Ride along with Jason OldeCarrGuy Carr and John CustomCarNerd Meyer as they talk with AJ Ware, Director of Sales and Corporate Partnerships at Petty GMS Motorsports.
Have you ever shown up for a job interview to find Richard Petty doing donuts in the parking lot? Well, AJ has! He gives the guys the inside track on working with the legendary NASCAR Hall Of Famer Richard Petty and the road he took to become part of this NASCAR team. Find out what it's like being a part of this team and what it takes to get YOUR logo on one of the Petty GMS cars!
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AJ Ware PettyGMS
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Welcome back to another episode of Get Out and Drive podcast.
My name is Jason Old Carr Guy Carr.
And I am John custom car nerd, Mayer.
You know, John, there's a lot of things that happen in the automotive industry these days that people aspire to do, and one of them just happens to be maybe, oh, I don't know.
NASCAR driving and ask her the next.
NASCAR's involved quite a lot in the in the past 20 years. Heck, 10 years and and safety and and definitely electronics and and everything from tires to driver to the new generation vehicles. You know, it's absolutely incredible.
Yeah, and as a youngster growing up.
In the 90s I often looked at and saw, you know, I can drive fast. I can do that. I can change tires, but now you know 25 plus years.
Later I'm rocking the dad bod, so a lot of that energetic athletic stuff doesn't suit me very fine.
I'm comfortable city.
You probably you probably couldn't run over the wall with a floor Jack with a with a with a Jack at this time.
I couldn't and I think sitting on the couch is probably my contribution to the NASCAR industry, but I've always had questions.
How do folks get involved?
Man like you, you're talking like.
Get involved with NASCAR.
If you don't want to be a driver or can't be a driver.
I mean be involved with NASCAR at all.
There's there's gotta be hundreds of different jobs.
I mean, everybody aspires to want to drive one, but some some someone got to give you the break.
Someone gotta find you.
You've got to.
Have that access into the.
Industry and I think today we just might have that.
So today on the.
Get out and drive podcast.
We have AJ, Ware from Petty GMS, AJ.
Welcome to the podcast.
Thank you, thank you, thank you guys for having me how you guys doing.
I'm doing very well.
How are you today?
Doing great doing great living the dream yeah.
Awesome, yes, I know we met and hung out for a bit at SEMA 2021.
In the racing junk booth.
That was pretty cool, yeah?
Very cool right? Yeah?
Tell tell us a little bit in a nutshell about what you do.
'cause you're not, uh, you're not a NASCAR driver.
At least not not one that I've heard of today.
Correct, what you do work for?
I do I.
Do I work for a NASCAR team?
I worked for.
Where I started out is it's Richard Petty motor sports and late last year we merged with GMs Racing, so we're now Petty GMs.
We have two NASCAR Cup teams and we slid down to GMs Racing where we have the truck.
Team as well.
How long have you been?
With him with the Richard Petty brand, now this is going on my third season.
Really out truly, truly grinding.
I would say this is my first full season because of .
So you know, going until you know a lot of events get out there.
You know meeting people and and and getting my hands dirty.
So I I sell sponsorships for the race team.
You know, that's that's my.
That's my job.
That's my duty, and primarily that's.
My only duty.
I'm there, you know our team members have you know they wear a.
Lot of different hats but mine.
Primarily stays on finding revenue you know for.
The team so we all know that NASCAR.
Offers big names and sponsorships and one of the things that we often wonder.
Is how much?
Does it actually cost to get your name on that hood of that car?
And I'm not asking for specific numbers, that's not.
What we're here?
To do, but people have questions like that, but there's got to be somebody behind getting that name on the hood of that car as either a primary sponsor.
Secondary whatever it happens to be what's involved.
From start to finish to get say company.
XYZ on the hood of that car.
Uhm, well for me, you know, look for a partner that's going to compliment our entire team. You know 'cause you know Petty's been around, you know, forever since the you know the start of NASCAR.
So he has a.
Brand himself, you know, show someone a silhouette of Richie nowhere near the hat.
You know these shades or whatever, and everybody would know who he is, you know so.
Been aligned with that brand is very delicate, you know, so I'm going out looking for maybe family owned businesses or ones that we know are handed down or a successful family oriented.
You know faith based, you know you know.
So those are those are easy wins for me to get that and then we talk about that.
What do they want out of the sponsorship?
Because ultimately a true sponsorship if you're doing or if I'm doing my job correctly.
I'm solving a problem, you know.
So if I go to.
I know brand XYZ, so hey, you know what's your problem?
What can I help you with?
How can we leverage our race team and they tell me we want to grow in China?
Well, I can't help you. We don't race in China, so that's the end of it. But if they tell me something hey, you know we're trying to grow our brand over in
US say from you know 18 year old to 35 you know 35 year old primarily then all right. Then we got something to talk about then you know it gets granular, you know?
From there you know what regions of the US that you want to get into, how we're going to do it.
Yeah, we put your name on the car, but it doesn't mean that someone can go out and buy.
Your product simply because of that they.
May, which is another conversation.
How do we track that, you know?
So all of that is in there.
How do we play on people emotions?
And then it.
Comes down, you know, to dollars.
You know it's.
You know full season you're talking 10s of millions of dollars, you know to run a 1 car successful NASCAR cup program.
Well, if if you can narrow it down.
For our listeners.
What is your job title and generally?
What do you do?
My job title is our director of sales and marketing for Petty GMs, so you know, I'm I'm searching for the new partners to come into the team and and and make sure that they're successful.
