Petty GMS Motorsports is a rather redundant name as GMS stands for Gallagher Motor Sports, but it is the identity of the NASCAR Cup Series‘ newest team. On Tuesday, Richard Petty Motorsports and GMS Racing completed their marriage by announcing the team name. Erik Jones will remain in the #43 Cherolet Camaro ZL1 that comes over from the RPM side, while Ty Dillon will pilot the #42.
GMS, a Camping World Truck Series team, purchased a majority interest in RPM last Wednesday from Andrew Murstein’s Medallion Financial while Richard Petty maintains his share in the operation. Owned by Maurice Gallagher Jr., GMS announced plans to run the full Cup schedule in June, though with the #94 prior to Tuesday’s announcement. Dillon joined the team in October.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity to work with Richard, arguably the greatest driver in NASCAR history, and form Petty GMS Motorsports,” said Gallagher. “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 and Erik have proven themselves through the years and we are looking forward to the success they will have as team-mates.”
The #42 was previously used by Petty’s father Lee from 1949 to 1961, followed by his son Kyle from 1979 to 1982 and 1989 to 1986. GMS president Mike Beam was also Kyle Petty’s crew chief in 1981 and 1982. Switching to #42 also allows the number to remain in the Cup Series after primarily being held by Chip Ganassi Racing, which has since been sold to Trackhouse Racing Team.
“I don’t know that I can express how special it is to me personally to have the #42 number racing alongside the #43 again,” Petty commented. “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.”
Despite the RPM rebrand, GMS Racing will keep that name for the Truck and ARCA Menards Series programmes as Petty has no involvement in them. After fielding five trucks in 2021, the team will have two for 2022 with Grant Enfinger‘s #23 and Jack Wood‘s #24.