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Richard Petty – Q&A

Much has happened in Richard Petty's world in the past nine months.

He merged his family-owned Petty Enterprises with capital asset company Boston Ventures last June to form Petty Holdings. January brought another merger, this time with George Gillett, owner of Gillett Evernham Motorsports as well as the Montreal Canadiens and the English Premier League's Liverpool soccer team.

Re-named Richard Petty Motorsports, the organisation fields cars for Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Reed Sorenson and AJ Allmendinger…

Q:
Six months ago, could you have imagined that you'd be where you are today?

Richard Petty:
We went with Boston Ventures, and everything was gung-ho and all that, and then the economy - we had no more than signed the papers - and the economy went south. These are investment people, and they invest X amount, and they say, “OK, what's our next choice?”

We went out then and started talking around and wound up with Gillett Motorsports. When we did that, we were able to join some of our people and our things together with them. They were looking to add another car to try to make that part grow. We got together with George Gillett and said, “We'll do our part, and you do your part, and we'll call this whole thing Richard Petty Motorsports.” We got off to a good start (at Daytona). Now we've got to continue our deal.

Q:
Are things as upbeat as they seem?

Richard Petty:
I feel like there's a lot of enthusiasm there, because the guys working there get to work on four cars instead of two and a half. Our people are out beating on the bushes, trying to make things work. We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Q:
George Gillett seems to have a healthy respect for the history and traditions of NASCAR racing. Is that one reason you get along?

Richard Petty:
That really works good. I talked to him before we went and done our other investment group (Boston Ventures). He said, “Look, this (Petty Enterprises) is an established operation, the Petty name. Same with the hockey team and the soccer team. I can't mess with that part. What can I do to enhance those particular brands?” That's what he's for with Richard Petty Motorsports.

Q:
I've heard you say that you prefer not to have the #43 retired. Why is that?

Richard Petty:
I look at it basically from kind of a greedy standpoint. As long as that #43's out there, then Richard Petty's out there. In other words, that's my signature deal just because of the 30 or 40 years with that number. If they take the #43 off the racetrack, I'm going to have to do something else to get my name recognition out there. It's something I feel good about.

Q:
Do you feel it's appropriate for Dale Earnhardt's #3 to be retired?

Richard Petty:
Basically, it is retired because it's going to be years and years and years before anybody would even take a chance on doing that (fielding the #3 car). Then you'd get all the three people mad at you if you use that number. It's been basically taken off the pavement. When I retired, I talked to Bill (France) Jr. about retiring the number, and he said, “I wouldn't do it, but that's you out there in front of these people.” It was helping NASCAR, but it was helping me, too.

by Reid Spencer/Sporting News


Related Pictures

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NASCAR legend Richard Petty   [pic credit: Getty/NASCAR]
The Richard Childress Racing #3 Chevrolet Nationwide Series car driven by Ty Dillon. (Photo Credit: Getty Images for NASCAR)
Ty Dillon with his team owner and grandfaster Richard Childress at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 7 2014. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the #17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford tangle during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles` Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on April 12, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: NASCAR Via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet Camaro, celebrates winnning the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with a 12th place finish in the season-ending race Saturday, November 16, 2013 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. His title, the first for Dillon and fourth for team owner Richard Childress, marks Chevrolet’s 17th Driver’s Championship since the inception of the series in 1982. (Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevrolet)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet Camaro, celebrates winning the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with a 12th place finish in the season-ending race Saturday, November 16, 2013 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. His title, the first for Dillon and fourth for team owner Richard Childress, marks Chevrolet’s 17th Driver’s Championship since the inception of the series in 1982. (Photo Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevrolet)
Austin Dillon (right), driver of the #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet Camaro, celebrates winning the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with a 12th place finish in the season-ending race Saturday, November 16, 2013 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. His title, the first for Dillon and fourth for team owner Richard Childress (left), marks Chevrolet’s 17th Driver’s Championship since the inception of the series in 1982. (Photo Credit: Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevrolet)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet Camaro, celebrates winning the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series championship with a 12th place finish in the season-ending race Saturday, November 16, 2013 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Florida. His title, the first for Dillon and fourth for team owner Richard Childress, marks Chevrolet’s 17th Driver’s Championship since the inception of the series in 1982. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/HHP for Chevrolet)
Team owner Richard Childress celebrates with Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 AdvoCare Chevrolet, after winning the series championship after the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2013 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS celebrates his win Sunday, November 10, 2013 in the Advocare 500 at Phoenix International Speedway in Avondale, Arizona. This was Harvick`s 4th win of the season. He is 3rd in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo Credit: HHP/Rusty Jarrett for Chevrolet)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane with team owner Richard Childress and the team after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 10, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #29 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane with team owner Richard Childress and the team after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AdvoCare 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 10, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Burton, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing, attends the ground breaking ceremony for Daytona Rising on 5 July, 2013. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Jeff Burton, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing, during the pre-season media tour at Charlotte Motor Speedway - January 18, 2013. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jeff Burton, driver of the NASCAR Sprint Cup #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS for Richard Childress Racing, in the garage at Vegas - March 7 2013. (Photo Credit: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Richard Childress Racing`s Austin Dillon talking with reporters during the 2013 Sprint Media Tour in January before the start of the NASCAR season. (Photo Credit: Jamey Price/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Richard Childress Racing`s Austin Dillon at Phoenix International Raceway for the March 2013 Dollar General 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Richard Childress Racing`s Austin Dillon at Darlington Speedway for the May 2013 NASACR Nationwide Series race. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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