Richard Petty bothered by Johnson’s takeover of race team

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Richard Petty should reign as NASCAR’s King however with Jimmie Johnson wresting management of Petty’s previous race crew, he’s definitively not the boss.

The Corridor of Famer basically has been stripped of energy inside his former eponymous race crew that quickly rebranded and rebuilt since November. Johnson and Petty are the one dwelling seven-time NASCAR champions — and that seems to be the place the similarities finish contained in the Legacy Motor Membership’s entrance workplace.

The 85-year-old Petty mentioned Saturday he has bruised emotions and little say within the path of the race crew since Johnson purchased into the possession group.

“It’s been unusual to me,” Petty mentioned. “More often than not, I ran the vast majority of the present. Jimmie introduced all his folks in. His method of working issues and my method of working issues are in all probability slightly bit completely different. We in all probability agree on about 50% of what it actually comes all the way down to.”

Forward of the Daytona 500, an unfiltered Petty mentioned he was irked by Johnson’s rise in energy. “Sure, it does” hassle him, he mentioned.

Petty, although, conceded it was “in all probability time for a change” as a result of by a number of incarnations of his race crew — the most recent Petty GMS — his automobiles had by no means busted by the center of the pack. GMS founder Maury Gallagher, chairman of Allegiant Air, bought Richard Petty Motorsports in 2021 and Petty, whose 200 Cup wins as a driver are a file, served because the entrance man.

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One among Johnson’s first selections: Strip the Petty identify that dates in NASCAR to 1949.

“When Jimmie got here in, it was going to be laborious to be Johnson Petty GMS,” Petty mentioned. “Jimmie’s pondering additional forward along with his crew and got here up with a brand new identify.”

Petty stays NASCAR’s most recognizable character, carrying his feathered cowboy hats, darkish glasses and cowboy boots. He’s by no means stopped signing autographs, making private appearances or glad-handing sponsors, although even these obligations appear extra unsure below Johnson’s reign.

“They don’t take over the racing half, they take over the entrance workplace,” Petty mentioned. “With sponsorships, appearances and all that stuff, Jimmie’s crowd is form of controlling that. That’s one thing I by no means needed to put up with, I assume.”

Petty did tip his hat to Johnson’s enterprise acumen: Johnson’s connections with Gibson guitars and music trade relationships, together with leisure big Dwell Nation, had been instrumental in touchdown legendary rock band Weapons N’ Roses on the hood of Erik Jones’ No. 43 Chevrolet.

“He’s mainly going to wind up working the present in 4 or 5 years fully,” Petty mentioned. “He’ll in all probability be the bulk proprietor or the proprietor of our operation. They’re taking a look at issues fully otherwise.”

Petty and Johnson are amongst 9 drivers who gained a NASCAR championship and Daytona 500 set to function grand marshals for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Legacy M.C. additionally fields automobiles for Erik Jones and Noah Gragson.

“Jimmie’s very observant. He takes on every thing,” Petty mentioned. “Jimmie controls every thing, mainly. You’re making postcards and stuff, he has to approve it. He approves every thing. He’s a fairly busy man proper now.”

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That features racing. The 47-year-old Johnson returned to NASCAR after a two-year stint in IndyCar and proved he hadn’t misplaced something in his first spins in NASCAR’s new automobile. He certified on velocity for the Daytona 500, flew with the Thunderbirds and topped the primary velocity chart at observe.

Johnson’s racing profession, although, is winding down. He’s simply getting began as crew proprietor.

“He’s nonetheless younger sufficient the place’s going to be round an extended, very long time,” Petty mentioned.


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