In a story that dominated Twitter all day, Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) almost didn't get to go to Phoenix Raceway.
According to multiple sources, Roush-Fenway Racing, who supplies RPM with the chassis and motors, was holding RPM's cars this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway due to lack of payment. If payment had not been received in time, the trailers were set to head back to the shop and not appear at Phoenix.
However, George Gillett made the required payment and the trailers have since started their trip out west.
Following some financial miscues within the team, Gillett's future was in question. Gillett met with Jack Roush before Martinsville Speedway to discuss the terms of their agreement and that was supposed to clear up questions regarding running the entire speedway.
Roush told SpeedTV.com writer Tom Jensen during the Martinsville weekend that strict re-negotiated terms were agreed upon in the meeting and Gillett was instructed to make sure he made the payments on time or else they would hold the cars.
With the team beginning to fall down the toilet, reports continue to show that Richard Petty is trying to buy out the rest of the team from George Gillett, with help from Ray Everingham.
Sources report that Petty is getting close to closing the deal as he tries to align a group of investors.
According to Sporting News, Petty owns four percent of the team. The only car that equates to his ownership as per NASCAR’s list of owners is the No. 43 car, while George Gillett owns the No. 9, No. 19 and No. 98 cars.
Sources told Fox Sports last month that Petty met with Toyota principals and Michael Waltrip Racing at Martinsville on Sunday, with meetings continuing into the following week.
This would not be the first time that Petty has teamed up with Toyota, as RPM ran Toyotas during part of the 2009 season. However, that deal was cut short because Toyota could not match the amount RPM wanted and as a result, they went to Ford.
"I've been here since 1949 and I'm going to be here till they run me off,” Richard Petty told ESPN Sunday at Martinsville.
The only problem for Petty in trying to secure something is that the deal currently lacks a sponsor. The only sponsor signed within the entire RPM organization is Stanley Tools, rumored to be worth $10 million, with Marcos Ambrose and the No. 9.
Negotiations are reportedly still continuing between RPM and Best Buy to see if they will return to the fold with A.J. Allmendinger.
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