Sunday, November 7, 2010
Updated: November 10, 11:07 AM ET
Richard Petty waiting for resolution
By David Newton
FORT WORTH, Texas -- Richard Petty says he is closer than he was two weeks ago to finding a solution that will keep Richard Petty Motorsports alive.
"What that something is I don't know yet," Petty said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. "We thought it was [done] last week. Last week we thought it was the week before.
"Still in limbo."
Petty has been seeking investors to help regain majority control from George Gillett since it was reported two weeks ago that Gillett's financial difficulties that escalated from the recent sale of the Liverpool soccer club were putting his racing organization in jeopardy.
The situation was so dire that there were concerns whether RPM would keep its doors open for the remainder of the Sprint Cup season. Robbie Loomis, vice president for competition, said Saturday that the organization had enough backing to finish the final three races -- at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"As far as I know," Petty said. "The cars are here [and] ready to go to Phoenix."
Petty said the outpouring of support to keep RPM on the track has been overwhelming.
"There's been a lot of support to keep us running from all facets, from manufacturers and fans and NASCAR, even the competitors," Petty said.
Among those who have offered help is former team owner Ray Evernham, who still has a minority interest in RPM after selling majority interest of what was then Evernham Motorsports to Gillett in 2007.
"He called and said, 'What can I do?' " Petty said. "Right now, we don't know."
Petty declined to comment on whether he would have majority control ultimately.
"I don't know what we've got to do to make it work," he said. "Until we figure it out, can't do nothing."
Loomis could not say enough about how everyone at RPM has stepped up to maintain performance. They reaped the rewards on Friday when Elliott Sadler, who will move down to the Nationwide Series for Kevin Harvick Inc. next season, won the pole for Sunday's race.
"It's a tribute to the guys, just keeping their heads down and working," Loomis said. "And the drivers, too. Elliott has been through a lot of ups and downs. He's really dug in and put his head down this year and done a great job, not only in our car but when he won the Truck race at Pocono."
Loomis said no decision has been made for which crew members will be retained when the No. 19 team of Sadler and No. 98 team of Paul Menard disappear in 2011.
"We've definitely got some plans," he said. "The roster is already put together. ... Everyone knows we're a four-car team and working on laying out our plans to get to two cars. We've had a lot of talk about running a third car for the first five races with other interests. We've got the points for it."
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.