Monday, October 27, 2008

Kyle Petty Responds To Daly Planet Column


Politics during this time of the year are apparently not limited to the Presidential race. This weekend, Kyle Petty appeared on national TV with a black band across the car number on his baseball hat.

His appearance on Tradin' Paint came only hours after David Zucker, the new CEO of Petty Enterprises, was quoted as saying Kyle was not in the company's plans for 2009.

To cover the potential fall-out, Zucker suggested that Petty could be running a limited schedule if a sponsor is found. News reports have Kyle doing everything from running with another team to retiring.

On the TV show, it was Bob Pockrass who was the media guest. Neither show host John Roberts or Pockrass asked Petty about his hat or its meaning during the thirty minutes. It was later that Pockrass filed an article for scenedaily.com about the topic. Click here to read the story.

Petty was very forceful on Tradin' Paint when the subject of the Boston Ventures purchase and other mergers arose. Click here to read The Daly Planet column on the subject. Basically, Petty said that nothing had come from all the over-hyped mergers in the NASCAR industry. It was clearly a hot button.

Chad McCumbee was in the #45 Petty Dodge in Atlanta. He finished 36th and was 6 laps down on the field. It was his first Atlanta Sprint Cup Series start.

Currently, Kyle is scheduled to be in a Petty car during the Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix, AZ. It may be his final time in a Petty Enterprises ride. Regardless of the reality, Petty credits his son Austin with the black band suggestion.

Austin wanted his father to "close the personal door" that was still open between the #45 ride and Kyle's late son Adam, who lost his life back in May of 2000.

After all the history involving the Petty family over the last several decades, I think a black band through a car number on national television winds-up closing a lot more than just that.

Perhaps, once the Phoenix race is over, we may hear some more from Petty on the reality of what has been happening behind the scenes. Thanks to Bob Pockrass for the article and to David Griffin of NASCAR Scene for the photo.

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35 comments:

Geeze said...

Glad that's cleared up JD. I feel bad for Kyle, but I guess he had to get out of the someday. They are a wonderful family who so much for people.

red said...

we can each choose to believe or disbelieve kyle petty's explanation, concerning his recent "45 cap with black tape" moment. we can accept that it was a "closing of the door" over his son's death or a gesture of defiance aimed at boston ventures. we can opt for a parent finally, painfully, reluctantly coming to terms with the loss at the suggestion of his surviving son. or we can point out the decline of a proud company and namesake in our sport and a changing of the guard that will bring money, but little heart, into petty enterprises.

i, for one, choose to see the human face behind the story, the still-grieving parent, the son of an icon struggling with making his mark on his father's and grandfather's sport. i opt for the man who has given so much to our sport and to our society, who has worked to take such a personal tragedy and create from it places of hope and courage and strength and honor.

i choose to believe him.

Geeze said...

Nicely put Red. I choose to believe him also.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me as if soemone's doing some pretty serious backpedalling.

I guess it doesn't pay to burn bridges in an industry as small as this one.

Anonymous said...

I think he is backpeddeling. Why won't he?

It doesn't make sense to bite the hand that feeds you. I like Richard and know that it was his decision to go with BV. Kyle gave a real slap at his dad for making such a decision.

I don't think there is such need for disrespect to the man that gave you everything. Shame on you, Kyle.

majorshouse said...

I personally believe Kyle as well. What a great tribute to Adam and let's face it, he has done more to promote the community than many of the other drivers out there and let's face it, Petty has not been a major player competitively for quite some time and i just do not see where this merger is going to help them too. I really wish them luck but like Kyle said that most mergers just don't benefit anyone except for the person with all of the money and I am afraid that is what has happened here.

Gymmie said...

I also believe Kyle. It still breaks my heart.

I hate to see any discord between them as a family and what was and wasn't "right" to do at the time.

I remember on that 24/7 show they did Petty and there was a very uncomfortable moment for me with Kyle and the King. They had a disagreement about how to handle a situation and I just cringed during that whole exchange. While I know it happens I hated witnessing it :(

Sophia said...

well put red..i choose to believe him

no matter what the details and changes are, it's sad imo.

Anonymous said...

I also believe Kyle. It still breaks my heart.

Given his demonstrated temper, I just don't find the later explanation credible.

He did something on TV he shouldn't have; he's just VERY lucky they didn't ask him to discuss it on the show, or he'd really be in trouble.

Daly Planet Editor said...

I still can't get that press conference out of my mind. Kyle was trying to be the PR guy and the host while The King was seated at the far side and did not say a thing.

JD

Anonymous said...

Since I'm such a fan of the King, I'm glad it did not happen, but reporters are not supposed to be fans.

Why wasn't Kyle asked about the black band at that moment. He was obviouly trying to make a statement. If it was about his son, Kyle would not have waited to be asked. When has he ever been reluctant to talk about him?

Kyle has not been shy about making references before about the way the King has run Petty Ent. Kyle is so much older than Jr, and yet Jr just walked away when he did not like the way his dad's team was being run.

