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Petty-Gillett merging with Doug Yates....but is this wave of mergers really good for NASCAR?

  Ryan Newman says mergers aren't generally good for this sport (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   By Mike Mulhern

   The past year or so NASCAR team owners, struggling to keep going, have been forced into mergers.
   The latest has just come in the past 24 hours, when partners Richard Petty and George Gillett announced a merger with Ford's Doug Yates.
   The trend, Ryan Newman says, isn't good for the sport.
   "To see some of these mergers, to me it's a weakness in the sport," Newman says.
   "We don't want to see mergers of organizations. We want to see organizations have multiple teams.
    "I want to see at least six or eight cars go home (failing to qualify) every week. That's the way it should be."
    Petty himself had to merge earlier this season with Gillett, essentially shutting down Petty Enterprises.
    Last fall Teresa Earnhardt had to cut her four-car DEI operation back to one team and merged that with Ganassi's team.
    A few years ago Felix Sabates merged with Chip Ganassi.
   The Petty-Gillett-Yates merge could put as many as 40 to 80 Petty-Gillett engine men out of jobs, according to rivals already getting job applications.
   However Roush star Carl Edwards says he looks forward to having Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and AJ Allmendinger "as quasi-teammates.  That's a pretty big deal, that's pretty cool.
    "Kenny Francis (Kahne's crew chief) is real smart; Kasey is a great driver. AJ is a great driver. And Elliott has proven that he's a great driver.
    "My trainer has worked a lot with AJ, and he said that guy has supernatural talent; so I'm really excited about that.
    "I think we're getting some solid folks who can help us.
    "It's cool for Ford too.I think that will make us more of a powerhouse, and maybe be able to compete and stay on the upside with those guys at Hendrick."
   Mike Accavitti, Dodge president and CEO, and the brand's racing boss too, says the loss of Richard Petty Motorsports to Ford was "a business decision."
    "Dodge has enjoyed a successful partnership with Richard Petty and Richard Petty Motorsports," Accavitti said. "Richard has made a business decision to merge with Yates Racing. We wish Richard and RPM luck the rest of the season and in the future.
   "Dodge's plan -- to be a championship contender in 2010 with Penske Racing and a solid lineup of drivers -- has not changed. We remain firmly focused on our objectives to be the leading manufacturer in the NASCAR Sprtin Cup series, win races and compete for the Sprint Cup at the right level."

  Dodge boss Mike Accavitti: He's got Roger Penske's three-car team, but Chevy will have 12 teams in 2010, and Toyota and Ford will both have nine teams each....(Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)



  George Gillett, here for Saturday night's 400, so far isn't saying anything to anyone about the surprise merger. And Petty is not due at Richmond International Raceway until Saturday. (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)



Yates Petty merger

Doug Yates is not Robert Yates. Jack Roush cannot afford to float Yates Racing. Roush can't even afford to keep five cars running at Cup level. Something and someone had to give.

I'm just mad that they didn't wait until the off-season and George Gillett has just made another one of his idiot moves. This merger is going to hurt Kasey Kahne because announcing that the engine department is closing is not someone an engineer wants to hear during a Chase run.

Kahne should consider getting the hell out of the frying pan that is Petty and run not walk to Tony Stewart and kick Newman to the curb in 2010.

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