Premier League's Liverpool Football Club. "The Montreal Canadiens club has never been for sale," Gillett said. "We have never prepared documents, materials. (I have) never authorized anyone, never prepared materials to that end. I'm angry that I need to keep denying (that the club is for sale)."(Yahoo Sports)(3-26-2009)

  • Why The King is not Racing at Bristol: Asked why seven-time champion Richard "The King" Petty isn't participating in Saturday's legends race at Bristol Motor Speedway, long-time crew chief Dale Inman said, "He knew better than to ask his wife." Inman wasn't the only person in the Sprint Cup garage at Bristol Motor Speedway who said Lynda Petty was the reason NASCAR?s all-time race winner isn't competing against the likes of Cale Yarborough, Harry Hyde and Junior Johnson. "He knew Lynda wouldn't let him," one source close to the situation said with a laugh. "But if you ask Richard he'll deny it." Petty isn't the only old-timer who declined to participate. David Pearson is out with a bad back and many, according to rumors, couldn't get the insurance necessary to compete in the 6 p.m. event.(ESPN Insider)(3-21-2009)

  • Sorenson to run PVA.org scheme at Bristol: #43-Reed Sorenson is scheduled to be run a Paralyzed Veterans of American scheme in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. A PVA PR had the scheme being run at Daytona in July and Texas in November. Sorenson commented: "You know everyone wants to do well out here. But I can't think of a sponsor I have ever had where you felt like you wanted to do something extra special on the track. PVA helps a group of people who've probably given as much for this country as anyone has given." Richard Petty said, "You know, I want to tell anyone serving in our military thank you. Thank you for doing what you are doing over there so all of us can do what we are doing over here. This country needs a strong defense and everyone serving in our military deserves our thanks. We've had a chance to hang out with the Air Force people who've come to the races this season and we really mean it when we say we are honored that they think enough of us to support us like they have and do what they are doing for this country."(RPM PR), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(3-16-2009)

  • Sorenson and Mom to talk teen driving with Atlanta high school students: Car crashes are the #1 cause of fatality among teenagers in America. Nearly 5,000 teens die every year and about 375,000 more are injured as a result of careless driving. To help stop this epidemic, Richard Petty Motorsports drivers Kasey Kahne and Reed Sorenson have partnered with Allstate this spring to visit high schools in NASCAR Sprint Cup race markets and encourage communication between parents and teens on this important issue. Leading into the Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 8, Sorenson, who hails from Peachtree City, Ga., and his mother, Becky, will headline the Allstate Teen Safe Driving Pit Stop at Campbell High School in Smyrna, Ga., on Wednesday [March 4th] to talk to students and parents about the risks facing teens on the road. According to a recent study, the Atlanta area ranks eighth among the nations 10 deadliest metro areas for fatal crashes involving teen drivers. Campbell students will be encouraged to visit www.allstate.com/teen with their parents to complete Allstates interactive Parent-Teen Driving Contract, which helps parents establish safe driving guidelines for their teen driver in a variety of categories to help minimize distractions behind the wheel. During the race weekend, Reed and his pit crew will wear a specially designed wrist band with the message GA-198 to honor the 198 teenagers in Georgia who lost their lives in car crashes in 2007.(3-2-2009)

  • Looks like PVA staying with Petty: Looks like Paralyzed Veterans of America is going to continue to honor the two race deal they had in place with the now defunct Petty Enterprises and will be on the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Dodge of Reed Sorenson, The original PVA.org press release said the scheme would run at the July 4th in Daytona and at Texas in November. Was sent an image of the #43 PVA.org card that the RPM merchandise hauler is giving out at the tracks. See the image on my #43 Team Schemes page.(2-27-2009)

  • Super 8 to sponsor RPM: looks like will sponsor the #43 Dodge of Reed Sorenson and the #44 Dodge of A.J. Allmendinger for a few races in 2009. See the site Petty's Garage for more info and images, and see an image of the #43 on my #43 Team Schemes page.(2-26-2009)

  • Teams looking for sponsors: The most important part of Sunday's Auto Club 500 was not what happened on the track but what took place in the garage, the suites and elsewhere. Some teams had prospective sponsors at Auto Club Speedway as they look to find additional funding. Teams looking for sponsors range from Roush Fenway Racing to Richard Petty Motorsports to Earnhardt Ganassi Racing and others. Richard Petty Motorsports is trying to find sponsorship for #44-AJ Allmendinger beyond the nine races it has for him this season. De Cordell, chief sales and marketing officer, says the team also is looking for a primary sponsor for about six races on #43-Reed Sorenson's car and a major associate sponsor for #9-Kasey Kahne. Cordell said the team had two potential sponsors at Sunday's race, including one that came about after RPM's Daytona 500 performance where it placed three of its four cars in the top 10.
    Earnhardt Ganassi Racing continues to search for sponsorship for #8-Aric Almirola and #1-Martin Truex Jr. Steve Lauletta, team president, says Almirola has sponsorship for about 10 races. Lauletta says Truex needs to add a sponsor for about six races. Lauletta said the team received two calls about prospective sponsors this week after the Daytona 500 where Truex won the pole, and had a couple of potential sponsors at the race. The team also is planning to announce a sponsorship agreement next week between its NASCAR teams and car owner Chip Ganassi's IndyCar program. Lauletta estimates the team worked on that deal for 14 months.
    Roush Fenway Racing also is looking for future sponsorship and benefited from Matt Kenseth's victory at Daytona. While the organization has primary sponsors for all five cars, each of those sponsors are open to joining other companies on the cars, says Robin Johnson, executive vice president, business development for Roush Fenway Racing.(Roanoke Time)(2-23-2009)

  • Richard Petty about A.J.'s future plans: from a Dodge Motorsports NSCS Teleconference Transcript:
    Q: WITH ALLMENDINGERS THIRD-PLACE FINISH AT DAYTONA, HOW MUCH WILL THAT HELP YOU FIND ADDITIONAL SPONSORS FOR THE 44 CAR?
    A: "Its got to be a plus-plus. I think weve got sponsorship for 10 or 12 races right now and were already committed for the first six or eight races. We feel like if he (Allmendinger) can continue to show promise and do as well as he did at Daytona, then we feel very confident that well be able to pick up different sponsors over a period of time to continue running him. If he keeps running like he did at Daytona, Ill just run him out of my pocket because hell be bringing the money back in."(Dodge Motorsport PR)
    AND Charter Communications will be on both #43-Reed Sorenson's and #44-A.J. Allmendinger's Dodges this weekend at Auto Club Speedway.(RPM PR)(2-18-2009)

  • Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper to sponsor Sorenson: Moving into their fifth season of NASCAR sponsorship, Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper has contracted with Richard Petty Motorsports (formerly Gillett Evernham Motorsports) as the primary sponsor for four 2009 races. The Auto Value logo will decorate the Dodge race car for two races during the season while the other two races will showcase the Bumper to Bumper logo on the renowned Petty racecars. Reed Sorenson will drive the #43 Auto Value Dodge on April 18 at the Phoenix and the #43 Bumper to Bumper Dodge at Michigan in August. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper will be making their first Nationwide Series race start of 2009 with the #9 Auto Value Dodge on the track at the New Hampshire in June with Elliott Sadler taking the wheel. Kasey Kahne returns to the Bumper to Bumper cockpit in the #9 Dodge in October at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper will be an associate sponsor of the Richard Petty Motorsports Dodges for all other Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races in 2009 and will receive branding on Petty team uniforms, team haulers and pit equipment.(800autotalk.com), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(2-18-2009)

  • Sorenson's Team Captures Pit Road Award in Daytona 500: Reed Sorenson's #43 team captured the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday's (Feb. 15) Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The Tissot Pit Road Precision Award, which is given to the NASCAR Sprint Cup team that spends the least amount of time on pit road and finishes on the lead lap, is in its first season of rewarding pit crews, the unsung heroes of the sport. The program awards $5,000 for each Cup race to the top pit road team. In addition, the team with the most pit road event wins will be awarded a $100,000 bonus at the completion of the 36-race schedule by Tissot, the official watch and timekeeper of NASCAR. The winning performance by the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Team team lifted Sorenson and his Dodge Charger to a ninth-place finish in the 500. "Our McDonald's pit crew was just awesome in the Daytona 500," said Sorenson. "They gave us great stops all night long and put us in position to compete in the top-five at the end of the race. It was a great first outing for us as a team and I know they are happy to be recognized by Tissot for the precision of their work." Sorenson's over-the-wall crew consists of: Bryan Jacobson (front tire changer), Brett Morrell (front-tire carrier), Ed Watkins (jackman), Tony Lunders (rear-tire changer), Joel Coronel (rear-tire carrier), Chris Moore (gas man) and Jeff Seaburg (catch can). The team's crew chief is Mike Shiplett and the pit crew coach is Brett Cumming. Tissot has been an official partner of NASCAR since 2006 and is the official timekeeper for a number of other sports, including the MotoGP World Championship, the Ice Hockey World Championship, the Cycling World Championship and the Fencing World Championship.(DMF Communications PR)(2-17-2009)

  • Congratulations to Big Ed Watkins - Jackman for Reed Sorenson at Richard Petty Motorsports #43 Dodge - and wife Vonda Watkins on the birth of their daughter and first child Avelyn Mae Watkins on Sunday.(2-4-2009)

  • Reed Sorenson Takes Off Flying: Capt. Dustin Ripley, an F-15 pilot with the 95th Fighter Squadron, gave NASCAR driver Reed Sorenson the ride of his life on January 21 at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Florida. Taking a ride in an Air Force jet is unlike any training Ive done for NASCAR, said Reed Sorenson. I have great respect for the Air Force and Im honored to represent them in the #43 car. The incentive flight at Tyndall AFB was part of an effort by Air Force Recruiting Service to prepare Mr. Sorenson for the 2009 NASCAR season, and educate him what it really means to be an Airman. The incentive flight will be followed this week by a two-day visit to San Antonio, Texas where Reed will meet with Air Force trainees going through Basic Military Training. While at Tyndall AFB, Mr. Sorenson and his crew chief, Mike Shiplett, were filmed for a series of webisodes in which the NASCAR men compare notes with Air Force pilots. The series, "Switching Seats," is set to debut on airforce.com in March 2009. This campaign in addition to sponsorship agreements and all U.S. Air Force advertising is handled by Austin-based GSD&M Idea City. In November 2008, the Air Force announced both a primary and associate sponsor with Richard Petty Motorsports, formerly known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports, for the #43 car driven by Reed Sorenson. As a primary sponsor, the car will feature the Air Force paint scheme in four of 38 NASCAR races this season.(RPM PR)(1-29-2009)

  • Evernham announces plans: Ray Evernham has been long known for his leadership atop the pit box of NASCAR stars like Jeff Gordon and Kasey Kahne, guidance of Dodge's return to NASCAR racing and technological innovation that changed the sport. Evernham announced that he officially is passing the torch on race team entrepreneurship to new team owners like Tony Stewart and Tommy Baldwin. He will now focus his attention on broadcasting, preserving racing venues for future generations, helping develop young drivers and setting new records. "I'm proud of the accomplishments I've achieved with my colleagues and partners over more than two decades in racing, from the early days in IROC to the championship years with Hendrick Motorsports and Jeff Gordon to leading Dodge's return to NASCAR as a team owner," said Evernham. "It has been an amazing journey, and I've been fortunate to work with some incredible people and gain invaluable experience throughout the years." Evernham is relinquishing his leadership role at Richard Petty Motorsports to pursue new Ray Evernham Enterprises Museumopportunities in motorsports, from grassroots racing to NASCAR and beyond. He is focusing his short-term efforts on establishing Ray Evernham Enterprises, broadcasting races for ESPN, managing East Lincoln Speedway, opening a new museum and entertainment facility in Mooresville, NC, (shown at right), helping develop young drivers and designing racecars for several key events. "I'm not retiring from racing or putting NASCAR on a back burner," he noted. "I'm committed to the growth and success of the sport overall, and to building championship teams and organizations in many different levels of racing in the future. I spent my first decade in racing driving and working on racecars. My next decade I went from a rookie crew chief to a NASCAR champion. My third decade I had the opportunity to lead a manufacturer back into the sport and own a team. Who knows what my fourth decade in the sport will hold?" Evernham will continue his duties in the booth for ESPN with co-hosts Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty and Alan Bestwick for a number of NASCAR races throughout the season. He also will be at the ESPN Studios on Mondays as a host of "NASCAR Now".(Victory Management Group)(1-29-2009)

  • Evernham, Kyle Petty take backseat on merged team: Ray Evernham and Kyle Petty are unlikely to have significant roles -- if any -- in the newly formed Richard Petty Motorsports. The team was created earlier this month when Petty Enterprises merged its sponsor-strapped organization with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. The new team name, RPM, was announced Monday. The elder Petty said Monday that Evernham, who sold controlling interest of Evernham Motorsports to the Gillett family in August 2007 and has acted since as a consultant, will continue in that capacity. Kyle Petty, who has been cutting back on his driving, will continue to do part-time work on TV and some sports car racing. "He's been working his way out of the Cup situation," Richard said. "As we go along in our process, from time to time we might want him to run a race or two." The elder Petty, the seven-time Cup champion and one of the sport's most recognizable names, said his role in the new team won't be much different than what it has been. "I'm going to basically be doing the same thing I've been doing for the last eight or 10 years; nothing, as much as I can," Petty said, drawing a laugh from the crowd at the NASCAR media tour. "I'll just (be) doing the Richard Petty thing."(Associated Press/ESPN)(1-21-2009)

  • Many sponsors for #43, #44: Richard Petty Racings new Executive Director of Racing Operations Ronnie Loomis says he expects both #44-A.J. Allmendinger and #43-Reed Sorenson to sport a number of different sponsors on their cars quarterpanels this season. Robbie Loomis told Sirius NASCAR Radios Sirius Speedway, AJ will start the season with Valvoline on the #44 Dodge for the Daytona 500, and well likely have multiple sponsors on both it and the #43 this season. Wed all love to sign a $30-million sponsor for each car, but the reality is that well probably have a series of smaller backers.(Sirius Speedway), see images on my #43 Team Schemes and #44 Team Schemes pages.(1-20-2009)

  • GEM is now RPM: At the top of Richard Petty's list of deal-breakers when merger talks began between Petty Enterprises and Gillett Evernham Motorsports was to keep the Petty name in the title of the new company. He got his wish. The fourth Sprint Cup organization will be known as Richard Petty Motorsports and keep basically the same blue-and-red logo that symbolized Petty Enterprise for the past 60 years. "We come out to let the world know we're still in the racing business and we're going to be bigger and better than we've ever been," Petty said Monday during an unveiling of the new logo on the first day of NASCAR's Media Tour. Petty also asked that the #44 be kept along with the famous #43 in the transaction. The #44 will replace the #10 as the fourth car that belonged to GEM. AJ Allmendinger will drive in the first five races and is slated to run at least seven in the #44, a number the Pettys reclaimed from Michael Waltrip Racing after this past season. The #44 was driven by Kyle Petty until he switched to the #45 in 2000 in memory of his son, Adam, who was killed driving that number during a Nationwide Series practice session. The #44 was used sparingly by the Pettys from 2000 to 2003, and then was transferred to MWR in 2007 for Dale Jarrett. Petty said Budweiser, which sponsors Kasey Kahne and had logos on the other GEM cars prior to the merger, will not be on the 43 or 44. It has been a Petty tradition going back to Richard's mother not to have alcohol-related sponsors on the cars. "My mother would come back and haunt us home," Petty said of what would happen if Budweiser showed on up the 43 or 44.(ESPN)(1-19-2009)

  • Loomis to run racing operations at GEM-Petty: Robbie Loomis will serve as the executive director of racing operations for the team that will emerge from the merger of Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Holdings, and Kevin Buskirk and Sammy Johns will join existing GEM crew chiefs Kenny Francis and Mike Shiplett atop the pit boxes. All four crew chiefs will report to former Petty executive Loomis, according to GEM Director of Competition Mark McArdle. McArdle believes the planned merger and the realigned staff will help his team. Just having Richard Petty and longtime wrenchman Dale Inman at the teams test last Friday in Rockingham, N.C., at the old North Carolina Motor Speedway was a plus, McArdle said. Loomis, who reports to McArdle, will oversee the race teams, pit crews, team management and team transport, and he ran the Rockingham test.
    The merger and other departures have resulted in several changes at GEM with only Kahne and Kenny Francis remaining as the same driver-crew chief combination as last year. Kahnes #9 team has had the fewest changes. Francis remains as crew chief. Keith Rodden returns as the team engineer after a one-season absence from the road, replacing engineer Chad Johnson, who moved to Michael Waltrip Racing. Todd Devinich remains the car chief.
    On Sadlers #19 car, Buskirk, most recently of Dale Earnhardt Inc., will be the crew chief in a reunion of sorts since he was the lead engineer for Sadler when he made the Chase at Robert Yates Racing in 2004. Kevin Kidd returns as the team engineer, while Wally Rogers, a former Kevin Harvick Inc. employee who joined GEM as its Nationwide Series crew chief in September 2008, will be the car chief. McArdle says most of that team has changed. He said he didnt want to lose crew chief Rodney Childers, who opted to move to Michael Waltrip Racing and work with David Reutimann.
    On Sorensons #43 car, Shiplett enters his second year as a crew chief after spending last season with the #10 team, mostly with drivers Patrick Carpentier and AJ Allmendinger. Phil Surgen will be the race engineer, and Tony Lunders will be the car chief. Surgen worked with Shiplett last year, while Lunders was with the #19 team last season. Many members of the #19 team from last year are now working on the #43 car, McArdle said.
    Johns, who had been GEMs executive director of operations for the shop, will work with the fourth team and likely with driver AJ Allmendinger. Although GEM hasnt announced Allmendingers hiring, Johns and Allmendinger will be working together at a Goodyear test on Tuesday and Wednesday at Phoenix International Raceway. Mike Wolf will be lead engineer and Brian Dantinne moves from research and development to the role of car chief. In other changes, McArdle will take over the supervision of the engine department, while Tommy Wheeler will delve more into research and development. He will focus on the building of the race cars. As far as engines, McArdle said the team would not use the new Dodge engine until later in the season.(SceneDaily)(1-13-2009)

  • Sorenson will drive #43: Tom Reddin, CEO of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, spoke to Sirius NASCAR Radio's The Morning Drive Friday morning:
    David Poole: "Will Reed Sorenson be in the #43 car and, if you make the deal with A.J. [Allmendinger] for the fourth car would that be the #10? Is that the plan?"
    Reddin: "Yeah, pre-merger Reed is in the #10 but post-merger Reed will be in the #43 for next year."
    Poole: "What's the sponsorship situation on that car?"
    Reddin: "We've got the majority of the races sold but we still have some races to sell. So if anybody's out there listening please give us a call. (laughs) But we've got the majority of the races sold and we're going to be announcing a sponsor in a few weeks on that car. And, again, that was the #10 and it will become the #43. And then our fourth car, we're working on the number right now, which number that will be, and we'll probably have an answer on that within a couple of weeks."(Sirius NASCAR PR)(1-10-2009)

  • Petty & Gillett Evernham Motorsports Announce Agreement To Merge: Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM) and Petty Holdings announced an agreement in principle to form a new NASCAR Sprint Cup team co-owned by Richard Petty, Petty Holdings, owned by majority shareholder Boston Ventures, and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. The team will field four Dodge entries in the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Details of the transaction are expected once the deal is closed. Petty and GEM officials anticipate a final agreement by the end of January. Some notes:
    * The new team plans to run a fourth Dodge in eight races in the 2009 season including the Budweiser Shootout with additional races contingent on sponsorship.
    * Ray Evernham retains a minority ownership role with the new team.
    * Richard Petty and Petty Holdings will continue to own and operate the Richard Petty Driving Experience as an independent entity.
    * Key Petty employees Robbie Loomis, Dale Inman and Brian Moffitt will also have active roles with the new team.
    * The new team will use the GEM race shops in Statesville, N.C. and engine shop in Concord, N.C.
    * GEM and Petty sponsors will continue with the new organization.(Gillett Evernham PR)(1-8-2009)

  • Dodge: smaller budget, less team, high hopes: Although it will have fewer cars on the track and fewer promotional displays in cutting 30 percent of its NASCAR budget, Dodge has not cut back its Sprint Cup research and development for the 2009 season. The automaker hopes that even with fewer cars, it will have better results after a season where it failed to put a car in the Chase For The Sprint Cup. With Chip Ganassi Racings merger with Dale Earnhardt Inc. eliminating three Cup teams from where Dodge started in 2008, Dodge has at least one fewer organization to support in 2009. Dodge could end up with only six cars next season if the pending Gillett Evernham Motorsports-Petty Enterprises merger eliminates two more from the manufacturers stable, which also included Robby Gordon in 2008. That leaves three cars at Penske Racing [#2,#12,#77] and three or four at the GEM-Petty consolidation [#9,#10?,#19,#43]. You want to have a portfolio of drivers that can at any given time deliver a top-five or a victory, said Mike Accavitti, director of the Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep brands. We feel with the lineup that we have remaining that we can do that. & The seven cars that we have  or eight cars or six cars or whatever it ends up to be  will be sufficient. We can give Dodge customers a good show. We can give NASCAR fans a good show and we can represent the brand well. Accavitti said that his budget was set and would not get increased by the authorization of the bridge loan for Chrysler. He said it will remain at 30% below 2008, just as it was planned prior to President George W. Bushs approval of the loan last month. The entire operation was contingent upon the bridge loans being passed, he said. It was a critical element for the viability of our company and were very appreciative to have that behind us and be able to move forward."(SceneDaily)(1-8-2009)

  • NO news on the GEM-Petty merger UPDATE: The expected Petty Enterprises-Gillett Evernham Motorsports merger likely wont be announced Monday, and the Petty Enterprises shop was fairly quiet. There were only about 15 cars parked in the Petty parking lot Monday morning. Sources have indicated that the team has laid off most of its employees. It is expected that the two teams will merge, with Pettys famed #43 car joining the GEM stable. With the #43 car guaranteed a spot in the first five races of the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and GEMs #10 not guaranteed a position [but could move up with 2-3 others teams dropping out due to the Ganassi-DEI merger and BDR sell], the #43 could be driven by Reed Sorenson, who has already signed to drive for GEM. GEM also could face a lawsuit over its driver stable. Elliott Sadler, who reportedly has been dropped in favor of AJ Allmendinger, has filed a notice with North Carolina Superior Court in Statesville, N.C., that claims that GEM breached its contract with Sadler. GEM spokesman Drew Brown said Monday the company has no comment on the legal filing and that no announcements were planned for today [Monday].(SceneDaily)(1-6-2009)
    UPDATE: Petty Enterprises cars were in the wind tunnel just a week before the organizations officials told employees they would be laid off and that the team shop was shutting down, according to crew chief Stewart Cooper. Cooper, who was crew chief for the organizations #45 Sprint Cup car for much of last season, said he wasnt bitter with the way things ended at Petty. He said virtually all of the remaining 38 employees were laid off, with only Petty Enterprises Executive Vice President Robbie Loomis and a couple of others remaining. The organization is expected to merge with Gillett Evernham Motorsports, with an announcement expected as early as this week. As of [early] last week we were working as if we were going to Daytona. & I really feel like its nobodys fault, Cooper said Tuesday night. Its just the way the dice fell this time. [Those of us laid off] will have to work through it and move on. Cooper said he didnt expect himself nor many of the former Petty employees to get hired by the new team, which is expected to work out of the Gillett Evernham shop in Statesville, N.C. I left [my status] up to Robbie Loomis, Cooper said. I didnt have any major conversations with Robbie about it. I really dont think theyre going to take too many people up there. They had a full staff anyway [at GEM]."(SceneDaily)(1-7-2009)

  • Evernham still wants a role in NASCAR: Ray Evernham called "The Morning Drive" on Sirius NASCAR Radio this past week after his name came up Monday [12-29] while we [Mike Bagley & David Poole] were talking about the reports that Elliott Sadler will be replaced by AJ Allmendinger in the #19 Dodges next season at Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Evernham no longer has a major day-to-day role in the team he ran after leaving Hendrick Motorsports as Jeff Gordon's crew chief to help Dodge come back to big-time NASCAR competition. He sold most of his interest into the team to George Gillett and his family and has scaled back more and more over the past couple of years. Evernham wanted to make sure it was clear that he's not down on NASCAR or racing. Evernham wants to be involved in racing. But as a team owner, he discovered that was a job he wasn't going to be able to do at a level he could feel good about. Evernham doesn't have a "good enough" switch. You're talking about a guy whose work as [Jeff] Gordon's crew chief help redefined the way Cup teams compete. Evernham and his "Rainbow Warriors" changed the game, helping bring specialization and a level of attention to detail the sport had never seen before. By the time they were done, Evernham and Gordon had three championships together and Evernham had established himself as one of the sport's greatest all-time crew chiefs. Evernham said Tuesday that "it will probably always haunt me" that he didn't win a championship as a team owner, but he's proud of what he helped build at GEM. He's not sure he agrees with everything that's being done there now, but he also said that it's no longer his call. As for the situation with Sadler and Allmendinger, there wasn't much he could say. That's pretty much what has been going on with that story since it first surfaced over the weekend. Sadler signed a contract extension in May and my [Poole] hunch is that as lots of people wearing suits and carrying briefcases are discussing all of that everybody involved has been told to remain quiet until everybody's as happy as they're going to be. If I wanted to hype something Evernham said, I could use this quote: "When I left as a crew chief I said the only way I would come back in that job is to be Jeff Gordon's crew chief again." But that's not Evernham angling for Steve Letarte's job. It just means that Evernham isn't going to be a crew chief again just for the sake of having that title. For right now, Evernham is working on getting East Lincoln Speedway -- the short track he recently bought -- ready for a new season. He even got denim overalls, which is apparently the official working uniform of that track, for the job. See full story at Charlotte Observer.(1-1-2009)

2008 News

  • Petty-GEM merger done deal? UPDATE: Multiple sources have confirmed that Petty Enterprises racing will shut its doors and merge with the team currently known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports. A deal was inked between Petty Enterprises and team owner George Gillett on Christmas Eve, but the terms of that agreement have yet to be divulged. The venerable #43 Dodge covered with the trademarked Petty blue glaze will become part of the Gillett stable with Reed Sorenson expected to be behind the wheel. A formal announcement is expected early next week. Most of the remaining 39 employees at Petty Enterprises will conclude their duties at the Mooresville-based shop on Wednesday. The company moved from its original shop adjacent to the Petty homestead in Level Cross, N.C., in January to what was formerly the Yates Racing complex. Robbie Loomis, Petty Executive VP of Racing Operations, is expected to assume a managerial role under the new partnership, which will likely be rebranded under the Petty banner. Former car chief Ray Fox Jr. will assume a similar role at JTG-Daugherty Racing with the #47 team. David Zucker, who was named CEO of the team when private equity firm Boston Ventures purchased controlling interest in June, is expected to be reassigned to the Petty Driving Experience.(FoxSports), no word on what happend to the #10 ride which Sorenson was supposed to drive.(12-31-2008)
    UPDATE: Although neither GEM nor Petty officials said an announcement was forthcoming, sources indicated that the organizations were ironing out final details. The merger would entail GEM absorbing Petty's #43 car, which according to sources would be driven by Reed Sorenson and sponsored by the Air Force next season. Chris McKee, marketing director of the Richard Petty Driving Experience, confirmed that David Zucker, current chief operating officer of Petty Enterprises and the Richard Petty Driving Experience, will oversee only the driving experience once the merger is complete. Zucker was installed as Petty's CEO after team owner Richard Petty earlier this year sold majority interest in his organization to the private equity firm Boston Ventures in a bid to raise capital and improve performance. McKee added that further details of the merger will come next week. Indications are that the name of the merged organization will be altered to reflect Richard Petty's involvement. Richard's father, Lee, founded Petty Enterprises in 1949. The merger would place four cars under the GEM stable -- the #43, as well as the #9, #10, and #19 currently in the Gillett-Evernham fleet. Kasey Kahne drives the #9, with A.J. Allmendinger replacing Elliott Sadler in the #19 for next season. No driver has been announced for the #10 car for 2009.(NASCAR.com)(12-31-2008)

  • Petty-GEM Deal Off? UPDATE denied: Sirius Speedway has learned that the much-discussed merger between Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises has run aground. Anonymous sources say that GEM laid off approximately 50 employees today, and that its Nationwide Series team will either be eliminated or cut back dramatically. In addition, multiple sources say that GEMs #10 Sprint Cup team and driver Reed Sorenson will also run only a partial schedule. While not commenting on the reported demise of the Petty deal, Gillett Evernham Motorsports CEO Tom Reddin confirmed today that major changes are underway. "We are a Sprint Cup team first and foremost, and winning in that series needs to be our primary focus, he said. The Nationwide Series is a fantastic series and we certainly look forward to racing a partial schedule in 2009, but we will not run the full season next year. We will remained focused on putting all of our effort behind the Cup program in 2009. GEM is very fortunate to have nearly all of our Cup sponsors returning in 2009 in addition to the new arrival of others." Reddin said that GEM will also restructure its engine department for 2009, to align with a reduced number of engine leasing customers next season.(Sirius Speedway/Motorsports Soapbox)
    AND Over the last week, Gillett Evernham Motorsports released 65 employees between its Nationwide Series team and engine shop. Due to a downturn in the economy and the inability to secure sponsorship, GEM was forced to cease operation of its NNS team on Tuesday. GEM is still in open discussions with Petty Enterprises regarding a possible merger. However, the option of Petty Enterprises not leasing engines in the future led to the company's decision to downsize its engine department by nearly half. The organization will continue to employ nearly 300 workers at its Statesville, N.C. facility and field three teams in the Sprint Cup Series with drivers Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson, who will join the team from Chip Ganassi Racing in 2009.(FoxSports)(12-16-2008)
    UPDATE: been told by GEM that the #10 car will run the full Sprint Cup season and that the GEM-Petty merger talks are going well and the deal is NOT off.(12-17-2008)

  • Labonte and Petty part ways: Bobby Labonte and Petty Enterprises have reached a mutual agreement to separate, the team confirmed on Thursday. The 2000 Sprint Cup champion signed a four-year extension with partial ownership to remain in the famed #43 car that Richard Petty drove to seven titles earlier this season when Boston Ventures purchased majority interest in NASCAR's most storied organization. But with the car unsponsored -- General Mills is moving to [#33 Clint Bowyer] Richard Childress Racing in 2009 -- and the future of the organization in doubt he has opted to seek employment elsewhere. A possible scenario for Labonte could be the new Earnhardt-Ganassi team that has an open spot in the #41 Target car. Sources said the organization has had informal discussions with Labonte and would be interested if he were available, although his car number may not be the #41. Labonte, in a prepared statement, said only that he did not have a contract for 2009 and that he was ready to explore all options.
    The Pettys have been in negotiations with Gillett Evernham regarding a possible merger into a four-car team. Under that scenario, the #43 would become the fourth car with the #9 [Kasey Kahne], #19 [Elliott Sadler] and #10 [Reed Sorenson] of GEM. "We can confirm Gillett Evernham Motorsports is in exclusive negotiations with Petty Holdings," Tom Reddin, CEO of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, said "GEM has a very solid foundation and this is an exciting opportunity to build on that foundation with one of the greatest names in the history of motorsports. We will work diligently over the next several weeks and make further comment at the appropriate time."
    Petty officials were not immediately available for comment, but it obvious they are in a state of flux. Approximately 65 employees have been released since the season ended. Thirty-nine were let go on Monday.(ESPN)(12-11-2008)
    UPDATE: Bobby Labonte has been released from his contract with Petty Enterprises, which is trying to negotiate a deal with Gillett Evernham Motorsports that would solidify the future of its famed #43 Dodge. Petty Enterprises has been unable to find sponsorship for Labonte, a former NASCAR champion, and is in danger of eventually closing its storied organization if it can't work out a merger with GEM. David Zucker, who took over as CEO of Petty Enterprises when Boston Ventures purchased majority interest of the organization in June, said Petty would run the #43 as a single-car team in 2009 if a merger with GEM is not completed. "Gillett Evernham Motorsports is a first class team with great drivers, sponsors and management," Zucker said in a statement Thursday. "We look forward to improved performance and maintaining the Richard Petty legacy, with the King front and center."
    Labonte, also believing Boston Ventures could bring the organization back to prominence, signed a four-year contract extension to remain behind the wheel of Richard Petty's legendary car. Only nothing has materialized in the six months since the sale, and Petty Enterprises has had two rounds of layoffs, letting go at least 70 employees since last month's season finale. After "serious and sincere discussions" with Petty Enterprises, Labonte said he reached the difficult decision to leave the team. Labonte said he does not have a job lined up for next season, and Chip Ganassi's #41 is the only open ride with full-time sponsorship already secured. Ganassi recently partnered with Dale Earnhardt Inc., and has taken his time filling his vacant seat. "Bobby is a true champion who never failed to give everything he had when he was behind the wheel of one of our race cars," Petty said.(Associated Press)
    UPDATE 2: Effective immediately, Bobby Labonte has been released from all contractual obligations with Petty Enterprises. The terms were mutually agreed by both parties. Labonte will now fully concentrate on preparing for the 2009 season. Comments from 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Bobby Labonte: "In over 15 years of racing in the Sprint Cup Series, I can't remember a time when the sport's landscape looks as it does today. Saying that, Petty Enterprises and I had serious and very sincere discussions about what was best for myself and everyone involved at Petty Enterprises moving forward. These discussions culminated with us agreeing that moving in a separate direction will be the greatest way to reach our end goals. It was by no means an easy decision. I am, and will always be, very appreciative of what Richard Petty and the Petty family, every employee of Petty Enterprises and members of Boston Ventures did to invest in bettering my career the past three seasons. Moving forward, I'm very anxious to prepare for the 2009 season. I do not currently have a contract with any other team for 2009, but I am ready to explore all opportunities and form the next partnership in my career. I'll continue to keep these matters private and will make the appropriate announcement and comments when my future plans are confirmed. I appreciate everyone's continued support."(BobbyLabonte.com)(12-11-2008)

  • Labonte to the #41 ride? UPDATE 4 PE & Labonte to split?: A possible scenario that could play out if this deal [Petty-GEM merger] goes through would place Reed Sorensen, who signed with GEM in August, in the #43. AJ Allmendinger, who parted ways with Red Bull Racing after the Kansas Speedway race in September and drove the #10 GEM Dodge for the final five races of the season, would remain in that ride according to sources. Bobby Labonte, who signed a four-year extension with the new BV regime and was given ownership as part of his benefit package. Now, it appears that Labonte could drive the #41 Target car for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing.(FoxSports)(12-6-2008)
    UPDATE: Adding another layer of intrigue to the [Ganassi-DEI merger] story are unconfirmed reports that Bobby Labonte may be negotiating to jump to DEI-Ganassi Racing, driving the #41 Target car. The deal would be contingent on Labonte's ability to negotiate an exit from Petty Enterprises, where he is signed through the 2012 season. A spokesman for DEI-Ganassi Racing said today that while he has heard Labontes name as one of many rumored to be in the running for the #41 car, he has no knowledge of any ongoing negotiations. A number of cards obviously remain to be dealt at this point. But at present, the most likely scenario appears to be for Labonte to negotiate his departure from Petty Enterprises, allowing him to move to DEI-Ganassi Racing with sponsorship from Target. That would keep Truex and his Bass Pro Shops sponsorship in-house, opening the door for AJ Allmendinger to drive the #43 Dodge next season for the newly merged Gillett-Evernham/Petty Enterprises tandem.(Sirius Speedway/Motorsports Soapbox)(12-9-2008)
    UPDATE Petty Announcement Thursday? The future of Petty Enterprises could be determined as soon as Thursday [Dec 11th] morning. Petty Enterprises will make an announcement -- most likely regarding driver Bobby Labonte and the team's flagship #43 car -- on Thursday. The Petty franchise has reportedly been in negotiations with Gillett-Evernham Motorsports about a possible merger. Representatives for Petty Enterprises did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment. A GEM spokesman said the team "has no plans to make any announcement" on Thursday.(NASCAR.com)(12-10-2008)
    UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises plans to make an announcement regarding its future on Thursday morning, sources told ESPN.com. Bobby Labonte, the driver of the #43 that team owner Richard Petty drove to seven Sprint Cup championships, also is prepared to make an announcement. Details of the announcements were not immediately known, but the Pettys have been in negotiations with Gillett Evernham regarding a possible merger into a four-car team. GEM officials said they had no plans for an announcement. Whether Labonte, who signed an extension [thru 2012] with the Pettys earlier this year when the organization sold majority interest to Boston Ventures, will remain in the #43 or go elsewhere also is not known. Officials at Petty Enterprises and GEM were not immediately available for comment.(ESPN)(12-11-2008)
    UPDATE 4: Bobby Labonte and Petty Enterprises have reached a mutual agreement to separate, sources told ESPN.com on Thursday. The 2000 Sprint Cup champion signed a four-year extension with partial ownership to remain in the #43 car earlier this season when Boston Ventures purchased majority interest in NASCAR's most famous organization. But with the car unsponsored -- General Mills is moving to #33 Richard Childress Racing in 2009 -- and the future of the organization in doubt he has opted to seek employment elsewhere. A possible scenario for Labonte could be the new Earnhardt-Ganassi team that has an open spot in the #41 Target car. Sources said the organization has had informal discussions with Labonte and would be interested if he were available, although his car number may not be the #41. The Pettys have been in negotiations with Gillett Evernham regarding a possible merger into a four-car team. Under that scenario, the #43 would become the fourth car with the #9 [Kasey Kahne], #19 [Elliott Sadler] and #10 [Reed Sorenson] of GEM. Officials at Petty Enterprises and GEM were not immediately available for comment.(ESPN)(12-11-2008)

  • Petty-GEM merger? UPDATE 4: hearing there could be an announcement as soon as today that Gillett Evernham Motorsports [#9,10,#19] and Petty Enterprises [#43,#45] has merged.(12-4-2008)
    UPDATE: SI.com has learned that Petty Enterprises' top operation will not return in 2009. The organization will merge with George Gillett, giving that team its fourth car. No word on the future association with Petty Enterprises and Boston Ventures, although Boston Ventures may maintain some involvement in the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Official announcement of the news could come as early as this afternoon. No word on whether Richard Petty will have an ownership stake as part of the merger agreement.(Sports Illustrated)(12-4-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises is in discussions to merge its storied franchise with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Multiple people familiar with the talks told the AP that the two teams are discussing a deal that would merge Petty's #43 Dodge with GEM to become a four-car operation. They requested anonymity because the negotiations are ongoing. SI.com first reported Thursday that Petty Enterprises' top operation will not return in 2009. But David Zucker, CEO of Petty Enterprises, said the report was "not accurate." He would not discuss a potential merger. "We're not going to comment on rumors and speculation," he said. Petty has no full-time sponsorship lined up for next season. The team fields cars for Bobby Labonte, Chad McCumbee and Kyle Petty. Robbie Loomis, vice president of Petty Enterprises, told the AP nothing has changed with the organization, and the team is continuing to talk to potential partners. Drew Brown, a spokesman for GEM, did not immediately return a call for comment.(Associated Press)(12-4-2008)
    UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises remains in discussions with Gillett Evernham Motorsports to merge into a four-car operation, sources told ESPN.com on Thursday. A report by SI.com that the merger would happen and that Petty Enterprises would not return in 2009, according to multiple sources, is premature. Drew Brown, the director of communications at GEM, said the status of the company has not changed and there are no impending announcements. Officials at the office of GEM majority owner George Gillett were surprised by the report. "We're just not going to comment on speculation," Brown said. Should such a merger happen it would shrink the garage by another car, the 45 driven by Kyle Petty, Chad McCumbee and Terry Labonte last season. The #43 of Bobby Labonte would combine with GEM's #9 of Kasey Kahne, #19 of Elliott Sadler and #10 of Reed Sorenson. A merger could also mean the end of NASCAR's most storied organization as it has been known since 1969. Owner and seven-time champion Richard Petty sold majority interest in Petty Enterprises earlier this year to Boston Ventures but maintained the Petty name. It is unclear if a potential merger with GEM would incorporate both parties or if the Petty Driving Experience would be included. News of the SI.com report spread rapidly through the Manhattan banquet room that hosted a Thursday awards luncheon featuring the top 12 drivers from this past season. GEM has already benefited from the merger of DEI and Ganassi, which will run under General Motors -- Ganassi was a Dodge team -- and use engines prepared by Earnhardt-Childress Racing. The #10 car that was 37th in points will move into the top 35 guaranteed a spot in the field because the two DEI cars lost in the merger have been eliminated from the top 35. The #47 car that will be driven by Marcos Ambrose for JTG-Daugherty moved from 36 to 35. "Everybody will just shift up," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. "We will use the top 35 at the track."(ESPN)(12-4-2008)
    UPDATE 4: Petty Enterprises released 39 employees on Monday, bringing the total to 65 since the end of the season. A source close to the situation said Petty Enterprises has about 54 employees anxiously waiting to hear whether there will be a merger with Gillett-Evernham Motorsports. "Everybody is still looking for marching orders in what direction we're going in," the source said. The Pettys have been in negotiations to merge with several teams for months. Two were eliminated when Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates merged last month. The possible merger with GEM would have the famous #43 joining the #9 (Kasey Kahne), #19 (Elliott Sadler) and #10 (Reed Sorenson) of GEM to become a four-car operation. Whether 2000 Cup champion Bobby Labonte, the current driver of the unsponsored #43, would be a part of that deal remains unclear. Labonte, who signed a long-term deal that included partial ownership with Petty Enterprises earlier this year, has reportedly had talks with DEI-Ganassi about driving the Target-sponsored #41. That could clear the way for AJ Allmendinger, released by Red Bull Racing late this season, to move into the #43. Officials at Petty Enterprises and GEM were not available for comment. Should the merger occur it would be the first time NASCAR has been without Petty Enterprises as it is known today since 1969. Richard Petty sold majority ownership to Boston Ventures earlier this year, but the name of the company and driving school remained the same.(ESPN.com)(12-8-2008)

  • More Layoffs - #96, #21, Petty's, Stewart: nothing official but heard that Stewart-Hass Racing [formerly Haas CNC Racing] laid off 16 people Monday, November 17th. Also on Monday, a large layoff at #96 Hall of Fame Racing, supposedly due to lack of full sponsorship. Also, the current Hall of Fame Racing shop building is up for sale.(11-18-2008)
    UPDATE: Wood Brothers Racing has downsized its Sprint Cup and Craftsman Truck Series operations [supposedly 25 people] effective immediately. The Wood Brothers expect to continue the 58-year tradition of the #21 Ford when racing resumes in February. "This economic downturn has been tough on everyone and racing is not immune," team owner Eddie Wood said. "What we're experiencing now is a dramatic correction but we will be geared up for the 51st running of the Daytona 500. We will be racing in 2009. We're just not sure what that schedule looks like at this time. We're going to do whatever is necessary to survive."(FoxSports)
    UPDATE 2: hearing 23 people were laid off at Petty Enterprises on Tuesday.(11-18-2008)

  • Many sponsors for the #43 in 2009: After 35 years in which the #43 made famous by Richard Petty had season-long sponsorship continuity with either STP (1973-2000) or General Mills (2000-2008), a scorecard might be necessary to keep track of the car's paint schemes in 2009. Petty Enterprises chief marketing officer Mike Bartelli says five or six companies will share primary sponsorship and space has been sold for more than half of the 36-race season. Bartelli says though sponsor opportunities remain available on the car, the team (shored up financially from its acquisition by private equity firm Boston Ventures) will field the #43 for the full season regardless. "Here you have the most iconic number in the sport's history, and it's not that we're losing deals to others," says Bartelli, who added Petty is substantially far away from cobbling together the millions needed to run its #45 Dodge [supposedly will be the #44 with McCumbee] full time in 2009. "It's that deals aren't there. We had a deal done two weeks ago, and the CEO reversed the decision after blessing it and indicated the company was going to make hundreds of millions in cuts."(USA Today)(11-17-2008)

  • No merger for Petty: One thing not in the cards for Petty Enterprises is a merger with another team, said Richard Petty, who earlier this year sold majority ownership in the team to investment banking firm Boston Ventures. Weve talked to everybody about everything that could be talked about and were still standing here independent, Petty said when asked about a possible merger. We didnt want to take on anybody elses baggage. We had enough of our own. The lack of sponsorship is a major worry, the seven-time Sprint Cup Champion admitted Thursday. Im concerned about Richard Pettys future, he said. It starts here. And Petty Enterprisess future and everybodys future. Because right now, has everything bottomed out? We dont know how far down well go. & Were all in this together, whether we like it or not. Racings not going to survive without the economy surviving or vice versa.(SPEEDtv)(11-14-2008)

  • Air Force leaving Wood Brothers? UPDATE to GEM: hearing that the Air Force sponsorship will leave the #21 Wood Brothers Ford and could be headed to either one of the Roush Racing teams [#'s 6,16,17,26,99] or Yates Racing [#28, #38].(11-6-2008)
    UPDATE: Air Force officials announced Tuesday that it will begin a new NASCAR partnership with Gillett Evernham Motorsports when it sponsors the #10 car driven by Reed Sorenson for the 2009 Sprint Cup season. GSD&M Idea City, the Air Force's advertising agency, organized the sponsorship and will roll out a multimedia advertising campaign to support the partnership in early 2009. The Air Force is both a primary and associate sponsor of the #10 car driven by Reed Sorenson, a 22-year-old three-time winner in the Nationwide Series. As a primary sponsor, the car will feature the Air Force paint scheme in four of 38 Sprint Cup races in 2009. For the 2009 season, the Air Force is changing their marketing strategy to rebalance their sponsorship and activation programs to increase public awareness of the Air Force and to attract more recruits. "Advertising and marketing that goes beyond the race track will help us connect with fans and emphasize the speed, power, precision, and team work that is common to both NASCAR and the Air Force," said Col. Timothy Hanson, Air Force Recruiting Service director of Strategic Communications. The Air Force has had a long-standing relationship with Wood Brothers Racing and the #21 car. "The Air Force is proud of the partnership we have had with the Wood Brothers Racing," Colonel Hanson said. "They are perhaps the most respected team in NASCAR and they have been strong supporters of the Air Force. While our sponsorship has changed we will always value the services they have provided us." The colonel added that he is excited about this new venture and confident that Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Reed Sorenson will provide new opportunities for the Air Force to achieve their sponsorship goals and inspire young Americans to consider the Air Force as a great career choice.(Air Force Recruiting Service PR)(11-13-2008)

  • Liberty Medical to sponsor #43 at Homestead: Liberty Medical [libertymedical.com] will adorn the side of the #43 Dodge that Bobby Labonte will drive at Homestead for the first time this season. Everyone knows that General Mills will not be back with us next year. Were sorry to see them go but weve enjoyed a long and successful relationship with them. I wish them the best in 2009 and beyond. They are a great sponsor, but more importantly they are great friends.(MCG Sports/Petty Enterprises PR)(11-12-2008)

  • Petty Enterprises Renews Partnership with PVA: Petty Enterprises announced that it has extended its partnership with the Paralyzed Veterans of America (Paralyzed Veterans) through the 2009 Sprint Cup season. Our membership has been behind this program from day one and were excited to continue this into 2009, said Paralyzed Veterans of Americas National President, Randy L. Pleva, Sr. Our partnership with Petty Enterprises has been great for Paralyzed Veterans. Weve seen an increase in awareness about our mission since we aligned with The King. In 2009, we will be featured on two races on July 4th (Daytona) and Veterans Day (Texas), two of the most patriotic dates of the year. Our continued partnership with Petty Enterprises and Richard and Kyle Petty will continue to raise awareness of the mission of Paralyzed Veterans and in return increase support and donations and give increased visibility to the men and women who serve our country.
    The Petty-Paralyzed Veterans partnership began in 2006 with The King Richard Petty. Over the span of the partnership, Petty has made numerous trips to VA Hospitals across the country, hosted Paralyzed Veterans members at racetracks and attended fundraising eventsall in an effort to increase awareness of the altruistic organization. In 2008, the relationship grew to include NASCAR driver Kyle Petty. In 2009, both Pettys will co-chair the Go All In for Veterans Texas Holdem poker tournament to be held on Thursday, February 26 at the Rio in Las Vegas. Please visit www.pva.org for more info.(MCG Sports/Petty Enterprises PR), no car# or driver mentioned for the two race sponsorship, PVA was on the #45 Dodge for three races in 2008.(11-11-2008)

  • 2009 Crew Chief for Newman? UPDATE 3 car chief: hearing that #8 Dale Earnhardt Inc. crew chief, Tony Gibson, will be Ryan Newman's crew chief on the #39 U.S. Army Chevy Stewart-Haas Racing team in 2009.(10-21-2008)
    UPDATE: Longtime Richard Childress Racing team executive Bobby Hutchens confirmed Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway that he has a contract offer to become general manager at Stewart Haas Racing. "I have an opportunity with Stewart Haas," Hutchens said as he walked through the garage toward pit road prior to the Dickies 500. "I'll make a decision here in a couple days." Several sources close to SHR, Richard Childress Racing and Dale Earnhardt, Inc. -- Hutchens' current employer -- told ESPN.com that Hutchens had already signed a contract with Stewart Haas, but Hutchens said otherwise. "Nothing is signed," Hutchens said.(ESPN.com)(11-3-2008)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Stewart-Haas Racing will make an announcement at Homestead-Miami Speedway about Newman's crew chief and the general manager/competition director for the team.(11-7-2008)
    UPDATE 3: during SPEEDtv's NASCAR Raceday, Wendy Venturini reported that #43 crew chief, Jeff Meendering, will be Tony Stewart's car chief on the #14 Stewart-Hass Racing Chevy in 2009 and that rumor has it that Tony Gibson will leave DEI and be #39-Newman's crew chief, plus bring along the complete #8 DEI pit crew.(11-9-2008)

  • Donated Petty Enterprises racecar gets Virginia Tech makeover: Race fans attending Virginia Techs Thursday night football game against Maryland are in for a treat. Virginia Tech motorsports research center VIPER Service will unveil a new color wrap -- burnt orange and Chicago maroon  on one of the Nextel Cup racecars donated by Petty Enterprises earlier this year. The letters VT will replace the ubiquitous number 43 associated with racing legend Richard Petty. The car, sporting a Hokie Bird on its roof, will be on display from 4:30 until 7:30pm on the Drillfield as part of the universitys tailgate activities, according to Steve Southward, VIPER Director. VIPER, the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research facility, is one of several mechanical engineering (ME) labs at Danvilles Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), an outreach partner of Virginia Tech. The VIPER Service vehicle also sports a new Dodge engine and other power-train components, so it is now ready to collect track data for research projects.
    Petty and son Kyle donated the car, and a twin, to the Virginia Tech Foundation for use by ME graduate students pursuing degrees at VIPERs facilities in Halifax County and at IALR. The second car retains its original #43 decal and yellow, red and blue color wrap. We wanted one of the cars to be a marketing tool for the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, VIPER Service, and Virginia Tech, said Southward. And the best way to do that was put a new wrap on it.
    Wrap is a literal term. Few racecars are painted nowadays, according to Southward. Rather, cars are wrapped in vinyl sticker sheets  some quite large in size  formed to the cars body. The basic wrap design doesnt include the myriad of sponsor stickers and other decals placed all over the vehicle. On the cars sides, where the doors normally would go, are the letters VT. In place of the number on the roof is a Hokie bird. VIPER, the IALR, the Center for Vehicle Systems and Safety (CVeSS) at Virginia Tech, Virginia International Raceway and a list of other research labs and manufacturers will be represented by an assortment of stickers. A series of mechanical engineering equations and actual test data also adorn the car.(VT PR)(11-6-2008)

  • Latest Ganassi merger rumor? Petty? UPDATE3 or DEI?:Trying to pin down the state of Petty Enterprises, under its new Boston Ventures' management, and the future of the Chip Ganassi operation has been tough enough the last few weeks, but now the speculation of a GM-Chrysler corporate merger has thrown things into a real tizzy. Insiders at both the Petty and Ganassi Dodge camps say there is speculation that the two struggling teams may somehow merge, and that that speculation is fueled by the sense that fellow Dodge owner George Gillett, who has majority interest in Gillett-Evernham-Motorsports, is "99 percent" certain to jump to Toyota. Ray Evernham was Dodge's mainstay in NASCAR racing, making such a move highly unusual. Dodge officials a few weeks ago denied such a change might be coming. One major complication for Dodge teams like Petty's and Ganassi's is that Gillett-Evernham has been a major Dodge engine operation. If Gillett moves to Toyota, then Dodge loses a very big player.(Winston-Salem Journal)(10-12-2008)
    UPDATE: hearing that a Ganassi-Petty Enterprises merger is still possible with Target being the sponsor for Bobby Labonte in the #43. With #42-Juan Pablo Montoya and #44-Chad McCumbee as teammates and a possible 4th team with Kyle Petty running part time in the #45.(10-21-2008)
    UPDTE 2 - DEI?: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates is negotiating with several organizations, including Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Petty Enterprises. "We're talking to a lot of different people," Sabates said on Tuesday. "We're keeping our options open. Obviously, the way things are going today with sponsors, unless you have the sponsors you can't run. We only have a sponsor for the 41 car [Target] and the 42 [Wrigley's Big Red/Juicy Fruit] for half a year. We're looking at all possibilities." DEI and Petty Enterprises are in similar situations. DEI has only the #1 car of Martin Truex Jr. fully sponsored for next season, with partial sponsors in line for the #8 and none for its other two cars. Petty Enterprises is looking for sponsors for the #43 and 44 that is expected to replace the #45. So how would a merger with DEI help Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates? "They have a sponsor for one and a half cars and we have a sponsor for one and a half cars, that makes three cars, doesn't it?" Sabates said. "The same thing with Petty. They've got one car. There are other people out there, too." The biggest stumbling block for DEI to merge with Ganassi or Petty may be manufacturer permission. DEI is under contract with General Motors to field Chevrolets and the other two are under contract with Dodge/Chrysler. The proposed merger between GM and Chrysler could help that situation, but there remain other obstacles on both sides. "Everything is up in the air," Sabates said. "We're just talking in theory. We don't know what is going to happen. We don't have anything concrete with anybody. And I'm not saying we will do anything."(ESPN.com)(11-4-2008)
    UPDATE 3: An alliance is in the works that would combine the #s 1 and 8 Chevrolets at DEI with the #s 41 and 42 of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates next season. The newly combined outfit would boast a lineup consisting of Martin Truex Jr., with Bass Pro Shops sponsorship, Juan Pablo Montoya, with Wrigleys sponsoroship, and Aric Almirola. Ganassi still has a deal in place with sponsor Target, but it is unknown right now whether that will be for Almirola or for a yet-to-be-determined fourth driver. Ganassi could offer the presence of an at-track, hands-on owner, an important element that's been missing at DEI since the death of its founder Dale Earnhardt. Ganassi won four titles in Champ Car and two titles as an owner in the IRL IndyCar Series, including this season. Ganassi's current contract with Dodge extends through 2010. Given the economic climate and uncertainty of the Dodge program beyond 2009, the move would align Ganassi with Chevrolet for next year and beyond. Max Siegel, president of global operations declined comment on the report.(FoxSports)(11-5-2008)

