Richard Petty and partners buy Petty NASCAR team
Stock-car racing legend Richard Petty said Monday he has joined with an investor group to reacquire control of his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing team, Richard Petty Motorsports.
Petty, 73, partnered with Medallion Financial Corp. and DGB Investments to buy the team from majority owner George Gillett Jr. The price was not disclosed.
The former four-car team already had said it plans to field only two Cup drivers next season in Fords: A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose.
Known as "The King" for his record 200 NASCAR wins and seven Cup championships, Petty "will serve as chairman and will be actively involved in overseeing day-to-day operations," the team said.
It also said "ample working capital has been invested in the company" in hopes of getting Petty "back in the winner's circle."
"Today is a great day for me, my family, our fans and our wonderful sponsors," Petty said in a statement.
Allmendinger, a former open-wheel racer who migrated to NASCAR, will continue driving the car with No. 43 -- the number made famous by Petty in his driving career. Allmendinger finished 19th in the Cup standings this season.
Ambrose is an Australian driver who completed his second full season in the Cup series this year; he finished 26th in the standings. Both he and Allmendinger have yet to win to win a Cup race.
Richard Petty Motorsports opened the season with Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Paul Menard and then struggled with financial problems throughout the year.
Kahne, who had planned to move to the Red Bull team for one season next year before switching to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, left ahead of schedule last month after being released by Petty.
Petty's former Petty Enterprises team had merged with Gillett Evernham Motorsports in early 2009 to form the team that later was named Richard Petty Motorsports.
-- Jim Peltz
Photo: Richard Petty before the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Nov. 21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. Credit: Lynne Sladky / Associated Press