You know I have a saying that you know, I tell, you know myself and and and in the team like it's a lot easier to keep our.
Partners then, is for me to go out.
And find new.
Ones you know.
So you know we.
Bring them in.
We definitely have to take care of.
You know, given the wow factor and and absolutely what we have to do is to, you know, outperform what we told them during the.
The courtship is what I call it, you know, we definitely have to make sure that you know we are.
We are over delivering on those promos.
Promises so AJ.
We talked about what you do now.
Yeah, your title and what it is that you'd actually do for petty GMs.
I want to go back a little bit and talk about your.
Past work experiences.
Tell us how you kind of got yourself say from high school on up to where you are today.
What what did you do right out of high school?
Went to the marine.
Core oh there you go.
Yeah, so so I'm 51 so I graduated high school in 1988 and honestly speaking, I wasn't quite ready for college yet.
I didn't think so anyway, and This is why I'm cautious about my kids where I let them watch and and how I interact with kids.
Tell you guys this quick story so you guys remember to show the A-Team you know? So Yep, so they teams out so.
Uhm I love Hannibal.
I love Hannibal Smith so if you remember ** *** did, you know sometimes he was sitting in helicopter and shoot.
The people I literally walked in my recruiters office look.
This is what I want to do.
I want to send a helicopter and shoot.
At people and he's like not way no way.
00:08:37 Speaker 1
My so I go.
Out I, I take the ASVAB and and I pass and it comes back and he's like look you know you have the score to do other stuff within the Marines.
I'm like no, that's all I want.
So when the Paris Island graduated went end up going to Camp Geiger here in North Carolina and in in the Marines.
They they tell you to go do stuff.
Hey right, go over here and shoot this going and swim and do that.
You don't ask questions, right?
You just go do it.
You ask questions.
Gonna get your teeth knocked out then you gotta do it anyway.
So just go do it.
But what they were doing?
They're testing me so I'm 6 foot five and I could shoot.
You know, so when?
When the when it came time for our duty stations.
Most of my classmates were going to Norfolk, VA and I was happy because that's close, right?
I wasn't going somewhere overseas and you know any of that and when it came to my name, that I'm a ware so my last name is ware as I was at the very end of the list and so I had to go to my gunny office and.
They said look, this is where you're going. He put on Atlas again this is 1989 there, right?
And Atlas when he breaks out and an Atlas on, he says this whole page.
This is the United States and he flips it like 8 pages.
00:09:46 Speaker 1
Points to a dot
This is the Philippines. This is where you go on for 2 1/2 years and guys. No exaggeration, I can feel the tears welling up at the bottom of my eyes and I'm blinking back, right?
'cause I never left home, you know, but man, that was a great time.
You know, over there I ended up working in the in the in the embassy and doing patrol duty over over in the Philippines.
It was great.
Uh, muno end up doing desert shield desert storm thing.
Came back to California and went to school there and end up.
Being in marksmanship coach.
You know and and end up leaving that and and came back and my degree is nothing in motor sports, exercise, science and Physiology.
So you know I was teaching people to workout, get in shape, you know, working with athletes, you know that sort of thing and.
But I always grew up around cars.
My dad drag races.
He grew up running the IHRA circuit here in North Carolina and the Rockingham Darlington Bristol areas during the national meets and locally at a lot of our tracks.
So I was around cars, you know, growing up and and.
Realistically loved it.
You know and.
But I never drove the car.
I never got into it.
'cause again, honestly speaking, it wasn't always rosy.
You know, you hear about.
Uhm, you know success story.
The people racing hey it's all it was not Dad got home on maybe a Sunday night, maybe Monday, Monday morning depending where he's racing he get home you know go to bed and he go to work from work where he go.
He went to the shop.
He worked on the car Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday is back on the road and.
Over time, Mom got tired of that craziness.
And she felt.
Like a single mom and they had a let's just say they had a conversation.
You know, so I was old enough to remember.
That you know I was like.
OK, well I don't want to do that.
You know, you know going out, I won't be on the road like that and I I.
Did a different route and as I got older.
My wife and I own spa business and just one day guys sitting in there listening to the elevator music.
I'm surrounded by 40 ladies in the back giving massages and things and I'm like I am tired of this, you know?
So I knew I want to get back in the motor sports.
I just went out and and I got a job over in the NHRA side with Don Schumacher Racing.
There's Commission based is 100% Commission based doing, uh, you know selling sponsorships.
Grew from that.
Learn how to do that.
End up, you know getting a salary and and other things.
And I kept wanting to grow and and to me the best opportunity to grow in sponsorship.
Who required the most money was in NASCAR.
So again, shooting for the top where I go for a NASCAR Richard Petty.
So just reach out to him.
Hey you know you guys need some help doing this and the first year I was.
Kind of a trial thing 'cause I have an experience with it and and after that you know it just grew and here we are.
So you sourced them out.
You went to the top and you went for that brass ring and said.
That was my first sell job to hold a spot to sell.
My stuff with them.
Nice nice shoot for the stars kids.
That's right, that's right.
You never know who's gonna land, and I ended up added and and had everything that's thrown at me.
You wanted it.
Here you go wow.
And before we go any further, AJ you had mentioned at the very beginning, you are a marine.
Thank you for your.
Service you're very welcome.
You're very welcome here because it's one of those you know you have a job where then we all have that job right where somebody talks crap and you can't do anything about it.
In the Marines you.
Can you know go please?
