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For Richard Petty and Kasey Kahne, and sponsor Budweiser, what next?

Richard Petty toasts winner Kasey Kahne with a big glass of Sonoma Valley cabernet (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern

   SONOMA, Calif.
   Curious, curious, curious.
   Kasey Kahne, long a mystery man in NASCAR, so quiet most of the time, now a 10-time tour winner but still somewhat of an unknown figure.
   Richard Petty, of late also a mystery man, since moving Petty Enterprises from Level Cross, N.C., down to Charlotte…and then last winter having to merge – or something – with George Gillett's own struggling racing empire.
   And Gillett himself, again missing the Sunday action, just a day or so after having to sell the Montreal Canadiens out of his huge sports portfolio.
   Not to mention Ray Evernham, the legendary crew chief turned team owner who brought Dodge back into this sport a few years ago, as the lead Dodge team owner….only to suddenly bail out of the sport entirely last summer, selling to Gillett, then all but vanishing from the NASCAR scene.
   You couldn't make this stuff up.
   Mix all that together, and throw in red-hot Tony Stewart, one of the sport's best road racers….and Kahne not only beats Stewart to win Sunday's Sonoma 350 but beats Stewart off the line four times in those dreaded new double-file restarts down the stretch?
   You couldn't make this stuff up.
   But what does Kahne's Sunday win for Petty really mean? Short-term, and big picture?
   Kenny Francis, the level-headed, cool crew chief for Kahne, and at that spot on the pit box for several years now, concedes it's been difficult this season to keep all the rumors and speculation and questions about the entire Petty-Gillett-Dodge operation from wearing on him and the team.
   And now, just hours before Sunday's race, speculation increased that Petty and Kahne could be in Toyotas by the time the Sprint Cup tour reaches Chicago in three weeks.
   Petty himself has complained in recent weeks about Dodge's support. He's only gotten enough parts for one of the new Dodge R6 engines. And it's not clear just how many checks have made it through the mail lately to help pay bills.
   On top of that Kahne's sponsor, Anheuser-Busch's Bud brand, has just been sold to a foreign company InBev, that has a reputation for cutting and cutting and cutting. And that Bud sponsorship has been a major question – will InBev keep Bud red in this sport, and on Kahne's car?
   So Kahne and Petty and the guys have been almost literally fighting for their lives lately.
   However they've clearly risen to the occasion.
   But what comes next?


I read this article looking

I read this article looking for answers and instead found zero answers and only more questions. Informative? Hardly.

zero answers? precisely.

zero answers? precisely. maybe that's because no one has any good ones yet.

The oddest part of all of

The oddest part of all of this is that Pettys mother despised alchohol and hear is Pettys name on a Budweiser car and he sips win in the winners circle on national tv! Moms rolling in her grave.

Gillett would need to

Gillett would need to consolidate the RPM financials with other holdings, probably for favorable tax treatment, so he'd own at least 80%. That might leave Petty and Boston Ventures with some split of the remaining 20% (either 10/10 or 15/5)with Richard Petty getting a person services contract for use of name and trackside appearances.

As far as InBev, don't forget its primary brand, Stella Artois, was owned by Count Rudy Van der Straten and was involved in racing (F1 and CART) for decades.That is, if heritage matters.

When I first started watching

When I first started watching NASCAR in the early 90's,I picked my driver by seeing who drove the Bud car. And to this day my loyalty has always stayed with whomever was driving it and whatever make it was (I used to joke that if it was the Budweiser Honda or Toyota,I'd still root for it---well ......that's getting closer and closer). So from Bill Elliott to Kasey Kahne,here I am. But if Bud pulls out of the sport I'm 100% gonzo. Unfair? Well,the way I see it,Bud has barely kept watching and paying attention to this point. Are you listening Inbev?!?!?

It is time for Kasey to be in

It is time for Kasey to be in a good car every weekend and more so be comfortable with what is going on around him! I hope this time next year he and tony and ryan are together fighting one another for the one thru three seed. He can get the job done and deserves a shot at the cup.

Please Richard and Kasey say

Please Richard and Kasey say it ain't so. Not a Toyota. Anything but that. If it's true, Guess I'll have to start routing for someone else.

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I am a lifetime Mopar

I am a lifetime Mopar man.....This just cannot happen !!!
It's Mopar or no car for the King's stable
I'll bet if Ma Mopar got the 5.7 hemi sanctioned by Nascar, we'd be kickin ASS and taking numbers !!!!!!!!!
The Fabe / Mr Mopar 1

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