NASCAR

RPM Under New Ownership

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Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR

Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR

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Concord, NC (Sports Network) - Richard Petty Motorsports announced that it has partnered with the investment groups of Medallion Financial Corp. and DGB Investments to help restructure the financially-strapped racing team.

According to a news release, Richard Petty will serve as chairman and will be actively involved in overseeing day-to-day operations of the team. RPM will field Fords for drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

“Today is a great day for me, my family, our fans and our wonderful sponsors,” Petty said in a statement.

George Gillett Jr. had majority ownership in RPM, but Gillett’s assets of the team have been sold to both investment groups. During the final weeks of the 2010 season, RPM had fallen into debt with Roush Fenway Racing, which provided engine support for the team.

Petty Enterprises merged with Gillett Evernham Motorsports in January 2009, and then Yates Racing aligned with the organization this year. Petty, a seven- time NASCAR Cup champion, had just a small portion of ownership. It’s unknown how much his stake is now.

Medallion Financial has invested over $3 billion in companies since it became a publicly traded company in 1996. The Murstein family is the largest shareholder in Medallion, owning approximately 20 percent.

“We could not be happier to be able to acquire these assets together,” Andrew Murstein, president of Medallion Financial, said. “Richard is one of the greatest names, not only in NASCAR, but in all sports. His name and image are a world recognized brand with unlimited potential to grow and expand in racing.”

DGB Investments is an investment vehicle of Canadian-born investor Douglas G. Bergeron. In 2001, Bergeron and DGB participated in the acquisition of VeriFone Systems Inc. from Hewlett-Packard in a transaction valued at $50 million. VeriFone’s current market value exceeds $3 billion dollars, and Bergeron is the chief executive officer and one of the largest individual shareholders.

“We are going to help put Richard Petty Motorsports back in Victory Lane,” Bergeron commented.

This year, RPM fielded Fords for Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Paul Menard and Allmendinger.

Kahne departed the team last month and finished the season with Red Bull Racing. He will drive an entry for Red Bull next year before he heads to Hendrick Motorsports to take over for Mark Martin in Hendrick’s No. 5 car in 2012. Almirola took over driving duties of RPM’s No. 9 car when Kahne left the team.

Sadler, whose contract with RPM expires at the end of this year, is joining Kevin Harvick Inc. to drive a full-time schedule in the Nationwide Series next season. Sadler also will run a limited schedule for KHI in the Camping World Truck Series.

Menard will drive a fourth entry for Richard Childress Racing next year.

Ambrose will move from JTG/Daugherty Racing to RPM at the start of next year’s campaign.