Petty To Close Shop—Merge With Gillett Evernham

Ben BombergerSenior Writer IDecember 31, 2008

After more than 60 years in racing and 10 championships, it appears the most well known name in NASCAR is hanging up the keys.

According to FoxSports.com, multiple sources have confirmed that America's first family of stock car racing will shut its doors down and merge with Gillett Evernham Motorsports.

The report says that the deal was reached on Christmas Eve but will not be announced until some time next week.

Earlier this week it was announced that AJ Allmendinger would replace Elliot Sadler in the No. 19 Dodge, with Reed Sorenson taking over the No. 43 car. Kasey Kahne is still expected to drive the No. 9, while no mention has been made of who will drive the No. 10 car.

This is definitely a big disappointment to see the 'King' step aside from his team, but it comes as no surprise as Petty Enterprises has struggled in recent years.

According to the report on FoxSports, most of the remaining 39 employees at Petty Enterprises will conclude their duties at the Mooresville-based shop today. The company recently moved to what was formerly the Yates Racing complex in Level Cross, N.C.

Robbie Loomis, Petty VP of Racing Operations, is expected to assume a managerial role under the new partnership, which will likely be rebranded under the Petty banner, according to FoxSports' Lee Spencer.

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