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Maury Gallagher is the new majority owner of Richard Petty Motorsports.
RPM announced Wednesday that Gallagher had purchased a large portion of the team and would obtain the two charters that RPM currently owns. Richard Petty Motorsports fielded the iconic No. 43 car for Erik Jones in 2021 and also had an agreement for backmarker Rick Ware Racing to use its other charter.
No other details were provided in the statement announcing the deal. The statement said that a news conference to discuss the deal would be held on Dec. 7. On Thursday, a public filing by Medallion Financial confirmed that Gallagher paid $19.1 million for majority ownership of RPM.
Gallagher, the CEO and chairman of Allegiant Airlines, has operated Gallagher Motorsports in the Truck Series and Xfinity Series. The team fielded five trucks full-time in the Truck Series and had previously announced its intention to move up to NASCAR's Cup Series in 2022 with Ty Dillon as its driver.
The deal means that Jones and Dillon will be teammates in 2022. Jones joined RPM ahead of the 2021 season after he was let go from Joe Gibbs Racing to make room for Christopher Bell. Dillon didn't have a full-time ride in 2021 after Germain Racing shut down at the end of the 2020 season.
There are 36 charters available in NASCAR's Cup Series and a charter ensures that a team car has a guaranteed entry into every Cup Series race. Charter teams also get a bigger share of prize money than non-charter teams.
Richard Petty Motorsports had kept its second charter since downsizing to one team after the 2016 season. Andrew Murstein and Medallion Financial have been the majority owners of RPM after purchasing it in 2010 while Petty — the winningest driver in Cup Series history — has retained a minority stake.
The sale to GMS will be yet another iteration of Petty’s race team since it was Petty Enterprises in its heyday. Petty Enterprises was the gold standard for NASCAR in the pre-modern era and the first decade of NASCAR’s modern era.
Petty Enterprises existed on its own until 2009 before it merged with Gillett Evernham Motorsports and rebranded as Richard Petty Motorsports with Petty and Ray Evernham keeping minority stakes in the team. The team lasted a season in that form before merging with Yates Racing, another former NASCAR power.
The team ran four cars in 2010 but financial issues caused it to drop to two in 2011.
Jones finished 24th in the Cup Series standings in 2021 and Aric Almirola's Daytona win in 2014 remains the last win for Richard Petty Motorsports.