And take care of that, you know.
So that's good.
Thank you guys, this is.
Good stuff over there for sure.
Do you find that a lot of the sponsorships just do?
Do companies come to you with the need or do you get from the company and say, hey, we need to find XYZ type of sponsorships?
Is it both ways or percentage?
It is both ways, but it's probably 10% inbound. This is just for us and other teams, maybe a little different for us is about 10% inbound and 90% us going out there and shaking the trees.
Yeah, so we really try to find those that again.
They're going to fit, you know, with the brand or a category that we have.
Open, you know we may have the official beverage or the official lubricant, or you know something like that, so sometimes it gets no specific as well.
If we want to do.
An exclusive category.
The agent when we're talking about sponsorships.
One of the things that may come up in that conversation might be, you know, what can I do for you?
What can you do for me?
Right, what seems to be?
That number one.
What can I do for you?
As you know, the petty GMs spokesperson?
For me asking that question.
Uhm, probably #1 answer is sales. You know they want to see that dollar amount at the end of right, you know.
So then OK, who we that's when I get?
That's why I ask even more questions, you know.
So I'm really into picking their brain 'cause I want to be an extension of their sales team.
Basically what it is I'm extension of their sales and mark.
I mean, do you want to be?
You know part of those conversations when they talk about spending money somewhere.
I would love for petty GMs to be in that conversation, so it's definitely sales and then OK sales where sales to who, how many sales?
How do we track those sales?
Is it a sale team?
Is it a salesperson?
Or is it come like, for example, you know this is pretty cool? This is the first time I've done this, so next weekend we're gonna be racing in Bristol, Bristol, Dirt. So we have the the 42 to 43 car. The 42 has gained.
The detergent 43 has tide detergent.
A lot of people were confused about that because they are quote UN quote competitors, but they are both owned by Procter and Gamble brands, so we're going to have some fun with a little in-house rivalry, you know, sort of thing, but that sponsorship for US made sense.
We're racing on.
Dirt selling high.
Bert yeah right.
With something gain you know so and what we did last year when Eric ran out there right now.
Driver Erik Jones.
You know he was covered, you know.
And dirty going around those.
Just dirt if you've been to Bristol, you know that dirt go anywhere that dust cloud and so just covered you know.
And but we went back, and through that far that far.
So the driver sued over and wash it through some tyddyn.
It came out and it was.
Perfectly white, so that.
And then again, so that sponsorship made.
Sense to us.
All of our.
Listeners know there's it's not racing unless there's dirt in your beer.
That's right, that's right.
Dirt and a little bit of grease.
Here in there yeah.
Yes, exactly man.
I having having tide or any kind of laundry detergent as a sponsor.
That's that's just a match made in heaven.
You know it is, you know it and people know you know it smells, you know and and.
That's something else that we have.
To you know, taking account with the sponsorship, you know we're trying to touch, you know all the five senses.
You know you know, can they eat it?
No, we don't want to actually put.
Out a disclaimer do not.
Pods you know?
Oh my God, eat the pods, you know.
So we have that and you know, of course you know they can see it.
They can hear the car, they could smell, you know the product so.
That's when this is successful or very successful sponsorship where we can touch as many of those senses that as we can and get people engaged and people know another thermometer that I use is the the merch sale.
Sales, you know how many of those diecasts are we selling?
I mean the shirts, the caps, you know, things like that.
How many do I see at the racetrack?
Yeah, there's a lot that we look at.
You know, for a successful campaign, but it is good to see the fans come back.
Tide is by no means new to NASCAR.
It's been around forever.
They took, you know, we're a little dormant for a while, but it's great to be.
You know partner with them and see their enthusiasm, especially with their open minds with bringing in their.
Sister product gain.
I just wanted to say that you took the words out of my mouth.
Tide has been around for a long time, you know, longtime sponsor of Darrell Waltrip.
I mean, he's kind of what put tide?
On the map.
And now here.
We are in 2022 with one of the biggest names in NASCAR and one of the biggest sponsors.
I think that's pretty cool that we kind of come back to, you know, the roots of NASCAR with some of these somewhat old time sponsorships.
Correct, and that's just the you know that's.
That's off to the.
The You know NASCAR brand itself, you know it works.
You know, if it didn't work, they wouldn't be coming back, right?
So you know they knew what it was you know back in the day, how it worked here.
Let's go back and and that's actually something that.
You know, I tell our team in our approach.
They said, well, hey, it wasn't broken before, it just changed a little bit, but it's not broken, you know?
So we did go back and look at, you know some of those engagement.
Some of the paint schemes, even you know we like to, you know, keep that history going.
You know a little bit we we changed it up.
You know a lot because we want our own identity, right?
You know, with the you know RPM and and now you know pay the GMs so we have that.
But it is good to see like so many like STP. We're going on 51st year of having STP associated with.
Petty, I mean man.
It's just awesome.
I mean, I don't think there's another brand in motor sports been around that long with one person.
No, I don't believe so.
And that's like synonymous with with petty.
You look at the colors.
You look at the red, white and blue and it's all surrounded by that.
And I can see Chrome bumpered cars and as NASCAR evolved through the late 70s and 80s and 90s, it's still those.
Colors, but it's still fresh.
And and that's that's a long term partner.
Yeah, and it's great to have them on board.
I still want to be engaged and then we're talking to them right now.
You know we we had a conversation and I'm laughing because you know they've been a partner for Petty forever and they say, well, hey, you know let's do a throwback scheme for Darlington.
