NASCAR & Auto Racing

Phoenix could be the final stop for Kyle Petty with family business

TALLADEGA, Ala. - Unless sponsorship is obtained to fund a ride for him next season, the Nov. 9 Sprint Cup race at Phoenix could well be Kyle Petty's last at Petty Enterprises.

Robbie Loomis, vice president of race operations at Petty, confirmed Friday that Kyle Petty was still scheduled to drive the No. 45 at Phoenix, despite reports this week that the Kansas race might have been his last race with the organization.

"I think it became clear a couple years ago when Kyle started doing the TV stuff we need to start looking to the future," Loomis said. "Chad McCumbee is somebody we've been keeping our eye on for a while. We're going to run him another four or five races and see where we're at.

"There are a whole group of drivers, quite frankly, that we're evaluating going into next year," Loomis said.

"We feel very good about our sponsorship front. At the same time, I don't really sleep at night until you have the money in the bank."

Loomis said Kyle Petty remained a valuable asset of Petty Enterprises.

"I can only speak from the Petty Enterprises side, and I think Kyle always will be part of Petty Enterprises as long as he wants to be and have a great home," Loomis said.

"It's just evaluation time for all of us right now since we took on our new partner, Boston Ventures. This is a performance business and they have challenged us to perform.

"There is pressure on me and the whole group to raise the level of performance,” Loomis acknowledged.