Richard Petty to serve as model in fashion show fundraiser

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Richard Petty has done a lot of things in his life.

He was voted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He’s the all-time race winner in NASCAR history with 200 wins. He also is tied for the most championships won with the late Dale Earnhardt.

He’ll soon also be a fashion model.

Well, kind of, according to the High Point (N.C.) Enterprise.

The man known as The King will take part in a special fashion show designed to give 12 students enrolled in the University of North Carolina-Greensboro’s CARS (Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies) program an opportunity to show off their fashion designs.

The designs are inspired by Petty and significant moments of his long and illustrious career, based upon a recent visit by the students to the Richard Petty Museum in Randleman, N.C.

“A lot of the students did not know anything about ‘The King’ or about NASCAR, so it was a challenge for them to learn and understand about him and his history,” Jill Mongelli, of the Petty Family Foundation, told the Enterprise. “These kids have really thought outside the box.

“We wanted to challenge them, and I’m very impressed with what they’ve done. They got to know Richard’s history. They got to see the design of the cars, the edges, the colors, you name it, and they really took some of it to heart. Their inspiration came from many different aspects.”

Proceeds from the fashion show will go to provide scholarships for seniors in the CARS (Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies) program at UNC-G, as well as to support Victory Junction Gang Camp.

The show, known as “Hot Pass To Fashion Challenge,” is a competition to determine the best student designs. Presented by the Petty Family Foundation, the event will be held Jan. 17 at Petty Enterprises in Level Cross, N.C.

Tickets are $43 general admission and $143 for VIP tickets that include front-row seating. To see and cast online votes for the designs that will be part of the fashion show competition, as well as more information, check out the “Current News & Events” tab at www.pettyfamilyfoundation.org.

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

Helio Castroneves IMSA IndyCar
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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.”