RPM Gasping for Funds

The rumors surrounding possible financial difficulties for NASCAR's Richard Petty Motorsports are beginning to become facts. Ironically, the current difficult financial situation of the team started with a different sport altogether.

George Gillett, one of the the two owners of the team, was hoping to help the NASCAR outfit by using the money he would have got after selling English soccer club FC Liverpool, which he owned together with Tom Hick. Unfortunately for him, the club was sold for $475 million, way less than the owner was hoping for.

The money from the sale of FC Liverpool would have been a well deserved break from the financial strain RPM is experiencing. Back in February, the team defaulted on its $90 million loan (this summer, Gillett was offered a $35 million buy-out by banks).

Earlier in October, the team hired investment bank Gordian Group to help it search for investors. Finding at least one is crucial for the 240 people still working for RPM (before Gillett bought the team, the head count was at around 300).

According to the info available, published by Sports Yahoo, Gillett is in over his head. He owes $20 million to Ray Evernham and several other millions to Roush Fenway. Other unconfirmed debts are also said to weigh heavily with the team.

On the NASCAR front, RPM decided to let go one of its key drivers this season, Kasey Kahne, after the Charlotte race. Kahne was sent on its way after refusing to get back in the race, following a crash caused by brake problems.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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