We can just run the same cover and last.
Year it's the.
Same thing, it's the.
Same sponsor, let's not kill ourselves with this, you know, but uh, but you know we're working on it.
We're trying to work on something different this year.
You know, we actually want to keep it fresh and put some thought into it.
You know which year you know comes out and and we do have a plan.
You know we.
This is the first time in a very long time that we've had the 42 back within the petty, you know, brand.
So we're thinking about something like that.
But I mean you're right.
You know it's a.
You know, having STP on board is great.
We changed it up a little bit last year, so we went with the 1999 John Andretti, you know, version of the STP.
Paying a tribute to him great friend Andretti or we call him our racing cousins.
You know very, very tight to pity and and ready brand and their families.
And so we did that but we changed it up a little bit.
We didn't go with the red.
We went with a burnt orange before the color, and so we try to change a little bit to make it distinctive.
But definitely you know it's great to have STP on board for that for that long and engaged.
You know, Jason, we sure get to.
Talk a lot yes, and some of us.
Others who me.
I'm not pointing any fingers, yes.
You are, well, we want to hear from our.
Listeners just go to our website.
Getoutanddrive.com scroll to the bottom of.
The page and.
Click the listener hotline button.
We want to hear from you.
Cool stories, breakdown stories.
Questions comments hate mail?
Even hate mail.
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Area let us know.
Tell us an interesting story.
Let us know what you like.
To get out and drive.
So one thing I guess that I want to know is you know we talk about.
We talk a lot on the get Up Drive podcast about what drives youth and.
We want to know.
What is being done within NASCAR?
Maybe even specifically within petty GM?
's to bring youth back into NASCAR or bring them into NASCAR to show them kind of the ropes.
What kind of programs are there that?
You know NASCAR is putting together or that petty GMs is putting together to help bring youth into the sport again.
I will probably start with the STEM programs.
You know that we have, and that's at the NASCAR level.
That's at several team levels.
You know some of our competitors have STEM programs.
We're developing 1 here.
I'm I'm actually on the on the Advisory Board for local college here.
Winston Salem State University.
This is getting out and.
And going to them, you know, not really relying on the on the kids to get to the track 'cause you know, that's kind of.
hard and it's very overwhelming.
I mean, this is NASCAR.
It's a monster.
You know we go in.
We do our thing and then next weekend with somewhere else so it's getting in.
And letting them know that.
There are different opportunities.
Kind like myself.
You know I'm.
Not driving right? I'm.
Not working on the car and.
And it's really good because I as I go through some of the tracks I have, kids stop.
And asked me because I'm semi dressed up.
I have on business shoes.
I have on black dockers.
I have on a shirt that's tucked in so they know this guy absolutely cannot be working on the car.
What do you do?
So so then and then I you know, I'll let them know.
Look, this is this is what I did.
Oh we didn't.
Know about that, so it's.
Weren't being approachable and you know, just taking that little bit of time and.
And I do that because that's how I got.
Started, you know I used to go through the tracking with my dad and I get lost.
You know, I go around and talk to the pro guys and and hanging out and again it was, you know I grew up in around drag racing and you guys know how accessible at Drag Race is.
You can just walk in the hauler if you want to.
Pretty much you know.
So I was always around those drivers and I remember that and man.
I'm in this sport, so I really give it, you know, to those drivers back in the the late 70s, early 80s for giving me their time.
And now I'm trying to repay that favor by giving those other kids, you know, a little bit of my time.
You know, I think.
You know it's a.
It's a compliment when you can teach something that means you kind of sort.
Of know it right?
Yeah, so so.
It's obviously, you know STEM programs there.
You know getting the colleges out, we have Air Force is one of our partners, so they would partner with a lot of local schools and we bring them, you know,
Again, that's one of those.
Those great partnerships, right?
So so stamp program.
They whether they go out and and they go out and fly a drone or something.
Or, you know, on a tank or they learn mechanics and come back and it can be one of our engineers.
It can be one of our they can work.
They want to travel.
They can work back at our shop.
And we have a knock.
It's a network operating center so they can work within that, so it's a lot that they can do it rather than this bunch of track every weekend and and working on the car and getting their hands dirty.
We need those brains and and that's you know that's where the kids are for and and and you know, like technology, right?
Like our phones, if something breaks down on my phone, I'm asking my 15 year old, you know.
Hey look, I'm not even wasting time trying to look it up.
Look 8 and fix this, you know, and he's got it, you know.
So those kids come in with fresh ideas, fresh eyes, fresh ways of thinking.
I mean in their the feature about sport that feature all motor sports, so definitely it it has to be a priority to get them engaged and keep them engaged.
I know as an adult child myself.
Collecting everything with wheels that moves do and I know NASCAR in itself as an entity and teams have.
Do you find petty GMs targeting the youth market or the older youth market?
Which is me?
For NASCAR collectibles and things like that, do you target specifically a certain age with paint schemes or diecast or things like that you know generally trying to do that.
Uh, we're trying to do everything.
You know, there's a lot of history in NASCAR and and if you don't believe me, it's going on one of these social media sites.
They'll let you know you know we'll change up something.
You'll see it, oh, I don't like that you know why?
Can we like the new next Gen car?
I mean, how many?
Like negative comments.
Hey, we moved the number back.
Oh no, you know so it's everything you know.
So wow, you know.
So we really try to get everybody try to please everybody.
I know that's a cliche.
You can't please everybody but I think in certain situations you can.
You know we can put out the flat you know, like I.
