Petty team to take on major investor

UPDATE Medallion Financial Group President Andrew Murstein acknowledges speculation that his company's Sports Properties Acquisition Corp. might be a potential business partner with Petty Enterprises, but he won't confirm or deny the reports.

Medallion Financial has formed an entertainment/sports acquisition company, Sports Properties Acquisition Corp., which completed an initial stock offering in January on the American Stock Exchange. The gross proceeds were $200 million.

“There has been speculation of our interest in Petty Enterprises for Sports Properties Acquisition Corp," Murstein said in a statement Monday. “We are looking to invest several hundred million dollars in the sports, leisure or entertainment-related industries. We are very interested in investing in NASCAR and the motorsports industry in general should the right deal come along."

03/09/08 Yahoo! Sports has learned through two independent sources that Richard Petty will soon announce that he has struck a deal with a major investor that should keep the Petty name in the sport it has been so instrumental in building.

While it's obviously good to keep the Petty name alive in NASCAR, it also signals the beginning of the end of an era. Wealth, power and diversity

Despite the criticism that NASCAR is a closed club where only a handful of wealthy team owners control the sport, a look at the starting field for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500 reveals 15 different team owners.

They are a diverse group that includes super-wealthy businessmen, major league sports team owners, a football coach, as well as former drivers and crew chiefs who have successfully transformed themselves into owners. More at Yahoo! Sports

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