The NASCAR Hall of Famer and co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports laughed when reminded that NASCAR Chairman Brian France said earlier this week that he didn't think the formation of the RTA was necessary.
"It's really kind of a bad idea from the standpoint that NASCAR should be doing what we're doing," Petty said Friday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. "We belong to an organization in NASCAR, so NASCAR should be thinking (of) the best deals they can for the people that belong to their organization.
"We see them doing a lot of that, but they're not doing as much, maybe, as what the new crowd (of team leadership) wants to see."
Petty, whose family has owned NASCAR race teams since the sanctioning body's beginnings in the late 1940s, was speaking after an event where his team sponsor Eckrich presented a motorized wheelchair to a son of a longtime military member.
While teams have sponsors, they are looking to cut costs for running their teams. They hope the RTA can use the purchasing power of full-time Cup teams to get better deals on travel, insurance and common parts and pieces.
The RTA, according to group chairman Rob Kauffman of Michael Waltrip Racing, also could serve as a voice for the owners at NASCAR's request.
Many in the industry believe the group will be the voice of the owners on a variety of issues even though France said this week that NASCAR wants to talk to owners one-on-one.
"Our main deal is not to run NASCAR," Petty said. "Anything we do to tear NASCAR down is cutting our own throat. … We're going to do everything we can to make NASCAR bigger and better — because if we don't, we're out of business."
NASCAR, as well as sister track-operating company International Speedway Corp., has told the RTA only to communicate with them through lawyers.
"We felt like, everybody together, that it was time we kind of co-opped our businesses from the standpoint that we're all independent contractors and we have no voice to the general public or being able to cut deals like a farmers co-op would be," Petty said.
"So far, that's my main objective. Can I save on insurance? Can I save on travel? Can I save (on) some stuff that we're doing for the racecar. Can we save time at the racetrack, stuff like that that we'll keep from having to overpay with what we're doing right now." Sporting News