Mentioned earlier, they're.
Burnt orange rather than the red.
You know, so we put that as a little bit flash here.
You know, put that out there for the youth, but US Steel STP which appeal to older crowd.
They understand it.
I'm still Petty the older crowd understand it, but it's got the new look.
The new car look and it's got the fresh colors to appeal to a younger audience.
So yeah, we try to.
Yeah us us.
Geeks are watching you, man, we know.
Yeah, and and they're keeping us in line, which I appreciate.
So remember, I didn't grow up in NASCAR, so it's great to have.
You know, people you know.
Kind of, you know, keep me in check every now and then.
So quick question.
For you, I just received the text from one of our get out and drive production staff and she's asking.
What's it going to cost us to get a get out and drive sticker on one?
Of your petty cars oh man.
Oh, I don't know.
It depends on what race, what size sticker.
You know all of that, but I can absolutely make that happen.
So that sounds fantastic.
I will look for it on the next diecast that I buy.
And if you could see that going around the track at 100 and.
95 miles an.
Hour you're doing good wow, right?
Right wow, we have had our logo. I think the fastest we've run is 216 miles an hour on.
Oh yeah, on big Red Camaro so we'll that's.
I think that's the fastest one of our decals is run, so I'm I'm sure I'm sure you'll let us know if one goes faster.
Yeah, I don't think we'll break that one.
We may have to call out my buddy Joe Morrison and put it on the side of his top fuel dragster.
Yes, that is and we love it.
Hashtag get out and drive fast.
Right, right literally yes.
Oh oh, that is man, that is totally cool.
And do you feel it's?
It's kind of a.
Kind of weird being immersed in what you do because what you do and you said you're walking around and you're obviously dressed well and someone recognizes that you're not going to be working on a car and you're not going to be over the wall.
And things like that.
And they recognize that you're dressed differently than everyone else does it seem surreal?
When you realize what you're being, what you're involved with.
It does, and it's great to get that reminder.
'cause I understand you know my role, my positioning in life and and what I do and the responsibilities that come along with that and kind of what I mentioned earlier.
You know about our partners.
You know, working with the petty brand.
Well I have.
To represent that brand every single day, you know day in and day.
Yeah, I have people you know and and I forget.
I get out and I'm wearing petty gear and I get out and I go to the grocery store.
People stop me, you know?
tell Richard, I said.
Hello or do.
You know, Richard, I said yeah I.
See him quite a bit, you know.
And so, so it's it is a responsibility you know to do that.
And and every now and then I have.
You know, very surreal moments. I had one again this year, you know, so you know, because of , you know we didn't have fans in the stands and the Daytona 500 this year was sold out. You know so well over 100,000 fans packed in the stadium.
And we're standing out there, you know, at attention, you know, hands across the heart.
And the Thunderbirds are flying over during the national anthem, you know.
And and cold chills, right?
You know, sitting out there?
Yeah, yeah, it's back, you know, and let's get this thing started and you know, Trace Adkins is singing the national anthem.
So it was.
It was another you know, surreal moment.
And every now and then I have that I had that reminder when I'm with Richard and would go out and would do a autograph signing and and I see people you know fighting to get in line or I see a line wrapped around the building.
And I'm like man, this guy is 84 years old and still he's signing autographs for people who weren't even born when he drove his last race.
I'm like how do you even know Richard you?
Know so, but it's.
It's it's the power of.
Branding and what he does.
You know day in and day out and and.
And he's so in tune with it that.
You know it's.
It's like sometimes things take a bad person, but I had to police that a little bit because he gets tired and I kind of know that thresholds around an hour if he wants to sign autographs.
So I stand out and I cut the line off just so he doesn't have to do it so nobody could say, hey, Richard Petty.
Cut me off.
He wouldn't, give me his autograph.
Now I'll do it for him.
You might be that.
Person be the heavy.
The the person you're hanging out with and going to dinner with 200 people or wrapped around the building just to see him for a moment.
A moment you know, and and just this past weekend you know at Richmond and and I saw a guy he had the old Plymouth, Richard Petty shirt on and I'm walking by the guy and and Richard.
Got that new setup where the garage so they can see the haulers.
He can see the cars and and I was walking by the guy I was going to the grid and and I just asked him hey.
Did did you do Richard?
See, you know your shirt, so that's.
A nice shirt.
He said, no, I've never met him and I literally turned around and I pointed, dude, he's sitting right there.
The dude took off running so much there's got a grown man.
Just ran off and and I'm sitting there thinking.
I say I have the privilege.
I've being able to sit with Richard.
I want to every single day you know.
So yeah, I had to.
I had to remind myself you know that how fortunate you know I am.
That that has to be an amazing feeling I can't even.
I I don't know like I can't even figure it out.
But I'll tell you the best part that John yeah, it's sitting around listening 'cause when you see Richard you see Dale Inman and you know his old crew chief, you see all the time, you know.
Somewhere close by and.
When they go out.
Yeah, I I didn't grow up in NASCAR, but hearing those stories and trust me, they're golden.
There's some golden stories that come out and I'm saying like what you know and we know the history of a NASCAR and the the running and you know things like that and the to hear some of those stories or what happened back in the day and and how it changed.
And the history is, it's pretty cool to hear it first hand.
It hasn't been.
Passed down it's from someone who did it.
So it's pretty cool.
So if you hit those cards.
He he'd have to be a wealth of information for the evolution of NASCAR technology.