  • Petty's Loomis talks about Dodge & mergers: from a Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Transcript:
    Q: WHERE DOES PETTY ENTERPRISES STAND WITH REGARDS TO A MERGER?
    ROBBIE LOOMIS: Were very committed to Dodge at Petty Enterprises. If you read the news out there, everybody is talking to everyone about our merger. As the future unfolds, we all have to be smart on how we pay attention to how we operate and is there ways that we can be more efficient as we grow. Thats what will drive the decision of the future.
    Q: IN REGARD TO MERGERS, FOR PETTY ENTERPRISES, IS THIS SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET TO WHERE YOU WANT TO BE?
    LOOMIS: Its a tough question. I think that our number one thing is&..in 2008 we wanted to move into a new shop. We wanted to move to Charlotte. We wanted to bring in an investor with Boston Ventures. Weve got a new CEO in David Zucker. We have been looking at things&I know as I have the last couple years&we kind of saw that we were two cars and we wanted to get to four because years ago, NASCAR said there needs to be a four-car team. Then all of a sudden the landscaping is kind of changing and there are a lot of alliances. Before, a one or two car team was trying to hook on another two car team. Now, youre seeing a four-car team and two-car team that want to attach to them and maybe grow to a four-car team to attach to that.(Dodge Motorsports PR)(10-23-2008)

  • DEI and Petty merger? UPDATE 2: Talks about a possible merger between Dale Earnhardt Inc. and Petty Enterprises are under way, according to sources familiar with the situation, and Wells Fargo's sponsorship money could be key to making something happen. However, the economic chaos that is wracking the country is also playing havoc with so many suddenly struggling NASCAR teams that it's unclear how any of the various scenarios might actually play out. And just what positives might even come out of a DEI-Petty merger aren't that clear, either. Richard Petty sold a "significant" stake this summer in Petty Enterprises, the family racing operation in business since 1949, to Boston Ventures, a private equity firm. Precisely how that joint NASCAR venture might fit into any DEI-Petty merger is unclear, considering the financial problems of many Wall Street investment firms. Petty Enterprises is looking for a 2009 sponsor for Bobby Labonte, who drives the legendary #43 car. #45-Kyle Petty, the other Petty driver, has been at odds apparently with some of the team's executives, and he appears to have the option to take the Wells Fargo sponsorship with him to another team. If Kyle Petty were to leave, that would, for the moment, leave Petty Enterprises with no major sponsors.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-17-2008)
    UPDATE: Robbie Loomis said Petty Enterprises has been approached by at least three organizations about a possible alliance heading into next season. The vice president of racing operations, speaking Friday at Martinsville Speedway, would not identify them, but published reports say Dale Earnhardt Inc. might be on that list. DEI officials declined to comment. Loomis said the Pettys' deal with Dodge extends three years past this one. DEI signed an extension with General Motors/Chevrolet before this season. Loomis said Petty Enterprises is closer to naming a sponsor for Labonte, and he appears close to set on Chad McCumbee to drive the second car, which will be the #44. He said the key in all of this is continued growth of the Petty brand, which a merger with DEI may or may not allow.(ESPN.com)
    AND Officials from Petty Enterprises do not deny that they have held preliminary discussions about a possible future partnership of some sort with Dale Earnhardt Inc., but they strongly deny that anything is close to happening or even likely to happen. In fact, Robbie Loomis said that DEI is not the only group with which Petty Enterprises is discussing its future. Nor is it alone in the Sprint Cup Series garage area, where Loomis insisted all teams are scrambling to find stronger footing in difficult economic times. "The bottom line for us is that we're committed to Dodge," Loomis said. "We like Dodge as our manufacturer; Richard Petty especially. We have three more years with them as far as solid commitments. We feel good about where we're at with them."(NASCAR.com)(10-18-2008)
    UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises appears on track to merge  somehow  with Dale Earnhardt Inc., which would turn the Petty Dodges into Chevrolets&.apparently. Or maybe its just Kyle Petty merging. Richard Petty Sunday didnt have much to say about the DEI report; he didnt deny the talks, but he insisted he didnt have to panic about things: We did our panicking last year. Thats why we did the deal with Boston Ventures. Were ahead of the curve. However there appears to be considerable internal disagreement between the father and son about the next business steps to take, though #43-Bobby Labonte still has no sponsor for 2009, and Kyle Petty himself apparently is looking to leave Petty Enterprises at the end of the year and take the companys only full sponsor, Wells Fargo, with him.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-20-2008)

  • Inman receives Smokey Yunick Award: Legendary Petty Enterprises crew chief Dale Inman was awarded the Smokey Yunick Award prior to the start of the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's (N.C.) Motor Speedway. The award acknowledges outstanding achievement in the world of motorsports. Inman, the most decorated crew chief in NASCAR history, joined several of his colleagues with this recognition, including Glen and Leonard Wood, Ralph Moody and Bud Moore. While no driver has ever won more than Petty's seven NASCAR Sprint Cup titles, Inman has won eight as a crew chief. All seven of Petty's championships came under Inman's watch, along with 198 of his 200 record-setting wins. He won his eighth and final championship with Terry Labonte in 1984.(MCG Sprots/Petty Enterprises PR)(10-12-2008)

  • Aerosmith Guitarist Brad Whitford at visit LMS: Having written his first song, titled Round and Round, Aerosmith rhythm and lead guitarist Brad Whitford may have been thinking about his other passion in life, auto racing. This weekend Whitford will take to the Lowe's Motor Speedway with #43-Bobby Labonte as a guest for Saturday night's running of the Bank of America 500. It will be Whitford's first trip to the track. Whitford will tour the garage, the Cheerios/Betty Crocker transporter and meet with the crew before the race.(Breaking Limits PR)(10-10-2008)

  • Labonte "going pink" at Charlotte: In recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Petty Enterprises has partnered with General Mills, primary sponsor of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, to promote awareness of breast cancer during the week of the Bank of America 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The efforts support Pink Together, a national campaign dedicated to inspiring hope among those touched by breast cancer. The centerpiece of this week's partnership will be the #43 Cheerios Racing/Pink Together Dodge Charger that will be driven by Bobby Labonte during Saturday night's race. The pink Dodge will carry the names of hundreds of people who shared their stories about breast cancer at PinkTogether.com, an online community of hope for those impacted by this devastating disease.(Petty Enterprises PR), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-9-2008)

  • Labonte, White to be inducted into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: Fans voted in July for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees, and on Saturday, Oct. 4 during Talladega Superspeedways AMP Energy 500 weekend, two new names will be added to this prestigious list: Bobby Labonte and Rex White. The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega is both a focal point saluting NASCARs greatest names and a tribute to one of racings brightest stars  the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines. In the park, Davey Allison is remembered with a large marble monument, while drivers inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame have bronze plaques placed around the park, accessible by walkways that form the shape of Talladega Superspeedway.
    Dr. Jerry Punch, lead announcer and host of ESPN/ABC sports coverage, will make his second appearance as emcee for the Induction Ceremony. Punch took over emcee duties last year after the passing of Benny Parsons. Parsons was a longtime supporter and significant part of the event. He is also credited with being one of the first inactive drivers to be inducted. During this years event, Phil Parsons, Bennys brother, will help unveil a permanent plaque honoring Bennys longtime duties.(TSS PR), more info at talladegawalk.com.(10-1-2008)

  • "The King" honored at Dover: Denis McGlynn, president and CEO of Dover Motorsports, Inc., presented Richard Petty with a mini version of the new plaque that is featured on the base of the Monster Monument during Sunday's prerace ceremonies. McGlynn still thinks back in amazement of the days when the NASCAR driver known simply as "The King" drove to seven career victories at the track. "Back in the day, we just had that little press box up on top of that old grandstand there, like a high school football press box," McGlynn said. "The thing I remember most about Richard in the early days ... I used to work up in that press box, and Richard, after whooping up on everybody for 500 miles and the temperatures inside the car and the physical endurance, he'd climb all the way up those 36 rows and put up with an hour of the media, and then he'd go out and sit in the stands and sign autographs until the last person went home. You mention all the records that Richard owns here ... I think he also owns the record for most autographs signed."(Delaware News Journal)(9-22-2008)

  • Loomis Courted by Stewart-Haas UPDATE Loomis says no: Sirius Speedway has learned that Petty Enterprises Vice President of Racing Operations Robbie Loomis is now at the top of Stewart-Haas Racings wish list, as they attempt to hire a new Vice President/General Manager. Red Bull Racings Jay Frye recently turned down the job in favor of remaining in his current position, and sources says Stewart-Haas is now interested in talking with Loomis.(Motorsports Soapbox)(9-20-2008)
    UPDATE: Petty Enterprises vice president of racing operations Robbie Loomis said he is not entertaining an offer from Stewart-Haas Racing. Loomis' name surfaced when Jay Frye opted to remain general manager at Team Red Bull. "All of my interests are to continue to do what I'm doing, and that is get the #43 back in Victory Lane," Loomis said. "All of my focus is here with Petty Enterprises." (ESPN)(9-21-2008)

  • Bobby Labonte Lends Helping Hand: When West Virginias Pratt Elementary School needed funds to update its playground and shelter facilities, Hamburger Helper was there to lend a helping hand. Courtesy of the Hamburger Helper My Hometown Helper grant program and Bobby Labonte, Pratt Elementary received $15,000 to make some much needed improvements to the childrens park. Labonte was at Pratt Elementary today for the parks ribbon cutting ceremony that re-opened the revitalized recreation area. The Hamburger Helper My Hometown Helper grant program winners were selected by a panel that reviewed applicants essays of 250 words or less, describing how the grant would benefit their community project. Labonte served as a guest judge that helped determine the winners. Over $200,000 in grants has been awarded this year, including Pratt Elementary. Other grants have helped communities purchase new band equipment, fund a tornado warning system, among other projects. Labonte attended the ribbon cutting ceremony at Pratt Elementary this afternoon. The driver of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge signed autographs and raced remote control cars against students and their families.(Breaking Limits/General Mills PR)(9-19-2008)

  • Latest on Petty Enterprises in 2009: frpm a Dodge Motorsports PR/transcript:
    Q: WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE FOR THE SECOND PETTY CAR FOR NEXT YEAR?
    Robbie Loomis, Executive VP of Racing Operations  Petty Enterprises: Theres no secret that weve been working our way through it since we took on our new partners with Boston Ventures and David Zucker  the new CEO. Were still navigating our way through our direction. Its obvious that we want to bring in a young guy with Bobby Labontes experience and try to build from there. Were excited about this past weekend. Were working a lot with Chad McCumbee and will probably take some looks at Chad this season for sure in another five races. Were excited about where were going in the future with that&also excited about having the experience of Bobby Labonte on our side.
    Q: WILL KYLE (PETTY) BE IN THE CAR NEXT YEAR?
    RL: Oh yeah. Kyles going to be back in (the 45 car) this weekend in Dover and some other races lined up for him during the end of the year. Well see Kyle and Im sure youll see Kyle out there next year. As everyone knows, with all the sponsorship dependent on how you put all these programs together, were trying to work our way through it right now.
    Q: IS ONE OPTION NEXT YEAR FOR PETTY ENTERPRISES THREE CARS, ONE WITH A LIMITED SCHEDULE WITH KYLE DRIVING IT?
    RL: It definitely is. Weve had a lot of discussion on that in staff meetings each week. Dave Zucker  our CEO  is trying to put a lot of things together on the sponsorship front and thats one of the avenues that weve talked about. If we could run a third car on a limited schedule  even if it is a minimum of five to seven races  it does help us prepare and get a little bit of information in our circle and also prepare an easier transition when we go to three cars in 2010 when everyone gets this economy rolling again.
    Q: AND A THIRD CAR IS CONTINGENT ON SPONSORSHIP?
    RL: Yes sir. 100%.(Dodge Motorsports PR)(9-17-2008)

  • Mondays Deal or No Deal Contestant Says Deal To General Mills Offer: This past Monday night, millions watched NBCs Deal or No Deal as race fan Gary Cote and his family took television viewers on an emotional rollercoaster ride in an attempt to become the shows second million dollar winner. Cote, a native of Coventry, Rhode Island, was not only playing for the opportunity to help out his immediate family, but also his extended family of people he has quietly helped throughout his life. Cote also made no secret of his favorite sport, NASCAR, and his desire to vacation with his family and visit a NASCAR race, an opportunity he had only once before. While on the show, he was offered a race prize package from two-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson. Johnsons offer included a trip for Cote to the 2009 Daytona 500, a pace car ride around the hallowed speedway and a Richard Petty Driving Experience. In the end, Cote didnt walk away with either the million dollar grand prize or the NASCAR package. Cheerios is now making an offer that Cote cant refuse. They are offering Cote and his family the opportunity to be guests of theirs and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker race team this weekend at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Cote and his family will be given suite and garage passes for Saturday and Sundays events. Cheerios will also give the Cote family the opportunity to meet their driver, Bobby Labonte. What is Cotes answer to this offer? Deal! exclaimed Cote. Cote was given the offer after Cheerios learned of the generosity of Cote and his family. The Cheerios Racing team will meet Cote Friday evening and tour him and his wife and daughter around the track Saturday and Sunday.(General Mills/Breaking Limits PR)(9-13-2008)

  • Labonte Races with an Eye on Texas: With all of the fanfare focused on the start of the 2008 Chase for the Sprint Cup at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, one of the most-respected drivers in the garage area will be excused if his mind drifts away to the place of his birth. #43-Bobby Labonte was born in the bayside town of Corpus Christi, Texas. Corpus Christi is now in the path of Hurricane Ike, one of the many strong storms to make its way into the Gulf of Mexico in recent years. Please keep the residents of Corpus Christi in your thoughts and prayers, said Labonte. The Labonte family moved to North Carolina many years ago, but Corpus will always be home. We used to deal with only the occasional hurricane in the Gulf (of Mexico), but they are becoming more and more frequent. Hopefully all of the necessary safety measures have been taken and everyones well-being will be secure. Well be racing at Loudon this weekend, but our thoughts will be with everyone in the path of the hurricane.(Petty Enterprises PR)(9-12-2008)

  • Petty Enterprises still working on 2009 driver lineup: Robbie Loomis, vice president for racing operations at Petty Enterprises: "As far as driver lineup for next year, we are very aggressive on moving forward&but we are facing the fact that, based on where our cars are running right now, we won't be able to get that A-level driver as a teammate with #43-Bobby Labonte. So we have to create that player: like Brett Favre at Green Bay. We're still working on those plans. Kyle [Petty] will run some races next year. And Bobby will have a teammate that we hope can grow into that B-level or A-level player."(Winston Salem Journal)(8-31-2008)

  • Fans Vote Bobby Labonte, Rex White Into Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: The votes are in for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame honorees. Bobby Labonte won by the closest margin in history for active driver, while Rex White won the inactive driver category by a landslide. Labonte and White will be enshrined to the Walk of Fame on Saturday, Oct. 4, during the AMP Energy 500 weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in downtown Talladega is both a focal point saluting NASCAR's greatest names and a tribute to one of racing's brightest stars - the late Davey Allison. Developed in 1994, the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame has inducted one active driver and up to two inactive drivers since 1995 based on the fans' vote chosen from a ballot of nominees selected by strict guidelines. White, 78, of Fayetteville, Georgia, will be inducted as this year's inactive driver. White won the 1960 NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup) championship as a driver/owner, recording six wins and 35 top 10s in 41 starts. He is one of just six driver/owners in history to win a series championship. Fan voting for the 2008 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame began on April 15. In addition to Labonte, active driver nominees this year included: Michael Waltrip, Jeff Burton, Morgan Shepherd, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne, Robby Gordon, Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Jeremy Mayfield, Joe Nemechek, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Ken Schrader and Carl Edwards. White competed against inactive drivers, Jim Paschal, Bill Rexford, Jack Smith and Speedy Thompson. In the park, Davey Allison is remembered with a large marble monument, while drivers inducted into the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame have bronze plaques placed around the park, accessible by walkways that form the shape of Talladega Superspeedway. For additional information, visit talladegawalk.com.(TSS PR)(7-25-2008)

  • Totino's scheme at Indy for Labonte: This weekend for the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Dodge team will sport the colors of Totino's Pizza Rolls. Labonte, the 2000 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard champion, will auction off his helmet from this weekend to benefit the Bobby Labonte Foundation. The auction will begin the week leading into the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen. Go to www.bobbylabontefoundation.org to learn more about the Totino's Pizza Rolls helmet and other helmet auctions.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing), see an image of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(7-24-2008)

  • Bartelli named Chief Marketing Officer of Petty Enterprises & Richard Petty Driving Experience: Petty Enterprises announced that Michael Bartelli has been named Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer of the legendary race team and the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Bartelli will further strengthen the race team marketing group led by Brian Moffitt and the Richard Petty Driving Experience efforts led by President Brian Flynn. Bartelli joins Petty Enterprises from Millsport's Charlotte-based motorsports division where he spent eight years, and was most recently, its President. Prior to Millsport, Bartelli served as Vice President, Business Development for Action Performance Companies, the world's largest manufacturer of licensed motorsports merchandise at the time. He began his industry career in Daytona Beach, FL where he served as Director, Marketing Partnerships for International Speedway Corporation.(Petty Enterprises PR)(7-16-2008)

  • Petty Enterprises Press Conference: Kyle Petty hosted the press conference at Lowe's Motor Speedway, with NASCAR's Brian France, #43 driver Bobby Labonte, Richard Petty, new CEO David Zucker and Andrew C. Davis, Managing Dorector of Boston Ventures were seated at the front table.
    The partnership between Petty Enterprises and Boston Ventures was announced.
    Zucker becomes the first non Petty to be in charge.
    Zucker says he plans to expand to more teams/cars in the future
    Boston Ventures would not say what percentage of Petty Enterprises they invested in
    No 2009 sponsor was named for the #43 or #45, General Mills/Cheerrios will leave the #43 after 2008 and head to a 4th RCR team.
    Bobby Labonte is signed to drive the #43 Dodge thru 2012 and says there are options for him to becomed more involved with the afterwards.(6-11-2008)

  • Labonte Signs Contract Extension with Petty: Petty Enterprises has announced the signing of 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte to a four-year contract extension. The contract will keep the veteran driver behind the wheel of the famed #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge through the 2012 Sprint Cup season. Labonte, 44, began driving the #43 Dodge in 2006. I have known all along this is where I want to finish my racing career, said Labonte. The future is very bright for Petty Enterprises. As we continue to develop and learn from this new car we will increase our testing and engineering support. The investment from Boston Ventures will allow us to compete on the same level as the bigger Sprint Cup teams. In Robbie Loomis, Jeff Meendering, Derrick Finley and others, we have some of the brightest minds in the garage area. They will continue to expand our resources which will continue to pay dividends for us both on and off of the track. After the initial meeting I had with Boston Ventures, it was evident they shared the same vision and desire to return Petty Enterprises to Victory Lane that we all have, continued Labonte. Their enthusiasm is contagious. When you can pair that with The King, the confidence and success that he portrays, you have an organization that will be as strong as any in the Sprint Cup Series. See full PR woth quotes and info on Baker and Davis at Pettyracing.com.(6-11-2008)

  • Petty Enterprises Names Zucker CEO: Petty Enterprises announced today that David Zucker has been named Chief Executive Officer of the legendary race team and the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Zucker brings a wealth of business acumen and experience which will help grow and expand the Petty brand. Zucker has held prominent positions in the media, entertainment, sports and technology sectors, serving most recently as President and CEO of Midway Games, Inc., a publisher and developer of video games for home console and PC platforms. The company, based in Chicago, IL, had 900 employees and produced the Mortal Kombat and NBA Ballers series of video games. Zucker also spent 11 years with the Walt Disney Company, including eight years at ESPN, where he helped expand their motorsports strategy, directed the programming launch of ESPN2, championed the original X-Games and oversaw the growth of ESPN International to include 21 networks in 20 languages around the world. See full PR woth quotes and info on Zuckr at Pettyracing.com.(6-11-2008)

  • Boston Ventures Invests in Petty Enterprises: Boston Ventures, a leading middle market private equity firm, announced that it has agreed to a sizeable investment in Petty Enterprises and the Richard Petty Driving Experience. The infusion of capital will allow Petty Enterprises to significantly grow the organization with the goal of returning to the pinnacle of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and growing the Richard Petty Driving Experience into the safe driving and performance sectors. Barry Baker, Managing Director of Boston Ventures, will become Chairman of Petty Enterprises. Andrew C. Davis, Managing Director of Boston Ventures, will also serve on the newly formed Petty Enterprises Board of Directors. See full PR woth quotes and info on Baker and Davis at Pettyracing.com.(6-11-2008)

  • Same sponsor for the Labonte brothers at MIS: both Petty Enterprises will run similar paint schemes in the Lifelock 400 at Michigan International Speedway with #43-Bobby Labonte and #45 Terry Labonte running Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil schemes. Terry Labonte comments: "It's going to be cool to wear the Marathon colors this week, especially with this being close to their home in Findlay, Ohio. My brother, Bobby, and I are both running the Marathon colors. Our paint schemes will be mirrored. It will be easy for our dad to find us on Sunday. It has been a few years since I raced on Father's Day weekend. Sharing the track with my brother will make it special."(Petty Racing PR), see images of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page and #45 Team Schemes page.(6-11-2008)

  • Petty Investor to be announced soon UPDATE 3 announc Wed: Petty Enterprises' yearlong search to find an investment partner seems to be in the final stages, with an announcement tentatively planned for next week to announce a deal with a private equity firm. Boston Ventures is expected to take over a controlling interest in the company, which has fallen behind NASCAR's top organizations and needs a boost to become competitive. Richard Petty declined to discuss the deal Saturday. "We're not even going there," he said. Robbie Loomis, vice president of racing operations, said Petty Enterprises is an attractive partner to any potential investors. "The Petty brand is such a clean brand and stands for so much, and we want to take it to the next level with the right company," Loomis said. Boston Ventures has invested six funds totaling $2.6 billion in capital commitments in its 22-year history. Some of Boston Ventures previous portfolio companies include American Media Inc., Motown Records, Six Flags Entertainment and Continental Cablevision.(ESPN/AP)(6-8-2008)
    UPDATE: not sure if this is a press conference for the investor, but Petty Enterprises will host a news conference on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 at 11:00am/et at Lowe's Motor Speedway Media Center with Richard Petty, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Petty and others attending. Hearing that Labonte's new deal with Petty could be announced and possibly a new sponsor.(6-9-2008)
    UPDATE 2: The future of Petty Enterprises will become clearer on Wednesday. NASCAR's most famed organization has called a news conference for 11am/et Wednesday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Among the expected topics are a partnership with Boston Ventures Management and the re-signing of Bobby Labonte.(ESPN.com)
    UPDATE 2a: On Wednesday, Petty Enterprises will announce that Boston Ventures, a private equity firm, has acquired controlling interest in the 60-year-old racing operation which has produced 10 NASCAR champions but struggled to remain competitive the last two decades. Richard Petty will remain involved at a high level, but David Zucker, 45, will assume the role of CEO according to David Hovis, a spokesman for Petty Enterprises. Hovis also said it will also be announced that veteran driver Bobby Labonte has agreed to a four-year extension. Labonte will continue to drive for what is expected to remain a two-car Cup team for 2009. Until March, Zucker had been CEO of Midway Games, a Chicago-based producer of video games. In 2002, Zucker was named president and CEO of Playboy Enterprises. From 1988-1999 he was with the Walt Disney Corp., becoming executive vice president at ESPN. He also served as director of ESPN International, overseeing international operations. Petty said the initial deal is to run two cars but indicated he'd like to have a third Cup team running full time by 2010. Sponsorship, however, remains an issue. The team is losing its primary sponsor of the Labonte's #43 car. General Mills, to Richard Childress Racing next year. Hovis said a fourth component of the deal will be announced at a Wednesday press conference.(USA Today)(6-10-2008)

  • Petty expects Labonte back in 2009: Kyle Petty answering a viewer question submitted on NASCAR.com on what car Bobby Labonte will race next year: "This year Bobby Labonte drives the 43 car, which is obviously a teammate to the 45 car. I think Bobby Labonte will end up in the 43 car (next year). We feel very confident in where we've been and where we're going (with Bobby this year) and some of the things that Bobby has helped us do...Bobby is an integral part of Petty Enterprises, what Petty Enterprises is and where Petty Enterprises is going."(TNT PR)(6-9-2008)

  • A Golden Anniversary Fit for "The King": Petty Enterprises announced the plans to celebrate "The King" Richard Petty's 50th anniversary in NASCAR. The plan includes Petty getting back into a racecar and turning laps at Chicagoland Speedway. On July 12, 1958, Petty made his first NASCAR start in the old Convertible Division at Columbia Speedway in Cayce, South Carolina. On July 12, 2008, Petty Enterprises and the entire NASCAR community will celebrate the anniversary of that race at the Chicagoland Speedway, where the Sprint Cup Series is competing in the Life Lock 400. Petty Enterprises will be marking the anniversary with numerous special events and promotions. The team has extended an invitation for the CEOs of their sponsors and partner companies to come to Chicago to help them commemorate the anniversary. As part of the activities, Petty will return to a racecar to give some of his special guests a ride around Chicagoland Speedway in a Richard Petty Driving Experience stockcar. As a tribute to Petty and the anniversary of his first race, the #43 and #45 will be featuring special throwback paint schemes for the Life Lock 400. The paint schemes feature the Petty Blue color made famous by Petty and in a nod to the 60's and 70's, racing strips. Each will also carry the 50th anniversary commemorative logo on the hood of both cars. The 50th anniversary of Petty's first race is an opportunity for Petty Enterprises, the NASCAR community, and all NASCAR fans to honor him for his achievements and for the countless contributions he has made to the sport.(MCG Sports PR), see an images of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page and #45 Team Schemes page.(5-20-2008)

  • Labonte close to decision on future: #43-Bobby Labonte said he is no longer agonizing over whether he will stay at Petty Enterprises or drive for someone else next season. Labonte said he is likely within two or three weeks of having final answers concerning his driving career beyond this season. Were trying to get things squared away at Pettys, like Ive always said, Labonte said. But obviously we have to get that done. In a couple of weeks, three weeks maybe, well have a lot more answers. & Right now, Im pretty much at ease.& Its just a matter of things happening thats going to take place, whether you like it or not. Im about to the point if it happens, it happens and if it doesnt, you do something different. Im not worried about that as much as the talk about it from the outside trying to make sure that the guys that come to work, that they dont read the paper and say, Whats going to happen? Nothing is done yet  nothing that can be [said] because of the implications [on] people, Labonte said. We cant implicate people that are doing things that will [mess] them up and our own position. I have nothing to report yet. Hopefully in the next few weeks, it will be a lot more well known." Petty Enterprises has been entertaining offers from investors. Labonte, the 2000 Sprint Cup champion, said its his understanding those talks are continuing.(SceneDaily)(5-16-2008)

  • Labonte supposedly agrees to contract extension with Petty's UPDATE 2: Bobby Labonte has reached an agreement to remain in the #43 car at Petty Enterprises after this season, sources told ESPN.com on Saturday. Labonte has been widely speculated as a candidate to drive the fourth car at Richard Childress Racing, but Petty officials have remained adamant that he will spend the rest of his career with the organization and that he is determined to be the driver that puts the 43 back into Victory lane. David Hovis, a spokesman for Petty Enterprises, said the team had nothing to announce Saturday about Labonte's future. "We still remain 100% convinced that Bobby will be with Petty Enterprises next season," Hovis said. Sources said Labonte's new deal will be announced as soon as details concerning a new sponsor are worked out. General Mills, Labonte's current sponsor, will be on the fourth car at RCR next season.
    Robbie Loomis, the vice president for racing operations at Petty, has been the most outspoken on Labonte's commitment to Petty Enterprises. He remained that way on Saturday. "As far as I know Bobby Labonte will be with us for a long time," he said before the Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. "I feel confident where we're at with Petty Enterprises and with Bobby. In due time Petty Enterprises will have a lot of announcements coming forward." One is that a Petty has finalized a deal with New York-based Medallion Financial as a business partner. Loomis said that could come within the next month to six weeks. The other concerns Labonte's new sponsor. General Mills, Labonte's current sponsor, will be on the fourth car at RCR next season. Loomis said negotiations for a new sponsor are going well, noting Labonte's "brand is clean like the Petty's."(ESPN.com), one rumored sponsor for the #43 team has been Caterpillar, whose deal with Bill Davis Racing and the #22 Toyota runs out at the end of 2008.(5-3-2008)
    UPDATE 2: from an ESPN.com post from #43 crew chief Jeff Meendering: "As for reports that Bobby Labonte has signed with the team, I don't think that anything is set in stone there. They are getting really close on working everything out. But to say anything is set in stone might have been some speculation. When everything started blowing up with that story, the guys on our team never paid any attention to that. We have really good management here that takes care of that and allows us to go to the track and race. I still feel like Bobby will be here next year, but I know they're not totally done with it. I think they're getting close, though."(ESPN.com)(5-10-2008)

  • Special scheme for Labonte in #43: #43-Bobby Labonte will drive this special paint scheme marking the 50th Anniversary of the King's first NASCAR race. Labonte is scheduled to drive this car on July 12, 2008 at the LifeLock.com 400 in Chicagoland. See image on my #43 Team Schemes page.(5-9-2008)

  • Bobby Labonte Celebrity Golf Classic raises over $100,000: Bobby Labonte and wife Donna hosted the fifth annual Bobby Labonte Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic on Tuesday, April 29 with over 100 participants taking part at the Ballantyne Resort Golf Course. The Golf Classic was preceded the night before by a dinner, silent and live auctions and a concert by country music artist Eric Church at the Ballantyne Resort Lodge. The activities ended with an awards luncheon Tuesday afternoon. All proceeds raised for the Bobby Labonte Foundation during the two days benefitted charities including the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Over $100,000 was raised for the Bobby Labonte Foundation through the tournament and auctions. One of the highlights of the auction included Ms. Lynda Petty, the wife of Richard, who bid on an autographed Brett Favre Jersey. The item was won by Ms. Petty who will place the jersey in the Richard Petty Museum. The Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre have been favorites of the entire Petty family throughout the years.(Breaking Limits PR)(5-2-2008)

  • Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer...on the #43 IMAGES added: This weekend at Richmond, the #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge of Bobby Labonte will sport a special paint scheme to promote the new movie, Speed Racer, which opens across the country May 9. The paint scheme is reflective of Speed Racers Mach 5, the car driven by the character in both the classic 1960s animated series and the new live action family film. Labonte: "I appreciate NASCAR allowing us to have a little extra 'speed' this weekend. It's really cool to have the new Speed Racer movie on the side of the #43 Dodge for Richmond. Any young boy that grew up in the '70s watched Speed Racer. I know I did. To a kid that dreamed of growing up to be a racecar driver, that was the coolest show on television. They haven't given me a sneak preview yet, but I'm sure I'll check it out in the theaters."(Petty Racing/MCG Sports), add some cool images of the scheme to my #43 Team Schemes page.(4-30-2008)

  • The King's Hat Makes Visit to Troops in Iraq: With 200 wins and seven championship in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition, "The King" Richard Petty is firmly woven into the fabric of Americana as a true icon. While those numbers place him at the top of his profession, "The King" is dually noted for his generous giving of time and energy in support of others. As a member of the Dodge Motorsports family, Petty routinely takes part in Dodge's satellite conference calls over the Freedom Calls Satellite network. The video conference calls connect men and women on the front lines of Iraq with their favorite Dodge NASCAR drivers before certain races. While at the Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in March, Petty was involved in one such call with a group of United States Army engineers from the Coalition Network Operations and Security Center (CNOSC). When the group commented on Petty's signature cowboy hat, he made sure that the group had one of their own. "Our soldiers sacrifice so much to allow us to live in a free country," said Petty. "When they asked me to send them one of my Charley One Horse hats I thought that was the least I could do. It meant the world to me that one of my hats could provide them with a little relief from what they deal with on a daily basis."
    Petty is also heavily involved with the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). The PVA works to maximize the quality of life for its members and all people with spinal cord injury and dysfunction (SCI/D) as a leading advocate for health care, SCI/D research and education, veterans' benefits and rights, accessibility and the removal of architectural barriers, sports programs, and disability rights. "Race car drivers are often called heroes, but the men and women of our military are the real heroes," continued Petty. "Not only do they need our support when overseas, but also when they return to their lives back home."(MCG Sports/Petty Enterprises)(4-16-2008)

  • Only four drivers left: only four Sprint Cup drivers have ran all fifteen Sprint Cup races at Texas Motor Speedway including the race Sunday: #8-Mark Martin, #31-Jeff Burton, #24-Jeff Gordon and #43-Bobby Labonte. Martin and Burton have won at the track.(4-5-2008)

  • Petty Enterprises don't expect to lose Labonte: Petty Enterprises lost the sponsor of its famed # 43 car to Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday, but officials don't expect the driver to follow. STP was the sponsor of the #43 car that Richard Petty drove to 200 victories. Now with General Mills moving on, the car needs a sponsor again. Robbie Loomis, the vice president for racing operations at Petty Enterprises, said the organization is in the final stages of negotiating a deal that would keep 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte there for the remainder of his career. He said losing General Mills, the current sponsor of Labonte's car, will have no bearing on that. "I'm not worried about that at all," Loomis said of losing Labonte to RCR. "I feel as good about it as anything I've felt about in a long time." (ESPN.com)(4-5-2008)

  • Bobby Labonte Comments on Remainder of 2008 Season: Bobby Labonte continues to be totally focused on returning Petty Enterprises back to victory lane. He will concentrate on those efforts for the remainder of the 2008 season. Contrary to reports, he has made no contractual agreements with any team beyond 2008. Im very humbled by the level of interest in my future, but at this time Im concentrating all my efforts in getting Petty Enterprises back to victory lane. I feel good about all the positive steps that Petty Enterprises has made and continues to make. General Mills has been a huge part of making the 43 team what it is today. I worked diligently with Petty Enterprises to continue General Mills involvement with the team. Today, we all learned they have made a decision. I truly appreciate all they have done to contribute to our success at Petty Enterprises. Moving forward, Im going to work hard each week to win races. I want to do the best I can for Petty Enterprises and everyone who puts great cars under me each week. Thats our focus, and thats what I feel is the right thing to do for all our partners. At this time, I have no intention to talk about my plans after 2008 because of the immediate tasks at hand. I respectively ask for everyones patience in this matter and, again, am humbled by everyones interest.(Breaking Limits PR)
    AND: Petty Enterprises lost the sponsor of its famed #43 car to Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday, but officials don't expect the driver to follow. Robbie Loomis, the vice president for racing operations at Petty Enterprises, said the organization is in the final stages of negotiating a deal that would keep 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte there for the remainder of his career. He said losing General Mills, the current sponsor of Labonte's car, will have no bearing on that. "I'm not worried about that at all," Loomis said of losing Labonte to RCR. "I feel as good about it as anything I've felt about in a long time." Meanwhile, Childress is left with finding a fourth driver. Scott Wimmer is a potential candidate. He already has a Nationwide Series win for RCR this season and is scheduled to drive a handful of Cup races in a fourth RCR car.(ESPN.com)(4-2-2008)

  • Petty Enterprises looking for a sponsor of #43: Since 1949 Petty Enterprises has forged a legacy as the most successful organization in American motorsports history by forming lasting partnerships with trusted sponsors based on the Petty family principles of hard work, integrity, dedication and charity. These core values have produced some of the most enduring and successful partnerships in all of sports. In 2009 primary sponsorship of the famed #43 Dodge will become available for only the second time since .The King., Richard Petty partnered with STP in 1972a relationship that continues to this day. Petty Enterprises current partner, General Mills, has been the primary sponsor of the #43 for the past nine seasons and will continue through the end of the year. .We value our relationships with all of our sponsors,. said Robbie Loomis, Executive Vice President, Operations. .We appreciate everything that General Mills has helped us accomplish over the past nine seasons both on and off of the track, and we wish them well in their future plans. The #43. driven by .King. Richard and his record 200 wins is synonymous with success not just at the highest levels of motorsports, but across all sports. 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte, continues that tradition today. .Bobby is one of the most marketable and popular drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series,. said Brian Moffitt, Vice President, Marketing. .He and his family share the ideals and values of the Petty organization and he remains a key component to the long-term future of Petty Enterprises. While there is substantial sponsorship interest in Bobby and Petty Enterprises we will carefully consider our options to ensure the continuation of our rich tradition and to build on current momentum. Prospective partners are well aware of the special power of the .Petty. brand, as numerous surveys and marketing groups have identified Richard Petty as one of the most iconic brands in all of sports.. .I am proud of our organizations rich tradition.. said Richard Petty "We look at bringing in fresh resources and new partners as a real opportunity to further grow and improve the Petty organization. Especially those who share in the same core values of integrity, dedication and winning that have come to define Petty Enterprises.(Petty Enterprises/MCG Sports PR)(4-1-2008)

  • Labonte/General Mills to RCR in 2009? Richard Childress acknowledged that his organization is close to fielding a fourth team in the Sprint Cup Series, and Yahoo! Sports has learned that the driver of that car beginning in 2009 likely will be Bobby Labonte [currently #43 Petty Enterprises]. Sources close to the deal point to General Mills, Labonte's current sponsor with Petty Enterprises, coming along with him to RCR. According to Childress, he will field a fourth car sometime this season, though he wouldn't set an exact time frame. He did say things were progressing well and that he was pleased with how plans were coming together. "We're looking at entering a few races before the end of the season," Childress said. Childress entered a fourth car (#33) in selected races in 2007 with Scott Wimmer as the driver. Wimmer likely is the choice to be behind the wheel when the car makes it back onto the track this season. However, Labonte likely will be the full-time driver in 2009. Hiring Labonte would be an ace up the sleeve for RCR. Labonte is a past champion, which means he would get a champion's provisional that would guarantee him a spot in the field at the start of the '09 season. Labonte already has a relationship with Childress, having signed with RCR this year to drive the #21 Nationwide car on a part-time basis this season.(Yahoo Sports)(2-23-2008)
    UPDATE - RCR to Field Fourth Cup Team in '09 with General Mills Sponsorship: Richard Childress Racing (RCR) and General Mills have agreed to terms on a multi-year partnership for the world's sixth-largest food company to sponsor the #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevy beginning with the 2009 Cup Series season. The driver for the #33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevy will be announced at a later date. "RCR is honored to represent General Mills and its Cheerios, Hamburger Helper and many other brands in the NASCAR Cup Series," said Richard Childress, president and CEO of Richard Childress Racing. "The partnership is another step in RCR's continued association with blue-chip global brands and companies. General Mills has a great history of activating its NASCAR programs so our focus now turns to the short list of drivers we feel will help continue that tradition as well as be at the same competitive level on the track as our current drivers and teams."
    The 2009 season will mark General Mills' 13th year of sponsorship involvement in NASCAR as well as Richard Childress' 40th anniversary in the sport. RCR has earned 11 NASCAR championships, including six in the Cup Series with the legendary Dale Earnhardt, four in the Nationwide Series, and one in the Truck Series. Next year will be the first time RCR will run a fourth fulltime NASCAR Cup Series team.(RCR PR)(4-1-2008)

  • Petty finds investor? UPDATE: Yahoo! Sports has learned through two independent sources that Richard Petty [#43, #45] will soon announce that he has struck a deal with a major investor that should keep the Petty name in the sport it has been so instrumental in building. While it's obviously good to keep the Petty name alive in NASCAR, it also signals the beginning of the end of an era.(Yahoo!Sports)(3-9-2008)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty says he is further along in the process of finding an investor for his Petty Enterprises organization than he was last year when he was in talks with George Gillett. We aint signed a thing," Petty said Friday at Martinsville Speedway. But we are working on it. Weve agreed to more things, but were not there yet. Petty indicated that his family would still have control of the "racing parts of the team. He also said the investors have been to the races. An announcement likely wont come in the next couple of months, but Petty indicated that he is comfortable with where negotiations are. If we decide to do it today, its going to take three months to get all the stuff done  its going to be a little while, Petty said. We aint got down to signing it. Until its signed, its [hard to predict]. Weve done the leg work. & I wouldnt have gotten this far if I havent felt pretty confident at this point.(SceneDaily)(3-28-2008)

  • No Petty Racing points swap for Martinsville: Petty Enterprises officials say they will not ask NASCAR to approve a points swap between drivers Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty. That means that Petty will need to qualify based on speed for the March 30 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. The team could have swapped points between the drivers, helping get both into the field. Petty is outside the top 35 in owners points this season, with the locked-in field being set based on this seasons points starting with the Goodys Orange Cool 500. Since Labonte is the 2000 Cup series champion, he would have been eligible for the past champions provisional as the most recent past champion outside the top 35. Instead, the team is not requesting a change, leaving Labonte 18th in points and Petty 40th.(SceneDaily)(3-19-2008)

  • Petty donates two Cup cars to VT: Petty Enterprises has donated two #43 Nextel Cup race cars to the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER). Richard Petty and son Kyle have donated the race cars to VIPER as research tools for mechanical engineering students pursuing graduate degrees. The Petty's decision was prompted by the Nextel Cup's retirement of the cars in preparation for the move to the "Car of Tomorrow" in 2008. Petty Enterprises General Manager Robbie Loomis noted in an ESPN.com article that the first donation would be to Virginia Tech for use at VIPER, primarily due to the research already underway there with a well-known motor sports team. "In this sport we need an area where we can groom and shape engineers to really fit the racing model. There always seems to be a disconnect between the book engineer and the actual applications engineer at the racetrack. So we hope we can bring that together for the future," said Loomis. VIPER Director Steve Southward couldn't agree more. "We are thrilled to have the race cars in the lab for hands-on experience. Working with these cars on our eight-post shaker rig allows our students to put what they learned about chassis engineering in class into practice in a way that leads to real know-how," said Southward. The VIPER program in mechanical engineering began in 2005. The institute offers unique programs, including testing of commercial vehicles.(Danville Register)(3-11-2008)

  • Petty could be out of top 35, is points swap with #43 possible? #45-Kyle Petty is optimistic that even though he is 40th in owners points that he could get back into the top 35. He believes his Petty Enterprise Dodge has been better than a year ago and mechanical gremlins have hurt the finishes as he sits 81 points out of the key 35th-place spot. We had three bad races but I am more encouraged where were at than I was last year. and that is no joke, Petty said Friday. Our car has driven good at all three races. With the top 35 reverting to this years owners points following Bristol next week to determine the guaranteed spots in the lineup week to week, Petty does have another option to get back into the top 35  he could swap owners points with teammate #43-Bobby Labonte. Labonte, as the 2000 Cup champion, would have access to a past champions provisional, if needed. Labonte, who is 14th in owners points, would still keep his driver points [with #44-Dale Jarrett retiring and #2-Kurt Busch 10th in owners points, Labonte would be guaranteed to make the races unless he used up his 6 past champion provisionals]. Its something weve thought about, but we havent talked about it [with everyone], Petty Enterprises Executive Vice President Robbie Loomis said Sunday. Petty said the decision would be made by Loomis: I havent thought about it because Im not worried about it, Petty said. The top-35 situation also could impact who eventually replaces Petty when he steps out of the car for six races to be in the booth for TNTs Cup telecasts. The team used Chad McCumbee for one race and John Andretti for the others last year and it likely will be at least another month before those plans are settled. Were kind of waiting on this point deal to shake out, Loomis said. We have had a lot of drivers contact us about doing it. & Im really, really big on McCumbee.(SceneDaily)(3-10-2008)

  • Labonte and The King go snowmobiling: Communication between driver and crew chief is one of the most important factors in developing a successful race team. This takes time to develop and can only be accomplished by both driver and crew chief working to get to know each other. Bobby Labonte and Jeff Meendering, driver and rookie crew chief on the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, are attempting to accelerate this learning process. After the extended race weekend in Fontana, Labonte and Meendering broke away from racing to have some fun and find out more about each other. The two, along with "The King" Richard Petty, visited "The King's" Alpine, Wyoming home to ride snowmobiles. It is trips like these that promote a great relationship between the driver and crew chief.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(2-28-2008)

  • Special scheme on the #43 at Vegas MORE: This weekend at Las Vegas Bobby Labonte is running a special Cheerios "Circle of Helping Hearts" paint scheme on the #43 Petty Racing Dodge. More info about at cheerioshelpinghearts.com.(Petty Racing PR)(2-27-2008)
    MORE: Bobby Labonte knows the importance of a number. He races the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, one of the most famous and recognizable numbers in the history of the sport. Veteran media members, Wendy Venturini [SPEED Channel Reporter], Jenna Fryer [Associated Press Motorsports Journalist] and Krista Voda [Fox Sports Pit Road Reporter/SPEEDtrucks host] are also familiar with an important number. They each know that their cholesterol number is vital for them to continue to live a strong and healthy life. This weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Venturini, Fryer and Voda will be wearing Cheerios Circle of Helping Hearts stickers to help raise awareness for women to Know Your Number and get cholesterol checks. Womens heart disease is the number one killer among women today, making it more important for all females to Know Your Number and help take care of their heart. The Cheerios racing team will be doing their part on the track. Labonte will carry the Cheerios Circle of Helping Hearts logo on the hood for this weekends race. The Cheerios Circle of Helping Hearts is a reminder to help a heart and make a difference. Fans can enter a code found inside specially marked boxes of Cheerios cereal or on containers of 8th Continent soy milk. Cheerios and 8th Continent will donate a $1.00 for each code entered. Through the code program, Cheerios and 8th Continent soy milk will donate up to $300,000 to WomenHeart, the nations only patient advocacy organization serving women with heart disease, to provide free cholesterol screening for communities of women in need. Together with 8th Continent soy milk, Cheerios is donating an additional $200,000 to WomenHeart, bringing the total possible contribution to $500,000.(Breaking Limits/General Mills PR)(2-27-2008)

  • Special scheme for Labonte at Calif UPDATE: This weekend at California Speedway #43-Bobby Labonte will run a special paint scheme for the Hamburger Helper My Hometown Helper Program; the nationwide initiative lends a helping hand to local groups making a difference in their community.(Petty Racing PR)(2-21-2008)
    UPDATE: This weekend, Bobby Labonte is bringing the colors and scheme of the #43 Hamburger Helper My Hometown Helper Dodge to the two-mile California Speedway. Labonte will be focused on racing up front to help raise awareness of the Hamburger Helper My Hometown Helper grant program. The nationwide initiative lends a helping hand to local groups making a difference in their community. Labonte has not only had tremendous success on the track, but has volunteered his services to help communities off the track as well. Labonte will be a guest judge for the program. He plans to choose at least one of the MyhometownHelper.com selected grant winners to donate additional money from his foundation and/or to provide his own time to help in raising funds. The MyhometownHelper.com grant winners are selected by a panel that will review applicants essays of 250 words or less, describing how the grant will benefit their community project. From now until March 31st community groups seeking support can visit MyHometownHelper.com to apply online for the grant. Grants will be awarded in the range of $500 to $15,000 dollars and all requests must be sponsored by a charitable organization, municipal or civic organization, or a public school. Funds will be awarded based on the merit of the project, including its impact on, and support within, the community, among other factors. Labonte will review from the winning grant essays in April. Last year, Hamburger Helper My Hometown Helper gave away $130,000 in grants and plans to give away $200,000 this year. The Hamburger Helper My Hometown Helper grants have helped communities purchase new band equipment, build a school playground and fund a tornado warning system, among other great projects.(Breaking Limits PR)(2-24-2008)

  • Labonte/Genral Mills to RCR in 2009? Richard Childress acknowledged that his organization is close to fielding a fourth team in the Sprint Cup Series, and Yahoo! Sports has learned that the driver of that car beginning in 2009 likely will be Bobby Labonte [currently #43 Petty Enterprises]. Sources close to the deal point to General Mills, Labonte's current sponsor with Petty Enterprises, coming along with him to RCR. According to Childress, he will field a fourth car sometime this season, though he wouldn't set an exact time frame. He did say things were progressing well and that he was pleased with how plans were coming together. "We're looking at entering a few races before the end of the season," Childress said. Childress entered a fourth car (#33) in selected races in 2007 with Scott Wimmer as the driver. Wimmer likely is the choice to be behind the wheel when the car makes it back onto the track this season. However, Labonte likely will be the full-time driver in 2009. Hiring Labonte would be an ace up the sleeve for RCR. Labonte is a past champion, which means he would get a champion's provisional that would guarantee him a spot in the field at the start of the '09 season. Labonte already has a relationship with Childress, having signed with RCR this year to drive the #21 Nationwide car on a part-time basis this season.(Yahoo Sports)(2-23-2008)
    UPDATE: Dustin Long went to Labonte on Saturday to ask him about the report. Here's what he said.
    Q: What about the report?
    LABONTE: "I just say that kind of like where that world is. I don't really believe a whole lot of stuff that you read and half of what you say sometimes, so I don't put nothing into it. What's the good of any? That's crap.''
    Q: Robbie Loomis said the Pettys have presented you a contract offer, so what's the next step as you consider your future?
    LABONTE: "Behind closed doors you work on it yourself. You don't need to know about it. You know what I mean? It's just the way it is. That's my next step (laughing). My next step is not to talk about it to you (laughing).
    I also talked to Robbie Loomis, VP of operations at Petty, about the report. Here's what he had to say:
    Q: What about the report?
    LOOMIS: "I think that everybody knows that Bobby came here with a three-year deal. We're negotiating with him right now, in the middle of that. As far as the General Mills part, that was pretty outlandish I thought because we have a lot of things in our contract how specifically they won't touch a sponsor that is with alcohol, so for the General Mills piece to be going over (to RCR, which has Jack Daniel's as sponsor of the 07 car) ... I really find surprising. It's something we're in negotiations for sure and see where everything shakes out.
    Q: What do you mean by negotiations with Labonte? Define where that is.
    LOOMIS: "By the end of the year his current contract will be up, the end of '08, so you start negotiating to see if he wants to stay and he wants to make sure we're making the steps of improvement. It's just a shame that the story come out now because it disrupts the guys on the team and we're doing a lot of good things. We've got (crew chief) Jeff Meendering on board. The presence of the race team, moving to the race shop, so many good things going on, you hate to have an outside circulating story affect the inside.
    Q: Where are you in the negotiations?
    LOOMIS: "He has a contract from us. It's up to him what he wants to do with it, hopefully, he wants to sign it. We'd really like Bobby Labonte to finish career out with Petty Enterprises and the contract that's presented is kind of laid out that way. We think his values and what he stands for is a good fit for us. We'll see where the future is.''
    Q: When do you need an answer?
    LOOMIS: "It's hard to say. We haven't really put a timeframe on it. Obviously the earlier the better so that everybody can get their eyes back on the racing.''(hamptonroads.com)
    AND: Petty Enterprises has offered Bobby Labonte a contract that it hopes keeps the 43-year-old driver with the team the rest of his career, although an internet report states he could be driving elsewhere next year. "I don't really believe a whole lot of stuff that you read and half of what you say sometimes, so I don't put nothing into it,'' Labonte said Saturday afternoon of the Yahoo! Sports report. Labonte, the 2000 series champion, is in the final year of his three-year contract with Petty Enterprises. Robbie Loomis, vice president for operations at Petty Enterprises, said the team is awaiting word from Labonte on the contract offer. "It's up to him what he wants to do with it,. Hopefully, he'll sign it,'' Loomis said. "We'd really like Bobby Labonte to finish his career out with Petty Enterprises and the contract that we presented him is kind of laid out that way. We think his values and what he stands for is a good fit with us.'' Loomis said he doesn't have a timetable on when the team would like a response from Labonte, but admits that "the earlier the better, so that everybody can get their eyes back on the racing.'' Labonte said whatever he does next will be behind closed doors. "My next step is not to talk about it,'' Labonte said. Loomis also said he does not see General Mills joining Richard Childress Racing as long as that team has Jack Daniel's sponsoring one of its cars. "We have a lot of things in our contract how specifically they won't touch a sponsor that is alcohol, so for the General Mills piece to be going over there ... I really find surprising,'' Loomis said.(Roanoke Times)(2-24-2008)

  • Special scheme for Labonte at Calif: This weekend at California Speedway #43-Bobby Labonte will run a special paint scheme for the Hamburger Helper My Hometown Helper Program; the nationwide initiative lends a helping hand to local groups making a difference in their community.(Petty Racing PR)(2-21-2008)

  • New car chief for #43: Long time Yates Racing employee [car chief, crew chief, mechanic], Ray Fox Jr., is now the car chief for the #43 Cheerios Dodge for Petty Enterprises and driver Bobby Labonte. So Fox is working in the same building as he worked in last year since Petty Enterprises moved into the old Yates Racing shop over the 'off season'.(SPEED's coverage of the Media Tour)(1-25-2008)

  • Petty Enterprises Completes Move to Mooresville N.C.: Petty Enterprises is the newest resident of Race City, U.S.A. As of January 7, the organization began operating completely out of their, 115,000 square foot facility in Mooresville, N.C. Since its inception in 1949 through the 2007 season, Petty Enterprises had been based out of Level Cross, N.C. Intertwined in the movement of man and machine is a renewed commitment to winning that produced such a successful legacy. "This is an exciting time to be a part of the Petty Enterprises' family," said Executive Vice President of Race Operations Robbie Loomis. "NASCAR is going in a new direction with the new car, so we felt this was the right time to make our transition. The fact that the move was finished ahead of schedule shows our determination."(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(1-8-2008)

  • Petty Enterprises Hires Derrick Finley as Technical Director: Petty Enterprises announced the immediate hiring of NASCAR veteran Derrick Finley to the position of technical director. Finley, 36, will oversee the full-time implementation of the Car of Tomorrow for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, driven by 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte, and the #45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/PVA Dodge, driven by Kyle Petty. His first order of business will be to accompany both teams to the NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing that will begin February 7th at the Daytona International Speedway. Finley brings over a decade of NASCAR experience to Petty Enterprises. Upon his graduation from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Finley held crew chief and engineering positions with several racing organizations. This gives Finley the unique blend of an engineering education and hands-on knowledge that is highly sought after in today's world of auto racing. Finley is another integral piece in the growth of Petty Enterprises back to a championship-contending team. The move by the organization to a state-of-the-art shop in Mooresville, N.C. is almost complete. Several new hires will also give the team plenty of resources to compete for wins immediately.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(1-4-2008)

