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Richard Petty isn’t going anywhere. He made that point clear Tuesday at the NASCAR Hall of Fame during a public unveiling of his rebranded Cup Series team that will feature new ownership.
“We’ve always been able to survive,” Petty said of his team, which has had multiple naming and ownership iterations while including the constant of the Petty brand. “(A) cat has nine lives. We just went through two or three and we’ve still got some left.”
The latest “we” Petty was referring to includes GMS Racing owner Maury Gallagher, who last week announced his purchase of a majority interest in Richard Petty Motorsports team to form Petty GMS Motorsports. The organization will field two chartered Cup entries next season with Erik Jones behind the wheel of the No. 43 Chevrolet and Ty Dillon behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet.
The team will operate out of GMS Racing’s shop in Statesville, N.C. Seven-time Cup champion Petty will be the team’s chairman while Mike Beam oversees its day-to-day operations as president.
Beam and Gallagher were prepared to field a full-time Next Gen car in the Cup Series without a charter, which guarantees teams entry in points races, and announced their plans to do so in the fall. But as part of the latest deal, Gallagher made a $19.1 million purchase of Medallion Financial Corp.’s membership interests in RPM and acquired the team’s two charters, one of which was leased to Rick Ware Racing during the 2021 season.
Gallagher highlighted the importance of affiliating with the Petty name, while Petty pointed to what he believes will boost the team’s competitive performance.
“You need revenue and Richard is a brand, a name, that really is important,” Gallagher said. “...More-so perhaps than any other team, Richard Petty as your masthead is a big deal.”
Lee Petty, Richard Petty’s father, ran the No. 42 car number from 1949 to 1961, earning three championships with that car number. His Petty Enterprises team earned 10 NASCAR championships and later transitioned to RPM with Richard Petty holding a minority stake in the team that has had just five Cup wins since 2009.
“We want somebody that wants to win,” Petty said. “Some of our partners before have just been investors.”
Beam highlighted the existing infrastructure of GMS Racing, which will continue to run its Truck Series program next year. He said that the team’s 25-acre shop in Statesville was equivalent to that of many Cup shops.
“We are ahead of most of the new Cup entrants this year because of our infrastructure. This highly functioning race shop will allow us to hit the ground running,” Beam said. “This facility combined with our race-winning personnel gives me confidence that we can make an impact as soon as this season.”