Be it be it safety or physical technology of anything, how the cars built, handling speed, aerodynamics, 100 different things.
Just to pick that man brain for a few moments, few minutes or an hour or whatever about that is is just is incredible thing.
Right, right in his first story about something you know to that point was, uhm, uhm, when he invented the window net on the on the on the car it came from him, you know he was out in his arms flay I forgot what race it was and next race you know his wife just did a net from here put on the car and next thing you know everybody.
Got one so it's pretty cool to see you know those innovations you know come out in it and come from a NASCAR mandate.
It was a racer.
Just trying to make himself safer then the.
Rest of the.
Sport just kind of picked it up.
You know one of the things I think that we take for granted is that no matter how close or how far away from somebody you are, whether it be NASCAR or whether it be Hollywood, these are just regular people and the king has made himself the king based on doing something that he loves.
Being very personable with the crowd, any time that I've ever seen you know, Richard Petty doing what he does.
He's always got that smile on his face.
He absolutely loves doing what he does.
And from what I can tell.
AJ, you do too.
And I think that you seem like you fit right in.
You talked earlier about having that partnership and making sure that you know sponsors fit in with the team, and I think based on the conversation that we're having here today.
You do that.
Very well with PettyGMS.
Thank you, thank you and even though the science we spoke about, you know Richard, because you know that's where I started.
So we had the GMs side.
We had Maury Gallagher, you know he's also the CEO of Allegiant Airlines and of course you know Mike being my president and and Brian Moffitt.
I executive Vice President, those guys are out there grinding, you know and and.
Yes, you know Maury, you know it comes in.
You know legion.
He's got the stadium out in Las Vegas.
He's got a new resort. He's building down in Florida. You know, sunseeker? So it's a lot 'cause we went from just to 43.
Now we have all these properties. We got the, you know the 42 to 43 we got the 23 to 24 in trucks.
Got the UM?
The 43 in arca. And so it's it's. It's big, but it's also exciting. You know, we've you know we brought him on some some great new partners.
You know this season with focus factor and and black rifle coffee.
Those guys are awesome over there and and so it's some.
You know it's good, you know.
Yeah, we have.
You know, Richard Petty and everybody knows them, but man, you look at all the.
The wins that GMs has had the World championship they went over in trucks, so it's some.
It's been great.
You know, the success that we're running a lot better this season, you know.
That can be contribute to a lot.
You know, we've got, you know, the new team, the new car, new crew chiefs are, you know, in and and again, having that knowledge from you know Mike Beam and the rest of those guys over .
You know GMs, it's been.
It's been a good good season so far, but we're still hungry.
We still need those wins you know to come in, but it's it's baby steps, you know you gotta crawl a little bit before you can.
You know, walk and run but but we're going to get there, you know our new hashtag that we use them on social media is is a is a hashtag.
This is our time.
You know, and that was taken from Maury.
When you know when we announced that you know this is the partnership and Maury his his phrase was this is our moment in time but that's a little bit too long having a hashtag.
We just we don't shorten and say this is our time as a reminder to our team then because again I love what I do.
Do you know half of my office is at a racetrack, but we get tired at times, right?
You know, kind of beats you down.
You know overtime and.
And when I lose a fish, I lose the partner to somebody else.
But that hashtag reminds me this is our time and it keeps me hungry.
And so it's really good to have, you know, painting on one side and Maury and and Mike and GMs on the other side.
It's pretty good.
Yeah, you you don't.
Realize as as a lot of people have and you see photographs.
You see a moment in time.
Right, don't realize.
Today's Wednesday I believe.
Today it's Wednesday, so I don't even know.
But today is history.
I mean, there's something happening there may have there.
Maybe maybe something happening with the petty GM's that you were involved with at a race this weekend or this.
Months are soon coming up that is a pivotal moment in NASCAR and for you, it's a week.
You don't know what's going to happen, so you give it 110% all the time so you can look back on the past and you can see that little moment in time.
And you can say I was there at that event and my actions led to helping this event happen or.
A photograph or whatever, and it's amazing to be in your position and to be in Richard Petty's position to look back in the history of his NASCAR racing career and say, I remember that weekend.
That was the weekend that I felt bad or I was sick.
Or I put on 2 left shoes in the dark or something silly.
But the world doesn't know that, but him he is a person.
He can look back and say, man, I remember that weekend.
I won at Bristol in that weekend and this and that and and it's that's that has to be an amazing feeling.
You know it is and the one that really stands out to me.
You know when you mentioned John is, you know who ran the.
You know the Black Lives Matter car.
We had, Bubba you know, is and I understand people on both sides of the fence.
I get that, you know, I I do.
I grew up in North Carolina.
I get it, you know so.
But I remember that conversation I remember is a Tuesday, Tuesday night.
I remember 10:17, you know, I I. I barely remember that 'cause when I look down and and I see I was calling me at. You know, after 10:00 o'clock at night that's a problem.
Right, so I'm thinking OK, why is he calling me this late?
So and that was the discussion that we had is, you know, running that car, designing that car and getting it out?
There was a Tuesday and it was on the track on Wednesday and I remember every paint scheme by the way that we come up with it.
That is new.
We had to submit it.
To NASCAR for.
Approval and I remember you know.
Send it in and then coming back and you know like yeah I said OK and we knew kind of what it was gonna do but man that was like wow you know it was completely different you know so.
Uhm, that was one of those moments in time.
You know that you mentioned for sure, sure.
Yes, yeah, that's that has to be a memory that's just going to be burned into.
