Petty-GEM story


New Member
Oct 18, 2008
Stanfield, NC
Petty-GEM merger deal

David Poole
Gillett Evernham Motorsports, seven-time Cup champion Richard Petty and Boston Ventures announced Thursday an “agreement in principle†for a new Sprint Cup team resulting from a merger of their NASCAR interests.
Gillett Evernham Motorsports (GEM) and Petty Holdings said the team plans to field three full-time Dodge teams and a fourth team on at least a partial schedule in 2009.
No name was given for the new team. Further details will come when the deal closes. Petty and GEM officials anticipate a final agreement by the end of this month, a statement said.
Petty Holdings was formed in 2008 when Boston Ventures bought a majority ownership stake in what was Petty Enterprises, the team founded by Richard Petty’s father, Lee, that dates back to the very first race run in what is now NASCAR’s premiere series.
“Nothing is going to change for me,†Petty said. “I’m going to be at the track every weekend and really involved with the teams and drivers back at the shop.
“We are very happy. George and I have a lot of work to do, but we have a plan and we’ll be ready for Daytona. I want to get back to winning and together we will bring the resources, technology and infrastructure to do that. …This was a big decision for us but it’s something we really wanted to do.â€
The new team will field a No. 43 car – using the number Petty used for most of a career that saw him win a record 200 races. It is believed that Reed Sorenson will drive that car.
Kasey Kahne will drive the No. 9 Dodges while AJ Allmendinger is reportedly in line to replace Elliott Sadler in the No. 19. Sadler is threatening to sue the team for breach of contract over his apparent dismissal from that ride.
A fourth car would be entered in the Budweiser Shootout as well as at least seven points races, with more races possible contingent on sponsorship. No driver was indicated for that car.
Ray Evernham, a three-time championship-winning crew chief who owned Evernham Motorsports before selling majority interest to George Gillett, will retain a minority ownership role with the new team.
Petty and Petty Holdings will continue to own and operate the Richard Petty Driving Experience as an independent entity. Robbie Loomis and Dale Inman will have roles with the new team, which will use the GEM race shops in Statesville and engine shop in Concord.
“Richard and I have gotten to know each other well over the last few years and both of us believe we have formed something that NASCAR fans will support,†Gillett said. “We plan to keep the Petty name in the forefront of NASCAR. We ask that all of the King’s fans join with us. Our goal is to get the cowboy hat and sungasses back in victory lane.â€