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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Cadillac confirms WEC driver lineup with Chip Ganassi Racing that will race Le Mans in 2023

Cadillac Ganassi Le Mans
Cadillac Racing
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Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing announced their driver lineup for a 2023 entry in the FIA World Endurance Championship, the sports car series that includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

The Cadillac V-LMDh entry will be driven by Earl Bamber and Alex Lynn, who were teamed on the No. 02 Cadillac that competed in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship DPi class this season and won the Twelve Hours of Sebring. The third driver will be Richard Westbrook, who will return to Ganassi after helping the team to a GT class win at Le Mans in 2018.

The team also will compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in the rebranded Grand Touring Prototype premier category, which is designed for crossover between the top prototypes in IMSA and WEC. Ganassi will field a second entry at Daytona with its No. 01 Cadillac that will compete full time in IMSA with Sebastien Bourdais and Renger van der Zande.

Next year will mark the return of Cadillac to Le Mans for the first time since 2002.

Before joining Ganassi last year, Lynn made 28 WEC starts since 2016, winning the LMGTE Pro class at Le Mans in 2020.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to continue with Cadillac and Chip Ganassi Racing,” Lynn said in a release. “It’s a huge honor to drive for Chip in any capacity but certainly on a full factory sports car program, it’s seriously cool. Cadillac has so much heritage as a luxury North American sports car brand, so to be able to represent them is a huge privilege. I’ve had a lot of fun in my first year doing it and to continue that onto the World Endurance Championship stage is fantastic.

“For me, returning to WEC is sort of what I’ve always known and it’s a bit like going into my wheelhouse. This year in IMSA was a bit different with getting to know all-new circuits and a new style of racing so 2023 will be filled with a bit more of what I’m used to with more of a European focus. I think what’s significant about WEC is without a doubt Le Mans. As a sports car race, Le Mans is the crown jewel and everything that we want to win. To be able to take Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac back to Le Mans to fight for overall honors is a huge honor and that’s something that I’m going to work tirelessly to make sure we achieve.”

Bamber won the Le Mans overall in 2015 and ’17 with Porsche teams and also was a 2019 GTLM champion in IMSA.

“I am really happy to continue at Chip Ganassi Racing and Cadillac,” Bamber said in a release. “I’ve loved my first season in DPi and now to continue over into the LMDh era and WEC is super exciting. Looking forward to fighting for a world championship and another Le Mans victory.

“The World Endurance Championships gives us the opportunity to race at the world’s biggest race, which is Le Mans, the crown jewel of sports car racing. I’ve been lucky enough to win it before and it’s obviously a huge goal for Cadillac and everyone at Chip Ganassi Racing. To have that goal in sight is really exciting. It’s been great to have Alex as a teammate in 2022. We’ve been able to learn and grow together in the DPi, and we have a really good partnership going into WEC. We know each other really well and believe adding Richard will be a seamless transition.”

Said Westbrook: “After four really good years at Chip Ganassi Racing, I’ve got so many friends there and I’ve always dreamt to come back one day. It just worked so well between 2016 and 2019, and I’m delighted we found a route to come together again. I can’t wait, it’s an exciting era in sports car racing right now.

“I feel like I know Alex and Earl really well. I did Le Mans with Alex in 2020 and I’ve known him for years. It feels like I’m going back with an ex-teammate and exactly the same with Earl. Although I’ve never shared a car with Earl, we’ve always done the same sort of racing be it in WEC or in IMSA. We’ve had lots of battles, including this year in our dueling Cadillacs. We’ve always gotten along quite well, and I can say we’re going to have a great year together.”

The seven-race WEC season, which also includes a stop at Spa, will begin March 17 with the 1,000 Miles of Sebring at Sebring International Raceway in Florida.