A new era will begin with the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. Richard Petty Motorsports and GMS Racing will no longer function with their current names. The teams will move forward as one entity, Petty GMS Motorsports.
Executives from both teams met with members of the media on Tuesday, December 7, to discuss GMS Racing purchasing a majority stake in the Cup Series organization, as well as its two charters. They announced that the two teams will move forward as one entity that operates out of the GMS Racing shop in Statesville, N.C.
As part of the announcement, Petty GMS Motorsports confirmed that Erik Jones and Ty Dillon will remain the drivers for the rebranded organization. They will move forward as teammates while Richard Petty serves as the chairman and the face of the organization. GMS Racing president Mike Beam will continue in this role for the new entity.
According to the press release, there will be no changes concerning crew chiefs or partners for Jones and Dillon. These deals will remain in place as Petty GMS Motorsports moves toward its inaugural season. Jones will work with Dave Elenz while Dillon joins forces with Jerame Donley.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity to work with Richard (Petty), arguably the greatest driver in NASCAR history, and form Petty GMS Motorsports,” said GMS Racing owner Maury Gallagher in a press release. “Petty GMS will have a sole focus of winning. Both teams have a track record of winning and we have a strong desire to continue this legacy in a new chapter. Ty (Dillon) and Erik (Jones) have proven themselves through the years and we are looking forward to the success they will have as teammates.”
Dillon Will Change His Vehicle Number
When GMS Racing announced on October 10 that Dillon would join the fold for its first Cup Series season, the organization assigned him No. 94. The reason behind the decision at the time was that Beam had partnered with Bill Elliott in the late 1990s to run Bill Elliott Racing. The team used No. 94 for its entry in the Cup Series.
With the two organizations now merging, Petty GMS Racing will now use a different number for Dillon. He will climb into the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro each week while Jones remains in the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro.
Ross Chastain was the most recent driver of the No. 42, which he used during the 2021 season with Chip Ganassi Racing. However, he will move over to the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet Camaro while Dillon takes over the No. 42 for a new team.
The No. 42 holds special meaning for Petty. His father, Lee Petty, used this number from 1949-1961, winning three championships and 54 races. Petty’s son, Kyle Petty, raced the number from 1979-1982 and 1989-1996. Beam actually served as Kyle’s crew chief during the 1981 and 1982 seasons.
“As for the car number for the second car, I don’t know that I can express how special it is to me personally to have the No. 42 number racing alongside the No. 43 again,” Petty said in a statement. “I grew up watching my dad race that car, I worked on cars with that number way before I started racing. Dad had a lot of success winning races and championships with that number. Kyle drove cars and won races with the No. 42 as well. It’s really special to me that Petty GMS will be racing that car number.”
GMS Racing Will Continue to Pursue Other Series Championships
The rebranded team will focus on pursuing wins in the NASCAR Cup Series with two veteran drivers, but this series will not be the only focus. Petty GMS Motorsports will also pursue more championships in the ARCA Menards Series and Camping World Truck Series. Though these teams will run under the banner of GMS Racing.
GMS Racing has already announced that Grant Enfinger and Jack Wood will run full-time Truck Series schedules in 2022. They will drive the No. 23 and No. 24 Chevrolet Silverados while pursuing wins and spots in the playoffs. Similarly, Daniel Dye will return to the No. 21 entry for a full-time ARCA Menards Series season.
“The legacy of GMS Racing has been focused on winning and achieving high success, no matter the series,” Beam said in a statement. “Our 25-acre, three-building complex in Statesville has roughly 150,000 square feet and is equal to many current Cup shops in size and sophistication. We are ahead of most of the new Cup entrants this year because of our infrastructure. This highly functioning race shop will allow us to hit the ground running. This facility combined with our race-winning personnel gives me confidence that we can make an impact as soon as this season. I have competed in the Cup Series before and understand how things should work.”