TMS notes: Richard Petty proud of shop’s 500 starts but ‘ought to have done a bit better’

Posted Saturday, Nov. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Richard Petty will watch his race shop make its 500th Sprint Cup start Sunday, wishing only that it had more to show for it.

“Five hundred is a bunch of times that we’ve been at the racetrack with a race car,” he said. “I feel good that we were able to keep a crowd together that long.

“I guess our disappointment is not doing a little better, and we’ve had 500 chances to do better. That many times, that many chances, we ought to have done a little bit better.”

Richard Petty Motorsports, formed in a merger between Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises in 2009, has four wins since its rookie year with drivers A.J. Allmendinger, Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler and Reed Sorenson. Kahne won two races that first year, and Marcos Ambrose added road victories in 2011 and 2012.

Ambrose and Aric Almirola are making the 499th and 500th starts for RPM in the AAA Texas 500.

Petty, 76, said he’s not giving up any time soon.

“You never know what your future holds, but as long as my health holds out and we can keep some sponsors interested in being on the race car, I’ll probably be here aggravating people,” he said.

TMS love-hate

Jeff Gordon says he has a love-hate relationship with Texas Motor Speedway. Or used to, anyway.

“When I think way back, when this track was first built, it was a very challenging racetrack,” he said. “There were times we were really fast but couldn’t get to the finish. We were finally able to pull off a victory, and the last few times we’ve been here, we’ve actually been very competitive. The last time we were here, we were very competitive but then had a failure with the left front hub. That was very bittersweet.”

Gordon has six DNFs in Fort Worth. But he also has eight top-5 finishes, including a win in April 2009.

“Recently, it’s been more love than anything else,” he said. “I have a lot more dislike for a place when I can’t figure it out and don’t run competitively more than if we just have a failure or a problem when we’re running good.”

Pulling for Edwards

Carl Edwards said he has come to admire former teammate Matt Kenseth in the six years since faking a punch at him at Martinsville.

“We obviously didn’t get along really well at one point, but to me, he’s one of the guys I’m closest with in the garage,” Edwards said. “I really think a lot of Matt, and once I understood him, and I assume he understood me a little better, I think that we were as good of teammates as I’ve ever had. So I think a lot of Matt.”

Edwards said he catches himself thinking Kenseth, now at Joe Gibbs Racing, is still his teammate at Roush Fenway.

“As much as I hate to see him do well at another organization — I wish he was doing it here — I think it’s good to see him have the success because he definitely works hard and has given his life to racing,” Edwards said.

Vote of confidence

Danica Patrick said it’s reassuring that her sponsor,, is keeping her in its Super Bowl commercials even as new CEO Blake Irving plans to make them more conservative so the company can emphasize its product over sex appeal.

“Definitely, when there are transitions in companies and with who is in charge and making decisions, you hope you are part of those decisions for a long time,” she said. “All these things happening this year is very reassuring.”

Patrick is 28th in points in her rookie Sprint Cup season.

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @calexmendez

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