DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Richard Petty may still reign as NASCAR king, but with Jimmie Johnson in control of Petty’s old race team, he’s decidedly Not a boss.
The Hall of Famer has essentially been stripped of power within his formerly eponymous race team, which has been rapidly rebranding and restructuring since November. Johnson and Petty are the only survivors to win the NASCAR championship seven times. This seems to be the end of the similarities with Legacy Motors front of his club within his office.
Petty, 85, said Saturday that he has had hurt feelings since Johnson bought the ownership group and has said little about the direction of the race team.
“It was strange to me,” said Petty. “Most of the time I was in charge of most of the show. Jimmy brought in all his men. The way he does it and the way I do it is probably a little bit different. I agree with you on the %.
Ahead of the Daytona 500, an unfiltered Petty is upset about Johnson’s rise to power.
But Petty has admitted that it’s “probably time for a change” as his car has never broken in the middle of the pack through several incarnations of his race team (the latest Petty GMS). Allegiant Airlines chairman and GMS founder Molly Gallagher will acquire Richard Petty Motorsports in 2021, fronted by Petty, who has a record 200 Cup wins as a driver. I was.
One of Johnson’s first decisions is to remove the Petty name from NASCAR, which dates back to 1949.
“When Jimmy came in, it was going to be difficult to be Johnson Petty’s GMS,” said Petty. “Jimmy thought further with the crew and came up with a new name.”
Petty is still the most famous figure in NASCAR, wearing a feather cowboy hat, sunglasses and cowboy boots. Under Johnson’s reign, even these responsibilities seemed uncertain, but he never stopped signing autographs, making personal appearances, and willingly sponsoring.
“They’re not taking over the racing part, they’re taking over the front office,” Petty said. “With sponsorships, appearances and all that stuff, Jimmy’s audience is in control of it. I don’t think that’s something I had to put up with.”
Petty was blown away by Johnson’s business acumen. Johnson and Gibson’s ties to the music industry, including his guitar ties and entertainment giant’s live gigs his Nation, led Eric Jones to place the legendary rock band Guns N’ Roses on the hood of his No. 43 Chevrolet. It helped me land.
“He’s basically going to be running the show completely in four or five years,” Petty said. “He’ll probably be the majority owner or owner of our business.” They see things in a completely different way.”
Petty and Johnson are one of nine drivers to win the NASCAR championship and will serve as Grand Marshals for the Daytona 500 on Sunday. Legacy MC is also responsible for the cars of Eric Jones and Noah Gragson.
“Jimmy is very observant. He takes on everything,” said Petty. “Basically, Jimmy controls everything. is.”
That includes race. The 47-year-old Johnson returned to NASCAR after his two-year stint in IndyCar and proved he had lost nothing in his first spin in NASCAR’s new car. He qualified at speed for the Daytona 500, flew with the Thunderbirds, and topped his first speed chart in practice.
However, Johnson’s racing career is coming to an end. He has just started working as a team owner.
“He’s still young enough and will be around for a long time,” said Petty.
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