Jr made some comments and then the media and the fans really went after his step-mom. Jr defended her and told people to stop.

Kyle, please watch "Changing Gears" and see that you can make your own way. Jr built a team from scratch.

If you don't like what the King and BV are doing, just be gracisous and walk away. Don't diss the King and his partners. Jr made it very plain that he wanted DEI to do well, he just could not work there any more. Class act.

Anonymous said...

Since I'm such a fan of the King, I'm glad it did not happen, but reporters are not supposed to be fans.

Too often, sports fans choose "reporting" as a career (usually in college) so they can be paid to follow their favorite sports.

In many newsrooms, the sports staff doesn't like to cover stories they believe are "negative" or ask the hard questions of their heroes--they tell the news staff to cover the story when it isn't fun anymore.

majorshouse said...

I just think that the King let things go too long like they had been done in the day when he was on top fo the world and the racing business model has changed so much since then. Single or double car teams are in the minority sadly now, but the fact of the matter is that they just did not keep up with the times and that has hurt them and sadly may never catch up to the teams of today that have all of the money and technology. Sadly they are a third tier team and running a Dodge doesn't help them any too. When was the last time that we saw a Dodge really challenge for a driver's or a manufactuerer's title?

Richard in N.C. said...

I've been a Petty fan so long that I remember Richard from the days of the Hemi and before he started wearing sunglasses all the time. I choose to believe Kyle - especially since I believe he is sometimes honest to a fault. I cannot believe Kyle would use Austin to "cover-up" his on air appearance with the black band if he did mean it as a slap at BV, which I did not take from anything Kyle said on TP.

Nevertheless, I fault both John Roberts and Bob P. for not making some mention of the black band - unless off camera Kyle had said it was too emotional a subject for him to discuss on camera. Was Bob P. saving the matter for his Scene Daily story? At the very least, at the very end of the show John R. should have made a statement of the meaning of Kyle's cap.

In Pockrass' article I believe he states that Kyle was not meaning to criticize BV, only to state the fact that BV's involvement had not produced any improvement at Petty Enterprises yet, but it has only been 4 months. It seems to me that Kyle was only being completely honest, not necessarily critical.

Without BV's investment it is possible that PE might now be very close to having to close its doors, unless they are very close to closing a deal for sponsorship of the 43. Richard may come across as a "good ole boy," but he did not fall off a turnip truck last night and I am certain he had very highly qualified advisors helping him with the BV deal.

One comment that Kyle made that has received no attention is that BV might be an acquirer of another race team. PE did not fall behind overnight and it won't be returned to prominence overnight either - but now it should have a better chance with access to a deeper pocket.

Anonymous said...

unless off camera Kyle had said it was too emotional a subject for him to discuss on camera.

Then he shouldn't have worn it on television.

Anonymous said...

Petty said any perception of a rift between him and the Boston Ventures people is not necessarily accurate.

“I can’t say we’ve always seen eye to eye, but they’re a good group,” said Petty, who is also considering driving some races in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. “And I would have to say that’s probably more me being a horse’s rear end than them being a horse’s rear end.

“You get so used to doing things the way you do them that when things change and someone wants to do them different … it doesn’t mean the way they do it is wrong.”
------------

Of course Kyle said all this a few weeks before he knew he was out of a ride. At the time he thought he was going to drive again next year.

Anonymous said...

the previous quote was also from Bob P.

Richard in N.C. said...

I believe Kyle knew his ride for 2009 was contingent on sponsorship, even before the BV deal. From what I've read and heard, PE would have Kyle in a part-time ride IF they can arrange sponsorship - but I'm certain the 43 comes first and probably the 44 also. However, with the Wachovia-Wells Fargo deal you never know. Wachovia is headquartered in Charlotte, NC & one of the top banks in the Southeast. Acquired banks always have to defend their business - and Wells Fargo has been sponsoring Kyle's car - so who knows.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I get this. Since this "closes" the Adam door, does this mean that Kyle will NEVER drive the 45 again?

3bud said...

In 1973 my dad got Richard Petty to autograph a picture of him kneelig along side his famous #43, been a fan ever since.That being said there is nothing more I could say that red has already put into words so well. Well said red.

Anonymous said...

Every Driver's ride depends on sponsorship and if Petty Enterprises continues to have sponsor problems than the entire organization is in trouble. I do think, however that Kyle Petty should have an opportunity to stay on in the organization in some compaciety; even if is not as a driver or be able to retire on his terms. It sounds like he's being fired rom his own business. Richard and Kyle have made a name for themselves in the the racing and community world

Newracefan said...

My head says BS, my heart says belive him on this one. I'm letting my heart win.

Anonymous said...

Kyle is not being fired from his own business. Petty Ent does not belong to him. Most of it belongs to BV and the rest to his dad, the King.

The King has not come out in defense of Kyle. I'm sure that BV and the King worked it out before the announcement.