2007 News

  • Cheerios becomes 1st client for Labonte firm: General Mills has selected Breaking Limits as its motorsports agency for event and promotional marketing, giving Bobby Labonte's new firm its first client. Labonte, the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series champion, opened Breaking Limits in the fall as a full-service marketing agency. For the past two seasons, Cheerios, a General Mills brand, has been the primary sponsor on Labonte's #43 Dodge at Petty Enterprises. General Mills has sponsored the #43 since 2000, when it replaced longtime Petty sponsor STP. General Mills has been the only primary sponsor for the car since then. General Mills previously was an associate sponsor for Roush Racing's #6 Valvoline car driven by Mark Martin. "We're looking forward to help grow their brand and presence in the sport for years to come," Labonte said. Julie Busha, director of marketing at Breaking Limits, will oversee the account.(SportsBusiness Journal/NASCAR.com)(12-27-2007)

  • Petty Enterprises migrates south hoping to improve: By Jan. 2, 2008 most of the move for Petty Enterprises will be complete as the NASCAR operation moves its headquarters 74 miles south from Level Cross, N.C., to the recently vacated Robert Yates Racing buildings in Mooresville, N.C., much closer to most of the other top race shops who call North Carolina home. The red moving trucks with the Petty Enterprises logos displayed prominently on the side have been rolling out of 311 Branson Mill Rd. (a Randleman, N.C. mailing address but actually located in Level Cross) for weeks now, heading south toward the RYR complex in Mooresville. On Wednesday, the fabrication shop and machine shop personnel and their equipment were scheduled to complete their move from the old facility to the new. On Dec. 31, the finished fabrication and suspension folks and all their machinery is scheduled to arrive at their new working address. Most of the rest of the Petty operation will move into the new digs by Jan. 2, followed by the assembly and setup teams for the group's two Sprint Cup cars by Jan. 8. The #45 car driven by Kyle Petty, Richard's son, will leave for the first week of testing at Daytona out of Level Cross but will return to the new shop in Mooresville on Jan. 10. The #43 car driven by Bobby Labonte will leave for the second week of Daytona testing out of Level Cross around the same time and return to its new base of operations for good on Jan. 17. Back in Level Cross, Petty wants to make it clear that he isn't vacating the old place completely. "I'm still going to operate out of here, as far as a bunch of stuff that I do," said Richard, owner of 200 of the race wins claimed by Petty Enterprises. "My secretary will still be here and all that stuff. I'll spend a lot of time going back and forth, seeing what's going on at the race shop. But all my scheduling and all my deals will be done out of here, so I'll spend half my time here and half my time over there. I've got some of the deal done for the body shop. I've got a bunch of cars for them to work on and stuff," Richard said. "We might move the museum back up here [from its current location in Randleman]; we might run a [Nationwide Series] car out of here. We don't know yet. Our main deal now is let's leave this place in limbo, and let's go get our [Cup] racecars going down at the new place, our new main deal. Then we'll figure out what we're going to do with what we've got left."(see full story at NASCAR.com)(12-27-2007)

  • No Petty/GEM merger: For the time being, Petty Enterprises will go it alone in the increasingly costly world of NASCAR. Kyle Petty said Tuesday that Richard Petty has decided not to merge with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Not at this time, at least. Petty Enterprises and Gillett Evernham were said to be discussing a merger or partnership that would have allowed Petty to maintain its identity.(Kansas City Star)(11-28-2007)

  • Bobby Labonte to Drive for Childress in Nationwide Series: Richard Childress Racing has signed Bobby Labonte to a part-time schedule driving its #21 Chevy in the 2008 Nationwide Series. Labonte will compete in 15 races.(RCR PR)(11-27-2007)

  • New crew chief for Labonte in 2008? UPDATE 2: Hearing that #24-Jeff Gordon's car chief [not crew chief], Jeff Meendering, will be Bobby Labonte's new crew chief of the #43 Cheerios/Petty Enterprises Dodge in 2008, replacing #43 crew chief, Doug Randolph, will leave after the season and head to the #15 DEI team of Paul Menard.(11-9-2007)
    UPDATE: The car chief for Jeff Gordon's #24 Chevy says he will wait until after the season to decide whether he will leave Hendrick Motorsports to pursue opportunities as a crew chief. Jeff Meendering, who joined Hendrick in 1994 and has been part of the #24 team since 2000, said several teams are interested in acquiring his services, but he said he hasn't decided whether he will accept one of those positions. One of those teams is Petty Enterprises and its #43 car, which has an opening after crew chief Doug Randolph was hired by Dale Earnhardt Inc. An Internet rumor said Meendering had already decided to join Petty as a crew chief next season. "I've talked to them," Meendering said Friday at Phoenix International Raceway. "That's one of the options that's out there. I'm just trying to get through the season. I'm not committing to anything yet. I'm just looking at my options. I'm not saying I'm going to be doing anything different than [working at Hendrick] this year."(SceneDaily.com)(11-9-2007)
    UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises announced Jeff Meendering as the new crew chief of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Avenger driven by Bobby Labonte. Meendering, 30, will take over crew chief duties of the #43 team immediately and will see his first on track action with Labonte during a Goodyear tire test at Atlanta Motor Speedway, December 11-12. He joins Petty Enterprises after a 13-year stint with Hendrick Motorsports where for the past 2 ½ seasons he held the position of car chief on the #24 team of Jeff Gordon. In addition, Meendering assumed the role of interim crew chief of the #24 car for six races during the 2007 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Under his guidance the team scored top-10 finishes in each of the six races, with a high finish of second at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. Meendering will step into an organization that is showing a commitment to winning. Petty Enterprises recently announced that they will move into the Mooresville, N.C. shop the previously housed Robert Yates Racing. The hiring of Meendering will provide a talented leader to ease in the transition period.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(11-26-2007)

  • PE donating the 'old' cars to schools: Sunday's Ford 400 marks the final time Nextel Cup Series teams will run the standard-model racecar, so theoretically those machines become obsolete the moment the checkered flag falls. Again, theoretically. While most teams plan to sell those cars to ARCA teams for 20 cents on the dollar, or reallocate them to Busch East or NASCAR West driver development programs, Petty Enterprises will take a unique reinvestment approach focused on grooming future racing engineers. "We're going to take some of the old cars and donate them to universities [that have] good engineering programs, and hopefully we can get some return back on from the engineering side," said Robbie Loomis, Petty Enterprises GM. The idea was hatched on a flight home from a race. Loomis was discussing with Richard and Kyle Petty how they'd discard all of those old cars, and the thought of donation was broached. "There's just not a big outlet to sell them to ARCA teams and things like that," Loomis said. "We'll sell some to those teams, but we feel like the biggest benefit would be for the whole community, for the racing world, is to tie into some colleges and universities with great engineering programs." Among those schools, Loomis said, is Virginia Tech, with which he said Dodge Motorsports has already forged a partnership. Loomis said Dodge's technical team is setting up a test facility at Virginia International Raceway that will include an 8-post shock dynamometer for suspension simulation work. "It's right there at the racetrack," he said. "So we're trying to grow it, and for now it worked out because of the school and the location. "Virginia Tech has a great engineering program. You see what they're doing with Dodge -- there's a lot of things to gain there in the future. In this sport we need an area where we can groom and shape engineers to really fit the racing model. There always seems to be a disconnect between the book engineer and the actual applicable engineer at the racetrack. So hopefully we can bring that together for the future." The biggest gain should be in chassis engineering, as it would give students a real-world, hands-on look at NASCAR chassis engineering. While body work on the old cars doesn't truly transfer to the COT, Loomis said chassis engineering does. "There's a couple of schools in North Carolina we'll give to that have great engineering programs, and Virginia Tech, again, because of the ties with Dodge," he said. "And I'm sure there will be a few others calling now."(ESPN.com)(11-18-2007)

  • Bobby Labonte forms marketing agency: #43-Bobby Labonte has announced the formation of a full-service marketing agency, Breaking Limits, LLC. Labonte will serve as president of the company. Breaking Limits mission is to go above and beyond expectations for every partner with business professionals that have the integrity, morals and values that Labonte encompasses. Breaking Limits will offer sales, marketing and public and media relations capabilities to assist partners in exceeding their goals and objectives. Breaking Limits has commenced business effective immediately and will operate out of Huntersville, N.C. Three key employees of Breaking Limits have been announced; Mark Hughes, Chief Financial Officer, Julie Busha, Director of Marketing and Jeff Dennison, Director of Public and Media Relations. This is not Labonte's first business venture. He currently owns and operates Bobby Labonte Enterprises and Bobby Labonte Racing both headquartered in Archdale, NC.(Breaking Limits PR)(11-14-2007)

  • Partnership in Petty's hands: The ball is in the court of Richard Petty as to whether there is a merger/partnership between Petty Enterprises and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. George Gillett, the majority owner of GEM, said he hoped to at least maintain a commercial relationship with the Pettys regarding their exchange of engines and chassis. "Whether it goes further, that's up to Richard,'' Gillett said. Petty announced this past week that he is moving Petty Enterprises from Level Cross, N.C., into the Robert Yates Racing shop in Mooresville, N.C. He said the move is being made independent of talks with any organization wishing to partner with his. Gillett has expressed an interest in combining the two companies in a manner that would allow Petty Enterprises to maintain an identity. He would not say whether talks were ongoing, but did acknowledge a recent trip to the Victory Junction Gang Camp that the Pettys run for chronically ill children. "I don't know if I've cried as an adult as much as I did there,'' Gillett said.(ESPN.com)(11-12-2007)

  • Some changes at DEI? New crew chief for Menard? UPDATE confirmed: hearing that Dave Charpentier, current Paul Menard's crew chief on the #15 Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc Chevy, will become DEI's Technical Director, overseeing the engineering support of the four Cup Teams [#01,#1,#8,#15] and development of DEI's race cars going forward. Also, hearing that Doug Randolph, current crew chief of Petty Enterprises #43 Dodge team that Bobby Labonte drives for, will become Paul Menard's crew chief of the #15 in 2008.(11-6-2007)
    UPDATE: Dale Earnhardt Inc. continued to strengthen its motorsports operation with the promotion of several key industry experts and the addition of a veteran crew chief to its roster. Dave Charpentier, current crew chief of the #15 Menards Chevy, has been promoted to technical director, and Doug Randolph, current crew chief of the #43 Petty Enterprises car driven by Bobby Labonte, will take over as crew chief for Paul Menard and the #15. Charpentier, a long-time Dale Earnhardt Inc. employee, will oversee all aspects of engineering for the four-car Nextel Cup Series operation. He was trained as a nuclear engineer during a seven-year career in the United States Navy, and since 1989 has served in an engineering capacity with multiple NASCAR teams. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a degree in nuclear science. Randolph is a University of Tennessee graduate and served as a crew chief at MB2 Motorsports/Ginn Racing for the previous four seasons. He will join the team on November 26. Walter Giles, current race engineer on the #1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet, was named Director of Race Engineering and Jason Anderson was named Director of Design and Project Engineering. Giles and Anderson will report to Charpentier. In addition, Rex Garrett has been promoted to Director of Motorsports Operations. The nine-year Dale Earnhardt Inc. veteran will oversee the day-to-day activities of the race shop.(DEI PR)(11-8-2007)

  • New home for Petty's Cup teams to be announced UPDATE: on Wednesday Petty Enterprises will announce a new location for its Nextel Cup operation in 2008.(PE PR), past rumor has the new shop being Robert Yates Racing [Mooresville, NC], who will move to Concord near Roush Racing.(11-7-2007)
    UPDATE: The winningest organization in NASCAR announces its first move since its inception in 1949. Richard and Kyle Petty, in efforts to garner continued wins and championships, have agreed to move Petty Enterprises closer to the center of NASCAR activities in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. They have reached a multi-year lease agreement for shop space located in the city of Mooresville. The space was formerly occupied by Robert Yates Racing and its two-car Nextel Cup operation. Petty Enterprises, founded by Richard's father, Lee, in 1949 as Lee Petty Engineering, is currently headquartered in Level Cross, North Carolina. At that location, the 60,000-square foot sprawling facility has become one of the most successful in motorsports' history. The organization has 268 Nextel Cup wins, 10 Nextel Cup titles and nine Daytona 500 trophies have been won from inside the hallowed ground. "Level Cross will always be the home of the wins and championships that the Petty family built," said team owner Richard Petty. "It is where Petty Enterprises was founded and where the team has won and built a legacy in NASCAR. Petty Enterprises and Level Cross are the same as Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers, Yankee Stadium and the New York Yankees and Boston Garden and the Boston Celtics." The move, to begin in December and completed by end of the year, includes the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driven by Bobby Labonte and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil/Wells Fargo/Tire Kingdom Dodge driven by Kyle Petty. It's another move in the forward direction since 2006 when Robbie Loomis was named Vice President of Race Operations and 2000 Nextel Cup champion Bobby Labonte was announced as driver of the famed 43 Dodge. It has not yet been determined how the current location of Petty Enterprises will be used in 2008.(Petty Enterprises PR)(11-7-2007)

  • Richard Petty Visits USS Abraham Lincoln: Richard Petty will be a guest on the naval aircraft carrier the USS Abraham Lincoln on October 31, 2007. It will be Pettys first visit on an aircraft carrier. Petty will travel to the Halsey Field Naval Air Station in San Diego, California where he will be taken to the ship. The USS Abraham Lincoln is currently out to sea preparing for its next deployment. Petty will spend the afternoon aboard the ship watching and participating in various naval base drills with the sailors. Petty is expected to take part in a landing on the flight deck in a dual-prop plane and spend time on the flight deck. He will also entertain troops by taking pictures and signing autographs for those on board.(Petty Racing PR)(10-31-2007)

  • Labonte Racing with Spoonfuls of Stories Paint Scheme: Bobby Labonte will be returning to his home state supporting the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program by running a #43 Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Dodge this weekend. The Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program helps get books into kids' hands and encourages parents and children to read together. Over the past six years, Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories has distributed more than 30 million books free inside boxes of Cheerios cereal, and donated more than $2.5 million to support nonprofit partner First Book. See images of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(Petty Racing PR)(10-31-2007)

  • Labonte & Petty Could Switch Cars: Bobby Labonte could find himself in the #45 instead of the 43 at Petty Enterprises should Kyle Petty fall out of the top 35 in Nextel Cup owners' points over the next five weeks. Petty said he would consider switching cars with his teammate so both would be guaranteed a starting spot, him on Labonte's points [17th] and Labonte on his past champion's provisional, the remainder of this season. That also could help for next season if Labonte could race the #45 back into the top 35 that will be guaranteed a spot the first five races of 2008. "Yeah, we'd consider it," Petty said Saturday between practices at Martinsville Speedway. "I'm not gonna lie. Look, as long as they don't change the rules and the rulebook is written that way, we're in the business to run racecars. We have two racecars, the 43 and 45. Whatever it takes to get those in, I don't see the issue with it."(ESPN.com)(10-21-2007)

  • Labonte Goes Pink for the Cure: Bobby Labonte is partnering with General Mills this Saturday night at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway located in Concord, North Carolina to help introduce "Pink for the Cure". Labonte will be driving the #43 Cheerios/Pink for the Cure Dodge in Saturday night's Bank of America 500. Labonte's pink "Pink for the Cure" Dodge is supporting the General Mills' campaign that donated $2 million to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and offers anyone touched by the disease the opportunity to join the cause. Fans can go to www.PinkTogether.com, an online community encouraging anyone touched by breast cancer to share their story. General Mills will donate $1 for every story shared on PinkTogether.com, up to $100,000, through October 31, 2007. Fans can also share their support by looking for General Mills products with special pink packaging including Cheerios, Progresso Soup and Nature Valley Granola Bars. By supporting these brands, consumers help ensure that General Mills can continue to support the fight against breast cancer. Labonte is pitching in to the cause by donating his Cheerios/Pink for the Cure uniform and helmet to be auctioned off to help raise more money for breast cancer awareness and research. Labonte's uniform will be auctioned off on www.komen.org while his race helmet will be auctioned off at www.bobbylabonte.com.(Petty Racing PR), see an image of the car on the #43 Team Schemes page.(10-10-2007)

  • GEM-Petty deal on hold? Alex Gillett still hopes to work out a partnership with Petty Enterprises, although he admits talks have slowed. "What you've got is one of the most storied people in the sport," the co-owner of Gillett Evernham Motorsports said. "There is a lot of emotion attached to what they want to do in the future and who they want to move into the future with. I can respect that. If that means give them space or not space. We did it with Ray." Negotiations to merge Gillett with owner Ray Evernham lasted at least four months longer than anticipated because an underground storage tank had to first be removed from Evernham's property in Statesville, N.C., for environmental reasons. "A lot of people criticized us for taking too long to close," Gillett said. "Well, nobody asked us the question of why. Each one of these has a life cycle. You can't push it." Meanwhile, Gillett said GEM officials are talking to two or three drivers to replace Scott Riggs in the #10 next season. He acknowledged that Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier is a strong candidate even though he has only one Nextel Cup start. David Stremme, who was not re-signed by Chip Ganassi Racing, also is a candidate. "I'm not sure if you bring somebody like a Patrick Carpentier and throw him right into Nextel Cup," Gillett said. "So we've got some other good options in the #10 car we're exploring. We'll see over the next couple of weeks where that ends up."(ESPN.cpm)(10-8-2007)

  • Pillsbury scheme for Labonte: This weekend #43-Bobby Labonte heads to Talladega Superspeedway with the Pillsbury brand on the hood and sides of the famed #43 Dodge.(Petty Racing PR)(10-4-2007)

  • The King talks about possible deal with Gillett: Petty Enterprises is not merging with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. But the Petty family and the Gillett family are exploring the possibility of a partnership. Richard Petty said Friday that his family's company needs a partner to remain competitive and he is further along in talks with George Gillett than any other potential partner in the past. "We're probably halfway there," said Petty, who owns Petty Enterprises. "We're doing a lot of talking, I'll put it that way. We have not signed any papers." When asked if a deal could be done by the start of next season, Petty said "that's a good question" and "we're way on down the road, but we don't know how far down the road we are. Petty said he envisions that if he and Gillett partner at Petty Enterprises, the team would then purchase chassis, and bodies from GEM as well as to continue to buy engines from the team. The two teams, though, would remain as separate companies. There are plenty of sticking points, including how many teams would be in the Petty fold. Gillett could not have an ownership stake in three cars at GEM (#9 with Kasey Kahne, #19 with Elliott Sadler, #10 with Scott Riggs) and then two cars in Petty (#43 with Bobby Labonte, #45 with Kyle Petty) - he would be over the four-team limit. "We at Petty Enterprises are not looking to do away with any of our cars," Petty said. "So he's caught in some situations and we're caught in some situations. ... You never look at going backwards. Even with getting all the engineering and everything from other people, you need something to bounce your people off of, so that's the reason that I would think you would have to have ... two cars." When asked if he was forced to choose between his car numbers, Petty said the 43 would always be with his team but "we haven't gotten that far along" in the discussions. For Petty, the deal is difficult and he called emotional issues about selling his team "half the battle right now." "The deal with us is that we're the Petty name," said Petty, whose team started when NASCAR started in 1949. "We do Petty Enterprises. We've got the Richard Petty Driving Experience. We've got Victory Junction Gang Camp. That's all encompassed, that's all basically one deal. For now, GEM and Petty will still share information as they have for much of this season.(SceneDaily.com)(9-23-2007)

  • Labonte To Make 500th Consecutive Start: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team head to the one-mile, banked Dover International Speedway for Sunday's Dodge Dealers 400. Labonte will be making his 500th consecutive start this weekend [the 9th most all-time, see my MISC Stats page for the list.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(9-19-2007)

  • More on the GEM/Petty 'merger': George Gillett Jr., the majority owner of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, has been a big fan of seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Richard Petty for more than 30 years. Now he wants to be business partners. Gillett is actively pursuing a merger that would make Petty Enterprises and GEM a four-car team. Sources close to the situation say the merger likely would happen before the start of the 2008 Sprint Cup season, with Petty likely moving his two-car operation of #43-Bobby Labonte and #45-Kyle Petty to GEM's Statesville [NC] facility. Gillett would only confirm that there have been discussions. "He's a man of great integrity, honesty," Gillett said of Petty. "His values are something like I've never seen. ... I'd love to figure out a way to be associated with him. I'm not prepared to say any more than that today. Richard and I are good friends." GEM minority owner Ray Evernham said such a deal would make both organizations stronger. "From my point of view, I would like to see that happen," Evernham said of the merger. "For me, the sooner the better." Evernham has been looking to expand to four teams. The difference here, he said, is he would have four good teams that are solidly in the top 35 for next season. Gillett said expansion is the only way to keep up, and not just in terms of teams. He is looking to build a large shop in the Charlotte area that will become a destination for racing fans. "Ray Evernham has every bit of technical skill and genius as the best of any one of those programs," he said of Evernham, who won three Cup titles as Gordon's crew chief. "So we will deploy ourselves in a way that gives us as much competitive strength as is possible to do within the rules." To stay within those rules, specifically NASCAR's four-car limit, GEM would have to lose one of its three teams to merge with Petty. The #10 driven by Scott Riggs is the likely target. Riggs is 37th in [drivers and owners] points, well behind Kahne in 22nd [drivers] and Elliott Sadler in 25th [drivers]. Gillett acknowledged that he would like to get more seat time for Patrick Carpentier, who finished 22nd when he replaced Riggs at the Watkins Glen road course last month. "We had our first test with him yesterday on an oval," [Kentucky Speedway] he said. "We're going over the data. ... I can tell you he looked very good and very comfortable on the track. He was competitive. It doesn't appear there will be any significant learning curve." Regardless, to merge with Petty Enterprises there would be no room for Carpentier in a Cup car. "It's all about the number of cars," Gillett said. "We would have to get rid of one of the cars here. Whether 'get rid of' means mothball or have it aligned with another team ... there are a number of teams out there that don't have four cars, several of whom we already have relationships with." GEM and Petty, which would remain under the Petty Enterprises umbrella, potentially could have the knowledge of six to eight cars under that scenario as Roush Fenway Racing plans to do under its partnership with Yates Racing. "As you can see, we've got technical excellence, a commitment to technology and upstanding people," Gillett said. "We need to exploit that. That can be exploited in any number of ways."(ESPN.com), on has to wonder..... what about Petty Enterprises long standing non-alcohol sponsorship policy? neither the #43-Labonte or #45-Petty cars carry any form of alcohol [beer or spirits] decals/sponsorship - like the Bud Pole award. How would teaming up with GEM and the #9 Budweiser sponsorship effect this policy?(9-19-2007)

  • Latest on the GEM-Petty merger: A possible merger between Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises would benefit both teams from a competition standpoint, Petty vice president of racing operations Robbie Loomis said Saturday. In a season of mergers, GEM and Petty are just the latest to talk about combining their teams and resources. From Loomis' view on the competition side, sharing engineering would only help. Loomis pointed to the agreement between Roush Fenway Racing and Yates Racing - in which the teams will share information, cars and motors - as one that might work for Petty and GEM. "I think that's the same thing we're trying," he said. "The model of the sport has been created by NASCAR, the framework has been set with the rules. And now we're trying to figure out how to make Petty Enterprises bigger and larger." Petty already gets its engines from GEM. Evernham, who is focused more on the racing and less on the business since selling a majority share of his company to George Gillett, said he would welcome the opportunity to work with the Pettys and "especially Bobby Labonte." "There's obviously discussions going on," he said. "I don't know exactly where they're at. ... I think it would be a good thing for both organizations." Loomis said in the year and a half since he returned to the Petty organization, he'd been approached by three or four teams about doing various deals with the 43 car in particular. "That's what everybody is interested in, they're interested in the Petty brand and the 43," he said. "It's such a clean thing. You look at the things with Kyle Petty and Victory Junction Gang [Camp] and everything they stand for, their worth is worth a lot more than what's on the race track. And what I want to do is make sure we've got the money and the tools to operate on the race track. Right now we're operating on half to a third of the budget that the big teams are operating on, so I want to make sure that we're going to get the money and the financing to carry the company forward and take it to the next level while we still keep what I call the 'P' in the Petty - the things off the track that makes Petty feel good."(SceneDaily.com)(9-16-2007)

  • Special Scheme for Labonte at NHIS: This weekend Bobby Labonte has some visitors along for the ride for Sunday's New Hampshire 300 at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway. General Mills characters Lucky, Trix, Sonny and Buzz Bee will make up the #43 Cheerios Racing/Trix, Lucky and Friends Dodge. It's the first time that all characters have shared the hood and sides of the #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge. Labonte, who will be dressed in the characters colors, will be making his 26th consecutive start at New Hampshire this weekend. Labonte made his 500th Nextel Cup career start last weekend and will be making his 499th consecutive start this weekend.(Petty Racing PR), see an image of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(9-11-2007)

  • GEM/Petty to merge? Petty Enterprises, NASCAR's most storied organization, is open to a change of ownership. The two-car operation owned by seven-time champion Richard Petty is having discussions with Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr. that would allow it to merge with Gillett Evernham Motorsports and form a four-car Nextel Cup organization. "They have quoted some numbers,'' Kyle Petty, the CEO of Petty Enterprises and driver of the #45 Dodge, said on Friday at Richmond International Raceway. Gillett recently purchased majority ownership of Evernham Motorsports, now known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Petty said Gillett has floated an offer in which the companies would merge but allow Petty Enterprises to continue working under its flagship name. For that to happen, Gillett Evernham Motorsports would have to drop one of its three teams to comply with NASCAR's cap of four cars. The #10 car of Scott Riggs would be the most likely victim. Riggs is out of the top 35 in owner's points that automatically qualify for races and his contract is up after this season. Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler are solidly in the top 35 in owner's points with Kahne at 22 and Sadler at 28. Both Petty Enterprises cars also are in the top 35 with Bobby Labonte at 18 and Kyle Petty at 34. Evernham said there's no doubt the proper business model is for a four-car operation. Because he already has a relationship with the Pettys, supplying the organization with engines and technical support, he would be all for a merger. "I think we could combine the organizations and be stronger,'' he said. "How the car numbers work, I don't know.'' Petty said he is far from a deal with Gillett, which took more than six months to finalize his deal with Evernham, or any suitor. Should a merger with Gillett occur, Petty said the organization would consider every option from relocating to Salisbury, N.C., as has been discussed regardless to moving to Evernham's shop in Statesville, N.C. "We've been in this business 60 years,'' Petty said. "When you look at it this just seems to be the trend of the moment. Do you jump on the trend of the moment or do you stay the course? We've been the same course for 60 years. Whether that's the right course or wrong course I'm not going to say.''(ESPN.com)(9-8-2007)

  • Bobby Labonte Joins 500 Club: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Avenger team head to Richmond International Raceway for Saturday night's Richmond 400. Saturday's race will be Labonte's 500th career start. Labonte joins active drivers Terry Labonte, Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Ricky Rudd and Michael Waltrip to have eclipsed 500 career starts (not counting Sterling Marlin or Ken Schrader). Labonte and Rudd are the only two drivers to have over 500 starts and have started every race this season [until this weekend when Rudd will miss the race due to injury]. Labonte, 43, is also the youngest active driver to have 500 starts. This weekend's start will be Labonte's 498th consecutive Nextel Cup start. He is second on that list, only behind Jeff Gordon by one start [Gordon will make his 500th start next week at NHIS].(Petty Racing PR), see image of the scheme on my #43 Team Scheme page.(9-6-2007)

  • Special scheme for Labonte at Calif: Bobby Labonte's #43 Dodge will be carrying the colors of Totino's Pizza Rolls this Labor Day weekend at California Speedway. It's the second time that Totino's Pizza Rolls has been on the car this season, last time at Indy in July. Sunday's start will be Labonte's 499th career start, Labonte will make his 500th start at Richmond next week.(Petty Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2007)

  • Andrews injured in fall UPDATE: Paul Andrews [former crew chief for Bobby Labonte and 1992 Cup Champion crew chief] was seriously injured in an accident at his shop [Tim Andrews Busch East car] in Mooresville, NC late yesterday [Wednesday] afternoon. He fell off a ladder in the shop while changing a light bulb, and fell about 30 ft. to the floor. He was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. Andrews suffered a compression fracture of his spine, a crushed left ankle, and some broken bones in his right ankle.(8-17-2007)
    UPDATE: been told that Paul Andrews out of the hospital last Tuesday, August 21st and is back home, but will have surgery Tuesday [Aug 28] to reconstruct his heel. Andrews is expected to be back home Tuesday night or Wednesday morning after the surgery. He's wearing a back brace now, but is expected to be pretty mobile in about a week and is planning on a speedy and full recovery. Andrews has been taking calls from a few teams about crew chief positions once he's recovered.(8-27-2007)

  • New Crew Chief for Bobby Labonte: Petty Enterprises announces veteran Doug Randolph as crew chief for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driven by 2000 Nextel Cup Champion Bobby Labonte. Randolph, who takes over the crew chief duties from Paul Andrews, will be on top of the pit box for this weekend's 3M Performance 400 at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway. "Doug Randolph brings an outstanding resume to Petty Enterprises," said Vice President of Race Operations Robbie Loomis. "He was a winner in the Busch Series and he brings a wealth of knowledge to this team. Bobby (Labonte) and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team need to take the next step. Doug is the leader that we feel can do that for us. Paul Andrews is a championship crew chief that did some great things during his time at Petty Enterprises," continued Loomis. "He is a man of high character that built a solid team around Bobby Labonte. We wish Paul all the best. We're still very involved with Tim Andrews as a development driver for Petty Enterprises and will continue that relationship." Petty Enterprises has plans of entering Tim Andrews in the ARCA Series event at the Talladega Superspeedway this October. Randolph, 41, brings over 20 years of NASCAR experience to Petty Enterprises. He most recently directed the NASCAR Busch Series efforts of Reagan Smith. "Looking at other options I felt working with everyone at Petty Enterprises was right for me," said Randolph. "Bobby is a championship driver and the organization is very determined to get back to victory lane."(Petty Racing PR), no word on the plan for former crew chief Paul Andrews.(8-14-2007)

  • Petty's plan to have Labonte back in 2008 and beyond: Petty Enterprises plans to have Bobby Labonte in the #43 Dodge for as long as he wants to drive. Labonte has been speculated as a candidate to become the fourth driver at Richard Childress Racing. But Robbie Loomis, the vice president for racing operations at Petty Enterprises, said Labonte has given no indication he plans to leave. He reminded that Labonte's contract runs through 2008 and that the organization is negotiating a long-term extension with the 2000 Nextel Cup champion. "I tell people I like having a driver everybody's talking about," Loomis said before Saturday's final practice at Watkins Glen International. "It's kind of like having a girlfriend or a wife. You want one that everyone's chasing. As people are probably talking to Bobby we're talking to him about extending it down the road. I feel very confident Bobby will be with Petty Enterprises until he's done driving." Loomis said Labonte's main concern is making sure the company has the people and equipment to contend for a spot in the championship chase. "He's 20th in points and he's a better driver than that,'' he said. Loomis hopes the decision to expand the deal with Gillett Evernham Motorsports to include chassis support as well as engines is a step in the right direction. Loomis said the deal ultimately could have GEM supplying complete chassis. "We've been working through the chassis development part of it," he said."It would be easier if they were winning six races like they were last year. Right now, we're trying to tread lightly as we move forward." Loomis said the organization remains on track to move from Level Cross, N.C., to a location closer to Charlotte, N.C., by 2009. He doesn't foresee a time when Petty Enterprises will completely merge with GEM or any other organization. "Petty Enterprises will always be Petty Enterprises,'' he said. "Richard and Kyle are in a family business that is real important to them.''
    Meanwhile, RCR owner Richard Childress on Friday said that he has been in discussions with J.J. Yeley, who is losing his ride with Joe Gibbs Racing to Kyle Busch, to become his fourth driver.(ESPN.com)(8-12-2007)

  • Dodge Reconfirms Commitment to NASCAR: Mike Delahanty, senior manager of the Dodge Motorsports program, confirmed on Saturday at Pocono Raceway the manufacturer's long-term intent to remain in the series and an extension of Petty Enterprises' deal with Dodge. He also said its flagship Evernham Motorsports cars might have a different look next season. Cerberus Capital Management, an investment group, this week finalized its agreement to split the Chrysler brands away from DaimlerChrysler, but Delahanty said Dodge's motorsports involvement would not be affected, with the plan for four teams to run 10 cars next season. Delahanty declined to go into the details of rumors that connect Ray Evernham's team to possible deals with commercial sponsors such as Budweiser or a Masterfoods brand such as Snickers -- but said the #9 and 19 Dodges, which have carried Dodge Dealers and UAW sponsorship since the newest program began in 2001, might look different next season.(NASCAR.com)(8-5-2007)

  • #43 To Carry Special Decal This Weekend for Minneapolis Bridge Collapse: The #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge will honor the victims and those hurt in the Minneapolis (Minn.) bridge collapse this past week during Sunday's Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway. General Mills, a Minneapolis based company, and primary sponsor of Petty Enterprises will place a special decal on the hood and on the TV Panel of the #43 Dodge. The decal features a silhouette of the state of Minnesota with a heart and the date of the accident on top.(Petty Racing PR)(8-4-2007)

  • Labonte To Celebrate 500th With Fans: Bobby Labonte, driver of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge is already preparing for his 500th career start. Labonte will reach the "500 Club" when he takes the green flag Saturday night, September 8 during the Rock-n-Roll 400 at the Richmond International Raceway. Labonte is inviting fans to celebrate this milestone by offering a free "500th Career Start" T-shirt exclusively at bobbylabonte.com. Fans who order are automatically entered into Labonte's exclusive online contest. Prizes include various signed Bobby Labonte merchandise/items including the grand prize, an authentic #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker helmet autographed by the 2000 Nextel Cup Series champion. "We just wanted to give something back to the fans for all their support," said Labonte. "You probably look at stats more after your career, but this milestone is a chance to say 'thanks' for all the fans that have been there for me. This sport is driven by the fans. This is something to show my appreciation."(Petty Racing/Moore Consulting Group PR)(7-31-2007)

  • Richard Petty named North Carolinian of the Year: He was already The King. Now, Richard Petty is the North Carolinian of the Year. Petty won a record 200 Cup races and seven Daytona 500 races. He won 27 races in 1967 alone, 18 races in 1970 and 21 in 1971. Since 2000, no driver has won more than eight in a season. Only the late Dale Earnhardt matched Petty's seven NASCAR championships. Petty was honored at the press association's annual meeting, held this year at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord. The award started in 1993 and is given to North Carolinians who bring honor and recognition to the state. Other winners include evangelist Billy Graham and former North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, North Carolina Senator Elizabeth Dole and banjo-picker Earl Scruggs.(AP/wnct.com)(7-28-2007)

  • Bobby Labonte to run Totino's Pizza Rolls at Indy: This weekend, Bobby Labonte travels to the world's most famous speedway, the Indianapolis (Ind.) Motor Speedway. Labonte heads to the Brickyard with Totino's Pizza Rolls on the side of the #43 Dodge. Labonte will race the #43 Totino's Pizza Rolls Dodge on a weekend that is highlighted by Sunday's Allstate 400.(Petty Racing PR)(7-26-2007)

  • Goody's scheme to run at Martinsville: on SPEED's NASCAR Live, the King, Richard Petty, was interviewed and showed the #43 Goody's Headache Powder Dodge that Bobby Labonte will run at Martinsville in October. Goody's is featured on the petty blue hood. See an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Scheme page.(7-6-2007)

  • Petty Racing looks to move shop in 2009: Petty Enterprises Vice President of Racing Operations Robbie Loomis said the team is making progress on its goal to move from its long-time home but likely won't leave it's Randleman, N.C., base until 2009. "We're definitely making a lot of progress," Loomis said. "We've looked at more land and sites and things. The scope and the size of the project has kind of changed a little bit. We were originally looking for 50-75 acres, and now we're looking for a lot more land than that." Loomis said the team would eventually like to expand to four cars, and there needs to be enough land to add shop space to accommodate the increased number of teams. The two-car team is now housed in a sprawling campus in Randleman, about 90 miles from Charlotte, N.C., the home of most NASCAR teams. "We're still trying to identify exactly where the best place to be for the land for all the employees that we have now and for the ones [who would join later]," Loomis said. That appears to be Salisbury, N.C., about halfway between Randleman and Charlotte. "Our main targeted area has been Salisbury," Loomis said. "We feel that's a good location to grow. But right now, there's a lot of things involved in making that next step and making the commitment to get the land." Loomis did say the team would "for sure" be in a new facility for the 2009 season but didn't speculate on exactly when a move would be made.(SceneDaily.com)(7-6-2007)

  • Happy Birthday to the King: Richard Petty, "The King" of NASCAR will celebrate his 70th birthday in his hometown of Randleman, North Carolina Monday. Petty is looking forward to be at home for the occasion. "I can't remember the last time I've been home to celebrate my birthday," stated Petty. "I've always been in Daytona. That was fine, too. We won a lot of races there, but it will be nice to be around the family. It's just the way the date landed this year."
    "I don't know what anyone has planned," continued Petty. "I leave that up to my wife. She will let me know and we'll do that. Then it's back to Daytona because that's what we know."(Petty Racing PR)(7-2-2007)

  • Bobby Labonte to run MIS Truck race for BHR: #43-Bobby Labonte climbs behind the wheel of the #4 Open Joist Dodge this weekend at Michigan. It will be his second start for BHR. Labonte drove this particular truck last season at Michigan and finished third. Mike Bliss was scheduled to pilot the Open Joist Dodge, but is unable due to a previous commitment with his Busch Series team [in Kentucky]. Labonte will be making his 10th NCTS start on Saturday. In nine previous races Labonte has scored one win, five top-five finishes and five top-10 finishes.(BHR PR)(6-14-2007)

  • Labonte to run #43 Chocolate Chex Dodge at LMS: #43-Bobby Labonte, driver for Petty Enterprises, will trade his Cheerios yellow and Petty blue paint job to showcase a chocolate-themed paint scheme at the Coca Cola 600 on May 27th.  Throughout the weekend Labonte will help launch new Chocolate Chex cereal for General Mills. With hopes of a winning weekend for Labonte in the #43 Chocolate Chex Dodge, Chex cereal wants to give race fans a chance to win.  Thursday, May 24th through Saturday, May 26th at Food Lion Speed Street in uptown Charlotte, race fans can enter to win their very own 1937 Chocolate Chex Dodge Sedan LegendsT Car designed by artist Sam Bass. Race fans can just stop by the Chocolate Chex tent, vote for the NASCAR NMPA Chex Most Popular Driver award and receive an entry form.  The winner will be notified the week of June 4 through a congratulatory phone call from Nextel Cup  driver Bobby Labonte.  Fans must be 18 or older to enter or win. Chocolate Chex is an oven toasted rice & corn cereal with a great chocolatey taste!  Chocolate Chex has only 8 grams of sugar per serving, has natural antioxidants from whole grain and cocoa, and is a good source of Whole Grain.  Chocolate Chex is a good source of calcium and Vitamin D; it is an excellent source of iron; it provides 9 other essential vitamins and minerals and is naturally cholesterol free.(Petty Racing PR)(5-23-2007)

  • King [Petty] to meet the Queen [of England]: Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II won't be the only royalty at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. Richard Petty, otherwise known as "King Richard" in NASCAR circles, will fly to the Derby to meet with Queen Elizabeth after a special invitation from Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher. Petty then will return to Richmond International Raceway in time for Saturday night's Nextel Cup race in which he has two cars, the #43 of Bobby Labonte and #45 of Kyle Petty. The Queen was in Richmond on Thursday to address the Virginia General Assembly. She and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, then went to Jamestown to help commemorate the 400th anniversary of America's first permanent colony.(ESPN.com)(5-4-2007)

  • Labonte to ride with Spiderman at Talladega: This weekend Bobby Labonte has a guest. Labonte's #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge will be decaled with the company of Spiderman on board in anticipation of the movie Spiderman 3. The paint scheme will run for fans all weekend at the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway as the team prepares for Sunday's Aaron's 499. Labonte and team head to Talladega after shaking some bad luck at Phoenix.The Cheerios Dodge team recorded their best finish of the season when they finished eighth. It was the teams first top 10 finish of the season. Comments from Labonte as he prepares for this weekend's Aaron's 499: "We've got Spiderman along for the ride this weekend. That's a great opportunity for us and we want to take advantage of it. It's always neat any time you have something like this on the car, but Spiderman has been a huge success. It's something pretty neat to be involved with. The Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge is always a sharp looking car. Having Spiderman on the sides, it's really cool. Hopefully we can give him a good ride. You know, paint schemes are a part of our sport. They came into the sport years ago and it was a really big deal. Today, you see so many of them, but it still keeps the sport interesting. We want fans to walk away on Sunday thinking, 'Man, that Spiderman car was pretty cool." I think it's good for the fans, the families and kids to get to see that every once and a while. We think the Spiderman 3 scheme will get everyone excited."(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR), see an image of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(4-24-2007)

  • Tim Andrews Making ARCA Debut This weekend, Tim Andrews and the Cunningham Motorsports team head to the 1.33-mile, concrete-surfaced Nashville Superspeedway for Saturday's ARCA 150. Saturday's race will be Andrews first in his part-time schedule with Cunningham Motorsports in 2007. The team will compete in the ARCA Series as Andrews takes his next step in his driving career. Andrews won his first career NASCAR Busch East Series race at Dover International Speedway last September. Sunday's race is his first race since. Andrews has been climbing the racing ladder all his life. Winning poles and races has been a part of life. Learning at the sports highest levels has been too. Andrews is the weekly race spotter for Nextel Cup veteran Kyle Petty. Each weekend, Andrews studies and witnesses first-hand what it takes to be a winner at the highest levels of professional racing. It's that experience and his past winning marks that gives him an advantage this weekend. Andrews is the son of Petty Enterprises #43 crew chief Paul Andrews, who call the shots for Bobby Labonte and won a Cup championship with Alan Kulwicki in 1992.(Moore Consulting Group)(4-4-2007)

  • Petty may also look for invester: #45-Kyle Petty said Petty Enterprises may have to join Jack Roush, Richard Childress and other car owners and sign with a business partner, to keep making a go of it in this sport. Richard Petty was in Montreal this week checking out businesses [and at a Montreal Canadiens agem]. And fellow Dodge team owner Ray Evernham has been talking with Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillet Jr. about a joint NASCAR business venture. Kyle Petty points to Petty Enterprises' close ties with Evernham Motorsports, particularly on the engine building side, and said it just makes sense to check out some of the people that Evernham is considering working with. "There's more to Petty Enterprises than just a race team going round in circles," Kyle Petty said, mentioning the company's other ventures. "So that makes Petty Enterprises a little different venture for a potential investor. "We have already folded our company into some of the stuff that Evernham Motorsports does, so as Ray begins to branch out and take on different partners, we need to find out who those partners are, and if there is an opportunity there we'd be foolish not to explore it."(Winston Salem Journal)
    AND Richard Petty, owner of Petty Enterprises, was an invited guest of Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett at Tuesday's Rangers-Canadiens game at the Bell Centre, Journal de Montréal reported this week. Kyle Petty didn't shed much light on what his father and Gillett talked about Friday. "As (team owner) Ray (Evernham) begins to branch out and take on different partners, we need who his partners are if we want to stay in businesses (with Evernham )," said Petty, who drives the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. "If there's an opportunity there, then we would be idiots not to explore it. We are exploring different avenues with different people." The Petty and Evernham organizations  both Dodge teams  have grown closer in recent months. Evernham builds Petty's engines and the two teams are sharing engineering knowledge. "Those conversations are between George and Richard. I really don't know what's going on there," Evernham said. Petty Enterprises' last victory came here eight years ago, but Kyle Petty said his family's company is still attractive to suitors. "The main part of what we do is race around in circles," he said. "This is our main job, but we have the (Richard Petty) Driving Experience that has 1,000 to 1,500 dates. We are starting a defensive driving program. There's a lot of stuff going on outside of this and that makes Petty Enterprises a little bit different opportunity for an investor."(USA Today)(3-31-2007)

  • Bobby Labonte to Drive Grand-Am Rolex Cup Sports Car at Martinsville: #43-Bobby Labonte will give NASCAR fans the chance to see a different kind of race car on the oval at Martinsville this Saturday. Blending the worlds of NASCAR short track racing with the Rolex Series Daytona Prototypes, Labonte will drive Finlay Motorsports' #19 Z-Line Designs/Mission Residential/Make-A-Wish Foundation Ford Crawford on the track prior to Saturday's Craftsman Truck Series race. This is the same car Labonte drove in the 2007 Rolex 24 at Daytona endurance race. Following a demonstration run on Martinsville's .526-mile paperclip-shaped oval, the brilliant orange and black-liveried car will be on display in VIRginia International Raceway's tent at Martinsville. The car is coming off a top-ten finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The car races in the series enjoyed by several other Nextel Cup drivers, including Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and now-retired Rusty Wallace in their entries at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Fans can examine the car closely meet and the Finlay and VIR teams at Martinsville and again at the Grand-Am Rolex Series VIR 400 April 27-29. Tickets can be purchased for VIR's major events online at Etix.com or in person at the gate. More info about VIRginia International Raceway at .(VIR PR)(3-29-2007)

  • Super 8 Motels Named Official Lodging Sponsor of Petty Enterprises: Super 8 Motels announced that it has signed an agreement with Petty Enterprises to become the official lodging partner and associate sponsor of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driven by Bobby Labonte. Beginning with the 2007 Nextel Cup Series season, the Super 8 logo will be displayed on Labonte's car and uniform, crew team's uniforms, team trailers, pit boxes and transporters including merchandise haulers. With this agreement, the Super 8 economy hotel chain will enter its 11th year as a NASCARR racing sponsor, according to Rosanne Zusman, Super 8 vice president of marketing. With more than 2,000 Super 8 Motel locations worldwide, the Petty team, Labonte and racing fans can find clean, comfortable accommodations wherever their travels take them. The Super 8 brand features free continental breakfast and high-speed Internet access, free local calls and kids 17 and under stay free with an adult family member. Participating motels offer fax and copy services, exercise facilities and pools. Reservations and information are available by calling (800) 800-8000 or by visiting www.super8.com.(Petty Racing PR)(3-2-2007)

  • Bobby Labonte says Terry not contacted about #45 ride: #43-Bobby Labonte said hes not spoken with his older brother Terry about pinch-hitting for Kyle Petty this summer when Petty steps out of the #45 Dodge to work as an analyst for TNT for five races.(SpeedTV.com)(2-9-2007)

  • Olympia Steel Buildings join Petty's as assoc sponsor: Olympia Steel Buildings announced that they have entered an agreement with Petty Enterprises to be the "Official Steel Building" of Petty Enterprises and an associate sponsor for drivers #43-Bobby Labonte and #45-Kyle Petty for the 2007 Nextel Cup season. Under the agreement with Petty Enterprises, the Olympia Steel Buildings logo will be featured on the uniform sleeve of both Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty. In addition, discounts for Olympia Steel Buildings will be given to 2007 Richard Petty Driving Experience participants and NASCAR fans who are visitors to Olympia's website www.olympiabuildings.com.(Moore Consulting Group PR)(2-6-2007)

  • Petty's may now run Busch Series: One team--Petty Enterprises--stands to gain when Busch drops out of the Busch Series after this season. The company, which does not associate with alcohol-based advertising [also No Bud sticker on the #43 or #45, so even if a pole is won, doesn't get pole award or entry into Bud Shootout], long has resisted running in the series because of the title sponsor. Now, Petty Enterprises might run in the series, which could help its Cup efforts.(Sporting News), Kyle Petty did own a Busch team, #45 Spree/Sprint Chevy] in 1999-2000 with Adam Petty before he was killed practicing at NHIS in May 2000, then Kyle took over the #45 for 15 races to finish out the season. They last ran in the series in 2001 with Steve Grissom in the #45 at Daytona.(2-5-2007)

  • Petty has seven race deal from tire companies UPDATE: Tire Kingdom/NTB/Merchant's Tire & Auto Centers are scheduled to sponsor #45-Kyle Petty in the Petty Enterprises Dodge for seven races in 2007. NTB [ National Tire and Battery] will be the sponsor at four races: Atlanta (3/18), Talladega (4/29), Chicago (7/15) and Texas (11/4); Tire Kingdom at Daytona in July and Charlotte in Oct. Merchant's Tire ay Richmond in May.(NTB Racing site), see images of the schemes on my #45 Team Schemes page.(2-1-2007)
    UPDATE: Track testing, COT testing, wind tunnel testing; it's all over. The month of January had everyone at Petty Enterprises preparing the #45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge for the 2007 racing season. The preparation is complete and both teams are looking forward to the beginning of the season. "The guys are committed to winning in 2007," said Executive Vice President of Race Operations Robbie Loomis. "We saw good signs in both preseason test sessions (Daytona International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway) and we are in a good position to really have strong runs the first three races. We have hired new over-the-wall guys to make our pit stops better. We have hired in the engineering department and in the shop. All the guys want to show everyone what we have." Drivers Kyle Petty and Bobby Labonte both returned from Las Vegas testing knowing that the next time they are on track it counts. "It's another season for everyone," said Petty. "We have had the time to make changes and get better. I've said that we have better people at Petty Enterprises. We have great guys working on both teams. The '45' car was pretty good in Vegas testing, and we've made final changes to the Daytona car. As a driver you dream of the Daytona 500. It's here and we know what it takes to win it." Petty Enterprises has 11 wins at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. Labonte is a former runner-up in the event.
    "We've been up front at Daytona with this Cheerios car and Vegas was a good learning experience," said Labonte. "We have done a lot of testing and a lot of preparation for the next few weeks. We have more experience as a team and that is a big positive step for us. The Vegas test was a good chance for us to see that new track configuration and surface. I'm glad we had the chance to get out there and test it before the race. That will help us once we go back. We want to get back to racing after what we did at the end of 2006."(Petty Racing PR)(2-2-2007)

  • Petty Enterprises Moving?..to Charlotte area? from a Clear!Blue/Dodge PR, Robbie Loomis quotes during the Nextel Media Tour, day 2:
    DO YOU EVER ASK YOURSELF IF IT'S ALL WORTH IT? "It's definitely all worth it. We've talked about that about planning and organizing. We hope the next time we have one of these it's in that new facility. That's one of the things we want to work toward. At the same time, we obviously want to get ready for the Daytona 500, the Bristol race, other things along the way, but that's one of our major goals to be in our new facility. It would definitely be toward the south, whether it be Salisbury or Charlotte. It's a long way away. Right now we have to be focused on winning the Daytona 500. That's first and foremost on our minds."
    COMMENT ON RELOCATING PETTY ENTERPRISES "Richard knows he needs to do it. He knows he needs the competition thing to keep attracting and drawing the better people. Deep down inside does he want to do it? No, but he knows it's something that needs to be done to raise the level of the team and keep building on that foundation we've got started. It would be at least 12-18 months before we have ground breaking. I think there will always be something here (Level Cross, N.C.). That's always been Richard's biggest concern. If we come up with the planned facility, the big thing is going to be what goes on here. Kyle and Bobby both love road racing. I would love nothing more to have a series here so the boys here could work on those cars, the ones that don't want to transfer. I think this will be a combination of a race shop and museum."
    COMMENT ON DRIVER DEVELOPMENT "We are watching a couple of young drivers. We're very high on Chase Miller. We think he's got a lot of natural raw talent, but it's got to be developed."(Clear!Blue/Dodge PR)(1-24-2007)

  • Goody's and Petty to Celebrate 30th Anniversary Together: For 30 years, the "King" Richard Petty has been synonymous with Goody's Headache Powders and its fast pain relief. Now through a landmark agreement, Petty's status as spokesperson for the fast pain relieving headache powders will be guaranteed for life. This announcement marks the first time a current or former NASCAR driver and a sponsor have agreed to lifetime terms. The lifetime contract guarantees that Petty, NASCAR's most decorated champion will continue his role as Goody's spokesperson and "expert on fast pain relief." This is a title that he has held since Goody's entered the sport in 1977. Petty will continue to star in Goody's advertising and make appearances on behalf of Goody's. Additionally, fans will have the opportunity to celebrate with "The King" and Goody's through a host of special promotions throughout 2007. These include limited edition Commemorative Goody's Headache Powders packaging featuring Petty's greatest moments along with a new logo titled "Goody's and 'The King', 30 Years Together." A sweepstakes to win "The King's" 30th Anniversary custom Dodge Charger will also take place to give fans a chance to drive like "The King." Petty's lifetime contract announcement is only the beginning of the most exciting year ever for Goody's. In 2007, Goody's will dramatically increase its involvement and participation in NASCAR with the Goody's Cool Orange 500 Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway, the Headache of the Race Award, the Goody's Fast Relief Zone and a multitude of celebrations surrounding the Brand's 30th Anniversary in NASCAR, including car paints that will delight fans. Fans can also look forward to a major upcoming announcement with Goody's and two-time Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart. To further celebrate Richard Petty and his 30 years with Goody's, the brand has also announced a $50,000 donation to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Since the camp opened in 2004, Goody's has continued its status as a major sponsor of Victory Junction and was the first company to donate $1,000,000 to help build the camp's hospital named "The Goody's Body Shop."(Lighthouse Marketing PR)(1-23-2007)

  • Labonte's Subway 500 Finish Helps Martinsville-Henry County Youngsters: Richard Petty's race cars have always run well at Martinsville Speedway. In fact, his cars have won more races on the half-mile oval than any other team. But it was a third-place finish by one of Petty's race cars at Martinsville Speedway on October 22 that made big winners out of youngsters in Martinsville and Henry County. Bobby Labonte, who now drives Petty's familiar #43 Dodge, finished third in the Subway 500 Nextel Cup race that afternoon, completing all 500 laps. That was the best run in several years at Martinsville for both Labonte and Petty Enterprises. And it couldn't have come at a better time for reading programs in Martinsville and Henry County. Last fall Cheerios, Labonte's sponsor, and nonprofit organization First Book created "Race to Books," an initiative to donate 43 books for every lap Labonte completed during the final 10 races of the 2006 season. By completing all 500 laps in the Subway 500, 21,500 children's books have been contributed to the United Way of Martinsville and Henry County by Cheerios and First Book. The books will be distributed by Success By 6, an early childhood program. Some of the books have also been given to the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club to use with their children's programs. The "Race For Books" projects raised a total of 126,893 books during the final 10 weeks of the 2006 Nextel Cup season.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(1-19-2007)

