Petty GMS continues to take as many steps ahead within the least period of time as doable in its pursuit of NASCAR Cup Sequence success, and the introduction of seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson into the possession fold is additional proof of that dedication.
Not solely is Johnson a part-owner within the group, however he might be again behind the wheel for the primary time since 2020 with a restricted variety of begins beginning on the Daytona 500. Maybe most significantly, these at Petty GMS now have one other useful resource to attract on with the expertise and perception that Johnson brings, Additionally there for younger drivers Erik Jones and Noah Gragson.
“His work ethic is wonderful,” Mike Beam, president of Petty GMS, informed RACER of Johnson. “We begin early within the morning and within the morning, we have been to the breakfast assembly. I prefer it as a result of Jimmie is so concerned and that is thrilling for us. It’ll make us higher.”
“What I am enthusiastic about is that it is coming from a tradition. That is cool. He skilled it and it was a lot simpler to clarify to folks after I tried it, and that is the place it is at.”
“After we first began speaking to Jimmy, I knew Rick had talked to him about his 48-part proprietor for years, and I learn that Justin Marks had been speaking to Jimmy and stuff like that. to develop.”
Johnson’s group has spent 18 seasons competing for Hendrick’s four-car area with a whole bunch of workers situated on multiple-building campuses. Alternatively, Petty GMS has 65 workers who work on two Cup Sequence groups full time.
Beam is ok with doing extra with much less, joking that he would not know what these organizations are doing with all these folks, and it simply looks like extra of a headache. However as Beam mentioned, on the subject of Johnson, he brings a wealth of data in regards to the profitable tradition.
“Our future may be very vibrant,” mentioned Beam. “I informed all of the employees within the new yr that the one factor that may actually work in opposition to us is us. We’re in the identical place the place we have been parking final yr, and fortunately all of our vehicles are able to go.
“We knew we had our limitations going ahead however profitable a race was wonderful. Particularly the five hundred Southern. I mentioned that day, precisely that day, it has been years since Richard gained and 28 years since Invoice and I gained the five hundred Southern. On the similar time As we speak. It was the final Junior Cup win. It was very cool. Very emotional, particularly for Richard and Dale. I used to be very blissful for them. And all of the younger followers in fact.”
Ray and Betty flip again. It was the Petty household who introduced Pym again into racing after he stop working in a tire store after marrying his spouse, Nancy, in late 1978. Pym labored as an engine tuner alongside Maurice Petty and served as crew chief for Kyle and Richard.
“After we began this[Betty GMS]deal… he mentioned, ‘All I need to do is do properly,'” Pym mentioned of his buddy Richard. “I mentioned, ‘Okay, I get it. We’re. If we will try this We’ll attempt to run properly, I promise.”
Petty’s win got here on September 4, 1967, whereas Pym gained with Elliott on September 4, 1994. Jones achieved the outstanding feat on September 4 of final yr.
The latter was the primary win for Petty GMS of their debut season. Maury Gallagher established his program in late 2021, intending to supply one automobile earlier than the vast majority of Petty’s operations had an opportunity to be bought.
Jones returns to the No. 43 Chevrolet this season. Gragson strikes into the collection full-time within the No. 42 Chevrolet.
“We have got some actually good people who find themselves enthusiastic about our future with Jimmy, in fact, and Noah,” Pym mentioned. “It is a lot enjoyable; we’re having enjoyable with it. I am enthusiastic about our future as a result of that is most likely the very best we have ever seen with folks – good folks, good folks. Everybody will get alongside and respects one another. We have been by means of folks at GMS who did not need to be staff gamers.” Or they imagine in what we need to do.
“We have had a few tough winters right here. The deal was carried out with Petty on the final minute, after which this cope with Jimmie. Then he throws one other truck in there. Fortunately, we’re not going to race ARCA (the Menards Sequence).
“I inform folks it is by no means a uninteresting second. We had lunch on the retailer and I mentioned, if you wish to go someplace to work and there isn’t any modifications, you most likely do not slot in there. They at all times fooled me with, ‘Man, we do not know what is going on to occur’ However we all know we’ll do one thing.’ I mentioned, ‘Okay, keep on the bus. We’ll work it out.'”