I worked at the same place for over 25 years. Times were hard and I was let go. I do not have a famous name or am a multi-millionaire like Kyle.

People all over the US are having similar experiences. I just went out and got another job. It doesn't pay as much, but I have good health and my family.

Kyle should not feel sorry for himself. There's a lot of good he can do. He just needs the will.

Gymmie said...

@richard--yes I almost mentioned that in my comments but hadn't been keeping up with the Wachovia-WF-Citibank issue. All I care is that whoever takes over doesn't close my branch (it's across the street..while I don't go often, it's convenient). But of course money willing I'll be moved by then so it won't matter.

But last I heard WF said they'd follow Kyle wherever he went which has made this all confusing. They're only doing a handful of races as it is...I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

I worked at the same place for over 25 years. Times were hard and I was let go. I do not have a famous name or am a multi-millionaire like Kyle.


Well, the difference is, Kyle's father is apparently wiling to let his own son go.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new post up about the Monday TV shows. Thanks.

JD

Anonymous said...

Maybe you are right, anony. The King is willing to let his son go--but let's face it, the son is almost 50 years old. He should try to make it on his own.

Tracy said...

JD- I thought the same thing, remembering the press conference. At the time, I think Red and I both said we felt as if we were witnessing the death of an iconic team.
I'll believe KP's explanation because he's due that much respect. But I feel sorry for Bobby Labonte, stuck there while the mud rises over the hood.

glenc1 said...

To be honest, after the show I looked up Adam's birthday first because I wondered if it was about that, an anniversary of some sort. Not. But it is such an awkward situation. I have puzzled over why Richard has not spoken in some way about it.

It's a complicated issue with family involved so I'd really rather let them work it out amongst themselves. I do appreciate the follow up.

Ryan said...

One thing I notice missing from all this is, it's not the first time Kyle wore the black band on his hat. I noticed it at Martinsville the week before. I guess it just took an extra week for someone to notice and make a story out of it.

Daly Planet Editor said...

ryan,

This is a column that brings something to people's attention, not a news story.

To start a comments thread on a topic, you first have to bring it up.

No one stepped-up on Tradin' Paint or in the media to ask about this issue until I wrote my column.

You are thinking that TDP is a follower and you are confused. We address the TV and Media topics of the day regardless of whether the NASCAR press corps chooses to do the same.

Thanks for the comment.

JD

AndyPandy said...

I think what BV fails to realize is that there are three groups of Petty Enterprises fans - Richard Petty fans, Bobby Labonte fans, and Kyle Petty fans, with some overlap, of course.

The Richard fans are generally old school racing folks whose numbers are starting to dwindle as they age and as NASCAR drifts further from its roots, alienating them from the sport they remember.

The Bobby fans are not necessarily Petty fans, but probably have followed him over from Gibbs and would follow him to another team if he moved.

That leaves the Kyle fans, who basically follow him for three reasons - as a driver, as the founder of Victory Junction and the motorcycle ride, and/or as Adam's dad.

The total of these three groups is not a huge number, but the loss of the Kyle fan base will take a big bite out of this total. If Bobby retires in the next few years or finishes up by moving to a superteam like Mark Martin, the only fans of Petty Enterprises will be the "remember when" gang talking about the races with Pearson and Yarborough and the Alabama gang.

I hope they're getting their money's worth from the Petty brand. The problem is, to them it's a brand. To us, it was a family.

Ryan said...


No one stepped-up on Tradin' Paint or in the media to ask about this issue until I wrote my column. You are thinking that TDP is a follower and you are confused.


No, John, I'm not confused. I am a regular reader (and random poster) of TDP and quite enjoy it.

What I meant was no one (even in the posts) brought up the fact that Kyle did the same thing a week ago at Martinsville. It wasn't until you mentioned it THIS week in your column that it finally became a story by Pockrass. Your column was posted Saturday, while his dateline was Sunday.

You are definitely not a follower, John, in fact you're constantly creating a ripple-effect that sometimes gives the pro reporters something to write about that they wouldn't have otherwise noticed (because they're watching from the monitors in the media center, not the TV broadcast, and rarely have time to watch support shows such as Tradin Paint).

ri88girl said...

Red summed it up perfectly.

I too choose to believe Kyle. I have watched his entire career as many of you have, and I didn't like him when he was running with my Davey but now, he has won my respect and love for the work he has done off the track and his tenaciosness on the track.

Despite what he said in an interview recently, I don't think buliding a new team in trucks (and driving for it) would be a step down.

I also think it would be another shot in the arm for trucks to have someone of his stature start a team there. Hey he could have Jeramy Mayfield drive for him or be his partner instead of Billy Ballew's. Pull Scott Riggs in and you would give Germaine and KHI a run for their money.

Photojosh said...

"Kyle should not feel sorry for himself. There's a lot of good he can do. He just needs the will."

Are we talking about the same Kyle Petty? The man who has built victory Junction Gang and raised millions of dollars for the kids?

Yeah, he's really lacking in the "will" department. Downright lazy.