2006 News

  • Bobby Labonte Racing to field cars for Pearson Jr. Bobby Labonte Racing has reached an agreement with Dunn-Benson Motorsports and will field Late Model cars for the Jacksonville, Florida resident and three time Dirt Late Model National Champion Earl Pearson Jr. beginning with the 2007 season. The team will be based out of the Bobby Labonte Racing shop in Archdale, NC. The 2006 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Crew Chief of the Year Jason Fitzgerald will continue to handle the crew chief duties along with Matt Langston as additional full time crew for Bobby Labonte Racing. #43-Bobby Labonte is excited about the opportunity to field cars for Earl Pearson Jr. and to be a part of the huge sport of dirt late model racing. Bobby is equally excited to be associated with Carlton & Kemp Lamm and Dunn-Benson Motorsports. Bobby Labonte Racing and Earl Pearson Jr. are finalizing sponsorship for the team and working on their schedule for the 2007 season. A special press conference announcing more details and sponsorships about the new team is tentatively scheduled for the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show in Orlando on December 14th. A new Bobby Labonte Racing website will be released in the near future for fans, sponsors, and the media to keep up with the new team and information about Earl Pearson Jr.(more at dunnbensonfordmotorsports.com)(12-5-2006)

  • Labonte, Cheerios raise 126,893 Books for Kids in Need through "Race for Books": Bobby Labonte, driver of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, ended the 2006 racing season by starting a whole new chapter on reading for kids across the country. That's because for every lap Labonte completed in the last 10 races, Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories and nonprofit partner First Book are donating 43 books to disadvantaged children in a "Race for Books." Labonte and the team's performance in the last 10 races raised a grand total of 126,893 books that will be donated to kids, and helped call attention to the importance of reading and getting books to children. The "Race for Books" kicked off September 17th at the New Hampshire International Speedway and wrapped up at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. In that time Labonte earned four top-10 finishes.(Moore Consulting Group PR)(11-28-2006)

  • #43 to sport Chex Most Popular Driver colors at Homestead: #43-Bobby Labonte will be behind the seat of the Chex Most Popular Driver Dodge for this weekend's event at Homestead-Miami Speedway to promote the Chex NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver of 2006 Award. Fans can vote at mostpopulardriver.com. ends at 11:59am/ct on November 20, 2006. Voting limited to one vote per person per email address per day. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has won the award the last three years.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(11-15-2006)

  • Spoonfuls of Stories Paint Scheme for the #43 at Phoenix: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories Dodge team head to the flat one-mile Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500. Labonte will be showcasing the Spoonfuls of Stories logos this weekend on the famous #43 Dodge. Labonte and the team are currently involved in Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories "Race for BOOKS!" Throughout the final 10 races of the season for every lap Labonte completes Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories will donate 43 books to kinds in need across the country through nonprofit partner First BookR. Through the first eight races Labonte has earned over 100,000 books heading into this weekend's event. The total number of books earned has been a direct result of the team's strong performance of late. Labonte has scored over 1,000 points in the last eight races. He has finished in the top 10 in four of those races and twice in the top five. Labonte was wrecked out of the first 'Chase' race in Loudon and since then has finished no worse than 17th.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(11-8-2006)

  • Labonte Racing Cascadian Farms Dodge at Atlanta: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Cascadian Farms Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday's Bass Pro Shops 500. Labonte will be racing the Cascadian Farms Dodge for the first time this season. In 1998, with the addition of Muir Glen tomatoes, Cascadian Farm became part of Small Planet Foods. In 2000, Small Planet Foods was purchased by General Mills, giving Cascadian Farm the opportunity to bring quality products to even more people around the country. Cascadian Farm has become a leading grower, manufacturer and distributor of a wide range of delicious organic products, from frozen fruit to breakfast cereal.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing), more info on Cascadian Farms at cascadianfarm.com, see images on my #43 Team Schemes page.(10-25-2006)

  • Petty Enterprises Notes: #43-Bobby Labonte finished third Sunday at Marrtinsville to score his fourth top 10 finish in the last five races.
    - Labonte has scored two consecutive top five finishes- the first time since Fontanta (Race 10) and Richmond (Race 11) of 2004
    - The Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team has a total of 8 top 10 finishes this season. Kyle Petty has two top-10 finishes this season.
    - Petty Enterprises has a total of 10 top 10 finishes so far in 2006. That total is the most for the organization since 1999 when they had 19 with John Andretti and Kyle Petty
    - Sunday's Subway 500 was the first time both PE cars finished in the Top-10 since Phoenix of 1999 (Race 32). Kyle Petty finished 7th and John Andretti 8th in that race.
    - Labonte's finish on Sunday was the best for PE since Bristol (Race Six) of 2001 when Andretti finished second.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(10-23-2006)

  • Bugles and Books for the #43 at LMS: This weekend, Bobby Labonte, will be running the #43 Bugles Dodge at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Labonte has not finished worse than 17th at Lowe's Motor Speedway since 1999. Labonte continues the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories "Race for Books!" this weekend. Labonte has earned over 45,000 books so far this season. For every lap that Labonte completes the rest of the season, Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories will donate 43 books to children in need through nonprofit partner First Book. You can log onto www.firstbook.org to see the Bookometer updated weekly.(Petty Racing PR)(10-11-2006)

  • "The King" to Serve as Spokesperson for Leading Garden Brands: Central Garden & Pet Company announced that it has entered into a marketing alliance with Petty Marketing Company, LLC; the marketing arm of Petty Enterprises and racing legend Richard Petty. "The King" Richard Petty will initially serve as the spokesman for three of Central's leading lawn & garden brands: AMDRO Fire Ant Bait, Rebel Grass Seed and recently acquiredIRONITE mineral supplement. Petty will appear in TV and radio commercials beginning this fall and in 2007 supporting these premium brands. Petty will also be making personal appearances on behalf of Central Garden & Pet at key trade shows and at NASCAR events nationwide. The partnership with Petty Marketing will also include access to the popular Richard Petty Driving Experience, which Central plans to use in consumer and trade promotions to drive retail sales and build consumer awareness of its lawn and garden brands. More info at centralgardenandpet.com.Central Garden & Pet PR)(10-5-2006)

  • Labonte Gears Things Up in a Race for BOOKS! Bobby Labonte, driver of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, has a reason to be excited heading into this weekend's race in Kansas. His seventh place finish last weekend in Dover means he has already helped CheeriosR Spoonfuls of StoriesR donate more than 26,000 books to kids in need all across the country through nonprofit partner First BookR. The "Race for BOOKS!" kicked off two weeks ago in New Hampshire. Labonte was racing towards the top 10 when he was taken out of contention in a wreck. Labonte, however, rebounded for his fifth top-10 finish of the season last weekend and completed all 400 laps. For every lap Labonte completes the rest of the season, Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories will donate 43 books in an effort to call attention to the importance of reading and getting books to children. Depending on how many laps Labonte completes, Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories could distribute more than 135,000 books to kids as the result of his efforts As of this fall, Cheerios, through the Spoonfuls of Stories program, will have donated more than $2 million to First Book (www.firstbook.org), and given more than 25 million books to children free inside boxes of Cheerios cereal. For more information on the Race for Books and Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories, see www.cheerios.com.(PR)(10-1-2006)

  • Andrews son wins Busch East race: Tim Andrews competes in the fledgling Busch East Series sporadically, so it is rare that he gets to share the same track as the Nextel Cup drivers. Those are days the son of Nextel Cup crew chief Paul Andrews [#43-Bobby Labonte] relishes, a chance to open the eyes of some of the top teams in NASCAR. Andrews got an extra-special experience in the Sunoco 150 Busch East race at Dover International Speedway on Friday. He passed former Cup driver Steve Park on lap 148 and held the lead through a green-white-checkered finish to record his first career victory in what turned out to be a 157-mile race.(Delaware News Journal)(9-23-2006)

  • New car chief for Labonte? hearing that besides a new crew chief, Paul Andrews, Rick Bourgeois is the new car chief for #43-Bobby Labonte.(9-18-2006)

  • Labonte Races for Books: For every lap #43-Bobby Labonte completes from now until the end of the season Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories will donate 43 books per lap, which will be distributed to children in need, through nonprofit partner First Book. If Labonte completes every lap, a total of more than 135,000 books will be donated through Spoonfuls of Stories.(Petty Racing PR)(9-14-2006)

  • Labonte and Petty get new Crew Chiefs: In an effort to prepare for the 2007 season, Petty Enterprises announces crew chief changes on both the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. Veteran Bill Wilburn has been hired to crew chief Kyle Petty and the #45 Dodge team. In addition, championship crew chief Paul Andrews will now handle the same duties for #43-Bobby Labonte. Greg Steadman returns to his position as Director of Competition. The changes are effective immediately.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(9-11-2006)

  • STP back on the #43 at RIR: #43-Bobby Labonte will head to Richmond sporting the famous STP colors this weekend. It is the second time this season that Labonte has raced the scheme. Labonte also went retro' earlier this season at the Talladega Superspeedway. STP will donate $43 to the Victory Junction Gang Camp for the total laps completed of both the Talladega race and Saturday night's event.(Petty Racing PR), see images of the scheme on the #43 Team Schemes page.(9-7-2006)

  • #43 to run Hamburger Helper scheme at Bristol: Bobby Labonte and the #43 Hamburger Helper Dodge head to Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday night's Sharpie 500. Labonte will be racing the Hamburger Helper scheme for the only time this season. Labonte will be part of a press conference Friday afternoon at the Bristol Motor Speedway media center to announce a special promotion involving Hamburger Helper. The press conference is scheduled to begin at 2:30pm/et.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(8-22-2006)

  • Fruity Cheerios Scheme on the #43 at Michigan: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Fruity Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge head to the two-mile Michigan International Speedway for Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400. Labonte will be racing the colorful Fruity Cheerios paint scheme this weekend.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(8-16-2006)

  • Labonte not worried about Parrott leaving: #43-Bobby Labonte said he didn't expect Petty Enterprises to miss a beat despite the defection of crew chief Todd Parrott to Robert Yates Racing. With Greg Steadman as interim crew chief and executive vice president of race operations Robbie Loomis taking a more hands-on role. Steadman, Petty Enterprises' director of competition, is likely not auditioning for the permanent job of crew chief. "Of course, if Greg goes out and wins two or three races, we'll find a different competition director," Loomis said. "We want some body for the long haul, not a short-term thing," said Labonte, who reaffirmed that he was staying with Petty. "We've got a great base. We've just got to find the right person who will grow with the organization. We don't necessarily have to move forward quickly but we have to move forward very smart on the decisions we make to bring the right race cars to the race track the right setups before we ever get there."(USA Today)(8-12-2006)

  • Todd Parrott Returns to RYR; Steadman to Crew Chief the #43: Petty Enterprises and Robert Yates Racing jointly announce crew chief Todd Parrott will return to Robert Yates Racing. Greg Steadman, on an interim basis, will take over the crew chief duties on the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driven by Bobby Labonte effective immediately. Parrott has years of experience at RYR and helped lead the organization to a championship with driver Dale Jarrett in 1999. Steadman is no stranger to the crew chief position. A long-standing employee of Petty Enterprises, Steadman is known as one of the top mechanical minds at the shop. Steadman will work hand-in-hand with Loomis, who will take a more active role on the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge.(Petty Enterprises PR)(8-9-2006)

  • General Mills Extends Partnership with Petty Enterprises: Petty Enterprises announced General Mills will continue their primary sponsorship support of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge in the Nextel Cup Series. A partner of Petty Enterprises since the summer of 2000, General Mills, and its Cheerios/Betty Crocker brands, will continue to grace the side of the famous "43" driven by 2000 Nextel Cup champion Bobby Labonte. The announcement was made Friday by Robbie Loomis, Executive Vice President of Petty Enterprises, and Bob Welch, Director of Trade Marketing for General Mills. "We are very proud to have General Mills continue their support of our organization," said Loomis in making the announcement. "Their support of Petty Enterprises, the '43' team, and Bobby Labonte make it possible for us to get back into victory lane. That's our number one goal. It's important for us that we do that with General Mills.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(8-4-2006)

  • #51 Team ceases operations, sponsorship to Petty's UPDATE: been told that the #51 Competitive Edge Motorsports team has ceased operations and have confirmed that Marathon Petroleum Company will become major associate sponsor with Petty Enterprises with the #45 Dodge of Kyle Petty being most involved in the sponsorship as an associate sponsor at most races and primary sponsor of the #45 for a few races with the #43 Dodge of Bobby Labonte featuring the Marathon Petroleum Company logo at some races.(8-1-2006)
    UPDATE: Marathon Petroleum Company announced that the company's sponsorship in the Nextel Cup series is being moved to a new race team. The new sponsorship will begin with the Allstate 400 race at the Brickyard in Indianapolis. Marathon is proud to move our sponsorship to the #45 Petty Enterprises team, with driver Kyle Petty, said Mary Ellen Peters, senior vice president, Marketing. The team is owned by Richard Petty, the man known as the King of NASCAR.' We believe this move provides a continued presence for Marathon in all of the remaining races this season. In addition to the Brickyard assosiate sponsorship [Tire KIngdom is the primary at Indy], the #45 car will carry the Marathon Brand as the primary sponsor for four races: Michigan, Bristol, Richmond, and Atlanta. Marathon also will be an associate sponsor on the car for this season's remaining races. We're grateful that Competitive Edge Motorsports is allowing Marathon Oil to transfer their sponsorship, said Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. We are looking forward to developing a strong partnership with Marathon , starting this weekend at one of the biggest events of the season.(Petty Racing PR)(8-3-2006)

  • #43 scheme at Indy - Totino's MEGA Pizza Rolls: #43-Bobby Labonte will be racing a special paint scheme on the side of the famed '43' at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the Allstate 400. Labonte will be racing the Totino's MEGA Pizza Rolls Dodge. Totino's MEGA Pizza Rolls are 2X bigger than regular Totino's Pizza Rolls brand pizza snacks. Labonte is one of only five full-time active drivers to have won this race, in 2000.(Petty Racing/Moore Consulting Group PR)(8-1-2006)

  • Labonte denies RYR rumor: #43-Bobby Labonte said quite emphatically to scratch reports he may be on car owner Robert Yates' list of drivers to try to sign for 2007. Labonte called the Yates' report "a stupid rumor." Yates is in the market for a high-profile driver to run for his two-car team, with Dale Jarrett leaving and with major questions about Elliott Sadler possibly leaving too. Yates will be testing newcomer Stephen Leicht, from Asheville, at Pocono and Indy, though it's unclear if Leight, 19, will even be able to make the field. Leicht is a promising racer, but with little NASCAR experience. However, there is speculation that Yates may go with Leicht in a full Nextel Cup ride next season.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-17-2006)

  • The New King of England: Richard Petty, driving his famous 1972 Dodge Charger, wowed the crowds at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Held on the grounds of historic Goodwood House in West Sussex and hosted by the Earl of March, the Goodwood Festival of Speed celebration (July 7-9) brought together the greatest competition cars and drivers from all eras of motorsports. Petty drove his restored 1972 Dodge Charger in the Hillclimb competition on the 1.16-mile course, which is the principal attraction of the Festival of Speed.(Clear!Blue PR)(7-11-2006)

  • Most Popular scheme on #43 at Chicago: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 ChexMostPopularDriver.com Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway, located in Joliet, Illinois for Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400. Labonte will be racing the "What's Your Mix" Dodge this weekend to help promote the Chex Most Popular Driver website. Labonte and General Mills will be making an announcement this Sunday morning at Chicagoland Speedway(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(7-5-2006)

  • Cinnabon featured on the #43 at Daytona: Bobby Labonte will race a specialty-schemed #43 Pillsbury/Cinnabon paint scheme this weekend in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing), see an image of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(6-28-2006)

  • Labonte to drive #04 Truck at Michigan: Dodge Motorsports announced that Nextel Cup Driver Bobby Labonte will drive the #4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge in the Con-Way Freight 200 this Saturday at Michigan. It will be Labonte's first Truck Series start since Atlanta last October, and will also mark the first time he has competed in a Dodge Ram.(Bobby Hamilton Racing PR)(6-13-2006)

  • New Team for dHondt: Eddie dHondt, recently released as general manager at Robert Yates Racing, has landed at Petty Enterprisers, where he is working as a spotter for #43-Bobby Labonte.(Speed Channel)(6-12-2006)

  • Labonte to unveil cereal packages: On Friday, May 26 at Speed Street, #43-Bobby Labonte will unveil two limited-edition cereal packages, a Cheerios package featuring Labonte and his family and a Honey Nut Cheerios package featuring Labonte and "The King" Richard Petty. The new packages welcome Labonte and his family to the Cheerios Racing / Petty Enterprises family.(Axiom PR)(5-26-20006)

  • Go-GURT scheme for Labonte at LMS: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 Go-GURT Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway for Saturday night's Nextel All-Star Challenge. Labonte's drive will mark the return of the famed #43 Dodge to the All-Star Challenge. The #43 Dodge last ran the All-Star race in 2000 with John Andretti behind the wheel. Labonte will be supporting the colors of Go-GURT Portable Yogurt. It is the first-ever yogurt in a tube, the perfect snack for on-the-go kids. Labonte will debut the #43 Go-GURT Portable Yogurt Dodge this weekend. The car will also race during the Coca-Cola 600 the following weekend.(Petty Enterprises/Moore Consulting Group PR)(5-17-2006)

  • Petty's and Toyota? DENIED: Kyle Petty told Benny Parsons on his nationally syndicated "Fast Talk" radio program [PRN] Monday night that Petty Enterprises would certainly consider switching to Toyota if it made the team more competitive. While Petty said nothing is currently on the horizon with the Japanese manufacturer, PE would be open to doing anything to help the team win.(RacingOne)(5-16-2006)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty told Sirius Speedway (MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio) Tuesday that comments attributed to him concerning interest in Toyota were taken out of context. "Benny Parsons asked me if I would be interested in talking to Toyota, if it would benefit the team," said Petty. "I told him that I would never say never, but that we are extremely happy with what we have (with Dodge) and have no plans to change. We haven't talked to anyone at Toyota, and we don't plan to."(MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio)(5-17-2006)

  • STP back on #43 at Talladega: This weekend, Bobby Labonte and the #43 STP Dodge team head to the 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday's Aaron's 499. The #43 Dodge will carry a retro STP paint scheme designed to pay tribute to one of the longest sponsorships in history of motorsports. It will be the first time in six years that STP has been the primary sponsor. They will commemorate the event by donating $43 for each lap completed to the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Petty Racing PR), see image of the #43 STP car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(4-26-2006)

  • STP back with Petty? UPDATE 2 races: One of the most famous car designs in all of NASCAR history was the #43 STP design driven to victory lane all over the country by Richard Petty. It appears the STP name will once again grace a Petty-owned car as a primary sponsor, this time with another NASCAR champion at the wheel, Bobby Labonte.(CircleTrackPlus)
    UPDATE: the makers of STP products announced a return to the hood of the legendary #43 car being driven by former Nextel Cup champion, Bobby Labonte. The familiar red, white and blue STP logo will highlight a retro paint scheme designed to pay tribute to one of the longest running sponsorships in the history of stockcar racing and to launch the new STP Oil Stabilizer. STP will be the primary hood sponsor of Labonte's #43 Dodge for the Aaron's 499 at the Talladega Superspeedway on April 30 and the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at the Richmond International Raceway on September 9. To commemorate the occasion, the makers of STP products will donate $43 for each lap raced during these two events to the Petty family's charity, Victory Junction Gang Camp (VJGC).(PRN Newswire)(4-7-2006)
    IMAGE see an image of the car on my #43 Team Schemes page.(4-8-2006)

  • Labonte to run Intrepid at Calif: #43-Bobby Labonte will drive the 2004 Dodge Intrepid instead of the Charger in next week's Nextel Cup race at California. "Bobby came straight out of the Chevy into the Dodge camp,'' said Labonte's teammate/owner Kyle Petty. "He's not run a downforce Dodge car. So he's going to give us an honest assessment of where the Intrepid is compared to where the Monte Carlo is. For us, we feel it's a great opportunity for us to be able to use a driver of his caliber and say this is what it is.'' All of the Dodge teams are gathering data on the Charger for a test at Kentucky Speedway next month. The first test earlier this month was canceled due to weather, putting the teams further behind. If no solution is found, Dodge owners hope NASCAR will grant them some concessions on the spoiler to create more downforce. #12-Ryan Newman will race the Intrepid in the next five races.(NASCAR.com)(2-19-2006)

  • Parrott expected back with #43 team after illness: Petty Enterprises competition director Greg Steadman stepped back into his previous role as crew chief for Bobby Labonte last week at Daytona testing because new chief Todd Parrott was recovering from a bacterial infection in a Huntersville, NC, hospital. Parrott was expected to return to Petty Enterprises this week. The #43 team is scheduled to test for Goodyear at Texas Motor Speedway later this month and also will test its intermediate program starting January 30 at Las Vegas. Executive vice president of racing operations Robbie Loomis says Petty's immediate goal is to "focus on the moment" and build confidence among the teams.(Sporting News)(1-16-2006)

2005 News

  • Parrott close to a new gig? UPDATE to #43 Petty: Todd Parrott [former RYR crew chief] won't be unemployed for long--he's weighing the options on two crew chief offers and a Toyota research and development role.(Sporting News)(12-5-2005)
    UPDATE: [1999] Nextel Cup Series champion Todd Parrott has been named crew chief for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team and driver Bobby Labonte. Robbie Loomis, Executive Vice President of Operations and a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion himself, made the announcement. "While few can match him in knowledge and strategy, no one can match Todd Parrott when it comes to the desire to win," Loomis said. "Working together with Paul Andrews (crew chief for Kyle Petty's #45 Dodge and a former NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion) and the talent we have here, we feel we have the ingredients to return Petty Enterprises to victory lane." Greg Steadman, who had been serving as crew chief for the #43, has been named Competition Director for Petty Enterprises and is involved with both race teams. "I can't begin to tell you how excited I am to be a part of Petty Enterprises," Parrott said. "I've been a fan of Richard Petty since I could talk, and one of the most exciting times of my life is when my dad (Buddy Parrott) was crew chief for Richard. When I see the people who are coming into the organization and how hard everyone is working to get Petty Enterprises back to the top, I can't help but be excited to be a part of that," Parrott continued. "Robbie Loomis, Bobby Labonte . . . these guys are coming here for one reason, and that's to win." Parrott, 41, is a native of Charlotte, N.C. Winner of the 1999 NASCAR Nextel Cup championship with driver Dale Jarrett, Parrott begins his 12th year as a leader of NASCAR race teams in 2006. He grew up in the sport and began working on race cars when just 14 years old, developing into one of the top mechanical and strategy-minded names in motorsports.(Williams Company PR)(12-6-2005)

  • Petty's opt out of NSL UPDATE: National Sprintcar League officials learned Tuesday (November 22nd) that the Richard Petty Driving Experience, and Richard and Kyle Petty would no longer be a part of the NSL. Citing overwhelming demands in getting a start-up series off the ground, the Petty's informed the NSL of their decision. Despite the loss, the National Sprintcar League is moving forward with plans to race 410 winged sprintcars in 2006.(more at Motorsport.com)(11-29-2005)
    UPDATE: Richard Petty Driving Experience announced that it has withdrawn its support of the National SprintCar League effective immediately. "We formed this series with the intention of rebuilding and growing winged sprint car racing," said Kyle Petty. "We had a clear vision about how to undertake this. Unfortunately, our vision for the future of sprint car racing was not shared by all of the key stakeholders in the sport. We believe that a prolonged battle over control of the sport is not in the best interest of anyone involved. Hopefully, by stepping aside at this point, there is time for a common vision to emerge. We still believe that sprint car racing can thrive in the United States and we hope that the tracks, drivers, teams and sanctioning bodies will put their individual interests aside and work towards some common ground to unify this great motor sports platform. We appreciate everyone who supported us in this endeavor."(Richard Petty Driving Experience /Williams Company PR)(11-30-2005)

  • Chex Mix on the #43 at Homestead: This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway for Sundays Homestead-Miami 400. Green will be driving a #43 Chex Party Mix Dodge for this season-ending event.(Williams Company)(11-15-2005)

  • #43 Crew Chief? As for a crew chief for #43-Bobby Labonte next year, Robbie Loomis said the team is looking at a number of people, adding, God willing, it wont be me.(Speed Channel)(11-12-2005)

  • Bobby Labonte to the #43? UPDATE 3 It's Official: Bobby Labonte to the #43 Petty Enterprises ride Jeff Green would vacate [for the #0 Chevy].(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
    UPDATE 1 Announedment Sched: Petty Enterprises is scheduled to make an announcement on Friday, Nov. 11th at Phoenix International Raceway..........Bobby Labonte driver?(11-10-2005)
    UPDATE 2: On Friday, November 10th at Phoenix International Raceway, Petty Enterprises will announce that Nextel Cup champion, Bobby Labonte, will drive the #43 Cheerios / Betty Crocker Dodge in 2006. Labonte won the NEXTEL Cup championship in 2000 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, has 21 career NEXTEL Cup victories and claimed the NASCAR Busch Series Championship in 1991. Labonte started racing quarter midgets at the age of five in his hometown of Corpus Christi, TX. His brother is NASCAR champion Terry Labonte.(11-10-2005)
    OFFICIAL: Bobby Labonte, 2000 NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion, will drive the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge beginning with the 2006 season, it was announced this morning by Robbie Loomis, Executive Vice President of Operations, Petty Enterprises. Labonte, 41, joins Petty Enterprises from Joe Gibbs Racing where he won 21 Cup races and the 2000 NASCAR Nextel Cup Championship during his 10-year stretch with the team. He will be a teammate to Kyle Petty, and will also work first-hand with Loomis, who is rejoining the organization after a successful championship-winning stint at Hendrick Motorsports.
    "Winning in our sport is a learned process," said Loomis. "The heritage of Petty Enterprises, coupled with a talented, successful driver like Bobby Labonte, will lead to some great things. There's a lot of work to be done, but we have some tremendous tools here and we're excited about the future."
    "We're bringing some serious firepower to the #43 Cheerios Dodge next year and I am excited about having Bobby Labonte as a teammate," Kyle Petty said. "Bobby knows how to win races and how to win championships, as does Robbie Loomis."
    "I'm really pleased to be part of Petty Enterprises," Labonte said. "When I first came into this sport, my heroes were Terry Labonte and Richard Petty. To have the opportunity to drive Richard Petty's #43 car is something I could not have imagined growing up. The #43 knows its way to victory lane, and we'll get it back there. I am looking forward to working with Robbie, Kyle, The King and the entire Petty team. And, I'm excited about working with households names like Cheerios and Betty Crocker, along with the entire General Mills team. I had a great run at Joe Gibbs Racing, and have the utmost respect for that organization and appreciate all they did for me. I am fortunate to be going to another high quality organization in Petty Enterprises," Labonte said.
    "Just like Cheerios and Betty Crocker, Bobby Labonte is committed to winning, to family and to community," added General Mills Vice President Laurie Gree# "We at General Mills are thrilled to have Bobby join the #43 team."(Williams Company)(11-11-2005)

  • Bobby Labonte to the #43? UPDATE 3 Labonte parts ways with JGR: Bobby Labonte to the #43 Petty Enterprises ride Jeff Green would vacate [for the #0 Chevy].(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
    UPDATE: Speed Channel's Bob Dillner reported on Saturday's Speed News that he is hearing Bobby Labonte will go to Petty Enterprises and drive the famed #43 Dodge....while I WAS hearing he would go to Ganassi Racing in the #42, it seems that deal broke down and ALSO hearing Labonte could end up in the #22 Caterpillar Dodge....looks like the Dodge part is a lock.(11-6-2005)
    UPDATE 2 - Yeley to the #18? #18-Bobby Labonte has refused for several months to talk about his future plans, and he has become increasingly testy when pressed on the issue. Labonte is being actively wooed by both Bill Davis and Kyle Petty for 2006, and Joe Gibbs, Labonte's current car owner, has been told that Labonte won't be back, according to sources. Gibbs has tentatively set a press conference for next week at Phoenix to announce J. J. Yeley as Labonte's replacement, regardless of which direction Labonte takes.(Winston Salem Journal)(11-7-2005)
    UPDATE 3: Bobby Labonte and Joe Gibbs Racing will conclude an 11-year relationship at the end of the 2005 NEXTEL Cup Series season, Labonte and officials from JGR announced Nov. 7. Labontes future plans, as well as a replacement driver for the #18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet, will be announced at a later date. I regret to say that this is the final year that I will be at Joe Gibbs Racing, Labonte said. One of the things that made this decision so difficult was thinking of all the fans that have supported me at JGR throughout the past 11 years. This relationship has lasted a long time, and I hate that it has to end. Joe Gibbs and his family gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, and I want to thank them, and all the employees at JGR, for 11 years of hard work. I will always cherish the times at JGR, and the only thing that I regret is that we didnt win more races and or championships. I wish everyone at JGR continued success in the future and I want to thank J.D. (Gibbs, president of JGR) for giving me the chance to be released from my contract early and letting me pursue other opportunities.(Joe Gibbs Racing)(11-7-2005)

  • Dominos Should Fall this week: This will be the crucial week for a decision, Roush Racing president Geoff Smith says, in the long-running driver-swap negotiations involving Jack Roush's Kurt Busch, Chip Ganassi's Jamie McMurray, and Roger Penske. If it does happen, McMurray would join Roush [#97], and Busch would join Penske [#2]. "In order for it to work, there has to be a driver for Chip," Smith said. "Ten days ago it wasn't working for Chip, but now it can work, so I presume he's got somebody." That could be Ricky Rudd, who isn't saying what his 2006 plans are, but who is reportedly very close to a decision simply to retire at the end of the season. Or it could be Bobby Labonte. Or Labonte could be headed to Bill Davis, according to sources. If Labonte leaves Chevrolet's Joe Gibbs to join the soon-to-be-Toyota Davis team as Michael Waltrip's teammate, that would be a major pick up by Toyota, expected to join the Nextel Cup tour for the 2007 season. If Davis doesn't get Labonte, he will likely get Dave Blaney, according to sources. Blaney once drove for Davis. Penske officials, saying that Rudd isn't one of their options, agree that this is the week that will tell the tale, and they agree with Smith that the complicated deal will in fact be completed.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-31-2005)

  • New Goody's Commericals with Stewart: Goody's Headache Powders previewed its new commercials titled "Mr. Petty's Neighborhood" on Friday morning at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In the new spots, Richard Petty welcomes driver Tony Stewart, knocking on his door bearing a casserole from his wife, Linda. As one might expect, everything happens fast in Goody's Country, which Petty explains to the new resident Stewart. "Tony Stewart joining Goody's just makes so much sense," said Darren Singer, vice president of marketing for Goody's. Stewart answered snickers from the audience by saying, "I know what you guys are thinking. Don't worry, that's what I was thinking, too." The new commercials were filmed on Hickswood Drive in Greensboro, N.C. Singer said residents allowed their homes and streets to be used for the two days of shooting and even brought out their lawn chairs to watch the events. The Pettys and Stewart chatted with them and signed autographs - and definitely left their mark. Goody's has been associated with NASCAR and the Petty family for 30 years. The company was an early and major contributor to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Stewart also is a major contributor to the camp for children with life-threatening conditions. Goody's also presented a check for $25,000 on behalf of the Tony Stewart Foundation for the Victory Junction Gang.(PR)(10-29-2005)

  • Goody's unveils new ad campaign geared toward NASCAR: NASCAR legend Richard Petty has been a long-time resident of Goody's Country, serving as the Goody's Headache Powders spokesperson for nearly 30 years. Tony Stewart has joined Petty and his son Kyle in a new advertising campaign for the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR" that includes a commercial depicting the day Stewart moves into "Mr. Petty's Neighborhood" and his appreciation for the speedy pace of life there. The first screening of the commercial will be during a press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, Oct. 28. Also at this event, as part of its continued support of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Goody's will present a check for $25,000 in Stewart's name to Kyle and Pattie Petty for their camp for seriously ill children and their families.(Williams Company PR)(10-27-2005)

  • A Petty back in the #43? UPDATE: Jeff Green likely will leave Petty Enterprises' #43 car for a chance to drive the NetZero #0 car, team owner Kyle Petty said Thursday. Petty, in town [CAL]to deliver the keynote address at the High Desert Opportunity business conference, said without securing a sponsor for his own #45 car, he couldn't commit to another driver for the 2006 season. "I really think Jeff's going to the (Net) Zero [#0] car," Petty said. "We've been very honest with Jeff, very honest with everybody we talk to." The problem, Petty said, is that the team hasn't signed a sponsor to replace Georgia Pacific on the #45 car. General Mills still has a contract to sponsor the #43 car. "Since I own the team, I could go drive the 43 if I wanted to," Petty said. Is that a possibility? Could we see Petty back behind the wheel of his father Richard's old car? "Everything's a possibility," Kyle Petty said. "You've got so much on the table." Petty said as a veteran driver, he understood the need to secure a ride when there was an opportunity. "Jeff's 42, 43 years old (actually 43). Everybody wants to sign a 19-year-old to drive their car," Petty said. "If you can find a ride, you better be jumping and getting in it. Don't wait and let me hold you back." The bottom line, Petty said, "If it's good for him, it's good for us."(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(10-21-2005)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty said Friday that Jeff Green likely will vacate Petty Enterprises' flagship #43 Dodge and take over the #0 Chevrolet owned by Gene Haas. Petty said he and Green talked Tuesday about Green leaving the car he has driven since September, 2003. "I know [Green] has talked to the 0, and he's probably going to go to the 0, and I applaud that for him," Petty said. "It's like I told him, 'When you're my age and you're your age, and everybody's looking for 19-year-olds, if a car opens up, jump in it.'" Petty, 45, said his big hold-up in re-signing Green, 43, was a lack of sponsorship for his own #45 Dodge. Since Georgia Pacific announced that it wasn't returning as that car's backer, the team has been assembling a sponsorship package, but it didn't materialize in time to keep Green. If the sponsorship for the #45 doesn't come through, the team will field only one car full-time and Petty probably would drive it himself [#43]. But he said he hopes that doesn't happen. "I'm extremely confident that within the next four to six weeks we'll have what we want to announce," Petty said, adding that the sponsorship will be tied to fund-raising efforts for the Victory Junction Camp for ill children that the Pettys founded. "That's why we want to release [the sponsorships] all at one time," he said. "We just didn't get things done quick enough to be able to satisfy all of our contractual needs with Jeff."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-22-2005)

  • Green to the #0? Labonte to the #43? #18? Mike Bliss is the latest driver to learn he's out after the season finale at Homestead. Jeff Green appears to be the top candidate for Bliss' #0 Haas CNC ride. If he gets it, the dominoes really would start to fall. The most curious possible replacement? Bobby Labonte for the Petty Enterprises ride Green would vacate. Labonte, who drives the #18 for Joe Gibbs Racing, has been less than thrilled lately, and his name was mentioned earlier as a candidate for the Penske Racing #2 and Richard Childress Racing #29. Gibbs is auditioning Busch drivers Denny Hamlin and J.J. Yeley for the #11 Chevrolet. Hamlin finished eighth in Saturday night's crashfest at Charlotte, so give him the nod. But should Labonte leave, it would open the door for both drivers to move up to Cup in 2006.(Sporting News)(10-17-2005)
    UPDATE: hearing Green has signed with the #0 and that Best Buy could be the full primary sponsor in 2006, not sure what NetZero would do, could follow Bliss to where he ends up, to another team or out of the sport.(10-21-2005)

  • #43 to run Fan Fest scheme at Lowe's: This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge head to the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway, located in Concord, N.C., for Saturday night's Charlotte 500. Green, who will be sporting a Petty Fan Fest paint scheme this weekend, finished 11th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's earlier this season.(Williams Company), not really sure what the Fan Fest thing is about.(10-11-2005)
    UPDATE: what the scheme is about, #43 sponsor, Cheerios/General Mills held a contest and the are 43 pictures of winners on the #43 Dodge and 45 more on the #45 Dodge that Kyle Petty drives. Have no images...yet.(10-13-2005)

  • Petty's and Sprint Car Series? UPDATE 3: hearing there is supposed to be a press conference scheduled at Dover to announce the new sprint car league being formed by Petty Enterprises, called the National Sprint Car League?(9-21-2005)
    UPDATE: Been told Tony Stewart is involved and hearing the Petty family has a financial interest in thsi new series that will go head-to-head with World of Outlaws with a couple of Speedway Motorsports tracks. Also hearing that 12 of the top 17 WoO drivers are going with the new series, including Steve Kinser. Look for an announcement from Dover on Friday.(9-22-2005)
    UPDATE 2: Sprint car racing's biggest names have split into two separate series for 2006, drivers confirmed Wednesday. The World of Outlaws, owned by DIRT Motorsports, will retain five of its 18 full-time drivers  Altoona's Terry McCarl, Craig Dollansky, Brooke Tatnell, Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz  and plans to add more for 2006. Danny Lasoski, who drives for Tony Stewart Motorsports, represents one of 13 current Outlaws teams who have signed with the National Sprintcar League for the 2006 season. The group is backed by Petty Enterprises and has lured drivers such as Steve and Kraig Kinser, Jason Meyers and Tim Shaffer. It's not immediately clear how the split would affect Knoxville Raceway, which draws thousands for Outlaws races. Those figures swell to 25,000 per night during the Knoxville Nationals each August - with fans lured by many of the Outlaws drivers. "We saw no light at the end of the tunnel," said Lasoski, a four-time Knoxville Nationals champion. "This is a breath of fresh air for all of us." DIRT Motorsports completed the acquisition of the Outlaws in February of 2004 from founder Ted Johnson. They have yet to secure a title sponsor. Lasoski said he felt a new direction was necessary. He added an announcement is scheduled to be made this weekend at the NASCAR events at Dover, Del. Lasoski's concerns with DIRT included the lack of live television - Outlaws events air on the Outdoor Channel on a tape-delayed basis. He expects the Petty organization to rectify that situation, although no TV package is set yet. Lasoski said he would not run any Outlaws-sanctioned events next season, and was unsure what would happen regarding a possible non-sanctioned 2006 Knoxville Nationals. He added that NASCAR names such as Stewart, Kasey Kahne, the Pettys and Dave Blaney would field cars in the National Sprintcar League next season. This season, the structure of the World of Outlaws series remains unchanged in terms of points and scheduling. The Outlaws' next race is Friday at Jackson, Minn.(Des Moines Register)(9-23-2005)
    UPDATE 3 - official: Richard Petty Driving Experience, a leader in providing high quality motorsports entertainment, announced the formation of the National SprintCar League. Steve Kinser, 19 - time World of Outlaws series champion, and 11 other current World of Outlaws drivers and teams have joined the newly formed NSL beginning in 2006. The NSL has signed the following twelve current World of Outlaws series drivers and teams to 3-year agreements beginning with the 2006 season: Steve Kinser, Jason Meyers, Kraig Kinser, Danny The Dude Lasoski, Tim Shaffer, Paul McMahan, Joey Saldana, Jason Sides, Brian Paulus, Brandon Wimmer, Shane Stewart and Jason Solwold. The series has also received commitments from 3 - time World of Outlaws series champion Sammy Swindell, 16 - time World of Outlaws championship car owner Karl Kinser and long time team owner Dennis Roth to run in 2006. The NSL is making significant progress in organizing the 2006 championship schedule and is in discussions with several corporate partners regarding series sponsorship. In addition, the group is in the process of securing a comprehensive television package for the series. See full press release at nationalsprintcarleague.com.(9-23-2005)

  • WOW that didn't take long.....Loomis back to Petty in 2006: Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, today announced the organization's addition of championship-winning crew chief Robbie Loomis as executive vice president of race operations. In his new role, Loomis- will head the day-to-day operations of Level Cross-based Petty Enterprises and its two full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams -- the #43 Dodges driven by Jeff Green and the #45 Dodges piloted by Petty."We are excited that Robbie will be rejoining Petty Enterprises," Petty said. "Robbie won races as a crew chief here, and then won a lot of races and a championship with Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports. We have great respect for the entire Hendrick organization, and know that Robbie's experience with the Hendrick team has prepared him well for the role he will take on at Petty Enterprises. Robbie Loomis will direct our entire race operation, and we expect his experience and his ability to mold a team to help us get to the next level. Robbie has been a part of our family for a long time, and we're happy to have him come home." Loomis, 41, will leave his position as crew chief of Hendrick Motorsports' #24 Chevrolets. Before rejoining Petty, the Forest City, Fla., native will work as a consultant to Concord-based Hendrick Motorsports as the operation pursues the 2005 NEXTEL Cup championship with the #48 Chevrolets.
    "We still have a job to do," said Loomis, who won a Cup title with driver Jeff Gordon in 2001 after coming to Hendrick from Petty Enterprises in 2000. "Our goal is winning that championship with Jimmie (Johnson), Chad (Knaus) and the #48 team. I'm here to support them in any way I possibly can. "Hendrick Motorsports opened my eyes to a whole different level of this industry. The experience has allowed me to see things from a new perspective and learn important lessons about business and life. I'm truly grateful to Rick, Jeff and the 500 people who make Hendrick Motorsports so special. "I was with the Petty family for 11 years before being blessed to work with Jeff and the #24 team. Kyle and Richard (Petty) are giving me an incredible opportunity to come home, back where I started my career, and I' m honored and excited to do that."(Williams Company/Hendrick Motorsports)(9-14-2005)

  • Wheaties Makes Full $10,750 Donation To First Tee: #43-Jeff Green didn't get where he wanted Sunday night at California Speedway - Victory Lane - but First Tee and the young people it impacts ended up as winners. Green and the team completed all 250 laps of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race. Wheaties is donating the full $10,750 to The First Tee, a national organization dedicated to impacting the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. The donation was made in conjunction with the Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, which also benefitted The First Tee. Both events were scheduled for Labor Day weekend. Forty-three dollars were pledged for donation for every lap Green completed in Sunday night's NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at the two-mile California Speedway. The #43 Dodge sported a special Wheaties paint scheme for the race. The paint scheme featured logos of the PGA Champions Tour and the Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach.(Williams Company)(9-6-2005)

  • Green gets his Wheaties: This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Wheaties Dodge head to the two-mile California Speedway for Sunday's Sony HD 500. Green's Wheaties Dodge will be racing for a cause this weekend. For each lap that the team completes, Wheaties will donate $43 to "The First Tee," a national organization dedicated to impacting the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Green hopes to raise nearly $11,000 for the cause; that amount could double if he wins the race. (Williams Company), see image of the scheme on my #43 Team Schemes page.(8-30-2005)

  • Green and Kyle back at PE in 2006: Kyle Petty and Jeff Green will both return as the drivers of the #43 and #45 cars next year, Petty confirmed Saturday. Petty, 45, said he is not sure how much longer he will keep racing, but he doesnt see his retirement any time in the immediate future. The son of NASCAR legend, Richard Petty, still loves to drive. "No 9-year-old kid goes to bed at night dreaming about signing autographs at Target," Petty said. "You dream about driving a racecar. As long as I still love driving a racecar, I can put up with the other stuff."(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-28-2005)

  • Petty's to lose Dodge? UPDATE Denied: Petty Enterprises may have more to worry about than replacing Georgia-Pacific as sponsor of Kyle Petty's #45. Word is that Dodge may have played out its history hand in backing the Pettys, with results that have scarcely improved since Dodge's debut in 2001.(Speed Channel)
    UPDATE: sources with the team have vehemently denied that Dodge is leaving the team and the report is completely untrue.(8-23-2005)

  • Marlin to the #43? Contrary to the belief held by many, Sterling Marlin will not replace Dave Blaney in the Richard Childress Racing-owned #07 Chevrolet in 2006. On the surface, that move made sense, as the sponsor of the #07 is Tennessee-based Jack Daniels Whiskey, and Marlin is one of Tennessee's favorite sons. But it's not happening. [Yahoo] originally heard Marlin was heading to the #0 Chevy to replace Mike Bliss, but banter now has Marlin going to Petty Enterprises and the #43 to replace Jeff Green, as Marlin and his father Coo Coo have been longtime friends of the Petty family. Green isn't necessarily happy at Petty, anyway, as that team isn't giving him a car good enough to show off his talents. As for the #07 in '06, Blaney's not going anywhere  he's a lock to stay in the car for next season, providing a good buffer to teammates Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton. It doesn't hurt that Blaney is one of team owner Richard Childress' favorite people in racing.(Yahoo Sports)(7-25-2005)

  • Petty engineers travel to high-tech wind tunnel in Germany As the ever-expanding engineering and technical side of NASCAR Nextel Cup racing continues to grow, Petty Enterprises took a huge step to the forefront of wind tunnel testing this week. Accepting an invitation from Dodge Motorsports, Petty Enterprises spent this week in Stuttgart, Germany, at one of the world's state-of-the-art wind tunnels. The wind tunnel in Stuttgart, Germany is equipped with a rare and unique "Rolling Road" wind tunnel system. Cars travel on a belt and can simulate different pitches and angles. Used by Mercedes, Petty Enterprises hopes the facility will provide them with unmatched information. "The 'Rolling Road' wind tunnel can actually give us better, more realistic data comparable to on-track conditions," stated Petty Enterprises General Manager Jerry Freeze. "We're hoping to use this data and compare it to the 'static' wind tunnels we use here in the States." Petty Enterprises has two main objectives while in Germany, but is keeping in mind the ultimate goal. "First, we are hoping to learn the tunnel and see how we can take advantage of it," continued Freeze. "Secondly, we want to try different adjustments to the car and gather the data. We are here to win too. The Dodge Charger is a completely new car this season. We want to continue to learn as much about this car as quickly as possible to get us in victory lane. This is a great opportunity for us." Petty Enterprises, which fields the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driven by Jeff Green and the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge driven by Kyle Petty, shipped their cars overseas a month ago. The cars were shipped in large containers.(Williams Company)(6-23-2005)

  • Bugles for Green: This weekend, Jeff Green steps behind the wheel of the specialty-schemed #43 Bugles Dodge for Sundays Coca-Cola 600 at the Lowes Motor Speedway.(Williams Company)(5-25-2005)

  • Mikey and Green spar most of the race: #15-Michael Waltrip and #43-Jeff Green were called to the office after Waltrip clearly spun Green out, bringing caution on Lap 207. Waltrip and Green apparently have a running disagreement, with Waltrip accusing Green of jabbing at him earlier in the race [a lap 8 wreck took Waltrip out of contention], and with the two also having a clash at Martinsville. Waltrip insisted he was not sure what caused brought on the unpleasantness. "They said we should not be around each other," he said after his meeting with the officials. "That'll be good with me, because the only two times I've had him behind me he's spun me out. It's unfortunate to have to deal with stuff like this."
    "I'm baffled. I was running down the back straightaway on the first lap of green and he hit me. The sad part is he doesn't have to pay any price and I get my car tore all to pieces. It's cool with me. If NASCAR says stay away from each other or you'll regret it, then that's good." Waltrip was penalized one lap for rough driving after spinning Green out. Green left the meeting quickly and did not comment.(Speed Channel)(5-8-2005)

  • New Petty Book: A large, diverse collection of Richard Petty photographs has been released. Richard Petty: Images of the King ($29.95, MBI Publishing) is a 256-page work compiled by Ben Blake and Dick Conway. Blake wrote the text and Conway supplied most of the more than 250 photographs, many of which are rare and have never been published. ''Sorting through all my Petty stuff brought back a lot of memories,'' said Conway, whose photos have appeared in numerous racing books and publications. ''One of my favorite shots is of some of Richard's old junked race cars that I found sitting out in the woods behind his house. There, rusting away in the weeds and bushes, were some of the most famous race cars in the world. For some reason that image really appealed to me.'' The book is available through bookstores.(Tennessean)(4-20-2005)

  • Sad News: Longtime STP public relations representative Harvey Duck passed away Tuesday, March 22nd. He was 80 years old. Duck was the long-time Public Relations Rep for STP.
    Richard Petty's comments: "Harvey was one of the original PR guys in motorsports, and especially in NASCAR racing. He came to STP from a big Chicago newspaper, and there hadn't been much of that at all for race teams or sponsors. Harvey knew the sport and he knew the media. A lot of the things people are doing today in PR started with guys like Harvey Duck. Add in the fact he was a pretty nice guy, and he was fun to have around. We've missed him since he retired, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
    More info as it is found.
    Arrangements: The viewing will be at Volusia Memorial Funeral Home, 548 N. Nova Road, Ormond Beach, Florida 32174 -- telephone 386.673.5373. Hours will be 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 25th. Funeral will be 10 a.m. in the Chapel at the same location.
    Donations can be made in Harvey's name to Victory Junction Gang Camp.
    Expressions of sympathy can be sent to Lexy Duck at 262 Amberwood Ct. Ormond Beach, Florida 32174.(3-23-2005)

  • 13,975 new books donated First through Spoonfuls Of Stories: Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team didn't have the type of finish they had hoped Sunday, but Atlanta children still had a big win. Green ran into handling problems, completed 321 laps of 325] and finished 28th in the race. Cheerios Spoonfuls Of Stories and First Book, a national non-profit organization, had agreed to donate 43 books to Atlanta children through the new Atlanta-area First Book chapter for every lap Green completed in the race. Cheerios and First Book made the maximum donation anyway - 13,975 new books. The books-per-lap donation is part of the ongoing Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which gets books into the hands of children. More than 60 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. Racing audiences shared in the excitement by cheering on the #43 Dodge, which sported a special Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories paint scheme for the race.(Williams Company), see an image of the car on my #43 Teams Schemes page.(3-21-2005)

  • Green races for books: For most drivers in Sunday's race, the "magic number" is either 325 (the number of laps they need to run to complete 500 miles) or one (the spot they would like to finish). Jeff Green, who drives Richard Petty's #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, adds another number to that - 13,975. That's the number of books that will be donated to Atlanta kids by Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories if he can complete every lap of the race. "Our goal is to win the race, plain and simple. That's what we look to do every week," said Green. "When you add in the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, though, it takes on a whole new dimension. This race team still wants to win, but we have a whole new incentive for doing it."
    For each lap completed by Green and the #43 car Sunday, Cheerios and First book, a national children's literacy organization, will donate 43 children's books to Atlanta kids through the new Atlanta-area chapter of First Book. If Green completes all of the laps, that will be 13,975 books. "This Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program is one of the best programs I've ever been involved with," said Green, who drives the #43 Dodge. "We want to win the race more than anything, but knowing we're part of a program helping kids read makes Atlanta a special race no matter what," he said. The books-per-lap donation is part of the ongoing Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which gets books into the hands of children. Racing audiences will get to share in the excitement by cheering on the #43 Dodge, which will be sporting a special Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories paint scheme for the race. Over the past three years, through the Spoonfuls of Stories program, Cheerios has donated $1.5 million to First Book, and has distributed more than 15 million books to children across the country.(Williams Company/Petty Racing), see an image of the car on my #43 Teams Schemes page.(3-19-2005)

  • Times have changed: Richard Petty never thought hed see the day when he promoted Nicorette nicotine gum, a product designed to help people stop smoking. Not after spending 33 years with Winston, Petty said of the cigarette company that was NASCARs primary sponsor until last season. Times have changed. Circumstances change. Pettys involvement with Nicorette is part of a program in which five NASCAR fans were selected to be a part of the Winners Circle quit-smoking campaign. The public can follow their progress over the next 12 weeks by logging onto www.quit.com. Those who are successful will get to spend a day and a half learning to drive a stock car at the Richard Petty Driving Experience.(The State)(3-19-2005)

  • Green races for books: For most drivers in Sunday's race, the "magic number" is either 325 (the number of laps they need to run to complete 500 miles) or one (the spot they would like to finish). Jeff Green, who drives Richard Petty's #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, adds another number to that - 13,975. That's the number of books that will be donated to Atlanta kids by Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories if he can complete every lap of the race. "Our goal is to win the race, plain and simple. That's what we look to do every week," said Green. "When you add in the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, though, it takes on a whole new dimension. This race team still wants to win, but we have a whole new incentive for doing it."
    For each lap completed by Green and the #43 car Sunday, Cheerios and First book, a national children's literacy organization, will donate 43 children's books to Atlanta kids through the new Atlanta-area chapter of First Book. If Green completes all of the laps, that will be 13,975 books. "This Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program is one of the best programs I've ever been involved with," said Green, who drives the #43 Dodge. "We want to win the race more than anything, but knowing we're part of a program helping kids read makes Atlanta a special race no matter what," he said. The books-per-lap donation is part of the ongoing Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which gets books into the hands of children. Racing audiences will get to share in the excitement by cheering on the #43 Dodge, which will be sporting a special Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories paint scheme for the race. Over the past three years, through the Spoonfuls of Stories program, Cheerios has donated $1.5 million to First Book, and has distributed more than 15 million books to children across the country.(Williams Company/Petty Racing)(3-19-2005)

  • The King, Wheties and Vitamins: General Mills and Leiner Health products announced the launch of Wheaties and Total nutritional supplement products, produced under license from General Mills. Wheaties and Total cereals have long been on consumers' breakfast tables, and now they can enhance their diets with multivitamins from these trusted brands. These four new vitamin products are part of an extension of the Wheaties and Total brands. The Wheaties Multivitamins provide health-minded individuals with 100% or more of 17 essential vitamins and minerals; in addition Wheaties Daily Performance Vitamin Packs offer consumers a convenient daily nutritional system specifically formulated to enhance energy. Total Multivitamins contain important daily nutrients essential for an active and healthy lifestyle, and Total High Potency Daily Vitamin Packs are ideal for consumers looking for additional support for their bones, joints, eyes and heart health as well as help with overall fitness.
    In conjunction with the new Wheaties and Total branded products, General Mills and Leiner also announced the launch of Vitaminreminders.com. This interactive website is another tool to help Americans get and stay healthy. Vitaminreminders.com offers consumers a daily video image alert from a sports legend reminding them to take their Wheaties and Total vitamins. In turn, consumers can develop and maintain a system for incorporating vitamins into their daily routine.
    The site features legendary sports champions, including "The King" of racing Richard Petty, hall-of-fame baseball player Ozzie Smith, and U.S. soccer star Brandi Chastain. Individuals simply select their favorite sports legend and designate a schedule to receive their video image reminder. Based on that information, a video image message appears on the consumer's PC prompting them to take their Wheaties and Total vitamins. This convenient and innovative tool infuses excitement into staying healthy.(Business Wire)(3-5-2005)

  • The King to be honored: Richard Petty, who won seven NASCAR Cup Series championships, will be inaugurated into the Goodyear Legends of Daytona on Friday. Legends of Daytona is a new attraction at Daytona International Speedway that honors stock car, sports car and motorcycle racers for their Daytona accomplishments.(NASCAR Scene)(2-16-2005)

