Richard Petty Museum moves back to Petty family compound in Level Cross, N.C.

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Richard Petty is going back home to Level Cross, N.C. – the Richard Petty Museum, that is.

Ribbon cutting ceremonies and an open house will take place Wednesday evening at the Petty compound in Level Cross.

The relocated museum holds much of what NASCAR’s winningest driver has ever won or achieved in his legendary career. It will now be housed in the site of the original Petty Enterprises and Petty Engineering facilities, the same facility where The King developed many of the cars that led him to a record seven Grand National and Winston Cup championships and 200 career wins.

The Petty museum has been housed in nearby Randleman, N.C. since 2003. But a few years ago, it was decided to bring it back within the Petty family compound in Level Cross, where it began in 1988 by Richard’s wife Lynda.

“It’s time to move the museum back,” Petty told Autoweek last November. “We’re really grateful for everyone in Randleman for allowing us to move the museum there when our race shop had to grow. We now have the opportunity to move it back to where it all started, and I think everyone agrees that’s where it belongs.

“We want people to come and see the history on the same ground where it all happened. We’re going to take the time to make it even better, too. It’s exciting for our family, and we hope everyone will enjoy it with us.”

The team’s performance headquarters, Richard Petty Motorsports, will remain in Concord, N.C.

Likewise, Victory Junction Gang Camp, started by Petty’s son Kyle and wife Pattie to honor late son Adam, who was killed in a racing accident in 2000, will remain based in Randleman.

Even before it re-opens its doors, the museum already has expansion plans in place to also honor team patriarch Lee Petty, including allowing fans to visit the Lee Petty House, where both Richard and brother Maurice were born. All three Pettys and cousin Dale Inman, Richard’s long-time crew chief, are now enshrined in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, with Maurice being inducted in January.

Petty’s daughter, Rebecca Moffitt, who also runs the Petty Family Foundation, has overseen the transition of the museum from Randleman to back home on the Petty range.

“This is a project our family has been working on for over the last year,” she told Autoweek. “This will give fans the most genuine look at the Petty racing history. We’re going to work hard … to ensure that when we open the original location, it’ll be a destination for all race fans.”

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Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”