Loomis on 2006 with Petty Racing - Dodge interview

Robbie Loomis Executive Vice President, Race Operations, Petty Enterprises September 16, 2005 What is your job description at Petty Enterprises? "My new job at Petty will be to establish some generals in the company with the crew chiefs. Paul...

Robbie Loomis
Executive Vice President, Race Operations, Petty Enterprises
September 16, 2005

What is your job description at Petty Enterprises?

"My new job at Petty will be to establish some generals in the company with the crew chiefs. Paul Andrews is a great crew chief, won a championship, Greg Steadman, great crew chief, they've got some great leaders in the different areas of the shop. All of us are going to get in a room and just start. Roll up our sleeves and look at what things are working good, what things do we need to improve on. We've got a lot of work ahead of us but it's going to be a lot of exciting work with a lot of great people I believe in."

Is Dale Inman going out to pasture now?

"No way. Dale is going to be our eyes and ears. He's more observant -- people would be amazed at how observant Dale is, from seeing where something that's placed differently on a car to finding something major on the way somebody has the track bar mounted. So Dale is going to be very instrumental. Dale has always been a big part of Petty Enterprises. I think he feels like me, I see Dale playing a key part. What's funny about our sport is sometimes looks like it's way, way off, but it's three or four tenths off sometimes you'll see here that will separate the first car from the 43rd car. So it's not that things are that far off as it seems, it's a just a matter of sometimes moving some pieces around and getting things in the right place. It's going to be a lot of fun and I'm really looking forward to it."

Can you make a difference at Petty Enterprises?

"I don't think that in any organization any one person straightens it out. I think it takes a group effort of a lot of people and you've got to have some good direction guiding that. I don't think any one person does that. These teams are so big now, that's one thing Mr. Hendrick talked to me about on Monday -- we're talking about a lot of things -- he said 'Look, this is a huge organization and it takes a lot of people to get our arms around this spirit.' I think it's the same way over there.

"The better people you get -- I give the analogy that it's like a church. When I first started going to my church it had 100 members or 200 members and it might have had 10 deacons or 10 really great people that reach out to others. Well, that church has grown to 2,000 people and now that number has got to grow to even a lot more. What happens sometimes that it grows, but you don't have number of good, caring people that want to reach out more. They see things that are bigger than what's right in front of them. That's what you've really got to work on getting in place is getting that part up. Anything can be done with the right people. I've always said for years that this is a people business. But I'm learning that it's more about having the right people in the business."

How were you able to negotiate the position with Petty while remaining at Hendrick?

"One of the things I've learned over the past two of three weeks is that Rick has a tremendous amount of respect and, I think, love for the Petty family. Rick was one of the first ones to be there, I think, when we went through the accident with Adam and also has been very involved and one of the key guys in Victory Junction Gang. I think Richard and them have that same respect back for Rick. It's just a real unique situation and I couldn't be more blessed. I remember when we first talked, Richard said 'I know you're either going to stay where you're at or you're coming to work for me. I know there are a lot of things out there for you, but that's all it is. You're either going to come back to me or you're going to stay where you're at.' He said, 'You know what you need to do'."

Do you feel like you have to go back to the Pettys before you wrap it up?"

"I'm sure you have someone in your life that has influenced your life, probably all of us from when you're growing up that means a whole lot to you. They do a lot of things for you and help you in a lot of ways. He's helped me -- people don't understand that Richard helped learn to deal with people and life a lot than just what's right here in the garage. That means a lot to me."

How does it feel to be switching manufacturers?

"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity to be back at Petty Enterprises. It will be my first time really racing with Dodge so I've got to learn about their engineering, their support and what they have going on. It's going to be very interesting because I've been with Chevrolet so long and seen so much of the General Motors products that I'm really looking forward to opening my eyes and getting a bigger peripheral vision of what Dodge has."

Have you had time to set goals for your job at Petty Enterprises?

"The goals are quite clear on what we want to do. We want to get things stabilized and then start the rebuilding process. It's going to be a lot of work but there are a lot of great people at Petty Enterprises -- Paul Andrews is a championship crew chief, Kyle, Richard -- I think we've everything in place to start the building. We're very excited about the future."

What is the first thing you're going to do in your new job?

"The first thing is I'm going to sit down with the team. I want to establish some generals for the company -- Paul Andrews, Greg Steadman -- and those guys that run the fab shop, the guys that are over the body side, the guys that are over the mechanics side, get them all in the same room and prioritize the things we need to work on to improve and the things that we're happy with. Then, we'll see what we can do to go forward."

-dodge motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Robbie Loomis