  • Fittipaldi to run stock cars in Brazil: After two unsuccessful seasons in NASCAR, former Champ Car and Formula 1 driver Christian Fittipaldi has decided to return to Brazil to race stock cars. Fittipaldi had been looking for work since his deal with NASCAR's Petty Enterprises collapsed because of a lack of sponsorship. "For various reasons I didn't have the success I was hoping for," Christian Fittipaldi told Radio Jovem Pan on Saturday. "But I'm glad I got the opportunity in Brazil, where everybody knows stock car racing is growing rapidly." Fittipaldi, nephew of two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Emerson Fittipaldi, started 16 races in NASCAR, failing to finish better than 24th. The 34-year-old Brazilian signed a contract to drive for team Avallone Motorsport beginning in May.(ESPN.com/AP)(1-29-2005)

2004 News

  • Petty switches Engines? UPDATE 2: hearing that Petty Enterprises [PE], with drivers #45-Kyle Petty and #43-Jeff Green, will run Arrington Engines the rest of 2004 after Talladega and will supposedly have Evernham engines in 2005. Currently PE uses Mike Ege engines.(10-1-2004)
    UPDATE: Petty Enterprises will have a new engine supplier for 2005, Kyle Petty confirmed Saturday, but it is unclear who will build engines for Petty and Jeff Green next season. Mike Ege Racing Engines, which has built engines for the Pettys since 2002, will not return next year. "We're at that time in the season where we need to be making a change," Petty said. "We've talked about it for the last three or four months with Mike Ege Racing Engines, and it's come to a point where it's time to make a move. Next year, we'll do something different." The Dodges of Petty and Green will use Ege engines in this weekend's EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, and Ege has the option of staying with Petty Enterprises the rest of this year. "We've left that option up to him, if he chose to continue it or if he chose not to," Petty said. "We'll go from there. We have his stuff in down here." But who will be in the #43 and #45 in 2005? Petty said rumors about a switch to Evernham Engines or Arrington Engines are simply rumors. "There are rumors about everything, man," Petty said. "There are rumors I'm going to retire. What are you gonna do? That's why they're called rumors." The team won't return to building its own engines, as it did from 1949-2001. "We talked about it three or four months ago, whether we wanted to open our stuff back up," Petty said. "We made a decision at this point in time not to go down that road. If we were two or three years further down the road, then, yeah, we'd probably look at it. But right now, no."(NASCAR.com)(10-3-2004)
    UPDATE 2a: been told Petty Enterprises #43-Jeff Green and #45-Kyle Petty will NOT run Mike Ege Racing Engines at Kansas, but have not heard what engines will be run.
    UPDATE 2b: Ray Evernham says he hasn't signed any agreements with Petty Enterprises, but he is talking with them and some other teams about providing engines in 2005.(NASCAR Scene print)(10-8-2004)
    UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises will begin using Evernham Motorsports engines beginning with testing for the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. The organization fields the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of driver Jeff Green and the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge of driver Kyle Petty. Petty Enterprises is the winningest organization in major league motorsports.
    "We are constantly looking for ways to improve our performance and to run better as a team," said Petty, who is also CEO of Petty Enterprises, "We at Petty Enterprises worked very closely with Evernham Motorsports to develop the Dodge program. Ray has been very gracious in his comments about the role of Petty Enterprises in that effort. We have continued to work closely with Evernham and with Dodge on many aspects of our program since then, and we see this alliance in the engine program as a natural evolution of our relationship.
    "Evernham Motorsports has really moved into the forefront in regards to Dodge engine development and we're excited to be part of that," Petty continued. "We've made some big strides with our chassis and bodies, so this was obviously the next step."
    In its fourth year of operation, Evernham Motorsports has moved to the elite among NASCAR teams. The organization, which has one driver in the Chase For The Championship and a second 12th in the NASCAR Nextel Cup standings while leading Rookie of the Year, has 13 poles, five race wins, 45 top fives and 81 top 10s.
    "We have been working with Kyle and Petty Enterprises on behalf of Dodge the past four years, and they have a solid organization. The chassis are pretty much where they want them to be," Evernham said. "We feel we can help them on the horsepower side as well, and help them continue to build their program. We're all very excited at working even more closely with Petty Enterprises in 2005."(Williams Company PR)(11-18-2004)

  • Bugles for Jeff Green at Atlanta: This weekend Jeff Green and the #43 Bugles Dodge team head into the 1.54-mile Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway for Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. Green started the race back in March in the 18th spot and finished 19th. This is one of the final four races of the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season on one of the fastest tracks on the circuit. Green will be driving a #43 Bugles-schemed Dodge this weekend. Some thoughts of #43 Bulges Dodge driver Jeff Green heading into Atlanta: "We've got Bugles on the hood and sides of the car this weekend. We're going pretty fast, but you won't be able to miss the bright colors of this Bugles car. It stands out and it's a cool car just to look at. I'll just be fortunate enough to drive it this weekend. We're hoping we have a good run with this #43 Bugles Dodge."(Williams Company PR) see an image of the scheme on my #43 Team Paint Schemes page or 2004 Cup Schemes Gallery.(10-26-2004)

  • STP and the Petty's Richard and Kyle Petty will be making an announcement at Lowe's Motor Speedway Media Conference Room on Friday [Oct 15] at 3:30 pm. They will be announcing that long time sponsor STP and AutoZone will help raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, and host a special STP Family Weekend.(10-15-2004)
    UPDATE: Long time Richard Petty sponsor STP has teamed up with AutoZone to announce a donation for up to $50,000 to the Petty Family's Victory Junction Gang Camp. The donation, which is being made in celebration of STP's 50th Anniversary, will allow STP and AutoZone to host a special "Family Weekend," for children with a chronic or life-threatening illness, sometime in the Spring of 2005. Kyle and Richard Petty were on hand to help kick-off STP's 50th Anniversary celebration in grand style, when they unveiled a special STP "Future's Car" which will be the pace car in Kyle Petty's Ride to Victory II charity ride. The Ride to Victory will take place on Sunday, October 17 leaving the Lowe's Motor Speedway and concluding at the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, North Carolina. The STP future's car and coinciding donation are two highlights of STP's golden anniversary celebration. Money will be raised, in part, through sales of STP products at AutoZone stores during the month of November. For every bottle of STP sold at AutoZone stores in November, 50 cents will be donated to The Victory Junction Gang Camp, up to a goal of $50,000. Additionally, consumers who purchase two bottles of STP products at AutoZone will also be able to mail away and receive their choice of three limited edition STP/Petty die cast cars:
    · 1972 STP Car (Petty's first #43 STP car victory)
    · 1984 STP Car (Petty's final Victory)
    · 2004 STP Car (Pace car for Ride to Victory II)
    STP's 50 years of business have been synonymous with NASCAR racing. In 1972 STP began making headlines in the racing world with the historic sponsorship of Petty and the #43 car. In 1979, Richard won his seventh NASCAR title, which put him in a class of his own, and also etched STP as an icon in the racing world. The STP logo returned to the #43 Dodge this season as an associate sponsor and will remain on the Jeff Green's #43 Dodge car throughout the 2005.(Ketchum for STP PR)(10-16-2004)

  • Green, Petty team to donate books...per lap UPDATE: Cheerios and First Book, a national children's literacy organization, will donate 43 children's books to a Kansas City area local chapter of First Book for each lap completed by Petty Enterprises' Jeff Green and the #43 Dodge at Kansas Speedway Cup race. Should Green finish in the top 10, Cheerios will double their donation. In that case, the local Kansas City First Book chapter would receive nearly 23,000 books for needy families. The books-per-lap donation is part of the ongoing Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which gets books into the hands of children. More than 60 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. The #43 Dodge will be sporting a special Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories paint scheme for the race. To kick off the weekend, Cheerios hosted children from Kansas City at two separate events. Green appeared at the Thornberry Unit of the Kansas City Boys & Girls Clubs on Thursday, Oct. 7, meeting the children and reading to them. In addition, children from Claude Huyck Elementary School came to Kansas Speedway Friday morning, Oct. 8, for a breakfast and story with Jeff Green. The children will then had the opportunity to watch practice from the grandstand. Over the past two years, through its Spoonfuls of Stories program, Cheerios has donated $1 million to First Book, and has distributed more than 10 million books to children across the country.(10-9-2004)
    UPDATE: Cheerios and First Book made it a storybook finish at Kansas in Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL race. The two had pledged to donate books to kids in low-income families in the Kansas City area depending on how many laps Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios team completed in Sunday's race. At 43 books per lap completed, that total came to 11,266. A top-10 finish would have doubled that pledge. Cheerios and First Book, a national children's literacy program, will still make the full donation, though - 22,962 books - the total that was promised if Green had completed all 267 laps and finished in the top 10. The books-per-lap donation is part of the ongoing Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which gets books into the hands of children. More than 60 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children.(Williams Company PR)(10-11-2004)

  • A healthier Cheerio: Honey Nut Cheerios [Cheerios sponsors the #43 Dodge and Jeff Green] will be giving someone that opportunity and encouraging people to live a healthier lifestyle in the process. The "heart healthy" person who can best answer the question, "How I Lowered My Cholesterol" will appear on a special-edition Honey Nut Cheerios box, which will be unveiled in February at Daytona. Search entrants will submit stories that detail how they have lowered their cholesterol and made a commitment to a healthier lifestyle at www.honeynutcheerios.com.(Alan Taylor Communications PR)(10-2-2004)

  • Wells Fargo Re-Ups with Petty and expands sponsorship: Wells Fargo Financial announced today it has renewed and expanded its sponsorship of Petty Enterprises in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series. For 2005, the sponsorship will increase to include driver Kyle Petty and his #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge and driver Jeff Green and his #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. Wells Fargo Financial, the North American consumer finance subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, is continuing and growing the sponsorship as a result of its highly successful three-year partnership with Petty Enterprises.
    Petty Enterprises is unique in its ability to bring added value to a Nextel Cup sponsorship. "We are very happy with our relationship with Kyle and the entire Petty Enterprises team and excited to now be affiliated with Jeff Green and the celebrated #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. Wells Fargo Financial is proud to be involved with one of the most celebrated names in all of NASCAR and in the fastest growing spectator sport in America," said Tom Gibbons, Director of Corporate Sponsorships.
    "We're very pleased to have Wells Fargo Financial continue its sponsorship of Petty Enterprises," said Kyle Petty. "We believe they are the premier financial services company in the U.S. and an excellent partner with our other top-quality sponsors, like General Mills, Georgia-Pacific and Coca-Cola."
    The sponsorship has provided significant benefit and impact to Wells Fargo Financial's business lines through client/dealer incentives and entertainment, customer promotions, driver appearances, show car appearances and employee incentives. NASCAR's popularity exceeds the NBA, NHL and MLB combined and averages more than 190,000 fans attending each event and more than 7 million viewers per race. Over 80 million Americans call themselves fans of the sport. More info on Wells Fargo at financial.wellsfargo.com.(Williams Company PR)(9-20-2004)

  • The King Helps ESPN Celebrate: Richard Petty was invited to help celebrate ESPN'S Silver Anniversary on Tuesday night Sept. 7, and attended the "ESPN 25 Party" at the ESPN Zone in New York City. To commemorate each year ESPN has been on the air, the cable sports network profiled a nationally-prominent athlete by a significant year in his career. Petty represented the year 1984, the year he captured his record 200th NASCAR Nextel Cup victory at the Daytona International Speedway. Petty was to be joined by other athletes as well as ESPN"s top on-air talent from the past 25 years.(Williams Company PR)(9-7-2004)

  • Changes at Petty Enterprises: Jeff Green and Kyle Petty will have new crew chiefs, and both teams have seen crew changes which begin immediately. Petty made the announcement today. Three crew members, including crew chief Greg Steadman, will move to the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of driver Jeff Green this week. The move was precipitated by former crew chief Gary Putman leaving Petty Enterprises by mutual agreement. "I'm very grateful for the opportunity Richard Petty gave me at Petty Enterprises, and I am looking forward to the future too," Putnam said. "We both agreed we needed to try something different, so I am moving on to look for other opportunities."
    Steadman, car chief David Hyder and race engineer David Hoelger move from the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge of Petty to Green's #43. While engineer Garth Finley, considered one of the top in his field on road course setup, will handle crew chief responsibilities at the Watkins Glen, N.Y., race this week for the #45, a permanent crew chief will be named next week. Ironically, it is the third straight year Finley has served as an interim crew chief at the Watkins Glen race.
    "We really appreciate the effort Gary and all of the guys have given us. These changes will be good for everyone," Petty said. "Greg Steadman has worked with the #43 guys before and has done very well there, and we have some exciting things happening with the #45 too. We are looking forward to the future."(Williams Company PR)
    AND Crew chief Gary Putnam and car chief Wayne Orme, both from the #43 Cheerios Dodge, were released on Monday. Ten-year Petty Enterprises veteran Greg Steadman returns to lead the #43 along with car chief David Hyder, race engineer David Hoelger and team engineer Adam Stevens. Driver Jeff Green is 34th in the Nextel Cup point standings, which is last among drivers who have competed in all 21 races this year. Team manager Jerry Freeze says that Petty Enterprises was looking for a one-team approach with two race teams that could work constructively with one another. "For us we felt like we had nothing to lose with two cars that were behind 30th in points," Freeze says. "We were nowhere near where we wanted to be, and we didn't feel the people we had were making the best of the resources that were available to the them. We wanted to bring people in that could grow with the program."
    Multimatic engineer Garth Finley will assume the crew chief duties for the #45 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge this weekend at Watkins Glen. The 34-year-old Albuquerque, N.M.- native was also interim crew chief during his three-year stint at Robert Yates Racing. Bill Henderson, who is currently car chief on the #10 Nextel Cup team, is expected to be named crew chief next week.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(8-11-2004)

  • Special Scheme for the #43 at Indy: Supporting General Mills Box Tops for Education, this weekend Jeff Green will be driving the #43 Cheerios/Box Tops for Education Dodge in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.(Williams Company PR), note: any local Mooresville need any? I have some to drop off to you.(8-7-2004)

  • New Petty Site: Petty Enterprises has unveiled its newly-designed Internet web site at www.pettyracing.com. Animink, Inc., which has created websites, cartoon animation and 3D animation for almost six years, designed and is handling the new web site. The company is now based in Huntersville, N.C., and has designed sites for other NASCAR drivers, the Richard Petty Driving Experience, and the John Boy and Billy nationally-syndicated radio show. "We're really pleased with Animink and the new design of www.pettyracing.com," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "They have done a tremendous job, and I know the fans are going to love it." The Petty Racing site was recreated to better connect with race fans, and cater to those who already have a passion for motorsports and the Petty family. There are dialup and broadband versions. Both versions have audio and video clips, galleries and other downloadable features. The broadband version includes full motion-video, as well as music that changes as the user surfs the site. The motion and flow of the site is as unique as it is attractive.(Williams Company PR)(8-3-2004)

  • Jeff Green fastest overall at Indy testing: A total of 38 drivers combined to turn 6,284 laps around the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway during six days of testing this month for the 11th annual Brickyard 400 on Aug. 8. Thats 15,710 miles of testing, nearly the same distance from Indianapolis to Auckland, New Zealand  and back. In fact, each driver averaged 165 laps  five laps more than the actual race distance  during testing July 6-7, July 12-13 and July 19-20 at Indianapolis. The top three drivers in testing this month - Jeff Green, Brian Vickers and Jason Leffler - have combined to complete just three full NASCAR NEXTEL Cup seasons. Green has raced two full seasons, Leffler one, while Vickers is a rookie after capturing the NASCAR Busch Series title in 2003. Green was fastest overall at 181.641 mph in the #43 Cheerios Dodge on July 7, while Vickers was second at 181.554 in the #25 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolet on July 13. Leffler rounded out the top three at 180.787 in the #60 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet on July 13.(IMS PR/Site), see all the speeds at brickyard400.com.(7-22-2004)

  • Fake Petty making the rounds: Earlier this year at Dover we had a small problem arise. On Saturday during the time when they were trying to get the Busch race started (or the track dry) there was a gentleman who visited the grandstands who was impersonating Richard Petty. The real Richard Petty was in New Jersey that day making an appearance for a sponsor and not at the track. Petty Enterprises was made aware of this imposter when they received a call from another teams' rep stating that Richard was in the grandstands and they actually thought it was him. This guy apparently had the look because he fooled many fans into thinking he was the real deal. The imposter even went as far as to sign autographs for almost two hours. He was signing the name "Richard Petty" but the signature is not even close to the actual. The 'fake' King even had a security escort with him during his 'autograph session'. Apparently this guy has fooled the fans, the track and even the security or police into thinking that he was Richard. Petty Enterprises wants to make the fans aware that this man was not Richard Petty...for one thing, Petty never visits the grandstands and is usually in the infield or garage area. The fake Richard Petty is a few years younger then the real Richard Petty, who just turned 67. There have been some reports of other sightenings. Richard Petty prides himself in being good to his fans and the fans of this sport. Petty Enterprises do not want is for this imposter to give Richard a bad name.(PE)(7-7-2004)

  • 20th Anniversary Of Petty's 200th: During pre-race ceremonies for the Pepsi 400, the 20th anniversary of Richard Petty's 200th NASCAR victory will be celebrated with Petty taking the checkered flag in his famous #43 Pontiac. Petty, NASCAR's all-time wins leader, will also receive several special gifts and awards as Daytona International Speedway recreates a landmark moment in the history of NASCAR. Petty, driving his famous #43 STP Pontiac, captured his 200th and final NASCAR victory in the 1984 Pepsi Firecracker 400, all with the late President Ronald Reagan in attendance. Petty nipped Cale Yarborough at the start/finish line to take the white flag and the yellow flag to secure the milestone victory.(DIS PR)(6-29-2004)

  • Green, Petty Team Complete All 110 Laps - means...a lot of books: Petty Enterprises and Cheerios made it a storybook finish at Infineon Raceway in Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Nextel Cup race. By completing all 110 laps of Sunday's race, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios Dodge team earned a donation of 4,730 books to families in the San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento areas. Cheerios had pledged a 10,000-book bonus if Green finished in the top 10. "Because of the effort Jeff and the Cheerios Dodge guys had all day, we want to go ahead and donate the bonus anyway," said Greg Zimprich, a spokesman for Cheerios. So, a total of 14,730 books will be donated by Cheerios and First Books, a national children's literacy program. The books-per-lap donation is part of the ongoing Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, which gets books into the hands of children. More than 60 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. Over the past two years, through its Spoonfuls of Stories program, Cheerios has donated $1 million to First Book, and has distributed more than 10 million books to children across the country.(Williams Company)(6-28-2004)

  • One for the Books at Infineon Raceway: Petty Enterprises is promising a storybook finish to the June 27 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.. That's because Cheerios and First Book, a national children's literacy organization, will donate 43 children's books for each lap completed by Petty Enterprises' Jeff Green and the #43 Dodge, which carry the Cheerios and Betty Crocker colors. "If Jeff completes all 110 scheduled laps, we'll donate 4,730 books to area children who need them," said Greg Zimprich, a spokesman for Cheerios. "But we'd like to sweeten the pot: if Jeff finishes in the top 10, we'll donate 10,000 more books - for a total of almost 15,000 books." The books-per-lap donation is part of the ongoing Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories® program, which gets books into the hands of children. More than 60 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. "Growing up with my two brothers, we enjoyed books of all kinds, and I want other kids to have that same opportunity," said Green. "I'm happy to know that this race is one for the books." NASCAR audiences will get to share in the excitement by cheering on the #43 Dodge, which will be sporting a special Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories paint scheme for the race. After the race, the books will be donated to programs serving needy children in San Francisco, Oakland and Sacramento, Calif. To kick off the weekend, Cheerios hosted 50 children from the Boys and Girls Club, Valley of the Moon, in Sonoma, on Friday morning, June 25 for a breakfast and story time at the speedway. Green read The Racecar Alphabet, after which the children had the opportunity to watch practice from the grandstand. Over the past two years, through its Spoonfuls of Stories program, Cheerios has donated $1 million to First Book, and has distributed more than 10 million books to children across the country.(Williams Company PR)(6-27-2004)

  • Petty Power Down: [#43-Jeff] Green seems to be just the steadying influence that Petty Enterprises, his current team, has needed. He's a nose-to-the-grindstone guy who doesn't mince words. Green's words this week are aimed to the engine department. Goodyear's new tires are putting a premium on low-end RPM, to get up quicker off the corners. That should be particularly evident at places such as Sears Point, a road course. "We've been qualifying good the last couple of weeks, although we haven't been racing very good," Green said. "We've got to work on our cars to get them handling better for the long runs. I think our big holdup now is our motor program. The guys are turning more RPMs on other teams; our guys are working really hard to get our motors where we can turn more RPMs. I think that's what shows during the race - when the tires start falling off, you start getting down lower in RPMs. Those guys who are running more gear than I am, it really shows."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-11-2004)

  • Jeff Green on the tube: The television show NASCAR Outdoors will feature #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driver Jeff Green when it airs nationally Friday, June 11, at 8:00pm/et. It runs on the Outdoor Life Network. Green taped the show earlier this year. For re-air times/dates, see my TV Listings page.(6-11-2004)

  • Petty Honor: Richard Petty is one of five who will be honored as a national father of the year by the National Father's Day Committee in June, with former basketball star Isiah Thomas; former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda; Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Ellis Marsalis Jr., patriarch of a noted musical family.(Charlotte Observer)(5-23-2004)

  • Green testing at Nashville: Jeff Green, #43 Petty Enterprises NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Car, will test at the Nashville Superspeedway on Monday, May 17.(Nashville Superspeedway PR)(5-16-2004)

  • Lynch to visit with 'The King': Jessica Lynch, the former U.S. Army supply clerk who was wounded and rescued last year during the Iraq war, is tentatively scheduled to visit patients at the Duke Children's Hospital next week. The self-described "country girl" from Wirt County, W.Va., will travel across the Piedmont to promote her Jessica Lynch Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps the children of soldiers who either have served in the military or been killed in the line of duty. Lynch created the foundation using the proceeds from a $1 million book deal for the story of her capture and rescue. She also is expected to attend book signings next week for former New York Times reporter Rick Bragg, who wrote her biography, "I Am a Soldier, Too: The Jessica Lynch Story." Lynch also will spend part of next week's visit to North Carolina with her NASCAR "hero" Richard Petty. A spokeswoman for the Duke Children's Hospital confirmed that Lynch would visit patients on the morning of April 14.(Herald-Sun)(4-8-2004)

  • The King in SI - LINK: Richard Petty was the scheduled "essayist" in this week's issue of Sports Illustrated, the national sports weekly. It runs as a full page in the magazine. The magazine has been running stories surrounding each of the 50 states and their sports and sports heritage over the past year. A top sports celebrity from the state was chosen to write a full-page essay. Petty's appears this week. Petty is NASCAR's winningest Nextel Cup driver with nearly twice as many race victories as any other, and the winner of a record seven national driving championships.(Williams Company PR)(3-11-2004)
    See the story on the SI site: NASCAR's King - The racing legend on how stock cars sped to the forefront in his home state by Richard Petty.(3-11-2004)

  • #43 hopes to be 'Lucky' at Vegas: Driver Jeff Green knows a few extra breaks here and there would sure come in handy when the NASCAR Nextel Cup series reaches the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway next week. If theres any place that a little extra luck could make the difference, its Las Vegas, the Owensboro, Ky., native said. There couldnt be a better place for us to run the Lucky Charms Dodge and were hoping itll give us the edge were looking for on the track. Green will drive the #43 Lucky Charms Dodge throughout the Las Vegas weekend for Petty Enterprises. Lucky Charms is among the popular cereal brands made by the 43 cars primary sponsor General Mills. Maybe this will give us a little extra advantage, he laughed. All I know is that winning at Las Vegas would, for sure, be magically delicious. Prominently featuring Lucky the Leprechaun on the hood, sides and rear, the Sam Bass-designed Lucky Charms Dodge has a red background with Lucky Charms rainbow colors as accents. The design also showcases the cereals famed marshmallows and trademark rainbow. Having some of the Lucky Charms luck rub off on us would be great, and having Lucky the Leprechaun on the car close to St. Patricks Day cant hurt either, Green laughed. This #43 team has been moving forward this season, Green said. Weve seen some pretty good moments at Daytona and Rockingham, and we think were going to be pretty good at Las Vegas.(Williams Company PR), see images of the car on my #43 Team Paint Scheme Page or 2004 Cup Paint Scheme page.(2-26-2004)

  • STP Returns to the #43: History was repeated today at Daytona International Speedway when Richard Petty announced that his long-time sponsor, STP, will join Cheerios and Betty Crocker on the hood of the famed #43 Dodge for one race this season. The unveiling of the new paint scheme kicks off a celebration of Petty family anniversaries by sponsors General Mills and STP. The Cheerios/STP #43 Dodge will race at the Subway 400 in Rockingham, NC on Feb. 22. For the Pettys, a family steeped in NASCAR tradition, 2004 marks numerous monumental racing anniversaries. It is the golden anniversary of patriarch Lee Petty's first championship; the 45th anniversary of Lee Petty's win of the inaugural Daytona 500; the 40th anniversaries of Richard Petty's first Daytona 500 win and first series championship; and the 20th anniversary of Richard's record-setting 200th and last win. Long-time sponsor STP is also celebrating a key milestone as 2004 marks its 50th anniversary as a pioneer in the fuel and oil additive category. The STP logo, which will remain on the car throughout the 2004 season as an associate sponsor, began making headlines in 1972 with the historic sponsorship of Petty and the #43 car. In 1979, Richard won his seventh NASCAR title, which put him in a class of his own, and also etched STP as an icon in the racing world. General Mills, sponsor of Petty Enterprises' #43 car since 2000, returns as the primary sponsor in 2004 through its Cheerios and Betty Crocker brands.
    Outside of the special paint scheme, to recognize this historic year for the Petty family, General Mills brings a unique opportunity to race fans - a series of collectible "Salute to Petty" die-cast cars representing Petty family racecars past and present. The special collection features 21 different die-cast cars, 16 from Hot Wheels, including replicas of the 1957 Pontiac GTO, 1964 Plymouth Belvedere, 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, 1974 Dodge Charger, 1984 Pontiac Grand Prix, 2004 Dodge Intrepid and more. For a limited time, consumers can find die-cast cars free in or near specially marked packages of General Mills brands including Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Wheaties, Honey Nut Chex, Pop Secret, Old El Paso, Betty Crocker, Bugles and Pillsbury Grands!.(STP PR) see an image of the #43 Dodge on my #43 Team Paint Scheme page(2-11-2004)

  • "The King" to Unveil Fresh Look For #43 Dodge: Long Time Sponsor STP and Current Primary Sponsor General Mills Join Forces to Salute Historic Petty Anniversaries During 2004 Season. History will repeat itself as seven-time Winston Cup Champion Richard Petty will join current Petty Enterprises driver Jeff Green to unveil a special paint scheme for the #43 Dodge. The unveiling kicks off a celebration of Petty family anniversaries by team sponsors General Mills and STP. 2004 will mark 20 years since Petty claimed his record-breaking 200th victory and seventh Daytona 500. This year also marks the 50th year anniversary of STP.
    NASCAR Legend, Richard Petty and #43 Dodge driver Jeff Green will unveil the #43 Dodge to be driven at Rockingham in the Subway 400 on February 21, 2004.
    " Q & A with Richard Petty and Jeff Green
    " Interview opportunities with Richard Petty and Jeff Green
    " First time photo opportunity of special #43 Dodge
    Wednesday, February 11, 2004 at Daytona International Speedway.(PR)(2-5-2004)

  • Jeff Green to sit OUT of the Bud Shootout: When young Richard Petty began his racing career some five decades ago, his mother fretted about her son getting involved in a wild and reckless sport that was just a hiccup removed from moonshine running. Petty tried to ease his mother's concern by promising her that his race team never would have anything to do with alcohol. That 50-year-old promise will keep #43-Jeff Green out of the Feb. 7 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona. Green won last year's Daytona 500 pole, making him eligible for the Shootout. The race matches the previous season's pole-winners, plus past Shootout champions. But there's a catch. In order to qualify for the Shootout, a driver's car must carry a small Budweiser decal during the season. Petty refuses to permit any beer advertising on his cars. That means his driver is not eligible for the lucrative Bud Shootout. While Petty is adamant about no beer decals on his cars, over the years he has competed in beer-sponsored races like the Budweiser 400 and Miller 400. Petty's response: he has no control over who sponsors a race, but he does have control over who sponsors his cars. With Green sitting out, the Bud Shootout will consist of 21 drivers.(Tennessean), note: Green could still run the race if he runs another car and if, of course, the Petty's ok that.(1-29-2004)

2003 News

  • Green signed? UPDATE: hearing Jeff Green has signed with Petty Enterprises to drive the #43 Cheerios Dodge in 2004.(12-1-2003)
    UPDATE: Picking up where he left off at the end of 2003, Jeff Green will drive the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge in 2004 for Petty Enterprises. Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, made the announcement today. The 41-year-old Green, a native of Owensboro, Ky., first climbed behind the wheel of the Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge at the tough one-mile Dover (Del.) International Speedway, and knocked down a 16th-place finish. The fact he and the Helping Hands crew were able to come together so quickly was not lost on Petty Enterprises, or the rest of the Winston Cup garage. Green finished the season with Petty Enterprises, developing a rapport with crew chief Gary Putnam and the rest of the team, and helping develop strong morale. We just kind of clicked, Green said. Gary and those guys have a lot of knowledge and experience, and we communicated well from the very beginning. Having those races together this past season should help us a lot as we start 2004. I am excited to be part of Petty Enterprises, to drive the famous number 43, but most of all, to be working with some very talented people. Petty said he was excited as well.
    As Jeff spent more time in the car, and as he and Gary and the Cheerios guys worked together, it started to become pretty obvious he was the best choice we could make for a driver, Petty said. He knows how to win races and he knows how to win championships. We feel we can give him the people and equipment he needs to be successful, and were looking forward to a great relationship.
    We are thrilled with Petty Enterprises decision to put Jeff Green behind the wheel of the #43 in 2004, said Laurie Greeno, Vice President of Motorsports for General Mills. We are excited to work with Jeff and are confident that hell be a good ambassador for Cheerios, Betty Crocker and other great General Mills brands featured on the #43 throughout the year. Green goes into the 2004 season-opening Daytona 500 as the defending pole award winner, and is eligible to compete in the Bud Shootout of pole winners from the 2003 season [no word what car he will drive as Petty cars do not carry the Budweiser sticker]. He has completed two full seasons of NASCAR Cup racing, notching four top-five and 10 top-10 finishes over the past two years, as well as winning $5.2 million.(Williams Company)(12-2-2003)

  • Both Hmiel's to Petty Enterprises? or Green? or Benson? UPDATE: A combination deal might land Steve Hmiel, technical director for Dale Earnhardt Inc., and his son Shane Hmiel, a Busch Series driver, at Petty Enterprises in 2004. Steve worked for the Pettys early in his Winston Cup career. Shane was supposed to drive the #43 Dodge in the Pepsi 400 in July at Daytona but failed to qualify. Jeff Green has run well recently in the #43 and also is a candidate to drive it. Johnny Benson, who will be released from the #10, might be in the mix because of his previous relationship with General Mills, the primary sponsor for the 43 car. "We're still looking, we're still evaluating, and we're still working in that direction whether it's Benson, Jeff Gordon, the guy sitting in the third row of the grandstands or Jeff Green," says Kyle Petty, the team's general manager. Petty says Christian Fittipaldi will drive the team's #44 if a sponsor is secured for next season.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty wants to put Shane Hmiel in a Petty Enterprises car as soon as possible. When that would be, he doesn't know. Hmiel's father, Steve, said he is optimistic Shane will have the suspension lifted by the time NASCAR testing begins at Daytona in January so Shane can sign with a team for next season.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read via BGNRacing.com)(11-13-2003)
    UPDATE 2: NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter said the sanctioning body has made no decision "when or if" Busch Series competitor Shane Hmiel will be reinstated. Hmiel was suspended indefinitely in September for a violation of NASCAR's substance-abuse policy. He was eighth in series points at the time. In recent weeks, there has been a lot of speculation that car owners in different series were trying to hire Hmiel to drive for their teams. Hunter said Hmiel had been following the procedures and plans set forth by NASCAR president Mike Helton for his reinstatement.(ThatsRacin.com)(11-18-2003)

  • Chex on the #43 at Homestead: #43-Jeff Green will have a special paint scheme on the #43 Dodge, a specially-painted Chex look, predominantly Petty Blue scheme and trademark 43.(Williams Company/Petty Racing)(11-13-2003)

  • Green in the #43 in 2004? UPDATE: hearing that #43 Petty Enterprises driver, Jeff Green, has a contract in hand to drive the 43 next year and the team is waiting for his decision.(11-6-2003)
    UPDATE: hearing that Green may not return to the #43 and head back to the Busch Series and run in the #10 ppc Motorsports Ford that Scott Riggs is vacating. Word is that Johnny Besnon could end up in the #43.(11-10-2003)

  • Pop Secret Makes Donation: As events surrounding the final Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Speedway get underway, Pop Secret representatives today announced a donation of 50,000 bonus Box Tops for Education to L.J. Bell Elementary School in Rockingham. The donation is a symbol of appreciation from Pop Secret to the Rockingham community for its enthusiasm surrounding the Pop Secret 400 since 1999. Box Tops for Education is a school fund-raising program of General Mills in which both Pop Secret and L.J. Bell Elementary School participate. Pop Secret selected L.J. Bell Elementary School as the donation recipient because it was the Rockingham school that earned the most money through Box Tops for Education during the 2002-2003 school year. To redeem the 50,000 bonus Box Tops, L.J. Bell representatives need simply to submit the certificate presented to them from Pop Secret along with the other Box Tops they have collected. The school will then receive the cash value of the 50,000 bonus Box Tops plus the cash value for any other Box Tops they submit, assuming the value of those Box Tops fall within the program guidelines.(Williams Company PR)(11-8-2003)

  • The King and the Blue Angels: Seven-time Winston Cup Champion Richard Petty may think he knows fast. Long-time sponsor STP wants to make sure of it. Petty is gearing up to test his mettle with a supersonic jet ride courtesy of the elite U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Video footage of Pettys sound barrier-breaking experience with the Blue Angels will appear as part of the pre-race activities for the Checker Auto Parts 500 at the Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday, November 2. Just like he did during his racing days, Petty will again be traveling at warp speeds. This time however, he did it at 20,000 feet in the air, in a two-seat Navy Blue Angel F/A-18-Hornet. Petty seems excited for his latest challenge, even though hell be trading in his signature cowboy hat and sunglasses for aviator shades and flight helmet.
    In all of my years of driving, Ive never experienced anything like a ride in an F/A-18 fighter jet, Petty said. I know what quality ingredients like jet fuel can do on the ground, thats why I have put STP in my trucks tank for so long.
    STP uses jet fuel as a carrier fluid for active ingredients in all of its fuel additives. Jet fuel is highly regulated and thoroughly tested to meet the demanding standards of military jets and commercial aircraft. It is high standards like these that help STP deliver unmatched consistency during the manufacturing process for all of its products. The partnership between Richard Petty and STP, now in its 32nd year, is the longest running sponsorship in sports history. Beginning in 1972, STP and Richard Petty teamed up to win a NASCAR record 200 races. Petty, who stepped out of his legendary #43 STP car for the final time in 1992 still maintains an active sponsorship with STP. In fact, Petty and STP recently agreed to extend their record sponsorship into 2004. STP is very fortunate to have a sponsorship with a living legend like Richard Petty, said Dan Dahlgren, Vice President/Category Manager, STP. Since Richard is already a master of the road, we felt that putting him up in the sky would elevate The King to a whole new level.
    At the end of the PR it has: This year, Petty Enterprises will field two NASCAR Winston Cup teams: Jeff Greens #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Intrepid, Kyle Pettys #45 Georgia- Pacific Brawny Dodge Intrepid. In addition, Christian Fittipaldi, driving the #44 Petty Blue Dodge Intrepid, will run a limited schedule in Winston Cup, Busch and ARCA for 2004.(STP PR)(10-24-2003)




  • Both Hmiels to Petty Enterprises? or Green? or Benson? UPDATE: A combination deal might land Steve Hmiel, technical director for Dale Earnhardt Inc., and his son Shane Hmiel, a Busch Series driver, at Petty Enterprises in 2004. Steve worked for the Pettys early in his Winston Cup career. Shane was supposed to drive the #43 Dodge in the Pepsi 400 in July at Daytona but failed to qualify. Jeff Green has run well recently in the #43 and also is a candidate to drive it. Johnny Benson, who will be released from the #10, might be in the mix because of his previous relationship with General Mills, the primary sponsor for the 43 car. "We're still looking, we're still evaluating, and we're still working in that direction whether it's Benson, Jeff Gordon, the guy sitting in the third row of the grandstands or Jeff Green," says Kyle Petty, the team's general manager. Petty says Christian Fittipaldi will drive the team's #44 if a sponsor is secured for next season.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty wants to put Shane Hmiel in a Petty Enterprises car as soon as possible. When that would be, he doesn't know. Hmiel's father, Steve, said he is optimistic Shane will have the suspension lifted by the time NASCAR testing begins at Daytona in January so Shane can sign with a team for next season.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read via BGNRacing.com)(11-13-2003)

  • Greg Steadman Takes Helm Of #45 Dodge Veteran to lead G-P team for rest of season: Veteran Greg Steadman will serve as crew chief of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge for the final two races of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Steadman, who has previously served as crew chief of the #43 and #44 Dodges at Petty Enterprises, had been serving as shop foreman. Greg has done a great job in the shop but he realizes we need him back on the road, said Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 and CEO of Petty Enterprises. As a crew chief with both the #43 and #44, he did a tremendous job, and is a great leader. We are fortunate to have him available. We have not been able to build on our improvement in 2002. We feel Greg can help us get back on the right track, Petty added.(Williams Company PR)(11-4-2003)

  • Goody for Petty: Seven-time Winston Cup champion Richard Petty has signed an agreement to continue endorsing GlaxoSmithKline's Goody's Headache Powders through 2005, with an option for two more years, the Sports Business Daily reports. Petty will continue to appear in electronic and print ads for the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(10-18-2003)

  • Green stays in the #43 for Kansas, Fittipaldi in the #44; possibly longer: Jeff Green will be behind the wheel of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge again this week when the NASCAR Winston Cup Series heads to the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway. And he will be in the car on a race-to-race basis the rest of the season. Following two steady runs in the #43, Green has been named driver of the Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge on a race-to-race basis. Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, made the announcement. Christian Fittipaldi will drive the #44 Bugles Dodge in the races already scheduled for 2003. Jeff has done a good job for us the past few weeks, and we are excited to have him in the car at Kansas, Petty said. His winning attitude, the way he has quickly adapted to Petty Enterprises and the way he has been readily accepted by the guys on the team has already shown on the race track. Jeffs history as a winner is already showing. Christian also has some good results this year, including qualifying seventh at Michigan and running well in several races, Petty continued. He has done an amazing job jumping in for us this year earlier than we had planned. Christian is a big part of our program going forward. We already had Christian scheduled for a few more #44 Bugles races the remainder of this season, and keeping the #43 team together with one driver should help us finish strong, Petty added.
    I am really excited to be able to continue what weve started, said Green. Ive started to get to know the Helping Hand crew some over the past two weeks, and theyve gotten to know me. Were starting to get a pretty good relationship going, and thats going to help us as we move on to Kansas and, hopefully, on down the line.(Williams Company PR)(10-2-2003)

  • #43 Jackman gets tossed in the pits, but seems OK: During caution 3 pit stops, the #43 and #38 got together, sending the #43 jackman, Archie Kennedy about 10 feet, after being stunned and helped up, he walked over to the pitwall and sat down and was talking to Richard Petty [owner of the #43], pretty scary looking. Kennedy was chekced by parametics and is alert and says he is ok. He was put on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital to be checked out.(9-28-2003)
    UPDATE: Pit road was nearly as chaotic. Several fender-benders fractured the fronts of these aerodynamic-sensitive cars, including that of Earnhardt Jr. Jeff Green's spinning car hit jackman Archie Kennedy, who was treated and released from the infield care center.(Roanoke Times Dispatch)(9-29-2003)

  • Petty Enterprises safe with Dodge: DaimlerChrysler officials denied reports that Petty Enterprises was losing its top-tier status with Dodge. Although there have been concerns regarding the performance of the Nos. 43 and 45 cars this season, Dodge is committed to honoring the remaining years on Petty's contract.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-24-2003)

  • Green in the #43 at Talladega and Lowes: Jeff Green will be in Petty Enterprises' #43 Cheerios Dodge two more times this season, a team spokesman confirmed Saturday. Green will be behind the wheel of the #43 next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway and Oct. 11 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Green is driving the car this weekend because regular driver Christian Fittipaldi was slated to drive the #44 in a sponsor deal reached before the Petty's released John Andretti.(NASCAR.com)(9-21-2003)

  • Jeff Green in the #43 at Dover; Fittipaldi in the #44 UPDATE 2: Jeff Green, who has wheeled cars this year for Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt Inc., will drive the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of Petty Enterprises for this race. Christian Fittipaldi, who normally drives the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, will drive the #44 Bugles Dodge this weekend for the MBNA America 400 Cup race at the one-mile Dover (Del.) International Speedway. There isnt any doubt Jeff Green can drive a race car, and he can drive it well, said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. Having the opportunity to have him behind the wheel of the #43 this week is great for Petty Enterprises, for General Mills and for our entire program. Jeff will do a super job for us.(Petty Racing/Williams Company PR)(9-15-2003)
    UPDATE: have heard nothing [yet] about Green NOT driving the #43 at Dover and Fittipaldi going back in it since the #44 team didn't have enough race attempts/owners points to make the field at Dover since qulaidying has been canceled due to Hurrican Isabel.
    UPDATE 2: been told that Green will stay in the #43 Dodge and race it Sunday.(9-17-2003)

  • Special Paint on the #43 at Talladega: Bringing the excitement of Yu-Gi-Oh!, the popular animated TV show and trading card game, to NASCAR, Cheerios/Betty Crocker Racing has partnered with Petty Enterprises and 4Kids Entertainment to create a special Yu-Gi-Oh! paint scheme for the #43 Dodge. The #43 Yu-Gi-Oh Cheerios Dodge is scheduled to race at Talladega Superspeedway on Sept. 28. The Yu-Gi-Oh! paint scheme, created by celebrated motorsports designer Sam Bass, will look dramatically different than the yellow and Petty blue paint scheme typically seen on the #43 Dodge. The special design features a blue background that covers the entire car with the main character from Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yami Yugi, and the well-known Yu-Gi-Oh! logo displayed prominently on the hood. The rear quarter panel on the drivers side features one of Yami Yugis main Duel Monsters rivals, Kaiba, with the other rear quarter panel featuring Yami Yugi himself. The back of the car features the phrase known to Yu-Gi-Oh! enthusiasts nationwide, Lets Duel!(Williams Company PR) - who will drive the #43 at Talladega? I am hearing it will be Busch Series driver Shane Hmeil, who will also run the car at Dover and Lowe's as Christian Fittipaldi, the regular driver is committed to run the #44 Bugles Dodge for PE.(9-11-2003)

  • The King does a nice thing: Richard Petty did a nice thing Saturday. Typically, he didn't say anything about it, choosing not to draw attention to himself. Petty dispatched his jet to carry a teen-ager and his mother from Charlotte to their home near Minneapolis. The boy was critically injured in an Aug. 30 highway crash that killed his father on I-77 near Charlotte. Jeff and Kyle Erickson had spent the last summer weekend at their vacation home bear Boone, N.C. Jeff was driving Kyle to Douglas Airport, where Kyle would return to start his senior year in high school. Jeff's wife was flying in for a week with her husband near Boone. Jeff was killed and Kyle badly hurt when an SUV cross the median and hit their rental car. Petty knew the Ericksons through their long-time support of the annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. "Good people, really, really good people," he said of the father and son. "It's something I wanted to do for them. The family will be having a hard time with this for a while."(Daily Press)(9-7-2003)

  • The King Honored: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) honored champion racecar driver Richard Petty for his support of veterans and VA activities. "VA is honored to recognize Richard Petty, admired by millions as the longtime king of stock car racing, for his support of programs benefiting veterans," VA Under Secretary for Health Dr. Robert H. Roswell said.. Roswell presented Petty with the Secretary's Award in recognition of his contributions to VA activities. Petty has allowed the use of his name and likeness in flyers and posters promoting sales events at VA canteens, the stores and food services operating in VA medical centers to serve veteran patients, visitors, volunteers and caregivers.. In addition, Petty will be a special guest at upcoming VA rehabilitation events that promote accomplishments of disabled veterans through sports and the arts. Before he retired as a driver at the end of the 1992 season, Petty earned seven wins in the Daytona 500, seven NASCAR Winston Cup championships and a record 200 career race victories.. He owns Petty Enterprises, which fields two NASCAR Winston Cup teams, and continues an active participation in the sport. While not a veteran himself, he has credited veterans for the freedom that has allowed him to pursue a career in auto racing.. In addition to his support for the VA canteens and special events, he said he hopes to visit VA facilities when possible to boost veterans' spirits.(Williams Company PR)(9-6-2003)

  • Special Scheme for the #43, starting at Bristol: Christian Fittipaldi will be driving a special Cheerios Heart Health Dodge for the three races beginning with Saturday night's event at Bristol. The car is being used as the kickoff to a special consumer promotion by Cheerios Racing, which will bring a race fan closer to the sport than ever before.(Williams Company PR)
    AND A marriage proposal on the #43 car? Its possible with a new sweepstakes announced today by Petty Enterprises and Cheerios Racing. To celebrate more than 60 years as a heart healthy breakfast favorite, the Cheerios #43 car is offering auto racing fans an opportunity to win space on the hood of the car as the official engine sponsor. The contest is called the Tune Your Engine Sweepstakes. The term engine is used analogously with heart, which serves as the bodys engine. Instant Winner Sweepstakes details are now featured on Cheerios boxes in grocery stores in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States. Each of the three Grand Prize winners will be awarded space on the car for their names, their sweethearts name, their kids name, the name of their favorite charity or whatever they choose that will fit in the space provided and is appropriate. The Cheerios #43 car will feature a new design to kick-off the sweepstakes. The design change will include a giant heart on the cars hood and big red heart behind the 43 to replace the usual red oval. The new heart health Cheerios car design will be introduced to fans at the August 23 race in Bristol, Tenn. As official engine sponsors, the grand prize winners of the Tune Your Engine Sweepstakes will have their engine sponsorship decal appear on the car at races in the spring of 2004. The three total grand prize packages include a trip for two to a race in the spring of 2004 or autumn of 2004 (the complete sweepstakes details appear on Cheerios packages). Ten first prizes will include one of the engines pistons that has been used in an actual race and mounted in a display box. Fifty second prizes of an autographed 1:24 die cast #43 car are also included in the sweepstakes. Instant Winner Sweepstakes certificates will be placed inside specially marked Cheerios boxes or entries can be made without purchase through the mail (sweepstakes details appear on Cheerios packages).(8-21-2003)

  • No Truck race for Fittipaldi: Due to sponsor conflicts [Dodge/Ford?] Christian Fittipaldi will not drive in the Truck Series race. Johnny Sauter will drive the #9 Ford in the Truck Series race and joins Kevin Harvick and Ted Musgrave as drivers doing the Triple, driving in the Cup, Busch and Truck Series races.(8-20-2003)

  • Popcorn colors: hearing the #43-Christian Fittipaldi will have the Pop Secret colors [as the #43 normally does for this race] at Rockingham's final November race, in the Pop Secret 400 [which goes to California in 2004](6-23-2003)
    IMAGE: See an image of the scheme at 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 24-99.(8-19-2003)

  • Easy Dinner Scheme: The #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge will run a Dinner Made Easy scheme at Lowe's Motor Speedway under the lights in October, no idea who will drive since Fittipaldi will be in the #44 Bugles Dodge at that race. See an image of the scheme at 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 24-99.(8-19-2003)

  • Changes coming at Petty Enterprises:......However, outsiders say that the problems are not so much technical as managerial, and [Kyle] Petty agrees: 'So we're getting ready to make a structural change in the next couple of weeks. I'm starting to give some of it to other people, so I can focus on just the driving and the business.' So will Fittipaldi be in that car again next year? There is speculation that Jeremy Mayfield may get a Petty ride. Petty said: 'Our plan is for Christian to be in that car next year, and that's the plan we've laid out for General Mills. However, if all of sudden Tony Stewart, for example, comes knocking at the door, then he's either going to get my seat or Christian's. 'Barring unforeseen circumstances, Christian will be in that car. But I won't give you a definitive, because I don't think there are any definitives in racing any more ... except we're Petty Enterprises and we're going to be here for a while.'(see full story and many quotes at the Winston Salem Journal)(8-17-2003)

  • Fittipaldi To Do Double-Duty at Bristol: Petty Enterprises has announced that Christian Fittipaldi will compete in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway on Wednesday, Aug. 20. Fittipaldi will drive the #9 Bugles/Wells Fargo Financial Ford for Ballew Motorsports. He is in his first season on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and will be seeking to gain experience on the high-banked short track that will transfer to his #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge for the Winston Cup Event. Petty Enterprises CEO Kyle Petty suggested the idea to help Fittipaldi gain race experience on the track before the Winston Cup race three nights later. Fittipaldi is excited about the opportunity to run two races at Bristol next week.. He last pulled double-duty at Pocono in July, entering the ARCA and Winston Cup events.. For the ARCA race he qualified third and was running in the top five before losing an engine.(Williams Company PR)(8-14-2003)

  • PE's Ray Hudson finishes the Appalachian Trail, raises $45k for VJGC: Not many people can boast that they hiked 2,172 miles, through 14 different states all in one attempt.. Ray Hudson can say just that, and that he raised over $45,000 for his favorite charity. Ray Hudson, a shop fabricator at Petty Enterprises, hiked the entire 2,172-mile Appalachian Trail starting in Springer Mountain, GA on March 1.. Hudson finished his hike on July 21, 143 days since he began.. His inspiration for this incredible hike was to raise funds for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. On August 11th at 4:00 pm Ray attended a huge welcome home bash and celebrated his very own Ray Hudson Day. The town of Randleman generously named August 11th Ray Hudson Day.. Over 100 individuals who donated to Ray's hike joined Richard and Kyle Petty at the Petty Enterprises Fab Shop in Thomasville.. A check in the amount of $45,000 from Ray's hike was presented to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. "My goal was somewhere between $15,000 to $20,000. I just can't believe that I raised $45,000, I had no idea. This is amazing, thank you", said Ray Hudson. Kyle Petty was just as shocked at the amount raised, " Ray we are so proud of you.. By living out your dream you helped us to build our dream of Victory Junction". For more information, visit www.victoryjunction.org.(The Victory Junction Gang PR)(8-13-2003)

  • Maxwell to drop the hammer in the #43 at Watkins Glen UPDATE: Toronto sports car driver Scott Maxwell has been signed to drive the #43 Cheerios Dodge for Petty Enterprises at the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen Aug. 10. The low-key Maxwell, who has a long and distinguished career in the sports car racing world, already has tested in the legendary #43 machine at Virginia International Speedway. Another test is planned for Thursday at Road Atlanta. Maxwell's championship pedigree includes winning titles in Formula Vee (1984), Ontario Formula Ford 1600 (1985 and 1986), Showroom Stock (1992 and 1993) and GARRA Cup GSI (2002). The highlight for Maxwell's career, however, came at Le Mans in 2000 when he took victory in the LMP 675 class for Multimatic Motorsports with John Graham and Greg Wilkins. Maxwell's other major sports car triumphs include winning the LMP 675 class at Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in 2001 as well as the Daytona Prototype victory at this year's Daytona 24 Hour.(Toronto Sun), more info about Maxwell, see his bio at the panozmotorsports.com site.(7-29-2003)
    AND see more at Inside Track News.(7-30-2003)

  • Parrott to PE? maybe Roush? UPDATE 3 looks like neither: Sources in the garage say former Robert Yates Racing crew chief Todd Parrott could be coming out of retirement and headed for Petty Enterprises -- if the Pettys can afford the seven-figure price tag it would take to retain him.(more 'Dish' at Sporting News)(7-21-2003)
    UPDATE: Earlier this year, Todd Parrott was released as director of competition at Robert Yates Racing. Earlier this week, there was a report that Parrott may wind up with Petty Enterprises, but a source told me Friday that Parrott could wind up at Roush Racing. We'll keep you posted on that.(Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR)(7-26-2003)
    UPDATE 2: Crew chief Todd Parrott is shopping for a job, and two places he's applied are Petty Enterprises and Roush Racing. But sources say that Parrott won't be offered a job with Roush. 'Todd came to me, and I have talked with him,' Jack Roush said, without further explanation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-28-2003)
    UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises has talked to Todd Parrott about its General Manager's job, but Kyle Petty says Parrott will not be joining the team. Petty continues to look for a GM for the team.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to view)(8-1-2003)

  • Shakeup at PE? Richard Petty is not happy with the shape of things at Petty Enterprises [#43, #44, #45], and a shakeup may be coming.(Winston Salem Journal), see above story.(7-28-2003)

  • Hamilton back to Petty in 2004? the KFNS.com site reports: Among the Cup rides speculated to be available next year is the famed 43 car [Petty Enterprises], where [Bobby] Hamilton scored the first win of his career in Phoenix during that '96 season. His name has come up as a replacement for John Andretti for 2004 (an ironic twist, since that's how Hamilton got the ride in the first place) and Hamilton said he would not be against the idea. "My name has been in that (car) since forever, only because I was the fortunate one to be in it when the race team was as great as it was and I was able to have success," he said. "I got labeled as the guy who gave it success and that wasn't the case. You know as well as I do, Dale Jarrett can win races, but he ain't winning right now&are you going to sit there and tell me that man forgot how to drive overnight? I was just the fortunate one who got labeled as being the successor at Petty Enterprises, when it was Petty Enterprises that made me successful. Now, would I drive it again or not? I don't know," he continued. "If they were to call or if they were interested, yeah, I'd sit down and talk to them, because I think the world of the family, but it would just be a business decision to be made at that time. My priority is what I'm doing right now and that's to win a championship."(KFNS.com)(7-24-2003)

  • Fittipaldi to race ARCA too at Pocono: Christian Fittipaldi will compete in the ARCA series at Pocono Raceway next weekend [the Saturday race, there are two as the June race was rained out and postponed to July 25th]. The car will be prepared by his Petty Enterprises team. The Brazilian, who joined Winston Cup full time last month as the replacement for John Andretti in the #43 Dodge, will be racing in ARCA for the first time this season.(Richmond Times Dispatch) - actully Fittipaldi ran the ARCA race at Daytona in Feb 2003, starting 7th and finishing 10th, other drivers who have run in Cup this season running in one of both of the ARCA races include: #9-Hideo Fukuyama [both races] and #77-Casey Mears [both, pole for the make up]. Also former Cup driver Greg Sacks is entered to run Saturdays ARCA event.(7-21-2003)

