Petty finds investors to save RPM
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Richard Petty is back in at Richard Petty Motorsports. He was never completely out, as the race team still bared his name, but he was more of a figurehead -- not a person with a lot of say -- with the team being majority owned by George Gillett. Amid the turmoil, mostly financial, at RPM, Gillett's out.
When Gillett's financial difficulties began to publicly take its toll on the race team, Petty vowed to save the team, even if that meant buying it back. To regain a hold on the race team that contained remnants of Petty Enterprises -- the team his father, Lee Petty, started back during the early days of NASCAR -- Petty had to find investors. Those investors were officially revealed on Monday as Andrew Murstein, President of Medallian Financial Corporation, and Douglas Bergeron of DGB Investments.
"We are very fortunate to have an extremely loyal family of partners and are looking forward to the future," Petty said.
Scaling back from the four teams RPM fielded full-time in 2010, the organization will put two cars on the track in 2011. A.J. Allmendinger will return to drive the No. 43 car for RPM, and Marcos Ambrose will come from JTG-Daugherty Racing to drive the No. 9 entry. Murstein said, though, that one of his goals is to eventually build the team back up to a four-car operation.
"Richard Petty Motorsports has completed its restructuring process and is now in the process of moving forward," Petty said in a statement. "RPM will shift from running four cars to two in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, and that is never an easy process for the people involved. Currently, we are concentrating on building two solid programs with A.J. Allemendinger behind the wheel of the No. 43 entry and Marcos Ambrose in the No. 9 Ford."
With the ownership shift, Petty returns to a decision-making role with the organization. According to Murstein, Petty will control the day-to-day operations of the team. Brian Moffitt will continue in his role as Vice President of Marketing, and Robbie Loomis will maintain his role as Director of Racing Operations.