Richard Petty - Dodge teleconference 2009-02-17

Dodge Motorsports NSCS Teleconference Transcript An interview with: Richard Petty, Richard Petty Motorsports Q: YOU MUST BE PROUD OF RPM'S THREE TOP-10s AT LAST WEEKEND'S DAYTONA 500? A: I really was. We had all the guys working together.

Dodge Motorsports NSCS Teleconference Transcript
An interview with: Richard Petty, Richard Petty Motorsports

Q: YOU MUST BE PROUD OF RPM'S THREE TOP-10s AT LAST WEEKEND'S DAYTONA 500?

A: I really was. We had all the guys working together. Circumstances beyond our control maybe kept us from winning the race, but we had good circumstances to be able to finish as good as we did. All in all, it was a pretty good day for us.

Q: SIX MONTHS AGO, COULD YOU HAVE IMAGINED PETTY ENTERPRISES OR RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS BEING IN THE POSITION (THEY ARE) LEAVING DAYTONA?

A: It's a whole new world the last six months as far as Petty Enterprises, GEM (Gillett Evernham Motorsports) and Richard Petty Motorsports. It all came together at the end of the year. We were looking for something for Petty Enterprises. We really weren't doing what we needed to be doing and we looked at GEM and talked to them. They were looking to expand, so we said let's just put the two teams together and so far, it's been pretty good. Right out of the box to be able to do as good as we did at Daytona and get all the people to work together; we're really satisfied with the results so far. We've got to get ready and go to California now.

Q: COULD YOU HAVE IMAGINED...HAVING SO MANY PEOPLE WORKING SO HARD FOR A COMMON GOAL? ISN'T THAT WHY YOU GOT INTO RACING IN THE FIRST PLACE?

A: We've entered three cars in a race before, but never four. It was a whole new experience for a lot of our crew, our people. They've never run with a four-car team either. The way GEM was already set up, we were able to move in and use a couple of our cars....it couldn't have worked better. From a piece of paper to get it to work, nobody could have imagined that it would have worked as good as it did.

Q: CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE CONVERSATION YOU HAD WITH THE GENTLEMAN WHO BOUGHT THE DOMAIN RICHARD PETTY MOTORSPORTS? AND WHAT IT MEANT TO YOU FOR MR. WRENNER?

A: I guess he (Dale Renner) read or heard that something was happening with Petty Enterprises and went out and got the name (domain) Richard Petty Motorsports and just sat on it. I called him...he's in Washington state...and when I called him and talked to him, he said he knew somebody would get it (domain), and if they got it, they would charge us (Richard Petty Motorsports) money to get it. He was kind-hearted enough just to give it to us. He is just a big racing fan. Hopefully now he is a Petty fan and he was more than willing to do that (give RPM the Internet domain name). He just thought way ahead of us. We were just too busy trying to put everything together and weren't thinking about things like that. He was smart enough to do that. We really appreciate it.

Q: IT DIDN'T SOUND LIKE HE ANTICIAPTED A LOT IN RETURN; DO YOU ANTICIPATE THE ORGANIZATION DOING ANYTHING FOR HIM TO SAY 'THANK YOU'?

A: Yeah. We're going to bring him to a race. We're going to take care of him. He was just more than willing (to help us out). He just said, 'Look, you don't owe me nothing. I'm just doing it as a favor.' You get very few people like that. Most people (if they had the domain name) would have made us pay through the nose (to get the name back). It's very well appreciated. He'll wind up having a good time out of it.

Q: KYLE (PETTY) WAS VERY VOCAL DURING DAYTONA REGARDING THE 44's PAINT SCHEME, HAVE YOU TALKED TO HIM ABOUT HIS COMMENTS?

A: It kind of upset him because that's where he started. He started with the 44 car at Daytona and was lucky enough to win the race. When we did our deal with Boston Ventures, we never had a place for Kyle at Petty Enterprises. He sort of got out of the loop. When he got out of the loop, he's been doing his own thing...he run the 24 (Rolex 24) and doing some TV. I've not seen him since Christmas. He's been so busy, I've been so busy. He got snow-bound in Pittsburgh for a few days one time; we just really never have gotten together. I've really not talked to him. I spoke to him a couple of times on the phone; you can't get much done on the phone. He talked to his mother. He was really crushed that we didn't include him in that part of it, and I can understand that. We were so busy trying to get our end of the deal done and make it work with a new team that it fell through the crack and I'm sorry that it did.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON THE INCIDENT LAST WEEK BETWEEN THE 88 AND 83 AT DAYTONA?

A: About 10 minutes before (NASCAR) was about to call the race, I was doing a rain dance on top of the truck because we had three in the top-five. The accident was just an accident. I look at it one way, the drivers look at it one way and the poor guys that got knocked out are really going to look at it. It really became an advantage for our new team because it took three or four of the guys that were running up front out of the picture. In doing that, it made more room for us to get in the picture. Circumstances were really against a lot of people, it just happened to be for us most of the way. If we could have gotten a few more breaks there at the end of the race, we may have won the race with the 19 car. It wasn't meant to be. We're going to take it and be ready to go to California.

Q: WHAT WERE YOU MOST PROUD OF WITH YOUR TEAM WHILE AT DAYTONA? A: It probably goes back to the Thursday race (Gatorade Duel #2) when the 43 car and the 19 car came back to help the 44 car, because the 44 car had to make the race(earn a spot in the 500 through the 150-lap qualifying race). With them (19 and 43) back there helping the 44, it was a total team effort. A lot of people have four teams, but a lot of times they're not 'four' teams; they work against each other. At Daytona, all four (RPM) teams worked together. It was really very pleasing for me to see four teams working together. We've had two teams and we had a heck of a time trying to get them to work together. It was a full team effort not only leading up to the race, but even during the race.

Q: WITH ALLMENDINGER'S THIRD-PLACE FINISH AT DAYTONA, HOW MUCH WILL THAT HELP YOU FIND ADDITIONAL SPONSORS FOR THE 43 CAR?

A: It's got to be a plus-plus. I think we've got sponsorship for 10 or 12 races right now and we're already committed for the first six or eight races. We feel like if he (Allmendinger) can continue to show promise and do as well as he did at Daytona, then we feel very confident that we'll be able to pick up different sponsors over a period of time to continue running him. If he keeps running like he did at Daytona, I'll just run him out of my pocket because he'll be bringing the money back in.

Q: DID YOU EVER THINK THAT STOCK CAR RACING WOULD GO WEST OF THE ROCKY MOUNTIANS AND WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY OF RACING IN CALIFORNIA?

A: (NASCAR) was a southern sport; it stayed in the south forever it seemed like. Finally it broke out and got all over the United States. In 1953, my dad went to Oakland -- they had a half-mile track in Oakland, Calif., and we drove the race car out (to California) and he ran the race and we drove it back home. We went back the first time Riverside (Speedway) was running...I think in '58...my brother and Dale Inman drove a car out there. So we've been out to the West Coast, but they weren't Cup races. They were West Coast races. I thought racing was big because we raced every weekend...two or three times a week...and never thought about going all over the country. Then in '71 when RJR (R.J. Reynolds and the Winston brand) got involved, they cut a lot of the 100 mile races out. They wanted to run 250 mile races and above. So when they did that, we had to find places that we could run 250 miles at a time. Everything kind of jelled and then the last 8 or 10 years, it all just came together and became a national sport.

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Richard Petty
Teams Richard Petty Motorsports , CIP