Your brain forever.
It is, you know it's.
But I think.
You know there are those good.
And bad out there, but I think for.
The most part.
You know there's a lot of good I.
Like to think so anyway, you know but.
You know, honestly speaking, I never had a problem before that.
In NASCAR, you know, I'd go around and.
You know I was never disrespected or you know anything and I'm not hard to find him six foot five, so I said that people saw me you.
But I never, you know, had any kind of negativity or anything you know within our sport.
You know at all and again, and I grew up in the South and I get it, but I, I know I honestly never had any any trouble even before it.
Even now I I don't.
Jason, we've got a new ambassador for national get out and Drive day this.
Year I've heard that and I'm pretty excited about it.
Too northeastwheelsevents.com. They'll be a new ambassador for national get out and Drive Day, which is this year, October 2nd, 2022.
And if you want to list your event, you can go to northeastwheelsevents.com and.
Tell everybody about what's coming up in your area.
We've chosen an upcoming show that's listed on NortheastWheelsevents.com. May 1st is a day in May.
That is a show that the proceeds go to the leukemia and lymphoma society. If you're in the Northeast, go to northeastwheelsevents.com, find out about shows.
In your area.
We touched on NASCAR with diecast and and kids and things like that.
How many hoops do the diecast producers have to jump through?
To get your OK to make a car?
Or is it?
I mean there has to be some kind of hoops and things like that.
Or do you run a paint scheme specifically because a diecast entity asked you to?
Or is there any kind of partnership there?
I'll answer as much as I know our VP of Licensing Jim Hannigan runs that operation.
He does it well.
He's a one man wrecking crew when it comes to licensing, but the the design of the car is a is an agreement between the race team and the sponsor, and so the sponsor typically comes out.
Yeah, and again NASCAR's got these rules that we have to live with in and of course our sponsors don't know that you know you know the size and of the the font and all that and and the way it looks.
And where its position.
On the car angles and all that and and our creative guy, you know, Bradley Sisson does a great job with that.
You know getting those cars out so I just come up.
Hey, here's the partner and I pass it off with you guys.
You know, design the car, put it together and and then it gets to Jim.
But it is a lot of hoops that I do know.
'cause I see the paperwork on his desk I see things and we have our weekly meeting.
You know it comes down.
It's kind of a temperature check, you know we'll put out pre sales, you know, and it has to hit a certain number even before an official order goes in.
You know, so then, once that official order goes in, then then the diecast is created and it goes on sale and.
You go to.
This on this website or it it comes to us and it may go to nascar.com.
Or you know something like that, so it's a it is a process for sure up exactly how many hoops.
I don't know.
But it's it's a lot.
It's a lot.
And then of course you have multiple diecast.
You're right, you know.
You know we're mention the tide, so the tide is coming out, that's our active one right now.
Tide and Gain, I know so we'll.
See, but it is some hoops for sure.
Well, yeah, that's always intrigued me about licensing and things like that.
For for making life sized things that are popular in miniature and and making them accurately.
Correct, you know and again, Jim has that eye and and we're spotting them.
You know, we can start a fake a mile away 'cause we just.
As Jim trained.
Us, you know?
So we know who makes what and who doesn't.
We know if.
The the the Petty Blue is off a little bit or or the design 'cause we sat in on this.
None of it, you know.
So we we'll know what goes where, and that's when I look at that as me growing my my history so I know 20 years down the road that's not it 'cause this is what we did that process is is very detailed.
You know how those items get out and it's protected?
You know they're licensed.
You know they're protected, you know Jims.
The the hound dog on that to make sure that the right people have our best interests at heart and and.
But he does listen to, and it's got a great relationship.
You know, with his vendors.
You know what sales positioning, how many they have, you know from shirts to male, female too.
Sometimes even hero card.
You know how do we design?
You know, design those.
You know, do we put Eric picture up there or who?
Put the car or do we do both?
Yeah, there's a lot of decisions have to be made by a lot of people that come in together to one end.
You know we're talking about the positives of it.
Yeah, we made mistake.
Put out something that didn't sell that didn't meet MOQ or something.
And we're like man, you know, we kind of missed the boat.
Well, we're designing something and Bradley or come out with it and we'll see the sneak peek.
You know, it's almost like little bring tear say Oh my God this is I cannot wait for this to get out.
The fans are.
Gonna go crazy, right?
You know with this design.
You know, so we know almost immediately when we hit our home.
Run, you know, then that's when Jim foaming at the mouth.
Hurry up and get it so I can just get into my vendors and he'll leak it to them so he can kind of sort of get.
And sometimes you know the sponsors.
You know they'll they'll come in and they'll meet MOQ for themselves, so that buy up, you know.
Do the .
250 or 500, whatever the.
Number is and then get.
That to give to their employees.
Go to their customers.
And so that car is still in circulation because that's extra branding, right? Even when that race is over, you know, years down the road, somebody is going to have that Diecast 5-6 ten, 20-30 years later.
I've seen lots.
And and it is, you know, because again, I know a lot of our listeners are NASCAR and diecast and toy collector geeks like I am.
And if something is available a limited number.
People are either going to hoard it.
or immediately flip it, right?
It's it's just again.
It's amazing to be in your in your position to be available to be to be part of that at all.
The decision making in that it's amazing.
Yeah, yeah you know we did this last year and you just reminded me.
I forgot to mention that's when you mentioned diecasts.
