Chad McCumbee the Real Victim of Petty's Merger

Toby ChristieSenior Analyst IJanuary 15, 2009

Chad McCumbee, who played Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in ESPN's TV movie 3, is the man nobody has mentioned through the Petty Enterprises merger.

McCumbee had a fast rise to stardom.  From 1995-2000, he won more than 100 races in the WKA dirt series. After that, he became the only two-time champion of the Allison Legacy Series.

His championship years came in his first two seasons, 2001 and 2002. In 2003, he became the youngest winner at Myrtle Beach Speedway, and finished fourth in the overall points standings in ARCA in 2005.

Since 2005, McCumbee has made a name for himself by running the Truck Series.  In addition, he stepped in for Kyle Petty while Kyle was doing TV for TNT. Petty Enterprises announced they were going to phase out Kyle Petty in favor of McCumbee.  He would team with Bobby Labonte to restore Petty Enterprises to its greatness.

However, Petty Enterprises informed Bobby Labonte to look for a new ride, due to the Gillette-Evernham merger.  The organization was given widespread kudos for keeping Labonte informed, but what about McCumbee?

The kid who has done so much so quickly to prove he is worthy—the kid nobody has mentioned as getting the raw end of this deal through the entire merger—now has to wait for another shot.  Another shot that I believe will come soon.