Petty to be chair, ‘face of team’ with GMS merger

Sports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The GMS Racing majority purchase of Richard Petty Motorsports will be called Petty GMS Motorsports going into next season and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty will be chairman of the new two-car Cup Series team.

Petty GMS Motorsports revealed its plans for 2022 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, less than a week after Maury Gallagher announced he’d bought out Andrew Murstein at RPM.

Murstein, as head of Medallion Financial Corp., had been the primary owner of RPM since 2011 and an SEC filing showed Gallagher paid $19.1 million for Medallion’s majority stake.

Petty, 84, had long been mostly a figurehead of his namesake team. But the seven-time Cup champion known as “The King” was introduced Tuesday as chairman of Petty GMS Motorsports and a “face of the team at the racetrack.”

“I’m very excited about this opportunity to work with Richard, arguably the greatest driver in NASCAR history, and form Petty GMS Motorsports,” Gallagher said. “Petty GMS will have a sole focus of winning. Both teams have a track record of winning and we have a strong desire to continue this legacy in a new chapter.”

Erik Jones, who just completed his first season driving for Petty, will remain in the flagship No. 43.

Ty Dillon, the driver selected by GMS, will pilot the No. 42 — the original number driven by Petty’s father, Lee, from 1949 to 1961. Lee Petty won three championships and 54 races in the No. 42, and Petty’s son, Kyle, used the number from 1979 to 1982 and again from 1989 to 1996.

The No. 42 had most recently been used by Chip Ganassi Racing.

“I don’t know that I can express how special it is to me personally to have the No. 42 number racing alongside the No. 43 again,” said Richard Petty. “I grew up watching my dad race that car, I worked on cars with that number way before I started racing. Dad had a lot of success winning races and championships with that number. Kyle drove cars and won races with the No. 42 as well. It’s really special to me that Petty GMS will be racing that car number.”

Mike Beam, the current team president at GMS who will oversee the day-to-day operations of Petty GMS, was crew chief for Kyle Petty in 1981 and 1982. In seven years running GMS at the Truck Series and lower levels, Beam led the team to five championships. GMS Racing will continue to compete full-time in the Trucks and ARCA Series, and since its formation in 2012, the team has won championships in both series.

Brian Moffitt, Petty’s son-in-law and CEO of RPM, will be executive vice president of sales at Petty GMS Motorsports.

The team will operate from GMS’ existing racing complex in Statesville.

“We are ahead of most of the new Cup entrants this year because of our infrastructure,” Beam said. “This highly-functioning race shop will allow us to hit the ground running. This facility combined with our race-winning personnel gives me confidence that we can make an impact as soon as this season.”

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