  • Petty Not Changing Engine Builders: Kyle Petty said Friday he had no intention of removing Mike Ege Racing Engines as the engine builder for Petty Enterprises, despite his scathing statements last week at Daytona. Petty said he went public with his criticism of Ege because private efforts to get Ege's attention went unheeded. Petty said Ege's company responded by working 72 straight hours to bring better engines to Chicago. Petty practiced well, posting the 20th-best speed. But he and Fittipaldi still needed provisionals to make the field.(NASCAR.com)(7-12-2003)

  • Petty: Engines to Blame UPDATE: Why did two Petty Enterprises cars [#43 and #44] miss the Pepsi 400 at Daytona? What went wrong? Simple, Kyle Petty said. The engines weren't up to snuff. "It's the way things go, especially at a restrictor-plate race," Petty said. "Somewhere, we've gotten behind on our engines, and we just ain't caught up. It's been showing everywhere we've been, but it really showed up here. Mike's engines have been really, really good, but these are the same cars that we ran here before. We lost ground this time. You can't say it's got a lot to do with the cars. I've got to put all this on our engine department." Petty Enterprises engines are built by Mike Ege Racing Engines, a company started before the 2002 season to exclusive construct engines for the Pettys. Ege came from Robert Yates Racing, long known as one of the best engine-building companies in NASCAR. But Ege hasn't gained any horsepower on restrictor-plate engines. That doesn't sound too bad, but when you consider everyone else is gaining a few horsepower, the Pettys slide backwards.(NASCAR.com)(7-4-2003)
    UPDATE: After two of the team's three cars failed to qualify for the Pepsi 400, car owner and driver Kyle Petty was seen holding engine builder Mike Ege against the chain-linked fence in the garage area. Petty said Ege will continue to build engines for the team and that the two had a confrontation after time trials.(Florida Times Union)(7-5-2003)

  • Hmiel in the #43 at Daytona: Shane Hmiel, the 23-year-old hard-charger whose #48 Innovative Motorsports team has been a major player in the Busch Series, will drive the Daytona race for Petty Enterprises in the #43 Berry Burst Cheerios Dodge in the July 5 400-mile Winston Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. Christian Fittipaldi, who has been driving the #43, will move to the #44 Bugles Dodge for this race. We are very excited to have a young talent like Shane Hmiel drive the #43 for us at Daytona, said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. George deBidart and Innovative Motorsports were very gracious in allowing us to borrow Shane for this event. They have a tremendous program there, so I know Shane will be used to what he sees on the Winston Cup side of the fence. Hmiel will be driving a special paint scheme carrying the Berry Burst Cheerios colors. Normally, the #43 carries the Cheerios and Betty Crocker paint scheme.[see image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery] Daytona and Petty are some pretty special names, and I know Cheerios is especially excited since this is one of their Berry Burst races, Hmiel said. Im really excited at this opportunity, and I am so glad George deBidart and Kyle Petty could work this out. Hmiel is currently 11th in the NASCAR Busch Series points, notching two top-five finishes and five top-10s in his 16 starts this season.(Williams Company PR)(6-24-2003)

  • Popcorn colors: hearing the #43-Christian Fittipaldi will have the Pop Secret colors [as the #43 normally does for this race] at Rockingham's final November race, in the Pop Secret 400 [which goes to California in 2004](6-23-2003)

  • Mayfield to Petty? So this weekend rookie Christian Fittipaldi is in the Petty car that Andretti drove the last five years, and Andretti is looking for a job. And Petty is hearing speculation that Jeremy Mayfield may be on his list as a driver. Mayfield's year and a half with car owner Ray Evernham has been very disappointing.(Winston Salem Journal); Mayfield has also been rumored to the #1 DEI car.(6-14-2003)

  • No Rookie of the Year for Fittipaldi: Despite being inserted in Petty Enterprises #43 Cheerios Dodge with 22 races remaining in the season, Christian Fittipaldi will not run for rookie of the year. According to NASCAR officials at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, a driver needs to declare his intent to run for the award and then compete in at least eight of the first 20 races. Since 14 races have been completed and Fittipaldi was not registered for the program in the two races he competed in earlier this season, he is ineligible.(NASCAR.com)(6-13-2003)

  • New Petty Museum: Already one of the most popular attractions in Randolph [NC] County's $6.3 million annual tourist trade, the Richard Petty Museum opened with little fanfare three weeks ago at its new location. All of the work should be completed there next month. Started in a storage room at the shop, the 15-year-old museum has grown into Randolph County's answer to Elvis Presley's Graceland. "We just needed a bigger place," Richard Petty said, getting up off the floor where he helped workers position a heavy glass display case. "And we needed the room at the shop." Petty said the 12,000 square feet looked a lot bigger when it was empty. He estimated that it would hold only about half of the family's memorabilia. "We knew how much room we had; we just didn't know we had this much stuff." David Caughron, executive director of the Randleman Chamber of Commerce, has been so eager for the museum's arrival that he spent several afternoons working there. He's excited about the shot in the arm that the museum will give the city's Oct. 18 fall street festival, NASCAR Day. Although the museum focuses primarily on Richard Petty's 35-year career, exhibits include Lynda Petty's doll collection and the 1998 Pontiac that the late Adam Petty drove when he won his first -- and last -- super speedway race. Don't ask Doris Gammons, the museum's executive director, how many items have been added to the museum. "We're putting it out so fast, I can't even tell," she said.(News and Record), more info on the museum at the Petty Racing site.(6-13-2003)

  • Andretti out Fittipaldi in the #43: Christian Fittipaldi will drive the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge for most of the rest of this season, beginning with this weekends 400-mile race at Michigan Speedway. Petty Enterprises announced this morning Fittipaldi would replace John Andretti, who has driven for the team since 1998. "Christian Fittipaldi has shown, every time he has gotten in a Winston Cup car, including Phoenix, Texas and Daytona, that he has the talent to drive these cars and help us get to the front," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "We look forward to showing everyone what Christian can do week in and week out." A driver to be determined will drive the #43 in the three races Fittipaldi drives the #44 Bugles Dodge, and his one race under the New York Yankees pinstripes colors. "This decision was finalized this week. We then informed General Mills of what we were going to do, and we are moving forward," Petty said. Fittipaldi, one of the top young names in Formula One and CART racing before moving to Petty Enterprises, will be starting his fourth NASCAR Winston Cup race this week. He ran in Octobers race at Phoenix, as well as the season-opening Daytona 500 and Aprils 500-miler at Texas Motor Speedway. "We appreciate what John has done for us," said Richard Petty. "We had some successes, won some poles and won a race but we feel like where we are right now its time for a change for Petty Enterprises and for John. "Speed and Fittipaldi go together," he continued. "He knows how to run fast, and he knows how to race fast. We feel he is going to do a great job for Petty Enterprises and for Cheerios and Betty Crocker."(Williams Company PR), no word on Andretti's plans.(6-10-2003)

  • Nationally Televised Food Fight For Andretti: They arent giving anything away yet but John Andretti, driver of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, and Martha Jane Bonkemeyer, assistant to legendary Richard Petty, competed in the national television show Food Fight Monday, June 2, at a Charlotte restaurant. The contest? Cooking, under strict guidelines, against two members of a Reggae band, while a television crew taped it all. From shopping to presentation, the two teams each had $20 and two hours to out cook, out razz and out-plate their competition. Local experts such as food writers, cooking school instructors, and home economics teachers judged the raucous cooking contest and determined which reaped prizes. Andretti and Bonkemeyer competed together as a team, going in with no knowledge of what dish would be required and only with some information gleaned from background that comes from an association with General Mills. Food Fight is broadcast nationally by the Food Network. An air date has not yet been scheduled [the show normally air's Thursdays at 10pm and Friday at 1:00am]. Hosted by J.D. Roberto, Food Fight pits two teams that have nothing in common but their love of good food against each other in a take-no-prisoners competition. This half-hour series features match-ups like Hell's Angels vs. soccer moms, and grandmas vs. construction workers in a show that's one part "Beat the Clock" and one part "Iron Chef." Casting calls were held in Chicago, Tampa, New York, Dallas, Nashville, San Francisco, Boston, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Pittsburgh throughout 2002 and early 2003. Teams are presented with a regional specialty, which is the focus of the dish. Petty Enterprises is the only race team featured this season. The show will air in prime time on the Food Network. Domestically, the show reaches approximately 75 million households. The show also airs in Canada, and parts of England as well.(Williams Company)(6-3-2003)

  • Woman wins breakfast with the King: Marie Mullins, 38, is one of two national winners who will be having breakfast Thursday with NASCAR legendary driver-owner Richard Petty in his hometown of Level Cross, NC. "It was a total shock," Mullins said. "I really didn't think it was possible to win." Mullins won the Pillsbury Grands! Biscuit contest after submitting an entry before December. She said she saw the contest advertised in a Port Charlotte [FL] Publix. She was notified in a March 5 letter that she had won the contest, which allows her to treat three guests -- sons Christopher, Michael and Timothy -- to breakfast with the 65-year-old champion, nicknamed "The King" by his peers during a driving career that ended after the 1992 season. Then they will tour Petty Enterprises and the Petty Museum. According to the itinerary provided by Pillsbury, Mullins said, a limousine is scheduled to pick up her and the boys from the hotel at 6 a.m. for the 7:45 a.m. breakfast. "From what I understand, his (Petty's) whole team is going to be there," she said. "The boys are going absolutely crazy over it." Mullins used some of the $1,000 in spending money she received to spring for an airplane ticket to fly husband Sid to North Carolina to enjoy the family vacation as well. All will attend The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway on Saturday, which she said includes a tour of the pit before the race. The five regularly watch races on television and have their favorites: Richard Petty's son, Kyle, and John Andretti, both drivers for Petty Enterprises. Andretti drives the #43 Dodge car owned by Richard Petty.(See full story at the Sun Herald)(5-13-2003)

  • Robby Gordon responds: John Andretti made some comments last weekend that showed he wasn't happy about his cousin, IRL team owner/driver Michael Andretti, selecting Robby Gordon to replace Dario Franchitti in the Indy 500. John thought Michael would select him to drive for the injured Franchitti, but John hasn't driven in the Indy 500 since 1994 when he became the first person to complete the double of the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. "I'll be there that week and I'll qualify the car, because he [Gordon] will be in the hospital by then," John Andretti told Speed Channel. Gordon responded to John's comment: "All I want to say is I never would wish one of my fellow competitors get hurt so I could get a ride." Andretti realizes sponsor considerations were a factor in the selection of Gordon. Motorola, the sponsor on Franchitti's car, supplies cell phones for Cingular Wireless, the sponsor of Gordon's Winston Cup car.(Dallas Morning News - may need to register to read)(5-1-2003)

  • New Rigs for Petty's: Freightliner Trucks has presented five spanking-new Freightliner Coronado heavy-duty trucks to Petty Enterprises. Three of the Coronado trucks are assigned to Petty Enterprises race teams, hauling Dodge Intrepid R/T racecars and equipment to NASCAR's Winston Cup races nationwide. The other two will see duty at various tracks around the country where Petty crews conduct tests on their cars and equipment. According to Mark Lampert, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Freightliner Trucks, the trucks are being furnished as part of a sponsorship agreement with Petty Enterprises. Each Coronado is accessorized and custom-painted with the distinctive graphics of the individual sponsors of Kyle Petty's #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge, John Andretti's #43 General Mills Dodge and Christian Fittapaldi's #44 Dodge. Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Ore. Freightliner Trucks produces and markets Class 5-8 trucks and is a company of DaimlerChrysler.(Truckinginfo.com)(4-29-2003)

  • Andretti, Petty Set Donation At California: John Andretti and the #43 Dodge team did more than run a race for themselves and their fans Sunday at the two-mile California Speedway. By completing all 250 laps in Sundays NASCAR Winston Cup event, 10,750 new books will now be donated by First Book and Cheerios to children in the greater Los Angeles area. Through the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, 43 books were donated for every lap Andretti completed Sunday to children participating in Boys and Girls Club of Fontana, Sivaland Head Start and The Agape House, also both in Fontana, and in LAs BEST, an after-school program serving children in the city of Los Angeles. The goal of the donation was to drive home Cheerios commitment to childhood literacy.(Williams Company PR)(4-28-2003)

  • Odd Andretti Comment: John Andretti flipped idly through a newspaper, not really wanting to talk about his cousin Michael's decision to appoint Robby Gordon as substitute driver in Andretti Green's #27 cars for this year's Indianapolis 500. Andretti, son of Aldo Andretti (Mario's twin brother) and cousin of team owner/driver Michael Andretti, who will retire from driving after the 400, expressed off-the-record bitterness toward his cousin's choice. "I'll be there that Wednesday, and I'll qualify the car, because [Gordon] will be in the hospital by then," John Andretti said. See the full story at Speed Channel: John Andretti Puzzled by Gordon Decision(4-27-2003)

  • One Andretti to run, one to test and maybe qualify for the Indy 500, another to get a ride? Michael Andretti still hasn't announced who will replace Dario Franchitti next month at the Indianapolis 500. But he has a backup replacement plan for his other injured driver. He's bringing in the old man. Mario Andretti, arguably the most versatile racer of all time, will step out of the past and into Tony Kanaan's 7-Eleven Dallara/Honda for testing Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Kanaan, who suffered a broken left arm earlier this month in Japan, might not be able to practice May 4 or later qualify for the Indy 500. Dr. Terry Trammell did say Tuesday that Kanaan should be well enough to run the race May 25. The Andrettis already have agreed to Mario qualifying the car for Kanaan if Kanaan is unable to. It is unlikely -- even if Mario qualifies and the 28-year-old Brazilian can't run the race -- that Mario would run at Indy. Mario won the 1969 Indy 500 but has not competed at the Speedway since 1994, the year he retired from championship car racing after a 30-year career. But Andretti did compete at LeMans until 2000 and said he doesn't believe he would be in over his head for the qualifying run. The oldest driver to qualify at Indy is A.J. Foyt, who was 57 in his 1992 finale. "Yeah, dad and I predict that A.J. will be in a car by Thursday," Michael Andretti said, laughing. "I'm afraid poor Anthony (Foyt IV) will be out of his ride." It's a role reversal that amazes John Andretti, a full-time NASCAR driver who is hoping to assume Franchitti's Indy ride. Robby Gordon also is a strong possibility to replace Franchitti, suffered a broken back in a motorcycle accident and will be out until July. "Nothing my uncle does surprises me, but to think that he's going to be driving for Michael is pretty neat," he said. "I'd love to join them because it's Michael's last race and he's got a great team. Heck, I'd even drive for nothing." Michael Andretti already has announced that the Indy 500 will be his final race before focusing solely on ownership.(ESPN)(4-23-2003)

  • Andretti and the #43 helping childhood literacy: John Andretti and the #43 Dodge, which normally carries the Cheerios and Betty Crocker colors, will have something different for Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup race at the two-mile California Speedway. The team will be driving home Cheerios commitment to childhood literacy, with the #43 Dodge carrying that message on the car for the only event in the Los Angeles area. For each of the 250 scheduled laps Andretti competes in the race, Cheerios and First Book, a national children's literacy organization, will donate 43 books per lap to children in need in the Fontana, Calif., and Los Angeles area. "As a father myself, I know the importance of reading and the critical role it plays in children wanting to learn," said Andretti. He and his wife Nancy have three children, two in elementary school. "Having their own book makes a big difference in a child wanting to read. This program is incredible and I am behind it 100 percent," he added. "We're going for the maximum." As many as 10,750 books would be donated by First Book and Cheerios if Andretti completes all 500 miles of the race. The books are slated to go to children participating in Boys and Girls Club of Fontana, Sivaland Head Start and The Agape House, also both in Fontana, and in LA's Best, an after-school program in Los Angeles. To kick off the weekend, Cheerios and California Speedway will host 400-500 children from the Fontana Unified School District Friday morning at the speedway. After being served breakfast, the children will be read to by Andretti, will receive a book of their own from Cheerios, and then have the opportunity to watch practice and qualifying. Just as Cheerios helps fuel kids for the day, reading gives them the power to succeed in life. With that in mind, Cheerios is making a significant commitment to childhood literacy through the Spoonfuls of Stories program. Andretti and Petty Enterprises are partnering in this effort for one race by encouraging children to read more, and by reaching out to help others. More info at www.cheerios.com/familyfun/spoonfuls.asp and www.firstbook.org.(Williams Company)(4-22-2003)

  • Indy 500 Looks Doubtful for Andretti: A new set of Indy Racing League rules probably will prevent John Andretti from competing in the Indianapolis 500 next month. The driver of the #43 Cheerios Dodge for Petty Enterprises wanted to race against his cousin Michael, who will be driving in his final Indy 500. "Right now, the IRL basically is in a state of transition in that they've got new engine programs, chassis and a lot of new teams, too," said Andretti, the first driver to race the 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day in 1994. "The biggest issue is, is there going to be enough equipment? . . . It doesn't look strong [for attempting the race], but the possibility is still there."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-13-2003)

  • Andretti helps out: On March 26, NASCAR driver John Andretti made a special appearance at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and delighted the children there undergoing treatment for pediatric cancer and other life-threatening childhood diseases. The appearance included a $30,000 check presentation to Target House. Andretti raised the money by meeting a challenge - for each lap completed in the EA Sports 500 in Talladega, Ala., on October 6, 2002, General Mills pledged to donate money to Target House. Andretti not only completed the race, but also placed in the top 20.(Ruder Finn Arts & Communications Counselors)(4-8-2003)

  • Andretti and Gordon may miss the Indy 500: John Andretti and Robby Gordon announced several weeks ago their intention to compete in this year's Indianapolis 500. But both are being reminded of the significant gap between planning and doing. It takes money to bridge that gap, and neither is having luck finding it. The two Winston Cup regulars said this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway that time is quickly running out on hopes of pulling double duty May 25, racing in both the Indy 500 in the day and the Coca-Cola 600 in Concord, N.C., that night. It is particularly disappointing for Andretti, an Indianapolis native who wanted to return to the 500 in what cousin Michael Andretti has said will be his last race. John Andretti was counting on General Mills, his Winston Cup sponsor, to fund his Indy program, but the company now is telling him that given the economy and world situation, it is inclined to wait a year. He hasn't given up and even has talked to one potential sponsor about a package deal for himself and another open-wheeler turned stock car driver, Petty Enterprises teammate Christian Fittipaldi. One thing he won't do is ask his cousin, in his first year as an Indy Racing League team owner, for help. Michael already has plans to run four cars at Indy. "He's got his hands full," John Andretti said of his cousin. "I don't want to be the guy he comes up to afterward and says, 'I lost because of you,' because he split up one of his pit crews to help me out." Complicating matters for Gordon and Andretti is the IRL has all new cars this season with few extras available. But Gordon said all he has to do is turn on CNN to see the real problem. "It's hard to find money when there's a war going on," Gordon said. "I don't have a deal and I don't see one opening up."(Indianapolis Star)(4-1-2003)

  • Andretti still looking to do Coke 600/Indy 500 double: John Andretti still has no firm plans to run in the Indianapolis 500 this season and by his estimation, time is running out. Andretti wants to return to Indy, where he last raced in 1994 when he did both the 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. He'd like to make it happen this year so he can compete one last time against his cousin, Michael, who is retiring after the May 25th race. But he doesn't have a sponsorship deal in place and running at Indy is contingent on him putting a package together that includes partners from his Winston Cup team at Petty Enterprises. "I'd say at one time it was 60-40 that I'd run Indy and now the chances are more like 50-50," he said. "It's looking more likely that it will happen next year instead of this year." Andretti has not driven an Indy car since 1994, and although he's confident he hasn't forgotten any of the nuances, he wants to have a deal in place in time for him to test the car at the end of April. "There's a lot of last-minute deals that go on with the Indy 500 and I've certainly been involved in my share of them," he said. "But I'd like to test the car, get in it and get an idea of what I've got."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(3-23-2003)

  • The Why We Call Richard Petty "The King" Fact of the Week by Fox Sports: On Labor Day of 1967, Richard Petty won the Southern 500 at Darlington. It was his third victory on the 1.375-mile oval and his second Darlington win of the season. The win was also the third of what would become a 10-race winning streak and ultimately a 27-win season. By the time 1967 was over, NASCAR sportswriters labeled Petty "The King" ... and he's been The King ever since.(FoxSports)(3-14-2003)

  • Halfway to Rusty: #43-John Andretti will reach a milestone at Rockingham, set to make his 300th career Winston Cup start.(2-19-2003)

  • #43 Berry Scheme UPDATE: John Andretti is scheduled to run a Cheerios Berry Scheme at the Winston Open and Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, this is a very cool looking scheme, see the Paint Scheme Gallery for an image.(2-5-2003)
    UPDATE: Petty Enterprises and sponsor Cheerios joined forces Thursday morning, Feb. 13, prior to the "Great American Race" to unveil a special paint scheme for the legendary #43. The paint scheme celebrates Berry Burst Cheerios, the first-ever pairing of wholesome Cheerios with great tasting real berries right in the box. Petty Enterprises and sponsor Cheerios will race the new paint scheme in July, when the NASCAR Winston Cup teams come back to the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. The two new products - Berry Burst Cheerios Strawberry (with real sliced strawberries) and Berry Burst Cheerios Triple Berry (with real sliced strawberries, whole blueberries and.whole raspberries) - provide the taste and experience of fresh fruit through the process of freeze-drying. The #43 Berry Burst Cheerios Dodge will have John Andretti behind the wheel in the July race at Daytona.(Williams Company PR)(2-18-2003)

  • Update on the Petty movie: If all goes well, Disney's movie on Richard Petty and the Petty family should be filmed this year and be in theatres sometime in 2004, said Bill Scott, executive vice president at Petty Enterprises. Disney got involved in November. Dennis Quaid originally was set to play Lee Petty but now is expected to play Richard. Scripts are being rewritten to include more of the Petty family story than just the relationship between Lee and Richard. "This has been a project that has been ongoing; I personally have been working on this for four years," Scott said. "I really believe it's going to happen this year." Scott said he's not sure where filming will take place but says he'd "be surprised" if it was done outside North Carolina "based on our conversations."(Roanoke Times)(2-8-2003)

  • Andretti gets OK to run double - Indy 500 and Coca Cola 600: John Andretti has received permission from Petty Enterprises to return for the first time since 1994, when he became the first to run both races on the same day. This year's race is particularly significant to Andretti because his cousin, Michael, has said it will be his last. "I want to be in that race against Michael," John said. "The thing we've always said about the Andrettis is, 'He who gets hurt last, wins.' Well, Michael always lost because he always got hurt, and I want to give him one last chance."(Indianapolis Star)(2-7-2003)

  • #43 Berry Scheme: John Andretti is scheduled to run a Cheerios Berry Scheme at the Winston Open and Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May, this is a very cool looking scheme, see it on my Paint Scheme Gallery for the images.(2-5-2003)

  • Petty Experience News UPDATE: A participant at the Richard Petty Driving Experience was driving a car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and had a heart attack over the weekend. The car crashed, but the coroner ruled it was the heart attack that killed him. Condolences out to the family, no more info at this time.(2-4-2003)
    UPDATE: A man in town for a business convention died of natural causes while driving at a racing school named for Richard Petty. Philip Jerome Malarkey's death at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was attributed to coronary atherosclerosis, a common cause of heart attacks, the coroner's office said Tuesday. Malarkey, 58, of Arnold, MD, paid several thousand dollars to participate in the Richard Petty Driving Experience. After classroom instruction, Malarkey became unconscious while driving a race car similar to those used in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, said Brad Mark, driving school general manager. Mark called Malarkey's death the first in 13 years at the race driving school. The maximum speed for the cars is about 160 mph, but Malarkey was not traveling at top speed when he became unconscious and his car scraped the wall on the 1 1/2-mile oval, officials said. His car did not hit any other vehicles.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(2-5-2003)

  • New Cereral - Petty 43s: Having built a legend racing on ovals, Richard Petty understands that things eventually come full circle. That list will soon include cereal, as the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion goes from having his face on the Breakfast of Champions to having his own breakfast. General Mills on Tuesday will introduce Richard Petty 43s, a sweet rice-and-corn cereal shaped in 4s and 3s in honor of his #43 stock car. "I've had my face on a Wheaties box, but this is a whole new ballgame for me," Petty said. "It tastes pretty good, though I'm a little prejudiced." The limited-edition cereal features two collectible metallic designs of NASCAR's winningest driver (200 wins). One has Petty with his 1970 Plymouth Superbird, the other with his 1984 Pontiac Grand Prix. The packages form a mural of his storied career. General Mills also will donate $43,000 to the Petty family's Victory Junction Gang Camp, due to open next year in North Carolina.(USA Today)(2-4-2003)

  • Andretti Testing in FL: hearing that #43-John Andretti will be testing at USA International Speedway in Lakeland Fl, on Tuesday February 4th and Wednesday February 5th.(2-4-2003)

  • General Mills Offers A Dozen Different Die Cast Cars: To celebrate the kick-off of the 2003 racing season, General Mills offers fans of Petty Enterprises and die cast collectors a one-of-a-kind opportunity to collect 12 different 1:64 scale paint schemes on the various Petty Enterprises-owned Dodge racecars. Starting in February and continuing for a limited time, consumers will be able to get the cars free with certain General Mills purchases in grocery stores nationwide. Fans will find the die cast cars either inside or alongside General Mills products including select cereals, snacks, meals, baking products and refrigerated baked goods. Fans will find one die cast car free inside specially marked packages of five participating General Mills cereals. Brands and their featured paint schemes include: Cheerios and the 2003 Cheerios/Betty Crocker #43; Honey Nut Cheerios and the 2001 Honey Nut Cheerios #43; Wheaties and the 2000 Wheaties #43; Honey Nut Chex and the 2002 Chex Party Mix #43; and Cinnamon Toast Crunch and the 2002 Sprint #45. In the snacks aisle, fans will find the 2002 Pop Secret #43 available with purchases of Pop Secret microwave popcorn and the 2002 Georgia-Pacific #44 available with purchases of Chex Mix, Gardetto's and Bugles snacks. The Meals category is cooking up three different die cast car offers - including a never-seen-before fantasy paint scheme. The 1998 Betty Crocker paint scheme makes its first appearance on the #43 through this promotion and will be available with purchases of Betty Crocker Complete Meals, Betty Crocker Specialty Potatoes and Betty Crocker Bowl Appétit! rice or pasta. Consumers can help themselves to a free 2001 Hamburger Helper #43 with purchases of Hamburger Helper Oven Favorites dinners. And, new to the Cheerios/Betty Crocker Racing family is the fantasy Old El Paso #43 available free with an Old El Paso brand purchase. Betty Crocker Baking Products races into the action with an exclusive paint scheme never previously offered nationally as a 1:64 die cast. With the purchase of Betty Crocker baking products including participating flavors of SuperMoist cake mix, select Betty Crocker brownie mixes and ready-to-spread frostings, consumers will be able to get the 2002 Box Tops for Education #43, a replica of the paint scheme that ran on track in August 2002 during the Brickyard 400. Racing excitement zooms into the refrigerated baked goods area with a special Pillsbury Grands! multi-pack and die cast offer. For a limited time only, consumers will find three packages of Grands! Buttermilk Biscuits packaged with the 2002 Grands! Biscuits #43 paint scheme on a 1:64 die cast car. Though the 2002 Grands! paint scheme has previously been available as a free mail-in offer, this is the first time the car will be available in grocery stores.(Elevation Motorsports PR)(1-28-2003)

  • Petty to be Honored: Richard Petty and The News-Journal's motorsports editor Godwin Kelly will headline the Living Legends of Auto Racing's 11th annual awards banquet at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12, at the Plaza Resort and Spa in Daytona Beach. Petty will be presented with the LLOAR's Distinguished Driver award, while Kelly will receive the Russ Moyer Media Award. Banquet seating is $40 per person and tickets are available only in advance. For information contact Carol Peoples at (386) 441-3246.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-9-2003)

  • Pemberton leaves Petty Enterprises? UPDATE yes: it was reported on Sunday's LTN Network radio show that Robin Pemberton has left Petty Enterprises at Team Manager.(1-6-2003)
    UPDATE: Petty Enterprises will further restructure its competitive setup, as part of the earlier announcements regarding its two full-time NASCAR Winston Cup teams and the Winston Cup-Busch-ARCA team of driver Christian Fittipaldi. As part of that structuring, Robin Pemberton will not return in 2003. "We really appreciate the knowledge and experience Robin brought to our race teams, and wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "We know he will be successful in anything he does, and we will continue working to bring that same type of success to all of our teams."(Williams Company)(1-6-2003)

2002 News

  • Some #43 schemes in 2003: General Mills [Cheerios manufacturer] has the Hamburger Helper scheme, the Betty Crocker scheme and the new schemes are Old El Paso and LeSueur Peas for 2003 on the #43 Petty Enterprises Dodge with John Andretti driving. Not sure yet when these schemes will run, no word on if a Pop Secret scheme will run at Rockingham as it has the past 4-5 years.(12-27-2002)

  • New Crew Chief for Andretti? UPDATE, yes and Andretti is signed, plus Thomas to Gibbs: hearing that Gary Putnam, crew chief from the #44 Petty Dodge is being moved over to crew chief the #43 and John Andretti while Brandon Thomas, who was the #43 crew chief is being moved over to head their engineering department.(12-12-2002)
    UPDATE: A new look to a traditionally winning team will grace the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge for 2003. With driver John Andretti back behind the wheel, Gary Putnam will take over as crew chief for the team. The 32-year-old Putnam began serving as a NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief for the first time just last year, taking the reins of the then-#44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge. "Having John and Gary signed and raring to go gives us all a great feeling about 2003," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "John is a tremendous talent and has proven he knows how to win," Petty said. "I dont know of anyone in the sport with as great a desire to excel. What he brings to our team on the track and what he brings to General Mills and Petty Enterprises off the track is fantastic. Gary has proven himself not only highly knowledgeable but a true leader," Petty continued. "Were excited not just with what he has shown us so far but with his tremendous potential. John is excited and all of us at Petty Enterprises are excited with what he can do for us." Andretti, 39, is a NASCAR Winston Cup race winner beginning his fifth full season as driver of the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. He is one of only two drivers in motorsports history with victories in major league Indy car, major league road racing and major NASCAR Winston Cup oval victories. A native of Nazareth, Pa., who grew up in Indianapolis, Ind., he resides in the Mooresville, NC, area. Putnam, a native New Englander, began his career in NASCARs Featherlite Modified Series, and has been involved in NASCAR Winston Cup racing since 1996. He worked as a mechanic and car chief for several top teams before moving to Petty Enterprises last season. Born in Hartford, Ct., Putnam resides in Concord, NC.(Williams Co PR) and hearing Brandon Thomas has left Petty Enterprises and is now working for Joe Gibbs Racing, not sure in what capacity.(12-14-2002)

  • Sad News: Charles B. "CB" Lee, a veteran of NASCAR Winston Cup racing and most recently with Petty Enterprises, passed away Tuesday night at his home. Lee, 57, had been a mechanic at Petty Enterprises since 1999. A Texas native, Lee originally worked with A.J. Foyts Indy car team in the 1970's and early 80's, moving to North Carolina to work on stock cars with Foyt. When Foyt first left stock car racing in the late 80's, Lee moved to Stavola Brothers Racing, and also worked for Bobby Allison Motorsports and Bahari Racing. It was at Bahari he met Doug Hewitt and Gary Putnam, Hewitt bringing Lee to Petty Enterprises. He is survived with his wife, Trudy, a son, Charles, Jr., 22, and daughter Megan, 14. The family lives in Asheboro. A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, at Hartsell Funeral Home, 460 Branchview Dr. NE, Concord, N.C.(Williams Co PR)(12-12-2002)

  • The King and Kyle Honored: Kyle Petty, son of NASCARs other seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion, Richard Petty, accepted the Buddy Shuman Award on his father's behalf. The Buddy Shuman Award, a lifetime achievement type of honor, is named for the late Shuman, a NASCAR driver who died in a hotel fire in 1955. Jay Burkhart, vice president of marketing for Federal Mogul, presented the award. Kyle Petty said the inclement weather hitting much of the nation this week kept his father back home in North Carolina. "You know ÜThe King"," Kyle said. "He's a man of few words, but here's what he did say: ÜIf it's gonna snow, I'd rather be snowed in at home, than in New York City."
    Kyle then returned to the stage several minutes later to receive the True Value Person of the Year Award from Pamela Lieberman, president and CEO of True Serve Corporation. Petty, Jeff Gordon, Ken Schrader and Ricky Craven were the four nominees for the award, which recognizes drivers who have excelled in humanitarian efforts. Kyle earned high marks in that area, with his annual Kyle Petty Charity (motorcycle) Ride Across America, and the ongoing establishment of the Victory Junction Gang Camp for seriously ill children among his charitable venture.(NASCAR PR)(12-5-2002)

  • Andretti still not signed UPDATE: John Andretti still has not signed the contract offer Petty Enterprises gave him months ago, but the organization is certain the driver will be back in 2003. "There are a couple of issues that still need to be resolved, but as far as we're concerned, he is the driver of the #43," chief executive officer Kyle Petty said. "We have a verbal agreement, just no signature." Andretti, one of the few remaining free agents, was less committal. "Anything is possible," he said, smiling. "Who knows what will happen?" Petty said there was no issue over Andretti's participation in the Indianapolis 500, a race the company forbid him to compete in this year. Andretti, the first of three drivers to compete in both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, wants to do the double again and was disappointed he was not allowed. "As far as we're concerned, he can run the Indy 500 every year," Petty said. "We said no this year because the issue came up 30 days beforehand and there wasn't enough time. As long as he plans on it in advance, he can run it and we'd love to partner up and help his efforts."(CNNSI/AP)(11-17-2002)
    UPDATE: Minor contract details are holding up John Andretti signing for a sixth season with Petty Enterprises. Team officials discounted rumors of the Indianapolis native pursuing the Ganassi Racing vacancy created by the firing of Jimmy Spencer.(Indianapolis Star)(11-18-2002)

  • Andretti still not signed: John Andretti still has not signed the contract offer Petty Enterprises gave him months ago, but the organization is certain the driver will be back in 2003. "There are a couple of issues that still need to be resolved, but as far as we're concerned, he is the driver of the #43," chief executive officer Kyle Petty said. "We have a verbal agreement, just no signature." Andretti, one of the few remaining free agents, was less committal. "Anything is possible," he said, smiling. "Who knows what will happen?" Petty said there was no issue over Andretti's participation in the Indianapolis 500, a race the company forbid him to compete in this year. Andretti, the first of three drivers to compete in both the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600, wants to do the double again and was disappointed he was not allowed. "As far as we're concerned, he can run the Indy 500 every year," Petty said. "We said no this year because the issue came up 30 days beforehand and there wasn't enough time. As long as he plans on it in advance, he can run it and we'd love to partner up and help his efforts."(CNNSI/AP)(11-17-2002)

  • Hamilton to BAM? hearing Bobby Hamilton could end up in the #49 BAM Racing Dodge in 2003, other rumors have Hamilton in the #41 Target Dodge and if John Andretti goes to the #41 (but is supposedly close to re-signing with the #43) Hamilton coiuld end up in the #43 Dodge.(11-13-2002)

  • 512 NASCAR Laps Bring Thousands of Books to Phoenix Children: Because of the laps completed by #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driver John Andretti in Sunday's Cup race and by #6 Pepsi Dodge driver Wally Dallenbach in Saturday's BGN race, a total of 22,016 books have been donated to First Book-Phoenix/Scottsdale. Cheerios, through the Spoonfuls of Stories program, in conjunction with Simon & Schuster, donated 43 books for each lap Dallenbach and Andretti completed over the Phoenix weekend. They completed all 512 possible laps (200 Saturday; 312 Sunday). Families can get more books into the hands of children in need by using the First Book donation forms on Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories boxes. All of the donations given to Spoonfuls of Stories will go to purchase new children's books, with the books going back to the communities where the donations were made. Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories race donation is part of a broader commitment to childrens literacy that includes putting more than five million books inside Cheerios boxes, donating $500,00 to First Book, and featuring a First Book donation forms on 60 million boxes of Cheerios.. First Book is a national nonprofit that provides new books to children of low-income families.(Williams Company PR)(11-11-2002)

  • Andretti, Dallenbach, Petty Team For Key Program: Drivers John Andretti and Wally Dallenbach will be racing hard to win - and to help young readers win, too - this weekend at Phoenix. Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories, serving as an associate sponsor for Dallenbach's BGN #6 team and Andretti's #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge Cup team, will donate 43 books for each lap the two drivers complete in NASCAR events at Phoenix this week. The donated books will go to First Book-Phoenix/Scottsdale. At 43 books per lap, that means that Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories, in conjunction with Simon & Schuster, will donate as many as 22,016 new childrens books if both drivers complete each lap in their respective races. First Book, a national nonprofit which provides new books to children from low-income families, will distribute the donated books to children in need in the Greater Phoenix area. Nationally, as many as 61 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for their children. Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories race donation is part of a broader commitment to childrens literacy that includes putting more than five million books inside boxes of Cheerios. Families can help Cheerios get even more books to children in their own communities using the First Book donation form found on Cheerios boxes.(Williams Company PR)(11-7-2002)

  • Andretti and Fittipaldi stuff: #43-John Andretti hasn't signed a contract with Petty Enterprises for 2003, but Kyle Petty says: "He told me he was going to do our deal, so it's just a matter of time." Petty is optimistic about new driver Christian Fittipaldi, who will make his Winston Cup debut this weekend at Phoenix in the #44. Petty says Fittipaldi's test times there last week were competitive with other teams'.(Sporting News)(11-4-2002)

  • #43 special scheme at the Rock: General Mills Pop Secret Popcorn. The popcorn is the title sponsor for Sundays Pop Secret 400 at the 1.017-mile North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham. John Andretti will be driving a specially-painted #43 Pop Secret Dodge for this weekends race. General Mills and its cereals and snack foods have sponsored Petty Enterprises and the #43 team since the summer of 2000.(Willams Company PR)(10-31-2002)

  • Sad News: Mary Stofflet, grandmother of John Andretti, has passed away. Arrangements are being handled by George Bensing Funeral Home in Mooretown, PA. The viewing is scheduled tonight from 7-9 p.m., and the funeral Thursday, Oct. 31, at 1:00pm/et. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be sent to: Salem United Church of Christ, 2218 Community Drive, Bath, PA. 18014.(10-30-2002)

  • Andretti Signed? by Petty UPDATE: Car owner Kyle Petty said John Andretti has a contract to sign to remain with Petty Enterprises. "We've pretty much agreed to most everything we're going to agree to," Petty said. "We're just going through formalities." ... (Roanoke Times)(10-20-2002)
    UPDATE: Petty Enterprises CEO Kyle Petty said a contract is nearly completed to keep John Andretti with the team next season. "We've agreed to everything," Petty said. "We just haven't sat down and put it on paper."(NASCAR.com)(10-26-2002)

  • The King at an AFB: NASCAR legend Richard Petty visited Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to eat lunch and visit with Tech-Sergeant Stephen Peterson. Peterson won the grand prize in TNTs Win the King Sweepstakes. Petty also signed a go-cart replica of his famous number 43 car for the on-base Thunder-Trakz Raceway. After lunch, Petty and Peterson toured the base, which gave Petty the chance to meet a lot of airmen. TNTs camera crew shot footage of the visit. It will air November 3rd during NASCARs Winston Cup Pop Secret 400 at Rockingham. Peterson and his family also won tickets to the race.(News 14 Carloina)(10-25-2002)

  • Andretti back to the #43 in 2003? confirmed...sort of: while watching the race coverage at Kansas on NBC, it was mentioned that John Andretti had agreed to drive the #43 Dodge in 2003, just need the signed contract to make it official.(9-30-2002)

  • Andretti Close to re-signing with Petty, including Indy 500 UPDATE: #45-Kyle Petty said that the team is close to signing #43-John Andretti to a contract extension and Andretti would be allowed to attempt to drive in the Indianapolis 500 next May. "It's one of those deals where you're 99.9 percent," sure it will happen, Petty said of the contract extension. "It's just nobody's name is on a piece of paper." Petty said he has no problems letting Andretti run in the Indy 500 next year. The problem this year, Petty said, was that Andretti asked on such short notice and did not allow the Petty sponsors to possibly put together a sponsorship package for that race. Andretti said he's hopeful that his cousin, Michael Andretti, will have an extra car for him next May. Michael Andretti, who bought into an Indy car team, will run three cars in the Indy Racing League next year.(Roanoke Times)(9-21-2002)
    UPDATE: John Andretti knows where and for whom he plans to race in 2003  has known, in fact, for some time  but he's not telling. ''I've made up my mind,'' he said Saturday following ''Happy Hour,'' practice at Dover. ''But I haven't signed anything yet. The ball's not in my court now. I actually made up my mind a little bit ago and I'm just waiting on a response. 'It's not really going to be up to me and, in my mind, it's never been up to me. The formal announcement comes from the team and from the sponsors, so I'm just a participant. They're just waiting to do that, they're just waiting to get everything sewed up.''(Morning Call)(9-23-2002)

  • Andretti and Petty test at Dover: #43-John Andretti, who was testing a Petty Dodge at Dover on Tuesday and Wednesday, isn't saying yet what that decision will be. He was careful to give no real hint of his plans in an interview with The Associated Press. "Any driver announcement is up to the team and the sponsor,'' Andretti said. "I'll let them take care of that when the time comes. It would be easier to leave than it is to stay and work on things and make them better,'' he added. "But I believe in the Petty organization. I'm extremely close (to a decision).'' #45-Kyle Petty, who runs the team based in Randleman, N.C., and is Andretti's teammate, also was in Dover for the test.(ESPN/AP)(9-12-2002)

  • Petty to announce Andretti's signing...today? UPDATE NO: Kyle Petty has a news conference set for today [doesn't say where or what time], and it is widely expected that he will announce that John Andretti has signed a new contract. Andretti's future has been the subject of much debate the last few weeks, with several other teams vying for his services. What Andretti has wanted most out of a new contract is the OK to run in the Indy 500 in May.(Winston Salem Journal)
    UPDATE: There is no press conference with Petty Enterprises scheduled today, and none is anticipated.(9-9-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Kyle Petty may have answered one of the key lingering questions involving Winston Cup racing's 2003 lineup during an appearance at a Charlotte church Monday evening. Petty, answering a question at Hickory Grove Baptist Church where he took part in a program featuring Oliver North as the key speaker, said John Andretti has agreed to stay with Petty Enterprises as driver of the #43 Dodges. A team spokesman on Tuesday said that Petty's remarks did not constitute an official announcement that Andretti will return, and that nothing has been signed to that effect. Petty said Saturday at Richmond International Raceway that he hoped Andretti would return but that his family's team was still waiting on a decision. One possible option if Andretti decided to leave the team went away over the weekend when Chip Ganassi announced he had hired Jamie McMurray to drive for his third team with the Chevron/Texaco sponsorship.(ThatsRacin.com)(9-11-2002)

  • Andretti leaving Petty? UPDATE 2: With Ricky Rudd out of the picture, Winston Cup team owner Chip Ganassi continues to look for a third driver for a new car that will begin competition for the team next season. John Andretti said he was leaving Petty Enterprises at the end of this season to pursue another ride and may ultimately end up with Ganassi. Andretti would love to return to the Indianapolis 500 and that is something that Ganassi would give him. Andretti reportedly met with Ganassi this week.(FoxSports/SportsTicker)(9-3-2002)
    UPDATE: John Andretti said he is leaving Petty Enterprises at the end of this season to pursue other options, and his best option may be a third Winston Cup car for Chip Ganassi's team. Andretti has made it clear he wants to compete again in the Indy 500, and that easily could be arranged through Ganassi's IRL team. Kyle Petty will reveal his team's plans for 2003 on Saturday at Richmond. It's expected that Petty will have two cars next year instead of three, but Christian Fittipaldi probably will run a third Petty car in selected Winston Cup races while competing full time in the Busch series.(Dallas Morning News)(9-5-2002)
    UPDATE 2: John Andretti told MRN Radio in an interview Friday at Richmond that no decisions had been made regarding his plans for next year, and that he had not talked to any reporters about definite plans. Apparently, some people are writing some things without bothering to ask Andretti.(9-6-2002)
    UPDATE 3: John Andretti is vigorously denying stories on the Internet after the Darlington, S.C. event that had Andretti leaving Petty Racing. Andretti said he never said more than a Hi, How are you? to the reporter who first broke the story. Thats not to say that Andretti has a signed deal with Petty at this time, but rather hes still working on next years plans in general. Andretti said to TFR, Im more worried about this weeks race than next year.(Ford Racing)(9-7-2002)

  • The #24 almost went to Petty: Jeff Gordon's car number, 24, is the one sought by the late Lee Petty when he began competing in NASCAR in the late 1940s. "But the number was already taken, so Daddy just reversed it to 42," Richard recalls. That's how the whole Petty 40 series began, with Richard getting 43, then Kyle 44 and Adam 45, until Adam's death in 2000. Kyle now drives 45 to help keep his son's memory alive. Had Lee gotten his preference, Richard likely would have made the number 25 legendary. Gordon's number now? Well, 43 might have been available, in that there would have been no mystique attached to it.(Orlando Sentinel)(9-5-2002)

  • Petty Enterprises to two cars in 2003? UPDATE denied and more on Andretti: The Buzz has learned that Petty Enterprises may be making a sponsor switch between the #44 and #45 Dodge teams. Sprint has already announced they would not be returning to the #45 of Kyle Petty after this year. With current sponsor Georgia Pacific still signed on with Petty, the team may move the sponsor from the #44, currently being driven by Jerry Nadeau, to the #45 for the 2003 season. With Christian Fittipaldi coming aboard next year in Busch and ARCA competition, Petty Enterprises may not put a driver in the #44 at all and utilize the shop space and resources for Fittipaldi. An announcement is expected to be made in Richmond next week if a sponsor switch is going to be made.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-28-2002)
    UPDATE: PRN's Garage Pass radio show reports that Kyle Petty said Petty Enterprises will have three Cup teams in 2003, contrary to reports and that they need three teams to make it work. Petty also said the main question is if John Andretti will return in 2003 to the #43. Andretti has a contract in hand from Petty but has not decided on his 2003 plans yet.(8-31-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises is waiting to see what John Andretti decides to do for next season. Andretti's contract is up at the end of this season, and he has been wooed by Rick Hendrick and Chip Ganassi, according to team sources. It is not clear when Andretti might have to make a decision.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-2-2002)

  • Andretti's Plans? Now that Ricky Rudd has signed his deal, the focus in the Winston Cup garage turns to car owner Chip Ganassi, who is looking for a new driver for his planned third team. Ganassi says he's looking for youth, noting that Sterling Marlin and Jimmy Spencer are both well into their 40s. One obvious man to keep an eye on is Jason Leffler, who drove for Ganassi last year as a rookie before being pushed back to the Truck series, where he has been a hot driver this season. Another man is John Andretti, who drives for Kyle Petty but who has expressed a strong desire to add the Indy 500 to his schedule, something Ganassi can easily do. Andretti reportedly met with Ganassi this week. Andretti was pressed hard here yesterday by the media but he offered no clues as to what he might do.(Winston Salem Journal)AND Now that Ricky Rudd and Elliott Sadler have shored up their 2003 plans, the focus turns to John Andretti and whether or not he'll be back with Petty Enterprises. Andretti has been in the #43 Dodge since 1998, but his contract is up at the end of the season. Kyle Petty, who runs the organization, has said they want Andretti back, but no deal has been reached and Andretti said he has spoken to other car owners about opportunities. "I don't play games and I don't run from motorhome to motorhome looking for a deal," Andretti said. "If somebody wants to talk to me, they can call me on the phone." But Andretti sounded as if he's leaning toward sticking with Petty, even though it's possible higher-profile teams like Chip Ganassi Racing could be wooing him. One sticking point in the negotiations is Andretti's desire to run in the Indianapolis 500, which he did in 1994, but Petty refused to let him do this season. Andretti said he's not giving up on his bid to run in the race.(Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(8-24-2002)

  • It's Up to Andretti: Its up to John Andretti to decide whether he wants to return to Petty Enterprises next year. Andretti has been contacted by at least two other Winston Cup teams and has yet to decide what he will do next season. Kyle Petty, however, has made it clear that he wants Andretti back in the #43 Dodge next season.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscribtion to read)(8-15-2002)

  • more Petty plans for 2003: Kyle Pettysaid he's returning to drive [in 2003]. Petty, whose team does not have a sponsor for next season, said the team should have an announcement within two months on that issue. Petty said the organization also is searching for sponsorship for Fittipaldi's team. Petty said the team hopes John Andretti will return, and that Jerry Nadeau, the team's other driver for the rest of the season, is unlikely to return because he has other offers.(Roanoke Times)(8-8-2002)

  • Special Paint Scheme for the #43 at Indy: To rev students and parents up about the upcoming school year, the Cheerios/Betty Crocker #43 Dodge will feature a special Box Tops for Education paint scheme during the Brickyard 400 on August 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Box Tops for Education is General Mills' acclaimed school fund-raising program. Through the Box Tops for Education program, eligible schools can earn up to $30,000 per school year. To date, General Mills has contributed nearly $70 million cash back to America's schools through the program. NASCAR Winston Cup driver John Andretti, who will race the Box Tops for Education car, is excited to help promote this celebrated program. "I'm happy to help support Box Tops for Education and raise awareness of General Mills' efforts to help schools earn cash," said Andretti. "Families are such an important part of the NASCAR experience which makes it the perfect place to feature a great program like Box Tops for Education." The special paint scheme features the vibrant Box Tops for Education logo on the hood and TV panel. Additionally, Kroger affirms its commitment to Box Tops for Education through the Kroger Racing logo prominently displayed on the deck lid.
    Introduced in 1996, Box Tops for Education is a school fundraising program run by General Mills, Inc. Box Tops for Education is open to any accredited public, private or parochial school, containing any class with students from Kindergarten to 8th grade, in the United States that is organized and primarily operated for education purposes and to any United States military school, containing any class with students from Kindergarten to 8th grade, worldwide. The Box Tops for Education program provides consumers three ways to earn cash for their school: Clip with the original Box Tops for Education; Shop online at the Box Tops for Education Marketplace; Charge with the Box Tops for Education Visa card. For more information about Box Tops for Education, visit boxtops4education.com.(IMG PR)(7-31-2002)

  • Weis Markets joins the #43 for Pocono: General Mills is proud to announce the sponsors on the #43 Dodge of John Andretti at Pocono will be Cheerios/Weis Markets. Prior to the start, attention will focus on victory circle, General Mills and Weis Markets will honor Ned Chamberlain, who has been a Weis over the road truck driver for 35 years. He will be preasented with a framed Cheerios racing jacket, signed by team owner Richard Petty and John Andretti. The award is for his years of service and the remarkable feat of 1.5 million miles of safe driving. Presenting the award will be Norm Rich, President of Weis Markets. Cheerios is the regular sponsor for the #43.(PR)(7-26-2002)

  • Another Andretti: Adam Andretti, younger brother of #43-John Andretti and cousin of CART driver Michael Andretti, plans to make his ASA debut at Madison, WI as part of a limited schedule this year. Adam, 23, will drive a car owned by Jerry Wood, of Madison, and team with Wood's son, Chad. He has raced since 1995, progressing through karts, U.S. Formula 3, SCCA endurance racing and the NASCAR Featherlite Southwest Series.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)(7-26-2002)

  • Andretti to the IRL? UPDATE: If talks between Michael Andretti and Tony George lead to the Championship Auto Racing Teams star starting his own team in the Indy Racing League next year, might he try to lure his cousin, John, back to the open-wheel ranks? "You'd have to ask him that," said a grinning John Andretti, who is in his ninth season on the Winston Cup circuit. "I think he'd be too cheap to pay me."(Indianapolis Star)(7-19-2002)
    UPDATE: John Andretti is another driver left wondering about his future. He's not sure if he'll be back with Petty Enterprises after his contract expires at the end of the year. Asked when he'll know what he'll be doing next season, Andretti said: "I guess when there's only one seat left and I'm the only driver left, then they'll figure it out." Andretti had a slight disagreement at Petty this season when Kyle Petty refused to let him run in the Indianapolis 500. Andretti wants badly to run that race again, and it could be a reason why he'd leave the Petty's three-car operation. But he said if he did go elsewhere, it would be in NASCAR and not an open-wheel series. "I don't have any plans to leave Winston Cup," Andretti said. "Other people might have plans for me to leave Winston Cup, but I don't. I want to still do the 500. I've never hidden that, but I haven't got to do it since I did it in 1994. I'm not the most impossible guy in the world to deal with. There are things I want, but I can appreciate when you sit down and talk about it, I'd like to think I'm rational, and I try to do the right thing."(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(7-21-2002)

  • Petty and Andretti: Kyle Petty said Indianapolis native John Andretti has a job driving for Petty Enterprises for as long as he wants it. A contract beyond this year hasn't been completed, Petty said, because if Andretti "can improve his position or wants to, we want to give him an option."(Indianapolis Star)(7-15-2002)

  • Petty Changes: New crew chiefs were named for two Petty Enterprises NASCAR Winston Cup cars, CEO Kyle Petty announced today. Brandon Thomas has been named crew chief for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of driver John Andretti, while Greg Steadman moved from that team to become crew chief for the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge of driver Steve Grissom. Bryant Frazier will shift into the role of car chief for the #44. Thomas, a mechanical engineering graduate of Virginia Tech University, has been most recently with Joe Gibbs Racing. From 1999-2001, he was at Penske Racing South working on the #2 car. While at Penske, Thomas worked closely with Robin Pemberton, Petty Enterprises' Vice President and General Manager. "Brandon and I worked well together at Penske" said Pemberton. "I've seen him with a lot of racers, and he will fit in great with our people. His race experience and background will be a big plus for Petty Enterprises."
    "This is just another step in continuing our progress at Petty Enterprises," said Petty. "If we take the good people that we have, like Greg Steadman and Bryant Frazier, and add more quality talents like Brandon Thomas, we keep improving all of our teams. We were fortunate that Joe Gibbs and Jimmy Makar were willing to work with us, as they had Brandon under contract. Coach Gibbs kept asking for a first-round draft choice in 2003 to get the deal done, though," Petty quipped. The crew changes are effective for this weekend's race in Pocono.(Williams Company PR)(6-5-2002)

