KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T) NOTE: At an auction in Hot Springs, Va., on the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, a racing helmet designed by Jacqueline Bower brought $20,000. The $20,000 went to the Victory Junction Gang ...
KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: At an auction in Hot Springs, Va., on the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, a racing helmet designed by Jacqueline Bower brought $20,000. The $20,000 went to the Victory Junction Gang Camp,j and the helmet was given back to Bowers today. The helmet is red, white and blue with happy faces of children.
"I wore the helmet on the sixth day of the ride after we left Chicago and now the helmet is back to who it belongs to - Jacqueline Bower. The auction in Hot Springs raised in the neighborhood of $120,000-$130,000. That was pretty special.
"I think what we do on the race track enhances this. You look at it and say this kind of stuff enhances what you do on the race track. I think it's the other way around. Everybody is put here for a purpose, and sometimes I think God put me here to just bring awareness to certain things. I'm not going to jam it down anybody's throat, but I'm going to believe in the things I believe in, and I believe in this camp. I believe in the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The people that ride along with us believe in it, Sprint, Coca-Cola and obviously Jacqueline and her family for stepping out and doing what they did. They believe in what we're trying to do.
"We've talked to a lot of people. I think it would be unwise in some ways, and way too quick to start naming drivers. I think most of the drivers you guys know who are looking and thinking about doing stuff are people we've talked about, and we've talked to people outside that realm, too. We're not anywhere close. We're 60-90 days out of trying to figure out what we're doing. We're looking for a sponsor and a primary partner for the 45 car. That becomes our main focus more than drivers at this point in time. We feel like we've got three teams that can be competitive with Dodge. We feel like we've got the Richard Petty Driving Experience which is part of our package, and we feel like we've got The Camp and Charity Ride as cause-related marketing. We're an all-inclusive package and we feel like that's something some Winston Cup teams can't offer a sponsor coming to the table at this time.
"Our list only changes when drivers take other rides. We're pretty focused on a couple of different issues. That takes almost a backseat to us trying to find a primary partner for the 45 team. The drivers that are there now are going to be the drivers that are there in 60-90 days. That's kinda the way we look at it. It's not a driving issue for us right now.
"We've talked to John (Andretti) obviously on a weekly basis at the race track and on a weekly basis at the shop when he comes up. We have our weekly conferences and not in any way, shape or form has he voiced any opinions or shown any signs that he wants to anywhere other than Petty Enterprises. We've said that from the very beginning. It (contract) was up (at end of season) and if he can improve his position or wanted to, we wanted to give him an option. We've said all along we want John Andretti at Petty Enterprises, and we're going to try to make that happen. We don't have a date for anything.
"We made the announcement at Daytona on Friday and between Friday afternoon and Monday morning our marketing department with Bill Scott and those guys had had numerous phone calls, not all primaries, some of them were associates, because they saw opportunities. The primary position freed up a few associates on the 44 and 43. We've got more inventory to sell now. I believe we've got a package that no one else in Winston Cup can offer anybody right now.
"If you've got a $10 million sponsor and the driver wants $3 million, then that's an unreasonable request because he wants 30 percent of your revenue stream and that's unreasonable. Even baseball players that make $30 or $40 million a year, are not getting 40 percent of the revenue stream. You can't focus on the number. You've got to focus on the percentage. Is $3 or $4 million an unreasonable number for a driver that's running at the top of Winston Cup Racing? I don't think so. If you've got a $20 or $25 million sponsor. Is $3 million or $4 million unreasonable? Yeah, it is if you've got an $8-$10 million sponsor. Any of the companies in America that are out there today cannot afford to pay their key guy 30 or 40 percent of revenue. It's not going to happen. It's not going to happen in this sport or basketball or baseball, football or any other sport. If Robert (Yates) feels with his company that his revenue stream is not where it needs to be, then he can't pay that and I understand that wholeheartedly and stand behind Robert Yates 100 percent. At the same time I stand behind Ricky Rudd because he thinks he's worth that much and he probably is worth that much.
"We feel like we've got top shelf partners in General Mills, Coca-Cola and Georgia Pacific and Sprint and Mattel. Those were No. 1 and No. 2 companies in their markets. That's what we'll continue to look for, and we'll put somebody in their place."