NASCAR & Auto Racing

Petty operation stepping up sponsorship search for McCumbee

Petty Enterprises is looking for sponsorship to run Chad McCumbee full time in the NASCAR Busch Series next year.

McCumbee, 22, will run the Busch schedule in addition to the Nextel Cup races he is expected to run substituting again for Kyle Petty in the No. 45 Dodge while Petty works as a color commentator with TNT during its six races in the summer.

"I think Chad is a great driver and has showed great potential for sure," said Robbie Loomis, executive vice president of race operations for Petty Enterprises. "One thing we've recognized is we need to get him more seat time and in equipment we know is better equipment."

Loomis said depending on the sponsorship found, McCumbee could run in a Busch team out of Petty or he could move into a Busch car fielded by another Dodge team such as Gillett Evernham Motorsports or Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

Loomis said the team is also looking to field a third Cup car in the season finale at Homestead, Fla., for McCumbee.

McCumbee, a native of Supply, N.C., drove two Cup races this season for Petty, with his best finish 25th at Pocono. He is also competing in the Craftsman Truck Series this season.