Richard Petty Motorsports Formed
January 19, 2009 | 2:24 P.M. EST
With the name change, Petty also unveiled a new logo that will basically stay the same from the previous one. The red and blue logo keeps with tradition of Petty Enterprises' 60 years of racing.
“I guess I have mixed emotions about it one way or the other, but not really" Petty said. "How many companies are solely owned by the people that started them? We were in business 60 years and very few privately owned businesses stay in business 60 years. They might stay longer than that, but they usually go into a corporation."
The team will field three full-time cars in 2009 with drivers Kasey Kahne (No. 9), Elliott Sadler (No. 19) and Reed Sorenson (No. 43).
New this season is the return of the No. 44 to Petty after Michael Waltrip Racing used the number the past two seasons. Kyle Petty also competed with the number from 1997-2000. Now, AJ Allmendinger will get a shot with the No. 44 in what is currently a part-time deal.
“Right now we are just working through the details of starting this season,” Allmendinger said. “If we can start the season and go do our jobs, like I believe this team can, everything else with hopefully fall into place.
“Richard Petty Motorsports is a place I want to be not just for right now, but for a long time. That's something we got to get through. It might be rough in the beginning, but hopefully in the long run it works out.”
Allmendinger will compete in the first five races of the season and selected races thereafter.
Although Kahne will compete in the Budwesier Dodge for the team, Petty will still not apply a beer sponsored sticker on the No. 43 and No. 44 Dodges.
“Budweiser has been really, really good for racing," Petty said. "They have put us in every bar in the country, I guess. That's sort of George's (Gillett” side. We bring in the No. 43 and 44. You will see no Budweiser or beer decals on those particular cars, because my mother would come back and haunt us all if she would see that on our cars. This is more of a corporate situation."
Reed Sorenson and Petty unveiled a new McDonald’s paint scheme for the No. 43 during the press conference.
Allmendinger’s car was also on display and it was painted up in the Valvoline colors.