“Dodge fully supports Petty Enterprises as they take the steps they feel will put their organization back in the winners circle. Petty Enterprises is an upstanding organization with exemplary values and is a pillar of NASCAR racing. We are proud to be associated with the Petty family and their entire organization and look forward to working with them in the years to come."
06/11/08 Petty Enterprises, the most successful organization in the history of American motorsports, today announced a partnership with Boston Ventures, a leading middle market private equity firm which invests in the entertainment, media, and communications sectors. This marks the first time since Lee Petty formed the organization in 1949 that an outside firm has invested in the legendary race team. In addition to introducing new CEO David Zucker and a major investment by Boston Ventures, Petty Enterprises has also extended their contract with former NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte and will integrate the operations of Petty Enterprises and the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
For more information on Boston Ventures
Boston Ventures, which has invested $2.4 billion in more than seventy companies, has agreed to a capital investment in Petty Enterprises and the Richard Petty Driving Experience. This infusion of capital will allow Petty Enterprises to grow significantly and continue to invest in additional personnel, equipment, technology and testing.
Barry Baker, Managing Director of Boston Ventures, will become Chairman of Petty Enterprises. He brings more than 30 years of industry and operating experience to the firm. Prior to joining Boston Ventures, Mr. Baker was President and Chief Operating Officer of USA Networks, Inc. Andrew C. Davis, Managing Director of Boston Ventures, will also serve on the newly-formed Petty Enterprises Board of Directors. “The King" Richard Petty will hold the title of Chairman Emeritus and will continue to be actively involved in the business.
“The time has come for Petty Enterprises to take the steps necessary to get back to Victory Lane," said Petty. “This is something I have taken a great deal of time to think about and I’m comfortable with the decision I have made and to have Boston Ventures as my partner in Petty Enterprises. Boston Ventures will provide us with the capital necessary to compete for wins and championships. Over the years, many of their investments have been partnerships with family-owned companies. In each of those cases, Boston Ventures has stayed true to the family mission, while improving the overall well-being of the company."
“There is no doubt this is an emotional decision for our family, for my dad, my mother, for me, for my sisters, for the grandkids, for all of us," said Kyle Petty. “We have labored over this decision for a long time, but it’s absolutely the right decision. And not just for our family but for the 152 families that depend on Petty Enterprises. My grandfather founded Petty Enterprises in 1949 and over the years we have won a ton of races and 10 championships, but most importantly created livelihoods for many families and the investment by Boston Ventures will secure the future of Petty Enterprises for many generations.
For more information on Bobby Labonte
Bobby Labonte, the 2000 Sprint Cup Series champion, has signed a four-year extension to remain the driver of the famed No. 43 Petty Enterprises Dodge. This new contract reinforces Labonte’s commitment to Petty Enterprises and the future growth of the organization.
“I have known all along this is where I want to finish my racing career," said Labonte. “The future is very bright for Petty Enterprises. As we continue to develop and learn from this new car, we will increase our testing and engineering support. The investment from Boston Ventures will allow us to compete on the same level as the bigger Sprint Cup teams."
For more information on David Zucker
DAVID ZUCKER, CEO
Petty Enterprises also introduced David Zucker as the new Chief Executive Officer of Petty Enterprises. Zucker has more than 20 years experience in CEO and General Manager roles in the sports, media, entertainment and technology fields, and most recently was CEO of Midway Games, Inc. Zucker also spent 11 years with the Walt Disney Company, including eight years at ESPN, where he helped expand their motorsports strategy, directed the programming launch of ESPN2, championed the original X-Games and oversaw the growth of ESPN International to include 21 networks in 20 languages around the world.
“My plans are to work with Richard and the Petty management team to build the business, and to leverage Boston Venture’s expertise in areas like marketing relationships and financial management," said Zucker. “One of the reasons I’m comfortable coming into this role is that industry veteran Robbie Loomis is in place leading the race team operations at Petty Enterprises. Robbie knows how to build a winning racing organization, and I’m looking forward to helping grow the organization"
For more information on the history of Petty Enterprises
Petty Enterprises, founded in 1949 in Level Cross, NC by Lee Petty, is the most successful organization in NASCAR with 268 race wins and 10 Sprint Cup Series Championships. NASCAR icon and seven time Sprint Cup Series Champion Richard Petty is the most recognized figure in all of North American motorsports and continues to be a highly sought after brand ambassador. Located in Mooresville, NC, the organization operates two NASCAR Sprint Cup teams, the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team of Bobby Labonte and the #45 Marathon/Wells Fargo/PVA Dodge team of Kyle Petty; as well as the Richard Petty Driving Experience.
About Richard Petty Driving Experience
Richard Petty Driving Experience, a motorsports entertainment and automotive services company headquartered in Concord, N.C., produces and facilitates NASCAR-style stock car drive and ride-along experiences, auto manufacturer ride and drive programs, safe driving programs, mobile marketing events, and production services to the film industry. The company has permanent facilities in Las Vegas, Walt Disney World, Concord, N.C. and Chicago. Richard Petty Driving Experience will operate more than 1,200 track days at 25 locations nationwide in 2008. For more information, call 1-800-BE-PETTY or visit www.1800bepetty.com.