  • Petty hopes Andretti stays UPDATE: Kyle Petty said on Saturday that he hopes John Andretti returns for a sixth season in the #43 Cheerios Dodge, but also acknowledged that Andretti is exploring other options. "John's been out talking, and that's a fact of life in Winston Cup racing," Petty said, " We want him to stay. We would be remiss to change drivers." Andretti's contract with Petty Enterprises is up at the end of this year. It's been a frustrating season for Andretti, 39, who has scored just three top-20 finishes in 12 races this season and is currently 32nd in points. He was 31st last year. Petty also said that the improvement of the #44 Dodge -- Steve Grissom finished eighth at Richmond, that car's best finish since 2000 -- has sparked interest among other drivers. Petty is also busy solidifying the future of his own #45 Dodge, whose contract with Sprint runs out at the end of the year. Petty's other two cars, the #43 and the #44, are fully sponsored for 2003.(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2002)
    UPDATE - Andretti says he's not thinking about leaving Petty: Petty Enterprises, concerned driver John Andretti will leave the organization when his contract expires at the end of the year, might not have anything to worry about. Andretti admitted Tuesday hes not happy with his performance this season, but still believes things can turn around with the Petty organization. "Its too good of an organization to be where were at and its  I dont want to use the word embarrassing  but its just not what were capable of doing," he said. "Ive been here for a lot rougher days and I know that everything is coming in the right direction. So I dont know that I am ready to get off right now because I know things are coming." Poor performances, coupled with the Indy issue, created speculation that Andretti would not be back with Petty at the end of the season. Petty has heard the rumors and said over the weekend he hoped Andretti would not leave the #43 Dodge. Andretti seemed surprised at all the free agency talk. "If I get to January and they stop paying me, I guess Id get my contract out and read it," he said. "In all honesty, I couldnt tell you how long Ive been here and how long the contract was for." He also said while disappointed at not running Indy this year, it would not be a major sticking point to future negotiations with Petty or any other car owner. "I like people to agree to things and not be forced into them, and Id hate to think I might have to force an issue to do something," he said.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-5-2002)

  • Petty hopes Andretti stays UPDATE: Kyle Petty said on Saturday that he hopes John Andretti returns for a sixth season in the #43 Cheerios Dodge, but also acknowledged that Andretti is exploring other options. "John's been out talking, and that's a fact of life in Winston Cup racing," Petty said, " We want him to stay. We would be remiss to change drivers." Andretti's contract with Petty Enterprises is up at the end of this year. It's been a frustrating season for Andretti, 39, who has scored just three top-20 finishes in 12 races this season and is currently 32nd in points. He was 31st last year. Petty also said that the improvement of the #44 Dodge -- Steve Grissom finished eighth at Richmond, that car's best finish since 2000 -- has sparked interest among other drivers. Petty is also busy solidifying the future of his own #45 Dodge, whose contract with Sprint runs out at the end of the year. Petty's other two cars, the #43 and the #44, are fully sponsored for 2003.(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2002)
    UPDATE - Andretti says he's not thinking about leaving Petty: Petty Enterprises, concerned driver John Andretti will leave the organization when his contract expires at the end of the year, might not have anything to worry about. Andretti admitted Tuesday hes not happy with his performance this season, but still believes things can turn around with the Petty organization. "Its too good of an organization to be where were at and its  I dont want to use the word embarrassing  but its just not what were capable of doing," he said. "Ive been here for a lot rougher days and I know that everything is coming in the right direction. So I dont know that I am ready to get off right now because I know things are coming." Poor performances, coupled with the Indy issue, created speculation that Andretti would not be back with Petty at the end of the season. Petty has heard the rumors and said over the weekend he hoped Andretti would not leave the #43 Dodge. Andretti seemed surprised at all the free agency talk. "If I get to January and they stop paying me, I guess Id get my contract out and read it," he said. "In all honesty, I couldnt tell you how long Ive been here and how long the contract was for." He also said while disappointed at not running Indy this year, it would not be a major sticking point to future negotiations with Petty or any other car owner. "I like people to agree to things and not be forced into them, and Id hate to think I might have to force an issue to do something," he said.(ThatsRacin.com/AP)(6-5-2002)

  • Rudd to the Wood Brothers? Andretti? Elliott Sadler will get his long-sought release from Wood Brothers Racing this week, but won't be leaving until the end of this NASCAR season. Sadler wants to leave the Stuart-based team to pursue a new Winston Cup ride. Some feel that means Dale Earnhardt Inc., which seemingly will fire Steve Park within the next week or so. But there's growing sentiment in the garage that Sadler might join Robert Yates Racing. If that happens, look for RYR driver Ricky Rudd to join the Wood brothers for the last year or so of his career. Team co-owners Eddie and Len Wood have been working with Motorcraft and the Air Force for several weeks.(Daily Press), another rumor floating around has John Andretti going to the Wood Brother's #21 Ford.(5-27-2002)

  • Andretti a clone? UPDATE 3 image and some Star Wars/Cheerios PR: hearing the #43 Cheerios Dodge and driver John Andretti will sport a special Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones movie scheme in 2002. The movie is scheduled for release in May, been told the scheme will run in The Winston and the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway(2-5-2002)
    UPDATE: Got an image of the scheme, check it out on the Paint Schemes page.(2-6-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Cheerios announces three special edition Star Wars paint schemes and have designed a special paint scheme for Episode I, Episode II and a Trilogy edition. On their site [www.starwars.cheeriosracing.com], folks can check out each new car design, view them from different angles, pick a favorite and compare them with other. Images can be downloaded. Beginning in May in select states, specially marked packages of Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Nut Chex and Golden Grahams will be offering a FREE mail in for three collectible 1:64 die cast cars with #43 Cheerios Star Wars special edition paint schemes. Collect all three special edition paint schemes: Episode I, Episode II and the Trilogy car. In conjunction with the FREE mail-in offer, John Andretti will be driving a new, one-time-only Light Side vs. Dark Side Star Wars paint scheme in May at the Lowe's Motor Speedway to commemorate the movie premier.(PR)(3-18-2002)
    UPDATE 3: Star Wars fans, outfitted as Star Wars storm troopers, stood guard at a Charlotte movie theater today...but they weren't waiting in line for tickets to Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones. Instead, they helped NASCAR driver John Andretti unveil a special Star Wars paint scheme for the Cheerios #43 Dodge commemorating the May 16 release of the epic film. Andretti will race the Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones paint scheme at The Winston on May 18 and Coca-Cola 600 on May 26, both at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. In addition to the Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones car, General Mills has created paint schemes representing the original Star Wars trilogy and Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. Fans can check out the three different paint schemes and choose their favorite at www.starwars.cheeriosracing.com. Plus, select limited-edition packages of Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Nut Chex and Golden Grahams will feature a mail-in offer for all three collectible 1:64 die-cast Star Wars #43 cars. In addition to the NASCAR excitement, General Mills has created a number of fun and exciting limited-edition Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones products. With special-edition products in categories including cereal, yogurt and fruit snacks, innovative packaging and valuable premiums, General Mills is helping kids incorporate the magic of Star Wars into their daily routines. Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones will be in theatres nation-wide May 16 and was written and directed by George Lucas(IMG PR)(5-15-2002)

  • John Andretti To Aid Easter Seals: John Andretti will get a few new sidekicks before he takes to the track for the Coca-Cola 600 on May 26, and will be meeting them and the public in an appearance in Charlotte on May 22. Andretti will be teaming with Petty Enterprises sponsor Sprint and Easter Seals of North Carolina for Project Connect, which recycles used cellular telephones for money that will be donated to the local Easter Seals chapter. The driver of the #43 Cheerios Pontiac will also be welcoming area YMCA children as his "Sidekicks" for the evening. Children from the YMCA raced in a NASCAR simulator to earn the honors of VIP treatment and the chance to meet Andretti. Andretti will be appearing at the Sprint store at 230 East WT Harris Blvd. from 6-8 p.m. on May 22 and will be meeting and signing autographs for the public as well as for the children. Fans that bring a used phone to donate to the program will receive VIP treatment and placement in the front of the line.(Speed Channel)(5-14-2002)

  • Special #43 Scheme at Daytona: John Andretti will run a Grands/Pillsbury Dodge at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona in July, see my Paint Scheme Gallery for the two images.(5-2-2002)

  • Nice Ride to School: A dream came true for 11-year-old Jonathan Greene of Pineville, NC today when NASCAR driver John Andretti drove the #43 Honey Nut Cheerios Dodge Intrepid to Greene's apartment to pick him up for school. Greene won the ride to school in the Honey Nut Cheerios #43 Dodge Intrepid through a General Mills contest held during Speed Street, a NASCAR street festival held every May in Uptown Charlotte. Andretti driving the car was an added surprise. "Hello Mr. Andretti!" Greene exclaimed as he opened the door to welcome the Winston Cup driver. "This is awesome," Greene later said. "This is the best ride to school I have ever had.". Even Andretti was excited about the ride to South Charlotte Middle School. "This is one way to get excited about going to school," Andretti said. "Jonathan and I had a great ride today. The car handled great and we definitely had a lot of horsepower out there. Who knows, this may give Jonathan the bug to become a future Winston Cup Champion."(General Mills PR)(4-30-2002)

  • More Petty Movie News: Richard Petty and Bill Scott, executive vice president of Petty Enterprises, met Saturday with officials working on a proposed movie about the Petty family. Petty and Scott met at the track with producer Dan Halsted and writer John Warren and went over ideas for the script. Scott said that Warren plans to have a first draft of the script by Memorial Day. Once a script is written, it will be shopped to studios. With actor Dennis Quaid, who is starring in Disney's "The Rookie," set to play Lee Petty, it could make it easier for the script to be picked by a studio. The studio would determine where filming takes place but Halsted liked the idea of filming at least part of the movie in North Carolina, Scott said.(Roanoke Times), see more on the movie at my #43 Team News and Links page.(4-29-2002)

  • No Indy 500 for Andretti...this year: John Andretti isn't going to do the Indianapolis 500-Coca-Cola 600 double this year, but he makes it clear that's not the way he'd prefer it. "Kyle and I sat down and talked and decided we'd wait and talk about it in the future," Andretti said of Kyle Petty, the CEO of the Petty Enterprises operation that owns Andretti's #43 Dodges. "It's disappointing. ...I'm not learning to deal with it any better, especially when I could almost see it and then it went away. There were some really good opportunities. This is probably going to be one of the most competitive (Indy) 500s they've ever had. ...It would be an unbelievable year to go back." Andretti raced in both events on the same day in 1994, becoming the first to accomplish the Indy-car/stock-car double Tony Stewart did in 1999 and 2001.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-28-2002)

  • NASCAR/Petty Movie UPDATE: Dennis Quaid is revved up by a film project delving into the story of NASCAR legend Richard Petty and his complicated relationship with his father Lee, who was an up-and-coming driver until he was injured in a crash. ``Any Given Sunday'' producer Dan Halsted has put together the funds to develop a ``Great Santini''-like story of a son trying to measure up to his father. The younger Petty went on to become NASCAR's winningest driver, but had to go a long way to prove himself to Lee, who'll be played by Quaid. The pic will be exec produced by John O'Hurley, John Myrick and Robin Sharp, and they're out to writers right now.(Yahoo Entertainment - thanks Matt)(11-13-2001)
    UPDATE: The star of "The Rookie" is slated to be father of "The King" of NASCAR in an upcoming movie. Dennis Quaid has pledged to play Lee Petty in an untitled movie chronicling the racing careers of Lee and Richard Petty in the late 1950s and '60s. Richard Petty is NASCAR's all-time winningest driver with 200 victories. The movie will focus on the father-son relationship, as Richard struggles to meet the high expectations Lee had for him. "It's not as much about the grinding of the wheels as it is the relationship of the two best racers in NASCAR," John O'Hurley, executive producer of the upcoming film, said Wednesday in Greensboro. The actor to play Richard Petty hasn't been finalized. The movie has gotten a thumbs-up from Richard Petty and Petty Enterprises, said Bill Scott, executive vice president of Petty Enterprises in Level Cross south of Greensboro. Lee Petty died in April 2000. Scott said he and other Petty officials will talk about the script when they are on the West Coast for the NAPA Auto Parts California 500 race this weekend. "We're working with people we trust," said Scott. "O'Hurley, Quaid - they're obviously some people who have influence to get things done in Hollywood." O'Hurley, who played clothier J. Peterman on the television show "Seinfeld," says producer Dan Halsted ("Any Given Sunday") will produce the Petty movie.(ThatsRacin.com)(4-26-2002)

  • More Andretti/Indy 500: #43-John Andretti had wanted to talk this week to team owner Kyle Petty more about Andretti driving in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 in the same day. Busy schedules kept them apart. Petty said he didn't want Andretti, who drove in both races in 1994, to compete at Indy because of the need to focus on the Winston Cup team. Andretti said he wanted to further discuss the issue. It appears unlikely that Andretti will compete in the Indy 500, although he still has a ride available.(Roanoke Times)(4-14-2002)

  • Andretti Talking Indy 500 again UPDATE: John Andretti, the first driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 in the same day, says he'll meet with car owner Kyle Petty next week and ask to drive in both races. Petty said a couple of weeks ago that Andretti wouldn't be driving at Indianapolis so Andretti could focus on his Petty Enterprises ride. Andretti wants to drive the Indy 500 again and admits he has "more than one" opportunity to race there this year. "We're going to sit down and we're going to talk about it," Andretti said of his meeting with Petty. "We're going to talk about this year and kind of clean that up and then see what the future is because I do want to do Indy."(News and Record)(4-6-2002)
    UPDATE: John Andretti will meet with team owner Kyle Petty this week in hopes of getting permission to try the Indianapolis 500/Coca-Cola 600 double May 26. He'll get the same answer he got earlier this year: #"We've got Winston Cup races to run, and he's our Winston Cup driver," Petty said Monday. Andretti was the first driver to race in the Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Winston Cup race at Charlotte on the same day, in 1994, and is passionate about trying it again. He said he respects the Petty family too much to give them an ultimatum, but his contract is up this season and having permission to run Indy will figure into his decision to re-sign with the team. "Indy's really important to me, and I'm not sure I want to give it up for the rest of my career," said Andretti, nephew of 1969 Indy winner Mario Andretti. "I've easily got some years left in me to get there and win Indy, and I want the opportunity. So we'll have to wait and see what comes out of" the meeting. Petty said he wants Andretti to be able to race at Indy  just not this year, a critical point in the rebuilding process of the once-dominant team. Petty Enterprises made several changes in the offseason, switching to a new engine supplier and hiring Robin Pemberton to take over many of Petty's management responsibilities.(USA Today)(4-9-2002)

  • Petty inducted into Automotive Hall of Fame: Seven individuals representing racing, design, engineering and bold innovation have been selected for induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame. The Inductee class of 2002 includes Giovanni Agnelli, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Frank McCarthy, Andre and Edouard Michelin, Richard Petty and Owen Skelton.(PRN Newswire)(3-27-2002)

  • No Indy 500 for Andretti in 2002: #43-John Andretti wants to run in both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 this year. His NASCAR bosses are putting a halt to any double-duty plans. "John's not going to do it," Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, said Saturday. "We're just not in a position to let John do this at this time. I want John to do it, but we need his focus to be on the Winston Cup cars." That's disappointing news to Andretti, who tried the double in 1994. He's been trying to do the grueling 1,100-miles of racing in the same day ever since and approached Petty on Friday to ask if he could do it this year. "I 100 percent want to do it, so I asked and then I listened for a while," said Andretti, who is hopeful Petty might change his mind. (Daytona Beach News Journal/AP)(3-24-2002)

  • Andretti a clone? UPDATE 2 image and some Star Wars/Cheerios PR: hearing the #43 Cheerios Dodge and driver John Andretti will sport a special Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones movie scheme in 2002. The movie is scheduled for release in May, been told the scheme will run in The Winston and the Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway(2-5-2002)
    UPDATE: Got an image of the scheme, check it out on my Paint Schemes Gallery.(2-6-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Cheerios announces three special edition Star Wars paint schemes and have designed a special paint scheme for Episode I, Episode II and a Trilogy edition. On their site [www.starwars.cheeriosracing.com], folks can check out each new car design, view them from different angles, pick a favorite and compare them with other. Images can be downloaded. Beginning in May in select states, specially marked packages of Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Nut Chex and Golden Grahams will be offering a FREE mail in for three collectible 1:64 die cast cars with #43 Cheerios Star Wars special edition paint schemes. Collect all three special edition paint schemes: Episode I, Episode II and the Trilogy car. In conjunction with the FREE mail-in offer, John Andretti will be driving a new, one-time-only Light Side vs. Dark Side Star Wars paint scheme in May at the Lowe's Motor Speedway to commemorate the movie premier.(PR)(3-18-2002)

  • Cheerioes and Reading - special #43 scheme at Atlanta: on Wednesday (March 6th) Cheerios announced a national commitment to childhood literacy. NASCAR driver John Andretti appeared at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta to kick off a major book drive with Cheerios, Petty Enterprises and Kroger stores. The regional effort includes a major book donation to local charities, a book collection effort at Atlanta and Macon area Kroger stores, a free book offer on special-edition racing packages, and the Cheerios Literacy #43, which Andretti will drive in the Atlanta 500 this weekend. Surrounded by children at an after-school celebration, Andretti unveiled the new #43 and read aloud to the children. He also announced that Cheerios and Petty Enterprises will donate 43 new books to the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs of Atlanta and Macon for every lap the #43 completes in this Sunday's Atlanta 500.. If Andretti completes all 325 laps, 13,975 new books will be donated to children in Atlanta and Macon areas. To ensure that the program reaches as many children as possible, a minimum donation of 7,500 new books will be made. Atlanta and Macon area Kroger stores are also lending a hand in the literacy initiative. Now through March 16, book collection bins will be in more than 150 Kroger stores to help collect additional books for area children. Cheerios will donate a new book for every book donated by shoppers at Kroger stores, up to 7,000 books, to double the number of books children receive. All books collected will be distributed to local children's organizations. In addition to the book donation, over 28 million boxes of Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Multi-Grain Cheerios and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios will offer three award-winning children's books. The books, published by Knopf Delacorte Dell Young Readers Group, are free with two proofs of purchase and $1.25 for shipping and handling. In select Southeast markets, John Andretti is pictured reading with his family on special-edition packages featuring this offer. As part of the program launch, Cheerios has donated $100,000 to Reading is Fundamental (RIF), the nation's largest children's literacy organization, and will donate an additional 15 cents to RIF for every book redeemed through the on-pack promotion (up to $150,000). With these donations, RIF will help get even more books into the hands of children across the country.(IMG Motorsports PR/Cheerios Racing)(3-8-2002)

  • Petty and Garfield? UPDATE 2 actually the #43 and Garfield: hearing Kyle Petty will have a special Garfield (cartoon character) scheme in 2002 on the #45 Sprint Dodge but it will not race on the track but be a promotional/show car, such as the #29 Oreo Car was in 2001.(2-5-2002)
    UPDATE: got a layout image of the car and it'll be used on the #43 Dodge as a promotional tool, an announcement of some sort with Petty Enterprises is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb 12th at Daytona. See my Paint Schemes Gallery for the image(2-6-2002)
    UPDATE 2: Richard Petty, the seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion, and Paws Inc., the corporation that handles Jim Davis' Garfield series of newspaper comic strips and television cartoons, have announced a two-year licensing agreement that will surpass anything the sport has seen. The announcement was made today at Daytona USA. Petty Enterprises and Paws Inc. will collaborate in a series of souvenir merchandise, specialty cars, events and promotions. Much of the proceeds will go to the Victory Junction Gang Camp for chronically ill children and the Kyle Petty Charity Ride.(Williams Company PR)(2-12-2002)


    Richard Petty (right), Garfield and Garfield creator Jim Davis (left)
    pose by a new Garfield car that was unveiled Tuesday at Daytona

  • Andretti a clone? UPDATE an image: hearing the #43 Cheerios Dodge and driver John Andretti will sport a special Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones movie scheme in 2002. The movie is scheduled for release in May, been told the scheme will run in The Wintson and thew Coca Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway(2-5-2002)
    UPDATE: Got an image of the scheme, check it out on my Paint Schemes Gallery(2-6-2002)

  • PE in the wind: hearing Petty Enterprises [#'s 43,44,45] has a few cars at the N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today testing the a speedway car and a downforce car(1-22-2002)

  • Andretti testing at Kentucky: #43-John Andretti and Petty Enterprises will test at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday Jan. 24, and Friday Jan. 25.(Kentucky Speedway PR)(1-23-2002)

  • Lakeland Testing: some teams/drivers tested at Lakeland Speedway in FL this week. John Andretti tested the #43 and #45 Dodges. Eliott Sadler tested the #21 Ford with help from Mark Martin. #10-Johnny Benson was scheduled to test there but had to cancel and rescheduled their test for Feb. 4 and 5. Roush CTS driver Jon Wood spent some time testing with Mark Martin. Wood tested for two days in Lakeland before heading to the mandatory testing sessions at Daytona this weekend(various PR's)(1-19-2002)

  • Andretti wins charity race: John Andretti won a 15-lap race for charity at New Smyrna Speedway that featured fellow Winston Cup drivers Kyle Petty, Hut Stricklin and Casey Atwood. The "Race For Kids Sake" was ran to help support Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Volusia County. Atwood won last year's event.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(1-16-2002)

  • Torch News: Indianapolis 500 champions, Indy Racing League champions, and stars from Indy Racing and the Brickyard 400 will participate in the Olympic Torch relay as it makes its way through Indianapolis on Jan. 7-8. Indy Racing drivers Davey Hamilton and Sarah Fisher are scheduled to carry the torch the evening of Jan. 7 as it arrives in downtown Indianapolis. Eddie Cheever Jr. and Helio Castroneves, the 1998 and 2001 Indianapolis 500 champions, respectively, will join Sam Hornish Jr., the 2001 Indy Racing League champion, in carrying the torch around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway oval starting a few minutes after 7:00am Jan. 8. Tony Stewart, the 1996-97 Indy Racing League champion and current NASCAR star, will join fellow NASCAR standout and Indianapolis 500 veteran John Andretti, in carrying the torch after it exits the Speedway. Stewart is a native of Columbus, Ind., and Andretti hails from Indianapolis. The event marks the first time the Olympic Torch - which is en route to Salt Lake City for the XIX Winter Olympic Games - will take a lap around the historic 2.5-mile oval. The torch for the 1996 Summer Olympics was brought to the track but did not tour the facility.(IMS PR)(1-7-2002)

2001 News

  • Pemberton to Petty? UPDATE: rumors have former #2 crew chief, Robin Pemberton going to work for Petty Enterprises in some capcity (team manager, general magaer, consultant - but not as a crew chief) for the 2002 season.(12-7-2001)
    UPDATE: Robin Pemberton has been named Vice President and General Manager for Petty Enterprises. "Bringing Robin to our race teams is another important move in taking Petty Enterprises to where we want it to be," said CEO Kyle Petty in making the announcement. "One of the winningest crew chiefs in Winston Cup history joining one of the best engine builders with Mike Ege and bringing them together with all three of our race teams under one roof, we think these moves are going to be big for us." Pemberton, whose career began at Petty Enterprises and has served with some of the top names in motorsports as a crew chief - Kyle Petty, Mark Martin, Bobby Allison, Neil Bonnett and, most recently, Rusty Wallace - has 499 career starts and winnings of nearly $25 million. Both are second in NASCAR's modern era. Pemberton.s position continues a series of bold moves made by Petty Enterprises over the past seasons. The first organization to join forces with Dodge for NASCAR Winston Cup racing, Petty Enterprises began an engineering agreement with Elan Technologies of Atlanta, Ga., last Spring; moved all three teams under one roof in Level Cross in the past month; added Mike Ege Racing engines as its exclusive supplier at the beginning of this year; and now has one of the sport's top organizational mechanical minds as Vice President and General Manager.(Williams Company PR)(1-2-2002)

  • Rolex 24 at Daytona - Robinson in?(no) UPDATE 4 Harvick, Petty, R Gordon, Stewart, Dallenbach, Andretti: hearing Shawna Robinson is going to be driving a second Flis Corvette in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, with Conway and Goad as co-drivers. Supposedly Bam Motorsports is buying the seat time for her.(12-7-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing Shawna Robinson will NOT drive in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and that Kevin Harvick could be in the seat now(12-25-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Flis Motorsports, which claimed 2001 AGT-class driver and car owner championships, will test two Corvettes entered for this year's race. A championship-winning NASCAR driver, whose name will be made public Jan. 2, has signed on to drive in the team's second car(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-27-2001)
    UPDATE 3: Kevin Harvick will help kick off Speed Weeks 2002 by driving a Flis Motorsports Corvette during the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Feb. 2-3. Harvick will join the Daytona Beach-based team drivers Rick Carelli, John Metcalf and Dave Liniger, primary sponsor of the Flis Corvette. Carelli, a Truck Series driver [in Harvicks CTS truck] and longtime friend of Harvick, was instrumental in suggesting that the NASCAR star join the team. Harvick joins a growing list of NASCAR drivers who will suit up for this year's 24-hour event at Daytona International Speedway. Kyle Petty [#45 Cup car], whose team finished seventh overall in the 2001 endurance event, is returning for another run and will bring along Petty Enterprises teammate John Andretti [#43], also a sportscar racing veteran. They will drive a Porsche GT3R. Tony Stewart [#20] will drive a Judd-powered Crawford prototype racer. Wally Dallenbach Jr. will drive a Robinson Racing Riley & Scott MkIII, also a prototype. Robby Gordon [#31] is said to be joining Indy Racing League driver Scott Sharp, who announced Wednesday that he will drive for the Jim Matthews Racing team in an Elan-powered Riley & Scott. Sharp, a two-time SCCA Trans-Am champion and 1996 IRL inaugural season co-champion, teamed with Wayne Taylor and Jim Pace to win overall honors in the 1996 Rolex 24 At Daytona.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-28-2001)
    UPDATE 4: Robby Gordon will drive a Jim Matthews Racing R&S Mk III C for the 40th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, according to Bill Riley, vice president of chassis manufacturer Riley & Scott, and Jim Matthews, owner of Jim Matthews Racing. Guy Smith, Jim Matthews and 1996 Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Scott Sharp will share driving duties with Gordon.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-29-2001)

  • Pemberton to Petty? rumors have former #2 crew chief, Robin Pemberton going to work for Petty Enterprises in some capcity (team manager, general magaer, consultant - but not as a crew chief) for the 2002 season.(12-7-2001)

  • Chex car at Atlanta: the #43 Chex Party Mix Dodge will be driven by John Andretti at the NAPA 500 at Atlanta, see an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(11-15-2001)

  • NASCAR/Petty Movie: Dennis Quaid is revved up by a film project delving into the story of NASCAR legend Richard Petty and his complicated relationship with his father Lee, who was an up-and-coming driver until he was injured in a crash. ``Any Given Sunday'' producer Dan Halsted has put together the funds to develop a ``Great Santini''-like story of a son trying to measure up to his father. The younger Petty went on to become NASCAR's winningest driver, but had to go a long way to prove himself to Lee, who'll be played by Quaid. The pic will be exec produced by John O'Hurley, John Myrick and Robin Sharp, and they're out to writers right now.(Yahoo Entertainment - thanks Matt)(11-13-2001)

  • Hewlett to leave PE UPDATE: Doug Hewitt is leaving his position with Petty Enterprises as the head of its Research and Engineering Developmental Program. He is expected to go work for Joe Gibbs Racing as crew chief for Coy Gibbs in the BGN series, Gibbs currently runs in the CTS(truck) series(NASCAR.com Buzz)
    UPDATE: sources tell me that Gibbs will STAY in the CTS and NOT move up to the BGN series(10-31-2001)

  • Andretti Staying at PE: #43-John Andretti said he would return to Petty Enterprises next season. He has been the subject of several driver-change rumors this season, in part because of the struggles at Petty. "I made a commitment to Kyle and `The King' (Richard Petty) way back when. They asked me if that was going to be OK, and I told them I'm going to stay," Andretti said. "I believe in the guys on this team. It's a great team and once we can close in on the parts and pieces part of it we'll be in good shape."(That's Racin')(10-27-2001)

  • The King launches a website: The King of NASCAR, Richard Petty, and his crew chiefs brought their best practices for engine maintenance to the world of technology by launching the premiere car care web site, All3Every3.com. The web site is an extension of the All 3 Every 3 engine maintenance education program, launched by Petty Enterprises earlier this year, which recommends that Americans practice proper engine maintenance by following three easy steps every 3,000 miles: Change Your Oil, Clean Your Fuel Injectors and Check Your Belts, Hoses and Fluids. Built on the heels of the All 3 Every 3 13-city tour that Petty and his crew chiefs are currently supporting, All3Every3.com reinforces the messages of proper engine maintenance and allows the program to reach a wider audience. For more information, visit www.All3Every3.com(10-23-2001)

  • Special Shoes: Red Wing Shoes has developed a Limited Special Edition Richard Petty Series boot, which will soon be available only at Red Wing dealers and only for a limited time. The boots are embossed with Petty.s likeness and the number 43, and are unique in motorsports. Red Wing Shoes, an associate sponsor on the Petty Enterprises 43 and 45 cars of John Andretti and Kyle Petty, developed the limited edition boot with assistance from Petty(Williams Company)(10-18-2001)

  • Cup car stolen UPDATE 3 Petty and Yates? new Petty engine supplier: At sometime over the past weekend someone stole an official Winston Cup race car from a race team's parking lot. Investigators are not saying which team owns the car. But they are saying the car is worth $200,000. Investigators say it was locked inside a white trailer when someone pulled up, hooked it up and drove off. The team is expected to announce the theft soon, ask for help finding it, and offer a very substantial reward to get it back.(NBC6.com)(9-28-2001)
    UPDATE: quite a twist from NASCAR.com's Buzz - The Buzz has learned that the car was stolen from the property of Robert Yates Racing. It wasnt a Yates car, though, but a dyno chassis car owned by Petty Enterprises. So, what was a Petty car doing at Yates? Well, the two teams may be making some sort of announcement in the next couple of weeks regarding either a joint venture or new ownership of an existing division of Yates. The current ownership of all race teams for both teams will remain the same.(NASCAR.com)(9-29-2001)
    UPDATE 2: hearing that Yates is helping Petty design heads and is looking at supplying Dodge engines to Pettty next year
    UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises will get engines for its 2002 Winston Cup teams (#'s 43,44,45) from a company being spun off of Robert Yates' engine manufacturing business. Mike Ege, general manager and chief engine builder at Robert Yates Engine Manufacturing, has acquired that company and will rename it Mike Ege Racing Engines. That company will supply engines to the three Petty Enterprises Cup teams beginning next season. Ford teams (#'s 7, 11, 26, 32, 66, 90) that had been getting their engines from the subsidiary operation Ege was leading for Yates will start getting their motors directly from Robert Yates Racing, Inc., which also builds the engines for the two Yates-owned Cup teams of drivers Dale Jarrett and Ricky Rudd(That's Racin')(10-2-2001)

  • Fire at Petty Enterprises UPDATE 3: hearing there was a fire at Petty Enterprises Wednesday afternoon, been told it was a small in the engine room, more info as it is found
    UPDATE: FOX8 WGHP reported today that a fire occured at the Petty Enterprises shop, two crewmembers injured, one mechanic was flown to Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, NC with burns to hands and legs. The other employee was not injured as badly. Appears that gasoline was spilled while preparing the 44 car to load on the hauler, the spill entered a room that contained a hot water heater and ignited. Guil Rand Fire Dept responded(a few readers sent this info)(9-12-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Two employees were injured at Petty Enterprises Wednesday afternoon when vapors from a fuel spill were ignited in a storage area. The two men were loading a 55-gallon drum of racing fuel onto a truck when the drum was knocked over. One of the caps on the drum was either missing or loose, allowing the fuel to spill. Vapors drifted into an adjacent room where a pressure washer is kept. The vapors were ignited by a flame from the hot water heater that supplies the pressure washer with water. The identities of the two men were unavailable Wednesday night. Randolph County EMS responded to the accident. A helicopter from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center transported one of the men from the complex. Hussey said the man who was airlifted had received injuries to his leg and arm. The fire had been extinguished by the time firefighters arrived at the complex. He said a former Level Cross volunteer firefighter works at Petty Enterprises. Hussey said that man orchestrated the use of fire extinguishers and the cleanup of the spill.(Racing Extra)(9-13-2001)
    UPDATE 3: A small storage room located at the famed Petty Enterprises race shop caught on fire late Wednesday afternoon leaving two crew men with injuries and burns. The fire was believed to be caused when the two crew men, Mike Root and Rich Parks, were cleaning up a gasoline spill and a flash fire erupted. Root suffered second and third-degree burns to his arms and legs. He was taken to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem to be treated for his injuries. Root was kept overnight where he remains in stable condition. Parks suffered a laceration to his head and a minor burn to his hands. He drove to High Point Regional Hospital where he was checked and released. The famed A-frame shop at Petty Enterprises suffered minimal damage. "Our thoughts and prayers are both with Mike and Rich this morning," said Kyle Petty, who serves as the CEO of Petty Enterprises. "Things could have been a lot worse than they were, and we.re grateful that both are going to be ok."(Williams Company PR)(9-14-2001)

  • Watkins Glen Double Duty UPDATE: Kyle Petty and John Andretti are stepping out of their Dodge Intrepid R/Ts at Watkins Glen and into something a little bit sportier - a Porsche GT3R. They will team up with Orbit Racing and compete in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race Friday night, August 10, one of three races slated during the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend August 9-12.(Watkins Glen PR)(7-31-2001)
    UPDATE: Winning the GT class of the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 were NASCAR Winston Cup Regulars, Kyle Petty and John Andretti in the #45 Orbit racing Porsche. The teammates were involved in a late race incident, but were ruled by Grand-Am officials as the class winners. Petty and Andretti finished 14th overall in the 28 car field(Watkins Glen Site)(8-11-201)

  • Watkins Glen Double Duty: Kyle Petty and John Andretti are stepping out of their Dodge Intrepid R/Ts at Watkins Glen and into something a little bit sportier - a Porsche GT3R. They will team up with Orbit Racing and compete in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race Friday night, August 10, one of three races slated during the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend August 9-12.(Watkins Glen PR)(7-31-2001)

  • Petty Enterprises Upgrading: Continuing its effort to upgrade its access to the cutting edge of research and development technologies, Petty Enterprises has begun working with Elan Motorsports Technologies Group for its NASCAR teams. Elan is known for its engineering development, including the company that designed and manufactured the first car to exceed the speed of sound. Petty Enterprises fields three teams in NASCAR Winston Cup competition, as well as a team in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. "This is another step in bringing our organization closer to where it needs to be," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "We're working hard to make our race teams better in every way. Working together with Elan is a good way to keep that going." The first project involves scale-model cars developed for wind tunnel research. This allows the engineers to try a large variety of subtle changes in a minimal amount of time, to give a multitude of aerodynamic adjustments a chance in the wind tunnel. Other major development projects are also underway. "This is the type of research and development we need," Petty said. "In every NASCAR division these days, hundredths of seconds are making the difference. This is another step in finding those hundredths and tenths that we need to move back to where we want to be." Elan Motorsport Technologies Group is located just north of Atlanta, Ga. Its core business is its motor sport technology center, which provides composites, engineering, engine development, servicing and design, and fabrication facilities(Williams Company of America PR)(7-28-2001)

  • Magazine Stuff: Nancy and John Andretti are featured in the July 23 edition of Newsweek. The two-and-a-half page spread, which marks the first time a NASCAR-related feature story has been noted on the cover of the prestigious magazine, concerns families in NASCAR racing, and uses Nancy and John, as well as Jarett, Olivia and Amelia, as the example of how families cope with the extraordinary life of travel and competition. The writer was veteran reporter Daniel McGinn. It marks the first time a NASCAR-related feature story has appeared in Newsweek since November, 1999, when the magazine ran a two-page spread on the "Science Of Stock Car Racing," and featured the Mobil 1 Taurus team of Jeremy Mayfield(Williams Company)
    AND The marketing firm of Body Dynamics Racing Bodies, Inc., is proud to announce, that through their efforts working with America's Most Wanted and fulfilling the request of John Walsh to profile the case of missing intern Chandra Levy on a Winston Cup car has gained notoriety for Melling Racing and their driver Stacy Compton. "Organization of this project was through the efforts of multiple talents," Stated Scott Davis, Media Relations Manager for Body Dynamics, "From Mr. Walsh's Publicist Avery Mann, to the public relations manager of Melling Racing Andrea Pemberton, we all worked together to place Chandra's picture on the car for the Pepsi 400. Which yielded eight calls into the 1-800-CRIME-TV phone bank." The most recent publicity comes from PEOPLE magazine, in the July 23 issue in which the Chandra Levy case in addition to Molly Bish, Amy Bradley and Jill Behrman three other unsolved missing persons cases out of Washington, DC are profiled. In this article an inset photograph of the #92 Melling Race car carrying the picture of Chandra Levy is seen, with a mention that the NASCAR driver Stacy Compton publicized the case in a July 7 race in Daytona Beach, Fla.(Body Dynamics PR)(7-22-2001)

  • Another Andretti? Preston Countryman has had a lifelong passion about auto racing, and now he's getting an even bigger thrill by participating. First he started driving race cars, then this year he decided to start a NASCAR team. Now he's having five race cars built, he's bought a couple of car carriers and he says he's signed a big-name rookie driver to launch a $1 million effort to win the 2002 Featherlite Southwest Series. Countryman has been in business for 24 years, but his work as a certified public accountant and business consultant doesn't fire him up like his latest venture: building a NASCAR race team around driver Adam Andretti. Now he says he's about to employ one, the 22-year-old nephew of racing legend Mario Andretti, to be his lead driver. The hiring of the younger Andretti couldn't be confirmed by the family, but NASCAR officials did confirm that Countryman has a team owner's license. In addition to Andretti, Countryman said he will have another driver to race in the 2002 Featherlite Southwest Tour, which is a regional stock car racing minor league to the NASCAR Busch series, which is itself the league of up-and-coming race drivers before the championship NASCAR Winston Cup series(Sacramento Business Journal)(6-25-2001)

    UPDATE: In just three months, Countryman has had three cars built and a fourth on the way for testing as he sets his sights on competing in the remaining four races in the NASCAR Southwest Featherlite Series, the equivalent of Double-A baseball. Key members of the Countryman team are Aldo Andretti and his son Adam. Aldo, 61, the twin brother of racing legend Mario Andretti and father of NASCAR driver John Andretti, is the official adviser to Countryman. Adam, 22, will be Countryman's driver. Adam and Aldo Andretti recently came to town to view one of the cars and the hauler Countryman had built. Countryman Motorsports is self-funded this year, though Countryman is actively seeking a major sponsor. He budgeted between $500,000 and $750,000 to start his team and is having more cars built for ARCA (American Racing Club of America) and ASA (American Speed Association) races next year that fall between the Southwest Featherlite race dates.(Sacramento Bee)(7-12-2001)

  • #43 gets some Helper: General Mills and Petty Enterprises announced that John Andretti will race the Hamburger Helper #43 Dodge Intrepid in the Pepsi 400, Saturday night, July 7, at Daytona International Speedway. The red, white and blue Hamburger Helper paint scheme is a Fourth of July salute to America as well as a way to mark Hamburger Helper's 30th Anniversary. Hamburger Helper representatives also announced that the brand will donate $10 for every mile Andretti and his #43 completes in the Pepsi 400 to the Victory Junction Gang Camp started by Kyle and Pattie Petty for children with life-threatening illnesses in Randleman, NC.. "This is a great way to help raise money for the camp," Andretti said.. "I truly understand Kyle and Pattie's efforts with this project and will do what I can on the track to help out." Recently, Hamburger Helper representatives presented Kyle and Pattie Petty with a check for $10,300 for Andretti's performance in the Hamburger Helper #43 at The Winston Open at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In addition to the Hamburger Helper donations, race fans did their part in raising money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.. Fans donated $1 to paint their handprint on the Hamburger Helper "Helping Hands" Dodge at the Food Lion Speed Street festival during the Coca- Cola 600 weekend.. Race fans and their "Helping Hands" raised $2800 for the camp. The Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam.... It will be a place where children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families can retreat to rejuvenate their minds, bodies and spirits.. The camp will be located in Randleman, North Carolina, and is scheduled to open in Summer 2004(IMG Motorsports PR). See an image of the car on my Paint Schemes Gallery(7-4-2001)

  • What Happened to at Sears Point? #87-Ron Fellows got wrecked with 10 laps to go and went from the top 10 to a 38th-place finish. Terry Labonte suffered the same kind of sad fate, finishing 36th after some of his best racing of the season because he got mussed up in a Turn 11 dog pile on the next-to-last lap.(That's Racin') AND John Andretti ran 11th entering the final lap but ran out of gas and finished 30th(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-25-2001)

  • Andretti to the #96? UPDATE 2 No: Rumor has it that John Andretti could be in for a switch to the #96 Cal Wells Ford. According to the source, Andretti could be headed to Cal Wells' #96 McDonalds Ford in 2002, replacing Andy Houston, who has endured a season full of headaches so far this year, his first in the series(NASCAR.com Buzz)(6-18-2001)
    UPDATE: sources at PPI Motorsports say that this report is false and that Andy Houston is not going to be replaced as the driver of the #96 Ford(6-19-2001)
    UPDATE 2: Cal Wells insists rookie Andy Houston's job is not on the line, despite rumblings that things were not going well at the Hickory team. "Yes, I've heard those same rumors, too," Wells said. "In fact, I read where John Andretti was going to drive the car. I talked to John two years ago about possibly driving for me, but he said he was going to drive for Richard Petty, so I backed off, and I have not talked to him since, other than to say 'Hi.' "So there are a lot of rumors going around. But McDonald's is solidly behind us; I was with them on Friday. And they are solidly behind Andy Houston. And it is incumbent on me to provide the right package for Andy, and I haven't done that yet." So, Houston will be in Wells' car the rest of the season? "Absolutely," Wells said. And next year? "I have a five-year contract with him, and he has a one-year contract with me," Wells said. "In other words, I can option him up. And I would certainly option him before our due date, which is sometime in September. I fully expect him to be in the car next year. I don't see any reason why he shouldn't be.(Winston Salem Journal)(6-25-2001)

  • Melling Racing and Petty Enterprises Team Up: Melling Racing and driver Stacy Compton(#92) have formed a working relationship with Petty Enterprises(#'s 43,44,45) from which both organizations hope to benefit. Compton said it will take a while before the whole plan is in place and results gained. "I'm pretty excited about it. We'll send one of our guys when they go testing, and they'll send one of their guys when we go testing," Compton said. "We're going to go to Chicago on Monday and Tuesday and, hopefully, what we learn there we can let them know and it'll help them."(That's Racin')(6-3-2001)

  • PE Changes? UPDATE: hearing Petty Enterprises (#'s 43, 44, 45 and #43 CTS team) has parted ways with some of it's engineering staff and that Larry MacReynolds (Fox Broadcaster) is considering working with the team when the Fox part of the TV deal is up after Sears Point(June 24th)(5-29-2001)
    UPDATE: while hearing there were some personnel changes in the engineering staff are true, the part about Larry MacReynold's coming to PE is not true
    AND A reorganization within the competitive framework at Petty Enterprises has led to a new position for Chris Hussey and an increased role for Doug Hewitt. Hussey, who serves as crew chief for the #45 Sprint Dodge, will now also be race operations manager for Petty Enterprises, facilitating communications among the three Winston Cup teams, the engine and research and development departments. Doug Hewitt, head of mechanical research and development, will have his role increased. "We are maintaining our system in terms of identical cars and in how we operate each week," said Kyle Petty, who drives the #45 car as well as serving as CEO of Petty Enterprises. "What we are looking to do is put more 'racer' into the decisions of what goes in our cars," Petty said. "A lot of times things look good on paper but don.t always translate into good race cars. We feel Chris, working closely with Doug, Greg Steadman and Bryant Frazier (crew chiefs for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge and the #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge), can put the 'racing' into our race cars. That, coupled with the engineering knowledge and expertise we have, will give us better and more consistent race cars each week." "We're moving forward. We're moving ahead," Petty said. "We're making whatever changes we need to make to be competitive and to run up front."(Williams Company)(5-30-2001)

  • Another #43 Paint Scheme: General Mills and Petty Enterprises announced that the #43 will feature a Honey Nut Cheerios paint scheme that resembles a bee, with BuzzBee featured on the hood of the #43 Dodge for the Brickyard 400 on August 5, 2001, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway(Business Wire/YahooBiz). See an image on my Paint Scheme Gallery(5-26-2001)

  • Last #43 Dnq'd? Looks like the last time the #43 Petty Enterprises car has missed the race was at the Slick 50 300 at New Hampshire Intl Speedway on July 10, 1994. Wally Dallenbach was the driver then and missed 6 races that year in the car.(5-25-2001)

  • Petty's Honored: Kyle and Pattie Petty are this year's recipients of the Racing Angels Award. The award is presented annually at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction banquet by Linda Vaughn and sponsor Prolong Super Lubricants. Previous winners of the award are Bill France and the late T. Wayne Robertson. The induction ceremony is slated to be telecast on Speedvision on April 29.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read online)(4-26-2001)

  • Petty's Crew Chiefs to Embark on Year-Long Trek Across America: A recent survey of ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians revealed that a properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer and will last up to 50 percent longer. Findings such as these, along with the concern that people have gotten out of the habit of taking care of their cars, have prompted NASCAR-legend Richard Petty and his crew chiefs to share with people their best practices for engine maintenance: the `All 3 Every 3' program, which recommends Americans practice proper engine maintenance by simply following these easy steps every 3,000 miles: (1) Change Your Oil (2) Clean Your Fuel Injectors (3) Check Your Belts, Hoses and Fluids. Richard Petty has enlisted the help of his Petty Enterprises' crew chiefs - Greg Steadman, Bryant Frazier, Chris Hussey, and Howard Comstock - in order to educate Americans about the importance of automobile maintenance. From March through November, Petty's crew chiefs will travel across America to introduce the `All 3 Every 3' program. Tour stops with the crew chiefs will include a brief talk about the maintenance steps involved with the `All 3 Every 3' program, a car care question and answer session and then actual "under the hood" demonstrations and tips. Launching in Greensboro, N.C., the `All 3 Every 3' tour is scheduled to hold car maintenance events in Bristol, Tenn.; Roanoke, Va.; St. Louis, Mo.; Charlotte, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Atlanta, Ga.(Petty PR)(4-17-2001)

  • Penalty Rescinded: On April 11, 2001, the National Stock Car Racing Commission heard and considered the appeal of Petty Enterprises. The appeal pertained to a $20,000 penalty issued by NASCAR to Greg Steadman, crew chief of the #43 car following the March 25, 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. In addition to other matters arising from the appeal hearing, the commission considered the issue of non-conformance to rules specifications at the conclusion of a race based on a claim of racing conditions or racing contact. In most cases, a claim of racing conditions or racing contact is not sufficient to reduce or rescind a penalty in the eyes of the Commission. The Commission notes that non-conformance to specifications at the conclusion of a race may occur by design so as to gain an advantage. The Commission recognizes and reaffirms that, per Section 8-7 of the Rule Book, NASCAR Officials have the flexibility to exercise discretion in matters pertaining to racing conditions or racing contact and to evaluate each claim on a case-by-case basis. The commission feels strongly that, unless it can be determined that the non-conformance was directly attributable to racing conditions and to no other plausible explanation, a penalty would have been correct. However, during the appeal hearing the Appellant made a persuasive argument that the only plausible explanation for the height variance at the conclusion of the race was the cracked chassis welds resulting from the conditions of the race. It is extremely unlikely that a cracked chassis would have occurred by design. Further testimony indicated that the resulting height variance did not provide a significant competitive advantage over other competitors. Therefore, it is a unanimous decision of the National Stock Car Racing Commission that the penalty is hereby rescinded(NASCAR PR)(4-11-2001)

  • #43 Scheme UPDATE: not sure when but hearing the #43 Cheerios car and driver John Andretti will run a 'Helping Hands' scheme sometime this season(4-6-2001)
    UPDATE: hearing this could be a 'Hamburger Helper' scheme(4-9-2001)

  • 1-2 #21 and #43 and vs: After the historically reminiscent 1-2 finish by the 21 and 43 cars last Sunday a lot of people wrote to ask me when was the last time that happened. I finally broke out the books and a half cup of rock and rye to research it. The best I can tell the last time the 21 and 43 cars finished 1-2 in that order was the 1976 Southern 500. (The 43 and 21 cars finished 1-2 three times that year, most notably in the Daytona 500, with Pearson winning all three races.) The last time the 43 and 21 car finished 1-2 in that order was the June, 1977 Riverside race. ( Petty and Pearson also finished 1-2 in the race previous to Riverside, the World 600.)(SpeedFX - Random Thoughts)(3-30-2001)

  • #43 Too Low UPDATE Penalty: John Andretti's second-place finish will stand, but there will be a penalty coming to his #43-Petty Enterprises team because his car was found to be lower than the minimum height requirement for a Winston Cup car in postrace inspection. NASCAR spokesperson Danielle Humphrey said the penalty will likely be announced Monday. Andretti's finish is the best for a Dodge so far this season in the manufacturer's return to Winston Cup racing(That's Racin')(3-25-2001)
    UPDATE: NASCAR officials announced today they have penalized NASCAR Winston Cup Series crew chief Greg Steadman for rules violations found in post-race inspection following Sunday's Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. Steadman, crew chief for the #43 NASCAR Winston Cup Series team, was fined $20,000 and penalized under Section 12-4-T in the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book: "...any car found to be under the specified height requirement after the completion of time trials or the race..."(NASCAR PR)(3-28-2001)

  • Petty tests at Bristol: Petty Enterprises gears up for another day of testing in preparation for the March 25th running of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Food City 500. Not sure which drivers, but from an image there, looks like John Andretti was one(Bristol Motor Speedway Site)(3-8-2001)

  • Petty Casino Chip: Retired stock car king Richard Petty is being honored by a Las Vegas casino with a special edition betting chip featuring his likeness. Sam's Town Hotel & Gambling Hall, which also sponsored Saturday's Busch Series race in Las Vegas issued the special chips for fans and collectors on Monday(AP/Speed Magazine)(3-4-2001)

  • No More STP: been asked many times, why is there no STP decals on the Petty Cars? as it was announced last year they would remain as an associate sponsor. Have heard from sources that STP will not be an associate sponsor on the Petty cars (#'s 43,44,45) and there is no sponsorship money being provided to the race team except for payment for Richard Petty to make occasional promotional appearances. Also,the STP name has also been removed from the sponsorship of the Daytona 500(was the Daytona 500 present by STP)(2-14-2001)

  • Petty and RCR Settle: Petty Enterprises has reached agreement with Richard Childress Racing to buy out the contract of a former RCR employee. The fabricator, Ricky Johnson, had been an RCR employee since May 1999. He signed a contract in February 2000 and resigned Oct. 6, 2000.(That's Racin')(2-9-2001)

  • Andretti a Spokeman: NASCAR Winston Cup driver and CARQUEST Store Owner John Andretti will be an official spokesman for CARQUEST Auto Parts in 2001. Andretti, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Enterprises Dodge Intrepid, recently concluded filming a CARQUEST Auto Parts TV advertisement that will debut during the Daytona 500 pre-race show on Fox TV. Andretti will be featured in CARQUEST advertising, along with carry a CARQUEST logo on his driving suits sleeve. Andretti is co-owner with Rollie Helmling of a CARQUEST Auto Parts Store in Vincennes, Indiana. Andretti and Helmling also own the CARQUEST Silver Bullet team, which competes with driver Bud Kaeding in USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series(CARQUEST PR)(2-1-2001)

  • #43 Testing? hearing that John Andretti was in Lakeland, FL Tuesday, testing the #43 Dodge at USA International Speedway, a 3/4 mile track(1-31-2001)

  • Dodge and General Mills: In celebration of Dodge's upcoming return to NASCAR Winston Cup racing after a 15-year absence, General Mills is teaming up with Dodge for the "Dodge Countdown to Daytona" promotion. This promotion will give NASCAR fans the first opportunity to collect 1/64-scale die-cast replicas of eight new Dodge Intrepid R/T racecars. The General Mills "Dodge Countdown to Daytona" promotion will run from mid-January through February 2001, and will involve four food categories and more that 40 million packages, making it one of the largest package promotions ever assembled at General Mills. As part of the promotion, over 14 million specially marked packages of Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Wheaties and Golden Grahams will feature one of five 1/64-scale Dodge Intrepid R/T die-cast racecars inside. The five replica cars include Bill Elliott's #9, Casey Atwood's #19, John Andretti's ##43, Kyle Petty's #45 and Stacey Compton's #92 Dodge Intrepid R/T and are featured in a "visible value" window on the package that will allow customers to see which car is inside. Bill Elliott, who will pilot the #9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T in 2001, is featured on the Wheaties package. Consumers will receive one of three "gold edition" 1/64-scale die-cast Petty Enterprises cars when three UPCs from Hamburger Helper packages are redeemed. The Petty Enterprises "gold edition" die-cast cars include John Andretti's #43, Buckshot Jones' #44 and Kyle Petty's #45 Dodge Intrepid R/T. Other General Mills brands involved in the "Dodge Countdown to Daytona" promotion include Betty Crocker desserts, Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn, Chex cereals and Bugles. When three participating Betty Crocker dessert products are purchased, consumers will receive a free 1/64-scale die-cast of Ward Burton's #22 Dodge Intrepid R/T. Consumers will receive a free die-cast replica of Dave Blaney's #93 when two three-count packages of Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn are purchased and a free die-cast of Buckshot Jones' #44 Dodge Intrepid R/T when two participating Bugles packages are purchased. Specially marked packages of Chex cereals will feature collectable trading cards of the Dodge Intrepid R/T drivers(Business Wire)(1-15-2001)

2000 News

  • Petty Enterprises Changes UPDATE: Rick Mann, head engine builder at Petty Enterprises, left the team after Atlanta to pursue other opportunities. Petty Enterprises continues to search for a replacement for Mann and hopes to have someone in place by January 1. Also the #44 PE Georgia Pacific team hired Mark Tutor to be the crew chief for new driver Buckshot Jones. As for the PE #45 BGN team, plans are still a go for that team, with Steve Grissom behind the wheel of the #45 Chevy, they are still looking for a sponsor for the car(contact info on the Engine Builder job is on my Team Addresses page)(12-8-2000)
    UPDATE: The new #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge will enjoy a lot of experience in 2001. Mark Tutor has been hired as crew chief for the team and new driver Buckshot Jones. Tutor, 38, joins Petty Enterprises from Haas-Carter Motorsports, where he spent part of the time as crew chief for retiring legend Darrell Waltrip. A native of Raleigh, N.C., Tutor has worked with such teams as Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Robby Gordon Racing and Loy Allen Motorsports. The 2001 season will mark Petty Enterprises' 52nd year of racing, evolving from a small A-frame shop in the middle of North Carolina into one of the most successful racing organizations in motorsports history. Combined, the Pettys have won 273 races. For the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season, all three Petty drivers will race Dodges. Kyle Petty will drive the #45 Sprint Dodge, while John Andretti will handle the #43 Cheerios Dodge(Williams Company)(12-13-2000)

