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Richard Petty and the Saudis? What next in this NASCAR soap opera?

   By Mike Mulhern

   Richard Petty teaming up with a Saudi prince to run Richard Petty Motorsports?
   This whole thing is getting a bit over the top.
   But here's the story: http://bit.ly/E4uZx
   And here's the pix:  http://bit.ly/wsCRd
   And here's word that owner George Gillett and one of his business partners, Tom Hicks, aren't seeing eye to eye on some of this: http://bit.ly/eK05q.
   And here's word that Gillett and Hicks may be under financial pressure: http://bit.ly/17Htnr
   RPM spokesman Drew Brown insists there is no ownership change taking place.
   But whatever team owner George Gillett is doing, no one in the NASCAR world seems to know.
   And how this might play out for the one-time pending merger between Petty-Gillett and Ford's Doug Yates is up in the air....to say the least.

Nope, not really. It's been

Nope, not really. It's been coming for a long time. Just didn't think it would happen to Richard Petty but it's a pretty saavy and pragmatic move for Gillett.

George Gillett has been looking for a buyer for his soccer team, Liverpool Ansfield for about two years. Gillett wanted to sell off the team in a quick turnaround. Unfortunately, the world economy collasped before Gillett and Tom Hicks could find a Saudi family to buy the soccer team.

This is the best possible deal that the Gilletts could come up with.

Do not forget that Petty is still going to merge with Doug Yates of Roush Yates so John Henry and Jack Roush are going to be limit partners in this.

I see this as NASCAR challenging F1 for the foreign auto racing market. A lot of people know the Richard Petty brand and recognize Richard Petty (better than George Gillett). George Gillett already has recognition in Saudi Arabia as the co-owner of Liverpool F.C./ Anfield, a very notorious soccer team (Liverpool F.C./ Anfield was banned for five years from participating in World Soccer because of the Heysel Stadium Disaster). This works towards Brian France's goals of NASCAR becoming a world auto racing league similar to F1.

This is why Kasey Kahne is pretty much out of the Chase because Gillett is going to put his resources this year into re-financing his investments and dismantling Petty and Yates into a world organization rather than concentrate on the immediate domestic needs of the team.

The sport continues to go

The sport continues to go south with lost control...

Get out now, Richard. Petty

Get out now, Richard. Petty Enterprises had a great run but is no more. Richard Petty Motorsports has about as much to do with Richard Petty as it now does with Ray Evernham.

Kahne staying with RPM after

Kahne staying with RPM after 2010 will be a wishful thinking for the King. There has been so many changes/mergers going on over the last 2-3 years and throw this sour Ford apple in the mix and who would want to stay. Broken engines and a Saudi Prince deal. Not to mention this "maybe" switch to Yates which is nothing more than a bargaining chip at best. Now news on Menard looking elsewhere with his dads $$$.
Enough is enough. Too many distractions.
Since Evernham slid to the side, it's been downhill since.
Kasey needs a stabil team and organization.
Kahne will leave and hopefully head to Stewart-Haas with Kenny Francis.

The team was going downhill

The team was going downhill when Evernham was running it - that is part of why Gillett was brought on board. And Stewart-Haas looked a lot better in June that it does now.

My head is spinning with

My head is spinning with these deals. Richard Petty is doing what he has to do to survive in the sport, and I doubt he thinks everything Gillett is doing makes sense but it seems he needs to go along with it for the team to race - people forget, according to Robbie Loomis, the team had to race almost without pay in late-spring.

This is what is so angering about the sport - the economic system makes no sense for anyone involved.

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