The call for Petty to hang it up
While Richard Petty might be just the titular head of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race team that bears his name, the time has come for him to give it up and head for the nearest rocking chair.
The team, owned in reality by racing debt-ridden George Gillett Jr. and his son and managing partner Foster Gillett, is in shambles.
It's down to one driver for next season, A.J. Allmendinger, who recently signed a multi-year extension. Kasey Kahne is headed for Red Bull next season before moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, Paul Menard has signed with Richard Childress Racing for 2011, taking his sponsorship with him, and Elliott Sadler has no intention of returning.
Also, Budweiser, which is sponsoring Kahne, is leaving at season's end for RCR.
What's there to stick around for?
OK, Kahne won two races for Petty in 2009 but prior to that, under the Petty Enterprises banner, Petty's team won a grand total of three races between 1993 -- the year following Petty's retirement as a driver -- and 2008 when Petty Enterprises ceased to exist. That happened in the ill conceived and poorly executed sell out to Boston Ventures. That deal lasted all of six months before Petty merged with what was Gillett Evernham Motorsports which grew out of what was Evernham Motorsports.
It's been nothing but heartburn -- and unimaginable heartache -- for Petty since he quit driving. That his teams were always back markers and that he changed drivers as often as he changed his socks was dwarfed by the death of his grandson Adam, son of his son, Kyle, at New Hampshire in May of 2000.
Adam's death (unnecessary death caused because NASCAR refused to mandate the HANS Device) took an immeasurable toll on the family and the team. And that the departure of Kyle, who racing essentially chewed up and spat out, More at Florida Today