  • Petty Donates: The Richard Petty Driving Experience made a $12,500 donation to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camps on Friday(Roanoke Times), Hermie Sadler is driving the car at Atlanta(11-18-2000)

  • STP Colors one more time UPDATE 2: John Andretti will run the STP colors one last time on the #43 Petty Pontiac at the season finale at Atlanta(RPM 2Night/ESPN2)(6-26-2000)
    UPDATE: The 2000 Cup season comes to a close this weekend as John Andretti and the #43 Cheerios/STP Pontiac head to Atlanta, driver John Andretti and the team look to end their season on a high note and will do it by carrying the colors of STP for one final time as a tribute to the companys longtime relationship with Petty Enterprises(Williams Company PR)(11-13-2000)
    UPDATE 2: John Andretti will have the 1972 STP scheme on the car with a BIG 'STP' symbol on the hood, PLUS it was announced on RPM2Night that STP signed on through 2002 to be an associate sponsor on the #43 Dodge(11-17-2000)

  • Petty News: Winston Cup Illustrated announced Saturday it has selected the Pettys as the magazine's Persons of the Year. And...Sprint PCS will sponsor Kyle Petty 's charity motorcycle ride. Next year's ride is the seventh annual cross-country trek(Roanoke Times)(11-12-2000)

  • Andretti and USAC: John Andretti and USAC legend Rollie Helmling are back together this week - but this time it's in Memphis, Tenn. Andretti and Helmling are fielding a car in Sunday's USAC Coors Light Silver Bullet Series race. Bud Kaeding of Campbell, California will drive for the CARQUEST team, fielded by Andretti-Helmling Automotive Corporation of Indianapolis, Indiana. The 20-year-old is the son of California sprint car legend Bret Kaeding. Kaeding is the defending USAC Western States Sprint Car champion and is the leading rookie in this season's USAC National Sprint Series, where he is seventh in points. He has already notched a second-place finish in the Silver Bullet Series, that coming at Springfield, IL, in August in our car. Helmling is a long-time USAC Open Wheel owner, who fielded cars for Andretti 1984-1986 in the USAC Midget Division. Helmling has also fielded cars for fellow Winston Cup drivers like Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader(Williams Co)(10-27-2000)

  • Andretti to stick with the King: John Andretti has heard rumors that he is leaving the #43 Cheerios/Petty Enterprises team at the end of the 2000 season, but says he is not leaving, but is flattered to get calls from other team owners. Andretti recently renewed his three year contract with team owner Richard Petty(Winston Cup Scene, Vol XXIV, NO 16)(8-18-2000)

  • Petty Enterprises News UPDATE: On Tuesday, July 18th, there will be a press conference detailing Sprint's 2000-2001 sponsorship plans with Petty Enterprises (#'s 43 Cheerios and #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac in Cup; #45 Sprint Chevy in BGN; and #43 Dodge Truck). The announcement will take place at Lowes Motor Speedway at 11:00am/et. See Speedway Illustrated for the announcement at 11am(7-16-2000)
    UPDATE: big news! Starting with the Sept. 3 Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington, Kyle Petty, will run only the #45 Sprint Chevy in the BGN series. Steve Grissom, who drives the #43 Dodge Truck for Petty in the CTS series, will drive the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac in the Winston Cup series. For 2001, Kyle Petty will drive the #45 Sprint Dodge in the Winston Cup series. Petty plans to run the #44 Cup team, but will need to find a driver and new sponsor as Hot Wheels will not return in a mutual decision. There are no plans to continue the Petty BGN team, but if Petty Enterprises in unable to land a sponsor for the #44, Petty said the organization could return to the series(Petty Racing Site, NOL, That's Racin' and SpeedVision)(7-18-2000)

  • Herta to NASCAR? Petty? Since his full-time CART ride for this season evaporated, Bryan Herta has openly stated that he would be open to other racing opportunities. In addition, the 7th Gear site hears that Herta has been spending some time in Charlotte over the past month or two and has even tested a Winston West car. Apparently, he may be working on a deal to get a Busch ride next year with Petty Racing, with hopes of joining John Andretti in the Winston Cup ranks in 2002(7th Gear CART site) AND in part from the Columbus Dispatch: The down time also gave Herta time to lay groundwork for other opportunities. For example, he would not be averse to driving in NASCAR's Winston Cup circuit. A trip to the Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend was, Herta said, "an eye- opening experience."(7-4-2000)

  • John Andretti's Brother UPDATE: been getting a few questions about John Andretti's brother Adam, who John mentioned during an interview at Sears Point on Sunday. Not sure yet what series Adam races in but he was an instructor with the Richard Petty Racing Experience and ran some Karting races in 1999 and is a graduate of the Skip Barber school.
    UPDATE: RPM 2Night reported it was a Formula 3 race outside of Tulsa, OK. More info, Andretti won the inaugural United States Formula 3 race at the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit on Saturday in Hallett, OK, near Tulsa(Tulsaworld) and a story at SpeedVision(6-26-2000)

  • Petty/STP Parade: Richard Petty and John Andretti will be in San Francisco on June 21 as the STP #43 Celebration Tour makes a stop there. Starting at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge at Vista Point, Petty, Andretti and the STP #43 car will drive across the bridge, travel along the Embarcadero and pull into Willie Mays Plaza. The parade is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with the caravan pulling into the plaza at 10:30am. At Willie Mays Plaza, Petty and Andretti will meet and greet guests, answer questions and sign some autographs. The Winston Cup race at Sears Point will be the last race run with STP as the primary sponsor of the #43. Cheerios takes over at Daytona in the Pepsi 400(Sears Point PR) For more info on the STP contest, see my Racing Contest page(6-20-2000)

  • #43 Assoc: the #43 STP/Cheerios/Betty Crocker Pontiac will feature the Weis Market logo this weekend at Pocono(Scranton Times Leader)(6-15-2000)

  • Kyle to sub for Andretti UPDATE: Kyle Petty, who Saturday failed to qualify for at Dover for the Cup race in the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac, will stand by in relief for injured teammate John Andretti at Dover Downs. The car has been fitted with Petty's seat. Andretti will run the car until the first caution then Petty will finish out the race(SpeedVision)(6-3-2000)
    UPDATE: Kyle Petty relieved John Andretti during the first caution and was able to drive the #43 STP/Cheerios Pontiac to a 13th place finish(6-5-2000)

  • #43 Relief UPDATE: hearing Tim Fedawa will help out the the #43 STP/Cheerios Pontiac team and injured driver John Andretti, not sure yet in what capacity(5-31-2000)
    UPDATE: John Andretti hopes to drive Sunday until the first caution, when he will turn the car over to Tim Fedewa(That's Racin')(6-1-2000)

  • Andretti Hurt UPDATE: John Andretti, driver of the #43 STP/Cheerios Pontiac, was transported to University Hospital this morning for a chest X-ray. Greg Steadman, crew chief for Andretti said, "We're still trying to find out John's condition. Todd Bodine ran about 10 laps for us in practice to help us out. We're trying to decide what we're going to do, but we won't know until we get the particulars on John's condition. We're going to be prepared. We've talked to a couple of guys about standing by tomorrow night in case we need them. Either way, we'll be ready to go." See the stories at TachZone and NASCAR Online which reports: John Andretti complained of sharp pain in his ribs and had to be helped from his car during a practice session at Lowe's Motor Speedway (Sat morning) and transported to a nearby hospital for tests
    UPDATE: Andretti was back at the track before the Busch race started and, while he is pretty sore, he is planning on starting the #43 STP/Cheerios Pontiac. Andretti cracked a rib in the wreck in the Winston. When he got in the car and started practice, apparently the g-forces broke it the rest of the way. Tim Fedewa will practice the car this afternoon and Andretti will start the race tomorrow with Fedewa relieving(5-27-2000)

  • Petty Statement and News: The Petty family released the following statement: "On behalf of Kyle, Pattie, Austin, Montgomery Lee, and everyone in the Petty family, we are truly grateful for the outpouring of support, prayers and love we have received over the past few days. This is a very difficult time for all of us but we so appreciate the way our friends and fans from all over the world have expressed their love for Adam. We thank each and every one of you."(Williams Company) ....AND....
    From NASCAR Online: Steve Grissom will replace Kyle Petty in the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac for the Coca Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The naming of Grissom, who drives for Petty Enterprises in the CTS, was a follow-up to the withdrawal of the #44 entry from this weekend's running of The Winston Open(NOL)(5-18-2000)

  • #43 News: To gear up for their new partnership with John Andretti and Petty Enterprises, Cheerios / Betty Crocker Racing will team up with their other General Mills brands including Pop-Secret, Wheaties, Golden Grahams, Chex for Food Lion Speed Street in downtown Charlotte May 25-27, 2000. The Cheerios / Betty Crocker Racing Family Fun Stop will feature popular samples of General Mills products, show cars, an interactive contest and NASCAR Winston Cup driver appearances. All activities will be located street side and inside Founders Hall at the Bank of America Corporate Center at 100 North Tryon Street in Charlotte. Race fans will be able to join in the countdown to July 1, 2000 when Cheerios and Betty Crocker become the primary sponsor of John Andretti and Petty Enterprises by getting a glimpse of the new #43 Pontiac. Also on display will be John Andretti's special edition Wheaties Pontiac paint scheme that will compete in The Winston on May 20th, three new Pop-Secret paint schemes designed by Sam Bass, Cale Yarborough's 1976 Monte Carlo. See the rest of the story on the Driver Appearance page(5-15-2000)

  • New Andretti: Another Andretti has joined the fold. Amelia Lois Andretti was born at 9:43 p.m. (EDT), Wednesday, May 10, to John and Nancy Andretti. She was 20 inches at birth, and weighed seven pounds, 14 ounces. Mother Nancy, brother Jarett and sister Olivia were in good health and doing fine. John Andretti drives the STP/Cheerios Pontiac on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit(Williams Company)(5-13-2000)

  • Rudd/Andretti on the hotseat? SpeedFX is reporting "rumor is that both John Andretti and Ricky Rudd are on thin ice with their respective owners, although no one will confirm anything. According to (SpeedFX) sources, team owner Robert Yates is very disappointed with Rudd's efforts in 2000." "Andretti and Petty Enterprises have had a cooling relationship for some time. With support from General Motors dwindling, and the team focused on making a fresh start with Dodge in 2001, Andretti will probably find himself moved aside in favor of a new driver before year's end."(SpeedFX). Jayski Note: Robert Yates was on RPM2 Night recently and seemed happy with the #28 and thinks they will come around. Rudd is signed to a 2 year deal, and the season is only a little over a 1/4 done. As for John Andretti, he has said he is happy at Petty Enterprises and Kyle Petty has gone out of his way to praise Andretti, who is signed thru 2001 and hasn't even started the full Cheerio's sponsorship in the #43 yet. Guess time will tell(4-28-2000)

  • Petty Honored: Look for a number of other cars in Sunday's Goody's 500 to join the seven teams that have already committed to running a sticker honoring the memory of Lee Petty, who died this week. Michael Waltrip, Jeremy Mayfield, Sterling Marlin, Kenny Irwin, Elliott Sadler, Kyle Petty and John Andretti have already agreed to run the Petty blue decal, which simply says, "Lee Petty 1914-2000" with his car #42 on it(That's Racin')(4-8-2000)

  • Sad News: NASCAR Legend Lee Petty passed away this morning. Condolences and thoughts out to the Petty family. AP story at the WRAL site also a story at SpeedVision. A private graveside service for family members only has been scheduled this week. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to the Level Cross United Methodist Church Building Fund, 10142 U.S. Highway Bus. #220 North, Randleman, N.C. 27317.(Williams Company)(4-5-2000)
    UPDATE: see a nice tribute at the Official Petty Racing Site. Some stat pages at Total Sports: Lee Petty's career stats and Winston Cup's 50-win club. And from a Keystone Marketing PR: Statement by W.C. "Junie" Donlavey RE: Lee Petty - "Lee Petty was one of the finest drivers that ever sat in a race car, and he was one of the true pioneers of the sport. He taught the drivers what it meant to really devote your time and effort to racing because he was very successful at it. He was just a fine fellow and very tough competitor. It was an honor to have known him and to have been a part of the series when he raced in it because it brings back a lot of memories. He was one the first ones to really make racing a career. When he started, he really went at it and made it a full time deal when others were just playing. I always admired him for really putting an effort in it to make the sport what it is today. He was one of the ones that devoted lots and lots of time to making it a true profession."(4-6-2000)

  • Andretti milestone: #43-John Andretti made his 200th Winston Cup start at Texas in the DirecTV 500(4-2-2000)

  • Petty Notes: TNN's Raceday reported there was talk of Kyle Petty driving the #45 Sprint Chevy in place of son Adam, who qualified for his first Cup race at Texas, but Kyle said No, that Adam would make his first Cup start and stay in the car. Kyle will be in Adam's pits for the race. Kyle also said the Petty Enterprise's engine department needs to step up and that the cars drive fine but have engine problems(4-2-2000)

  • Petty Ill UPDATE: Richard Petty is not at the track this weekend as his father Lee has taken a turn for the worse. Lee Petty had an operation for a stomach aneurism back in early February(PRN Qualifying Coverage). Get well Lee(3-31-2000)
    UPDATE: The elder Petty, 86, had surgery on a stomach aneurysm on Feb. 9 and has not fully recovered. Richard Petty, Lee's son and Adam's grandfather, has stayed back home in North Carolina this weekend while Adam and Kyle are in Texas trying to make Sunday's field(That's Racin')(4-1-2000)

  • Smithsonian and NASCAR: Richard Petty's stock car has been in the Smithsonian for years, but now NASCAR is getting serious about its history. NASCAR has reached an agreement with the Atlanta History Center and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History to create a 6,000-foot traveling exhibit called Speed and Spirit: NASCAR in America. It will visit the Smithsonian as well as sites in Atlanta and other cities. Plans are being sketched out, and the exhibit will debut in Atlanta sometime in 2002(Business Journal of Charlotte)(3-27-2000)

  • Wheaties returns...UPDATE 2: hearing John Andretti will run a Wheaties paint scheme at The Winston with the #43 Pontiac. Wheaties is of course made by General Mills, a primary sponsor for the team(3-4-2000)
    UPDATE On Tuesday, March 14th, Wheaties will unveil a series of limited-edition packages commemorating the careers of four NASCAR legends: Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons. Wheaties also will unveil the #43 Wheaties Pontiac that John Andretti will race in The Winston. The unveiling will be held at the Charlotte Coliseum at 10am/et on Tuesday, March 14(NOL)(3-10-2000)
    UPDATE 2: General Mills announced a series of limited-edition packages commemorating the careers of Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons, four champions of NASCAR. Each package features a photograph of the driver at a significant event in his career. Richard Petty and his driver, John Andretti, unveiled the special Wheaties paint job to be carried by the #43 Petty Enterprises Pontiac at this year's The Winston on May 20(SpeedVision and Williams Company) See an image of the car at the Petty Racing Page(3-14-2000)

  • Wheaties returns...UPDATE: hearing John Andretti will run a Wheaties paint scheme at The Winston with the #43 Pontiac. Wheaties is of course made by General Mills, a primary sponsor for the team(3-4-2000) -- UPDATE On Tuesday, March 14th, Wheaties will unveil a series of limited-edition packages commemorating thecareers of four NASCAR legends: Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons. Wheaties also will unveil the #43 Wheaties Pontiac that John Andretti will race in The Winston. The unveiling will be held at the Charlotte Coliseum at 10am/et on Tuesday, March 14(NOL)(3-10-2000)

  • Petty and Dodge: During an interview on ESPN2's practice coverage, Kyle Petty said that Petty Enterprises has set Monday(2-14) as the deadline for deciding what manufacturer the team will use in 2001(ESPN2)(2-11-2000)

  • Petty Announcement at Daytona? A media conference is expected to take place in Daytona Beach, Fla., within the next two weeks to announce that Petty Enterprises and its drivers, Kyle Petty and Jeff(um...John) Andretti, will be part of a second Dodge-sponsored team that will be ready for the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup stock car series. A source close to Dodge Motorsports confirmed the rumors that Petty Enterprises and legendary Richard Petty will switch from Pontiac to the Dodge Intrepid when the division of DaimlerChrysler returns to the stock car series next season(Las Vegas Review)(2-11-2000)

  • Lee Petty Recovering: Three-time national champion Lee Petty is resting comfortably in Moses Cone Hospital following a successful operation for a stomach aneurism. The four-hour operation was performed earlier today. Doctors told the family they are optimistic about a complete recovery. Petty, who turns 86 on March 14, is the founder of Petty Enterprises. He captured three NASCAR Winston Cup championships and won the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959. His NASCAR career covered three decades, in which he started 429 races and finished in the top five an incredible 228 times and in the top 10 an unbelievable 321 times(Williams Company)(2-9-2000)

  • STP Out? UPDATE No: Clorox Sales Co., which now owns STP through its automotive division, has cancelled the STP lifetime contract with Richard Petty, according to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association. After the July 4 Daytona race, Petty(#43) no longer will be sponsored by STP. STP also has pulled out as the long-time sponsor of the AARWBA writing-broadcasting contest and has cancelled its Daytona 500 media breakfast(Rockford Register) I had understood that STP would scale down to an associate sponsorship deal -- UPDATE: heard from folks with STP who tell me this is not true, that they will sponsor the #43 Pontiac driven by John Andretti as the primary and scale back to an associate at the Pepsi 400 in Daytona. Also: Season-Long Tour to Celebrate STP/Richard Petty Relationship, will be announced on February 11th -- STP Performance Payoff Allows STP Race Fans to Win Big - the STP #43 Celebration Tour is designed to celebrate Richard Petty and his relationship with STP - the longest-running sponsorship in motorsports history. Press conference and fan session with Richard Petty and John Andretti. Details regarding the STP #43 Celebration Tour. Introduction of the STP Performance Payoff promotion where consumers. Will have the opportunity to win a 2000 Dodge Viper or one of a million and details on how to vote for the best STP/Richard Petty moment(STP PR)(2-8-2000)

  • Petree Sponsor, UPDATE on Petty: Albertson's Inc., one of the largest food-drug chains in the United States, announced today they will join Andy Petree Racing as the primary sponsor of driver Jack Sprague and the #15 Chevy for a limited BGN. In addition, Albertson's will serve as an associate sponsor on Andy Petree Racing's CUP teams, #55 Square-D/Cooper Lighting Chevy with driver Kenny Wallace and the #33 Oakwood Homes Chevy with driver Joe Nemechek for the 2000 season. #The #15 Albertson's Chevy is scheduled to compete at 10 events on the 2000 BGN schedule, with the debut taking place at Daytona. Sprague will also compete in nine other events in the Albertson's Chevrolet including, Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4, Texas Motor Speedway on April 1, Talladega Superspeedway on April 15, California Speedway on April 29, The Milwaukee Mile on July 2, Nazareth Speedway on July 16, Dover Downs International Speedway on July 16, Lowe's Motor Speedway on October 7 and Phoenix International Raceway on November 4. Sprague will still run the full NASCAR Craftsman truck schedule. While Albertson's sponsorship in the NASCAR Busch Series is limited to 10 races in 2000, their associate sponsorship of the #33 and #55 Winston Cup teams is scheduled for the entire 2000 season. Albertson's will also be an associate sponsor of the #43 Petty Enterprises Pontiac for select Winston Cup events in 2000(IMG Motorsports PR) -- also see the other part of the Petree sponsor deal on my BGN Site(2-2-2000) -- UPDATE/Petty: Albertson's will also be an associate sponsor of the #43 Petty Enterprises Pontiac and driver John Andretti for select Winston Cup events in 2000 with the first event being at Las Vegas. Then Texas, California, Dover in the fall, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami(Albertson's Website)(2-3-2000)

  • Petty Logo: One of the most familiar logos in motorsports has undergone a change. The familiar Petty Enterprises logo will change as the most successful organization in motorsports begins its second 50 years. Petty Enterprises fields the #43 STP/Cheerios Pontiac and #44 Hot Wheels Racing Pontiac in CUP; the #45 Sprint Chevy in the BGN Series; and the #43 Dodge by Petty in the CTS. "This year at the beginning of our second 50 years, we have brought all four teams - five, if you include Adam's (Petty) Winston Cup cars for some races this season - under one banner, "said Kyle Petty, who heads day-to-day operations of Petty Enterprises as well as driving the Hot Wheels Racing Pontiac. "Last year the Busch team ran as pe2, and the truck team as Richard Petty Motorsports. Now all of our teams and drivers are part of Petty Enterprises. This new logo incorporates four teams and three NASCAR divisions, and is representative of how Petty Enterprises has grown," Petty continued. "People can look at our new logo and realize we are more than just one team in one division. Petty Enterprises is an organization with a wealth of talented drivers, crew members and staff. With our new research and development team and our new sponsorship partnerships, we are looking to move to the forefront in our next 50 years as we did in the first 50. This is the kind of logo any of our sponsors and teams can display with pride on their products and in their marketing programs." The new logo is a striking red and blue design which incorporates the Petty Enterprises name in blue with a red-and-blue swoosh. The modern design will quickly become one of the most recognizable logos in motorsports. To see the logo click here(Williams Comapny)(1-21-2000)

  • PE hanging Dodge Sheet Metal? "(Ray) Evernham might be leading development along with Chrysler engineers, but Petty Enterprises is doing the actual work. While (Lou) Patane says additional teams will be announced around the time of this February's Daytona race (and drivers after that), sources in Charlotte say the Pettys are reporting to Evernham on the Intrepid's development and that they're over there hanging sheetmetal on frames[at Petty Enterprises]"(Autoweek)(1-20-2000)

  • Petty Re-news with Pontiac: Dodge may be in Petty Enterprises future, but Kyle Petty said that for the upcoming 2000 season, the Randleman, N.C., team will continue to enjoy its relationship with Pontiac. While Petty neve denies talking to Dodge, he says they are a GM team for 2000 and just recently renewed with Pontiac for 2000. He said the future was wide open(seen on the StockCarFans Newsletter from the Kingsport Times-News)(1-20-2000)

  • Richard Petty to Race? UPDATE 3: goracing.com has learned that seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Richard Petty will return to competition next month - behind the wheel of a Dodge at Daytona, behind the wheel of a factory-backed Dodge Viper. Petty will team with son Kyle and grandson Adam in the Rolex 24 at Daytona on February 5-6goracing.com(1-12-2000) -- UPDATE: I am hearing that there will not be a Petty-driven car in the 24 Hours of Daytona?(1-13-2000) maybe it's best if I do not report on the 24 hours at Daytona stuff. -- UPDATE 2: another story at SpeedVision(1-14-2000) -- UPDATE: Contrary to Internet reports, seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Richard Petty will not team up with his son Kyle and grandson Adam to compete in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona on Feb. 5-6.(Speed Magazine)(1-16-2000)

  • Petty to Dodge UPDATE 3: hearing that Petty Enterprises has decided to switch to the Dodge Intrepid for the 2001 Winston Cup season(12-21-1999) -- UPDATE: from Racer Magazine site - The announcement won't be made until after the first of the year, but Petty Enterprises has signed a deal with Chrysler that would make the entire Petty Winston Cup stable part of the Mopar group for 2001. Chrysler will likely make the formal announcement at the unveiling of the 2001 NASCAR Dodge Intrepid at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, probably on Jan. 11. The team will continue to use Pontiacs for the Cup teams in 2000(Racer Magazine)(12-22-1999) -- UPDATE 2: It is possible that a driver announcement for Ray Evernham's Dodge team could also be announced on 1-11-2000. Evernham expects to have running developmental Intrepids by May, likely powered by higher-compression versions of the Craftsman truck engine, pending development and NASCAR approval of an all-new Winston Cup V-8. Reportedly Pontiac fought to keep the Pettys, but has managed to keep the Joe Gibbs team with drivers Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart in Pontiacs(SpeedVision)(12-23-1999) -- UPDATE 3: no announcement at the Dodge Winston Cup announcment, not sure when it will be made(1-11-2000)

  • Petty Donation: Seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Richard Petty and #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac driver Kyle Petty donated $10,000 to the Boggy Creek Gang at the camp's annual holiday party. The money represents proceeds from the Richard Petty Driving Experience at Daytona USA. For 90 days, every lap driven at the attraction produced 50 cents for the Boggy Creek Gang and the Betty Jane France Speediatrics Center at Halifax Medical Center(Orlando Business Journal)(1-3-2000)

1999 News

  • Kyles crew chief UPDATE and #43 Crew Chief: I hear Bobby Leslie will be Kyle Petty's new crew chief for the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac, which as I have reported in the past will have a new look in 2000(12-10-1999) -- UPDATE: Greg Steadman has been promoted to crew chief for the #43 STP Pontiac driven by John Andretti, while Bobby Leslie joins Petty Enterprises to become crew chief for the #44 Hot Wheels Racing Pontiac driven by Petty. Shane Cook has been named car chief for the #44 and Doug Murph has been named car chief for the #43, both moving up from the same respective teams. Leslie joined Petty Enterprises earlier this year from Roush Racing, where he was Busch Grand National racing's winningest crew chief from 1992-97. He had served as crew chief for Johnny Benson's Cheerios Ford in 1998(Williams Company)(12-13-1999)

  • New #24 Crew Chief UPDATE: wow, here is a shocker....Hendrick Motorsports announced that #43 crew chief Robbie Loomis has been named crew chief for the #24 DuPont team and driver Jeff Gordon. Brian Whitesell, who took over the crew chief duties when Ray Evernham left at midseason, has been promoted to the position of team manager(NOL), no word on who will take Loomis' place but Doug Hewitt was recently reassigned after being Kyle Petty's crew chief in 1999 on the #44 team. Also see the story at the TNN Motorsports site: Loomis Crewchief, Whitesell Team Manager and from Racer Magazine: Greg Steadman, Loomis' right-hand man at Petty's the past couple years, is the likely choice to take over #43, Petty insiders say. Kyle Petty's #44 still is seeking a crew chief, following the elevation of Doug Hewitt to project manager. The move came about suddenly, sources said. Richard Petty was headed to San Francisco for the Craftsman Truck Series banquet and could not be reached. Kyle Petty was said to be planning to meet with Petty team members Wednesday. As for Hewitt's status with Petty, sources said he is "indirectly" working on development of a Petty Dodge, "depending on whether that deal goes through." Richard and Kyle Petty have been debating for weeks whether to stay with Pontiac or accept overtures from Dodge for 2001. And a few days ago from That's Racin' it was reported: Petty Enterprises has moved Greg Steadman into crew chief position for Kyle Petty's #44 Hot Wheels Pontiacs. Steadman, who has worked in recent years with Robbie Loomis, crew chief with John Andretti's #43 Pontiacs, replaces Doug Hewitt, who will take another position within Petty Enterprises(12-3) and finally? a Press Release from Hendrick Motorsports(12-7-1999) -- UPDATE: sources tell me that Greg Steadman will assume the crew chief role on the #43 and Petty Enterprises will promote from within for the vacant #44 crew chief job(12-8-1999)

  • Grissom/Petty? UPDATE: Steve Grissom, who is expected to announce a double Dodge deal in the near future. According to sources close to the situation, Grissom, who has competed fairly regularly on the Winston Cup circuit, will move to the Petty Enterprises truck next season and will become a test driver for the new Intrepids. Kyle Petty says he has made Grissom an offer to drive the #43 CTS entry, but he has yet to sign the deal(SpeedVision)(11-14-1999) -- UPDATE: Many Dodge teams tested Thursday at Lowes Motor Speedway, including Steve Grissom in a Petty Dodge, see full story at the TNN Motorsports Site(12-3-1999)

  • Petty and Dodge: Richard Petty said Friday he still has not decided whether he will switch his two-car operation from Pontiac to Dodge once the new make comes to Winston Cup in the 2001 season. "Right now, it's in limbo," Petty said. "We're just letting it lay. When we decide what we want to do and they decide what they want to do, we'll make an announcement. But, right now, we're just waiting around."(News and Observer)(11-20-1999)

  • Grissom/Petty? Steve Grissom, who is expected to announce a double Dodge deal in the near future. According to sources close to the situation, Grissom, who has competed fairly regularly on the Winston Cup circuit, will move to the Petty Enterprises truck next season and will become a test driver for the new Intrepids. Kyle Petty says he has made Grissom an offer to drive the #43 CTS entry, but he has yet to sign the deal(SpeedVision)(11-14-1999)

  • Petty's to Switch? UPDATE 2: Pontiac officials have been notified that Petty Enterprises will switch its Winston Cup teams to Dodge beginning with the 2001 season, according to a source within the General Motors camp. Another source in the NASCAR garage said Sunday that the Ray Evernham-owned cars are likely to carry the numbers 01 and 19. The 01 car would signify the year of Dodge's return. The 19 is a number Evernham used in his days as a modified driver in New England.(That's Racin')(11-8-1999) -- UPDATE: now an Associated Press(AP) story: Report: Petty Enterprises switching to Dodge in 2001(SpeedNet) -- UPDATE 2: At the top, General Motors and Pontiac say they have heard nothing official from Petty. Pontiac program manager Fred Simmonds and GM Raceshop spokesman Dave Hederich said Monday they had heard nothing official from any of the Pettys. Petty, or others in the Petty group, could not be reached Monday or Tuesday. Dodge officials and spokesmen all were said to be out of their offices. See full story at:(Racer Magazine(11-9-1999)

  • Petty Press Conference UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises has scheduled a press conference for Nov 11th at the All Star Cafe on Miami's South Beach to discuss the future(Winston Cup Scene)(11-5-1999) -- UPDATE: There's an announcement scheduled for Thursday night in Miami's South Beach involving the Petty family, but sources say it will not have anything to do with any of the Petty Enterprises teams converting to Dodge. The announcement will concern Adam Petty's racing plans - perhaps a five-race Winston Cup deal in 2000 in preparation for a move to the top series in 2001(That's Racin')(11-7-1999) -- UPDATE 2: "there is a Petty press conference scheduled for this Thursday in Florida, but it's more likely about plans for Kyle's son, Adam, to run five Cup races in 2000. Kyle said that Adam's Busch sponsors  Sprint, Nike and Coca-Cola  are expected to ante up enough money to let Adam get a taste of Winston Cup next year, then run for rookie of the year in 2001(Steve Smith/Racer Magazine)(11-10-1999)

  • Elder Andretti Passes: Alvise Andretti, the 90-year-old father of Mario and Aldo Andretti and grandfather to Michael, Jeff and John Andretti, died of cancer at his home in Nazareth on Nov. 2.(Racer Mag)(11-4-1999)

  • Petty Dodge? Gibbs No UPDATE: Insiders say that Richard Petty will return to Chrysler, and he spent a lot of time talking with Dodge executives Saturday in Talladega. Pontiac's Fred Simmons says he's not sure just what Petty may do for the 2001 season, but Petty Enterprises will run Pontiacs again in 2000. Simmons says Joe Gibbs' two-car team is firmly in the GM camp, despite overtures from Chrysler but Gibbs' is committed to General Motors products(PitNow)(10-19-1999) -- UPDATE: but
  • Petty to Dodge? rumor has it that a three car Petty Cup effort with Dodge will be announced at the SEMA show in Las Vegas(not Phoenix)(10-20-1999)

  • more Petty and Dodge: It didn't take a lot of investigative reporting to find out that Richard Petty met with representatives of Dodge's new Winston Cup effort on Saturday. That's because their brief meeting was held in the corner of the track's infield media center. Dodge wants to have at least five teams ready for the 2001 Daytona 500. Two of those would be owned by Ray Evernham. There is speculation that Petty Enterprises could field a Dodge Intrepid for Adam Petty in 2001 while leaving John Andretti and, perhaps, Kyle Petty in Pontiacs(That's Racin/Jim Utter)(10-17-1999)

  • Petty Colors UPDATE: General Mills, STP and NASCAR legend(and team owner) Richard Petty unveiled the new Cheerios/Betty Crocker #43 for the 2000 NASCAR season today(10-9-1999). Cheerios becomes the first new primary sponsor for the car in 29 years, replacing STP(at the Pepsi 400 in July 2000) as the primary sponsor, STP will of course remain with the #43 as a major associate sponsor. John Andretti drives the #43 Pontiac(Image and story at PRN Newswire, thanks JonB) also have the image on my Paint Schemes page(10-9-1999) -- UPDATE: The new design for the 2000 Winston Cup season was unveiled Saturday night in a press conference at Charlotte. Seven-time Winston Cup Richard Petty, owner of the car, helped create the new design, which is a result of a multi-year primary sponsorship agreement announced last month at Darlington. The #43 car, driven by John Andretti, will continue its 29-year association with STP, which will be the car's primary sponsor through the June 2000 Winston Cup race at Sears Point. General Mills will become the #43's primary sponsor at the Daytona race in July(with STP remaining as an associate)(SpeedNet)(10-10-1999)

  • New Sponsor? UPDATE: hearing Red Wing Shoes may be looking to get into Cup or BGN as a team sponsor? no other details(8-12-1999) -- UPDATE: Petty Enterprises announced that Red Wing shoes has joined the team as an associate sponsor for the Cup cars driven by Kyle Petty and John Andretti and the Grand National car driven by Adam Petty(The Depot)(10-7-1999)

  • Andretti and Kids: John Andretti met with 22 Albert Harris Elementary School fourth and fifth graders Wednesday at Martinsville Speedway who won the "Why I want to meet John Andretti" contest. The approximately 400 students who attend Albert Harris in Martinsville wrote a story of why they wanted to meet Andretti and the 22 winners got their chance in Martinsvilles Victory Lane. Andretti was at Martinsville for Media Day for the NAPA AutoCare 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race on Sunday, October 3. Andretti read some of the stories written by the students. The students presented Andretti with a school shirt and a book containing all of the more than 350 stories written, and pictures drawn by the children(Martinsville Speedway)(9-23-1999)

  • Petty 2000 Paint: For the first half of 2000, the #43 Petty Pontiac will look much like it does now with General Mills as an associate sponsor with stickers on the car using Cheerios, Popsecret, and Betty Crocker. Beginning with the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the car switch to the Cheerios/Betty Crocker #43 Pontiac, with STP moving to an associate sponsor. I hear the car is designed and Richard Petty is considering several options right now. The car will be Cheerios yellow, Petty blue, Betty Crocker red, and Popsecret blue in the final paint scheme. The car will be veiled at Charlotte on October 10(9-16-1999)

  • Petty Announcement UPDATE: Richard Petty and #43 driver John Andretti will have an announcement on Friday in Darlington at 9:40am/et. I hear it will be a sponsorship announcement with Cheerios and STP(9-1-1999) -- UPDATE: hear they may run STP half the season and Cheerios the other half, with the other acting as an associate when not the primary sponsor, anyhow should be interesting(9-2-1999) -- UPDATE-ANNOUNCEMENT: Petty Enterprises owner Richard Petty announced today that STP would continue to serve as the teams sponsor until next years Pepsi 400 at Daytona. From Petty paraphrased: Thats when General Mills will step on board as the teams primary sponsor. The basic deal for the next two or three years, STP is going to be the primary sponsor for the first part of the season up until Daytona. Then General Mills will come on as a sponsor for the next two or three years after that with General Mills and Cheerios. There will be a lot of promotions going on on all fronts and they are working on the paint schemes. The car is still going to have 43 on the side of it and its still going to be blue. It used to be a blue car when I went with STP and then it went half and half. I figure well wind up the same way with... blue and yellow. General Mills will also have a little sticker on our other vehicles, too, Kyles car and Adams(Hoagland Communications PR)(9-3-1999)

  • Petty Paint: In celebration of the start of pro football's 1999 season, PLAYERS INC and Petty Enterprises will showcase special NFL player paint schemes on John Andretti's #43 STP Pontiac and Kyle Petty's #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac during the Exide NASCAR Select Batteries 400 to be held on September 11, 1999, at Richmond International Raceway. Some of the greatest NFL stars of all time will visit the Richmond facility to root the offensive ("Playmakers") and defensive ("Gamebreakers") teams to victory. Linebackers Dick Butkus (Hall of Fame, Chicago), Willie Lanier (Hall of Fame, Kansas City) and defensive end L.C. Greenwood (Pittsburgh) will help out in the Petty pit. In the Andretti pit will be running back Tony Dorsett (Hall of Fame, Dallas) and wide receiver Charley Taylor (Hall of Fame, Washington), along with running back Craig "Ironhead" Heyward (Indianapolis). In addition to the Petty's "Gamebreakers" scheme and Andretti's "Playmakers" scheme, Petty and Andretti will wear custom drivers suits and helmets which represent a distinct NFL player flavor. To further celebrate the season kickoff and this special event, PLAYERS INC has developed a unique PLAYERS INC/Team Petty Charity Challenge in which favorite charities of Petty and Andretti will be the benefactors of PLAYERS INC contributions, based on Andretti's and Petty's finishing order in the Richmond race. PLAYERS INC will donate $500,000 to charities nominated by Petty and Andretti if they finish first and second in the Richmond race ($400,000 to 1st place, $100,000 to 2nd place). If John and Kyle do not finish first and second, but one wins the race, his charity will receive $100,000. If neither of the drivers win the racing event, the highest finishing driver's charity will receive $10,000. Andretti has established the Riley's Children's Hospital and Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis as his charity and Petty has named Samaritan's Purse as his charity(Williams Co PR)(9-1-1999)

  • What happens to Cheerios? (from a Benson story I have posted on the 28th) I have heard they may stay with Roush, I have heard they may go to another team, one rumor has them with...get this....the #43 Petty team, cannot fathom a yellow #43(8-28-1999) -- UPDATE: I am hearing this is not as far fetched as it seems, but the car wouldn't be yellow. Supposedly STP/First Brands/Clorax is looking to scale down it's sponsorship dollars(8-30-1999)

  • Andretti Signed? UPDATE 2 YES: With Rudd apparently closing in on a new sponsor for his own team, Robert Yates is looking at another driver to take over #28, according to sources close to the situation. That is not expected to be John Andretti, who was to sign a new deal with Richard Petty over the weekend(PitNow)(8-23-1999) -- UPDATE: Andretti has no re-signed with Petty...yet. PitNow is reporting that "John Andretti is expected to make it official next week that he'll be back with Richard Petty next season". I hear Andretti is still in the running for the #28 Texaco ride -- UPDATE 2 but... Around the garage: John Andretti has signed a three-year contract with Petty Enterprises that will keep him with the team through 2002(Times-Dispatch) -- UPDATE 2: NOL has a story up: Andretti to stay with Petty through 2002, so those Andretti to the #28 rumors are history(8-28-1999)

  • Petty/Andretti/Loomis/Hamilton: PitNow has a story up that talks about how Petty Enterprises is faring in 1999. Amoung some of highlights: the rumor that John Andretti may end up in the #28 Yates Ford, while Andretti says he wants to say and the Petty's hope he does, Andretti was told by the Petty's he has to do what he thinks is best for him and his family. It discusses Team Manager Robbie Loomis and rumors he may go to another team (Yates?). And if Andretti leaves, the possibilty that Bobby Hamilton would return to the #43 next year(8-22-1999)

  • Annoucement UPDATE 2: I hear there be a press conference involving Richard Petty and Danny Sullivan, Thursday, July 1, at Daytona International Speedway. I have no clue or idea's what this is about, no specualtion needed(6-26-1999) -- Not sure how Petty's illness will effect this announcement as I hear he will NOT be in Daytona(6-27-1999) -- UPDATE: Petty couldn't be there, but the announcement was that Pontiac is making 1000 special Pontiac Grand Prix's, 5 each for each of the King's 200 wins(ESPN2 Qual)(7-1-1999) -- UPDATE 2: The Petty family announced that Pontiac will produce 1,000 limited-edition Richard Petty cars that will cost $50,000 each and feature 300-horsepower engine, carbon fiber instrument housing, Petty autographed leather interior and high performance suspension and brake package(News and Record)(7-2-1999)

  • Petty Back: Richard Petty, hospitalized last week with bleeding ulcers, plans to be on hand for the Pepsi 400. Petty, 62, was back at work at his team's shop Monday despite having losing 40% of his blood during the ordeal. His son, Kyle, said Petty planned to fly here in time for the 8pm/et start of tomorrow's race(The Tennessean)(7-2-1999)

  • Petty Ill UPDATE 3: Richard Petty is in the hospital with bleeding Ulcers. He collapsed at home recently after losing 40% of his blood. He was in intensive care for a day or so, but is doing much better and is expected to go home this weekend(ESPN2 Qualifying and Kyle Petty), get well King(6-25-1999) -- UPDATE: Richard Petty is scheduled to be released from a Greensboro, N.C., hospital this morning(Sunday). Petty collapsed Wednesday and was transported to the hospital to be treated for bleeding ulcers. In the past, the owner of Petty Enterprises had a part of his stomach removed to help treat the ulcers. The problem is currently under control, but doctors did not trust Petty to take it easy, so they opted to hold him until today(Times-Dispatch) and see story at That's Racin': Petty recovering after massive blood loss from bleeding ulcers(AP)(6-27-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Richard Petty was not discharged Sunday from Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, as expected, but son Kyle said there was little cause for concern. Doctors kept NASCAR's winningest driver for another day because of the suspicion that Petty would fly out to Sears Point rather than continue to convalesce at home(SpeedNet)(6-28-1999) -- UPDATE 3: Richard Petty checked out of a hospital Monday and returned home after being treated for bleeding ulcers. Petty, 61, was admitted to Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro last week after he lost 40 percent of his blood, according to his son, Kyle. Petty returned home to Randleman, NC and wants to get back to work at Petty Enterprises(PitNow)(6-29-1999)

  • Testing UPDATE 2: Kyle Petty and John Andretti are supposed test at Road Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday(June 14-15th)in preparation of the upcoming road course races(Williams Co)(6-13-1999) -- UPDATE 1: I hear Ward Burton and Tom Hubert will test Bill Davis' Pontiacs at Road Atlanta on Monday - UPDATE 2: Rusty Wallace in the #2 Ford and Kenny Irwin in the #28 also tested(WC Today Radio)(6-14-1999)

  • Adam Petty to Cup? From the Adam Petty site in his Dover Journal - "Im not supposed to comment on that question, but if yall can keep a secret Ill tell you that we are building a Cup car for next year. Whether or not I run it depends a lot on how this year goes. As of today, we are planning to run 5 Cup races next year"(www.adampetty.com)(6-7-1999)

  • Petty Announcement: A celebration of the first 50 years  and the next 50 years  of stock car racings most famous entity will continue with unique 50th Anniversary cars in August. Four Petty Enterprises teams will race in Indianapolis, Indiana featuring special paint schemes that highlight the beginning of the second 50 years of a winning tradition. The #43 STP Pontiac driven by John Andretti and the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac driven by Kyle Petty will carry special colors in the Brickyard 400, Saturday, August 7, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Adam Pettys #45 Spree Prepaid Foncard Chevrolet will compete in the Kroger NASCAR 200 Busch race Friday night, August 6, and Jimmy Hensleys #43 Dodge by Petty will compete in the IRP 200 Truck series race Thursday night, August 5, both of those at Indianapolis Raceway Park. It is the only time all four teams race in the same major market in front of a Big Three network television audience (ABC for the Brickyard 400; ESPN for both IRP events). This marks the first time in NASCAR history that four identically-designed vehicles race in the same city on the same race weekend. The vehicles will be dominated by Petty blue, the color that has won more NASCAR Winston Cup events than any other, with gold trim and gold wheels. The unique design will no be seen again, except on the collectible die-cast vehicles manufactured by Mattels Hot Wheels brand. A four-vehicle set that includes the Dodge by Petty truck in 1/64 scale will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart retailers nationwide. In addition, the Winston Cup and Busch cars will be sold in various scales through online sales, direct mail, hobby shops and trackside sales. In further celebration of the 50th Anniversary, Petty Enterprises is planning a September event to honor all of the 41 former drivers of Petty Enterprises cars. Additional details regarding the event will be revealed in the next few months.(The Williams Company)(5-27-1999)

  • Petty/Players Inc UPDATE 1: Players Inc/Petty Enterprises will be unveiling their 1999 special schemes for the 1999 Cup and truck events this coming Monday(May 24th) at a special television taping with the 1999 NFL first round rookies, Jimmy Hensley, John Andretti, and Kyle Petty. The shoot will be at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. The truck will be run at Texas on June 11 and the Cup cars(#'s 43 and 44) will run at Richmond on September 11th, which is the night before the opening day for the NFL. All three drivers will have some wild suits and helmets. All the vehicles will be available as limited edition diecast from Hot Wheels and some pretty wild merchandise is being made, too. Some notable NFL players, present and past, will be in the teams' pits to help(Pole Position Productions)(5-20-1999) -- UPDATE 1 Postponed? New date: Please Join Petty Enterprises! A significant announcement in celebration of 50 years. 10:30am/et on Thursday, May 27, Infield Media Center, Lowe's Motor Speedway. Kyle Petty, Richard Petty, Adam Petty John Andretti, Jimmy Hensley Robbie Loomis and Doug Hewitt will be there. Announcement followed by interviews, photo opportunities(Williams Company)(5-24-1999)

  • Chicken Money: When the Petty cars get in the top 10, the crew get bonus' or what they call Chicken Money. The last two weeks they got Double Chicken money as both Kyle Petty and John Andretti were in the top 10. Andretti said because the team won at Martinsville, they get Steak Money(RPM2Nite)(4-21-1999)

  • Andretti/Petty/STP fans: Joy Pinto, STP's Public Relations Manager has asked if fans could help her out. Joy would like to have newspaper clippings, or copies of them, concerning John Andretti's win at Martinsville from your local papers. Feel free to send the articles to: Don Stone. PO Box 24033, Speedway, IN 46224(4-23-1999)

  • Andretti from Alabama: The Alabama House of Representatives voted Thursday to grant NASCAR Winston Cup stoc car driver John Andretti, who wheels the #43 STP Pontiac, with honorary citizenship. The vote came as a reaction to Andretti's earlier attempt to be "adopted" by the city of Talladega for Sunday's DieHard 500 race. It will be the first time a Talladega Winston Cup race has run with a driver from Alabama. Track officials had requested Andretti not continue his efforts, feeling it might reflect poorly on current drivers seeking rides(Williams Company)(4-23-1999)

  • Short Tracks: John Andretti's victory at Martinsville made him the eighth different winner in the last eight Winston Cup short-track races(4-19-1999)

  • Ironic: John Andretti's victory Sunday at Martinsville came from the 21st starting position, the deepest spot in the field for a winner since Lee Petty won from 24th in 1959(Infobeat/AP)(4-19-1999)

  • #43 Violation? UPDATE 3 - Good News: Hours after the race, NASCAR officials announced that initial post-race testing had revealed a compression-ratio violation -- the Winston Cup limit is 12:1 -- in the fourth-place Pontiac of John Andretti. Citing difficult conditions, NASCAR official Kevin Triplett announced that further examination of the Petty Enterprises engine would be conducted Monday(SpeedNet)(4-11-1999) -- UPDATE 1: I hear the engine and NASCAR inspectors will do the testing/inspection at Petty's shop this morning -- UPDATE 2: NASCAR has cleared Andretti's engine, see the full story at NOL - Andretti's engine clears inspection(NOL) -- UPDATE 3: NASCAR Officials announced today that after a thorough post-race inspection of John Andretti's, Richard Petty owned Pontiac, the results of Sunday's Food City 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway will stand. Andretti's engine was held by NASCAR overnight for further evaluation after Sunday night's post-race inspection. "The process to determine the exact compression ratio is very precise," said Mike Helton, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for NASCAR. "In the case where the finding is so very close to being legal or not legal, it is NASCAR policy to be as correct as possible before our final decision. In order to maintain the integrity of the post-race inspections, we will develop even more exact practices and procedures to finalize the inspections in a credible and timely manner." The results of Monday's continued post-race inspection showed a compression ratio which met NASCAR rules as described in Section 20 Rule 5.4 Article C of the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Series rule book, "For all Events, the maximum allowable compression limit permitted on any cylinder will be 12.0 to 1 on all engines."(NASCAR PR)(4-12-1999)

  • Petty Press Conference UPDATE 2: A press conference for Petty Enterprises is scheduled at the Level Cross, N.C., shops at 10:30am, Wednesday, April 7, 1999(The Williams Co), no idea what it's about, special paint schemes??(3-30-1999) -- UPDATE 1: Petty will open the revamped shop in Level Cross, NC next Wednesday. Petty Enterprises is expected to announce the game plan for their 50th Anniversary celebration and debut the coordinating paint schemes Kyle Petty, John Andretti's Cup cars, Adam Petty's BGN car and Jimmy Hensley's truck when they race at Indy in August(SpeedVison)(3-31-1999) -- UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises opened its newly expanded race shop to the public for the first time during a press conference in Level Cross, N.C., today. Announcements regarding plans for Pettys 50th anniversary celebration were also revealed. The 20,000 square foot addition to the existing race shop is the largest expansion in Petty Racing history. The addition includes new engine assembly rooms, offices and a spacious work area for the preparation of the Winston Cup race cars driven by John Andretti and Kyle Petty. Petty Racing was founded as Lee Petty Engineering in 1949. Petty Racing has totaled 268 wins and 10 championships in NASCARs premier series. The expanded engine room and race shop are but one facet of Petty Racings investment in its future. Also underway are major purchases of equipment -particularly high-tech engine and research and development software and hardware. As important is the investment in key personnel to take Petty Racing back to the pinnacle of the sport. A special paint scheme for all of the Petty Racing vehicles to be run in Indianapolis on August 5-7, 1999, will be unveiled at a May 27th press conference at the Lowes Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. In further celebration of the 50th anniversary, Petty Racing is planning a September event to honor all of the 41 former drivers of Petty Racing cars. Additional details regarding the event will be revealed in the next few months. Many of the key personnel at Petty Racing were present at Wednesdays press conference, including Lee, Richard, Kyle, Adam and Maurice Petty. Team manager Robbie Loomis appeared, as well as drivers John Andretti and Jimmy Hensley, and crew chief Doug Hewitt. Former team manager Dale Inman also played an important role. The event was emceed by ESPNs Bill Weber and longtime local sportscaster Charlie Harville also spoke at the announcement(The Williams Co)(4-7-1999)

  • Petty Sponsor: Driving Impressions Inc., the North American importer of OMP racing equipment, will sponsor the Cup and BGN Petty Enterprises teams and drivers with OMP racing safety equipment(SpeedNet) didn't mention the truck team(2-19-1999)

  • Petty Blue: The #43 STP Pontiac and John Andretti will sport an all blue car with STP only on the hood as he will be in a backup car since the primary was wrecked in the Twin 125's(Happy Hour)(2-14-1999)

  • Lobster: The two Richard Petty teams, the #43 STP Pontiac with John Andretti and the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac with Kyle Petty has picked up sponsorship from Red Lobster Restaurants, which will be on the decklid of each car(2-6-1999)

  • Testing at the Rock: Tony Stewart(#20), John Andretti(#43) and Buckshot Jones(#00) tested at the North Caroloina Speedway early last week. No speeds given(TNN's Raceday)(2-1-1999)

  • Loomis promoted UPDATE: Robbie Loomis has been selected to replace retiring General Manager Dale Inman at Petty Enterprises. Loomis, crew chief for John Andretti, will take on the added responsibility of general manager for the teams of Andretti and Kyle Petty. Inman has been with Petty Enterprises almost since its inception. Inman decided to retire at the end of the 1998 season(Times-Dispatch)(1-25-1999) -- hear that Greg Steadman will be the #43 Crew Chief next year(2000) and maybe by the end of this year(Petty Page)(1-29-1999)

1999 News

  • Hussey new gig UPDATE: Chris Hussey, the former crew chief of the #22 Pontiac has replaced Dale Inman as the team manager at Petty Enterprises(NASCAR Online)(1-17-1999) -- CORRECTION on this story, It was reported incorrectly here that Chris Hussey had been hired to replace Dale Inman. Hussey is working for the STP team and Dale Inman has retired but Hussey has not taken over Dale's position, he will be taking over Inmans's job as spotter for the #43(1-19-1999)

  • Petty Colors: I have gotten a few rumors saying the #43 STP Pontiac would have a new paint scheme in 1999. Not true, my sources tell me. There was no design a paint scheme this year as there was the past two years, the #43 Pontiac woll basically be the same paint scheme as it was in 1998. The #44 Kyle Petty Hot Wheels Pontiac will be the same but lose the white stripe around the bottom of the car(12-4-1998)

  • STP/#43 Stuff UPDATE 2: There are rumors abound that STP will do one of the following: 1) STP Stays as primary; 2) STP drops down to an associate sponsor; 3) STP leaves the team(most unlikely). One rumor has UPS becoming a primary or associate sponsor. A few fans have emailed STP and gotten the following response: "As you know "Clorox" has purchased STP. During the sale discussions it was NEVER mentioned that STP would discontinue their relationship with Richard Petty. From a business standpoint I'm sure we agree its a win win situation for both parties. This rumor regarding a partial sponsorship has never been implied nor told to my office. Unless told otherwise I can assume nothing. Thank you for your time and patience as well as your interest in #43."(11-3-1998) -- "A spokesman for STP said rumors the product won't return as a sponosr of Petty Enterprises weren't true. He said STP would be on the #43 next year"(Winston Cup Scene), what he didn't say was in what capacity, primary or an associate sponsor. Also the WC Scene reports that Dale Inman, Team Manager will not return to Retty Enterprises for the 1999 season. Inman, Richard Pettys cousin has been fulltime with the team since 1962(with the exception 1984 when he was part of Terry Labontes 1st championship with Billy Hagen). Other notes on the team: Mike Suter was Kyle Petty's crew chief Atlanta, Bobby Kennedy left after Rockingham. Doug Hewitt comes aboard for the 1999 season(as previosuly announced).(11-14-1998) -- After talking to UPS concerning sponsorship of the #43, Richard Petty has signed STP to a one year deal as the primary sponsor with Petty having a two-year option(Winston Cup Today Radio) I am hearing that UPS is looking to sponsor a Cup team in 1999, no word on who they are looking at.(11-16-1998)


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