So we're sitting around and we just had this idea Jim again in in this out of thin air. He's like, you know there was never a diecast really made a race won diecast really made of our Richards' 200 win car. Let's do one.
OK, it's probably the most sold car we've ever had. I know just an idea right? I was like, hey, it was, you know he the 200 win car was there but it wasn't in race.
won condition you know.
So man got the rubs under and the tire marks all that.
You gonna send it out?
Yeah, and the and and that's some of the most popular diecasts are the raced versions.
Or the ones though the win versions with the confetti and stuff all over the top of them and all that are just absolutely amazing.
Yeah, and just for your listeners, I give you know I'll link this for for not being a great listener of, you know, get out and drive if you're in Daytona to you know coming up this season Richard is.
Gonna sign to one.
Wow, wow, that's awesome.
Yeah, yeah so.
Well, there you go.
You heard it first on, get out and Drive podcast.
You could get the inside track.
And just just as a note to is you know when you when you decide that you want to buy that 200 win diecast and whether it be the autographed copy or not.
Like you're going to set that up on a shelf, and I guarantee you it's going to sit by itself for a long time.
Because Richard Petty is the only.
200 win NASCAR driver ever right wow Yep.
It's good stuff.
Yeah, again history history history.
It may be just a Tuesday or just a Sunday for some people, but history.
History, yeah for sure.
Absolutely phrasing amazing.
I mean, I'm enlightened.
First of all, I'm.
I'm just speechless.
Second of all, you know I I got.
I got to meet you and hang out at at SEMA.
We talked about some oddball stuff for a few minutes.
In in the racing junk.
Dot com booth.
I don't know I I can't even begin to put words together.
How cool would be to be in your shoes and that your job is available for people that want to be part of?
Uhm, anything at all?
I mean, if people want to be part of ice skating, hang out with people that ice skate and you'll go somewhere.
If you want to be part of NASCAR.
Call them up and cold call them and say, hey, this is what I do and this is what I'd like to do and I try and promote having the younger generation learn with their mouth shut and that would be the biggest best thing I could ever tell anyone.
And it you you talked about that with the Marines and and that's a very big.
Important thing with the Marines is learning with your.
I'll shut and and the forcing part is irrelevant, but it gives it.
Gives you character.
You know it it does, and it it teaches good habits.
Now when I first got out people you know they're looking my resume and there's almost opening the door.
Oh, you were in the Marines?
Come on and you got the job and you know and the kids you know today you know the youth is out there and you know some maybe you know intimidated by it.
But I I told him.
Look just go for it.
No regrets, you know.
None of that.
Don't waste time.
You know there's things that you know I wish I would have done when I was younger.
You know someone told me that and I'm again look at me.
I didn't have a degree in marketing.
You know, my degrees are something completely different and I'm working with probably.
The most famous NASCAR driver of all the most recognizable for sure, yeah.
I mean, let's go out and and just ask.
But definitely be ready when I asked I was ready, but I wasn't ready.
That makes sense, you know 'cause?
It does, it does you?
You think you're ready?
00:50:10 Speaker 1
Think you're ready?
And steady, but let me tell you the coolest thing, so I go.
If I'm going in for the job interview, so I pull up to the Petty museum and there's a new Camaro out there.
19 just out there doing Donuts right?
And so they tell me to wait so I don't get hit.
And so the Camaro stops.
And and it's already there.
Come across the highway so I'm walking out from the highway.
The Camaro door opens and it's Richard.
He's in his own parking lot. Doing Donuts dude, I mean he's 81 years old. You know, some, like I've made the right choice coming for this job interview.
That right there is.
Worth it until you point to a moment.
In time, right?
I remember vividly my my job interview.
He was doing Donuts in.
The parking lot.
Oh man, I I don't.
I don't know what to say I I don't.
I don't know what to say I'm I'm just I don't know, ridiculous you've you've finally done it.
You've made John speechless.
Ask anybody that's hard.
Yeah, ask anybody.
That's a hard thing to do.
So AJ, I know it was cool talking with you.
How can our NASCAR listeners find out more about?
They can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Tik T.O.K, Instagram at PettyGMS, our website pettygms.com. So I can go over there and.
Get some merchandise as well.
Well that sounds very simple and easy.
You find one thing that I've learned from my brother in law over the years is he's got this neat little saying and that saying is, you'll never soar.
With the Eagles.
If you're going to hang out with.
Turkeys, I think one that kind of ties into this very well to say if you're just going to go out and you're going to hang and do.
Uh, a menial job for the rest of your life.
Well, that is all you will aspire to be, but if you do have those aspirations to get out and do something special with your life.
Go out and say I want to do that job.
I want to work with this certain person or I want to work with a certain company.
You're going to do it because.
It's the power of your mind that says I'm going to get out and make it happen and there's a lot of people who just don't have that motivation today and again, I've said I said it earlier before I see it in you, AJ.
I see that you've got that, and you've had that motivation to get you where you are today, and it's been an absolute pleasure getting to talk with you.
Today, Yep, thank.
You guys you know had a blast.
I appreciate your time and and you know, thanks for.
Having me, I appreciate that.
Cool totally cool man.
Thanks for hanging with us.
Thank you, guys.
You know, Jason, I know you're new to the get out and drive podcast. Don't you have something else on YouTube like every Thursday?
Yeah, we have a podcast style live stream that happens on YouTube called the car guy and six fan show.
It's myself and Grant Thome, who goes by Straight6fan on YouTube and we talk a lot about cars only. It's live if you're not getting enough on the get Out n Drive.
Podcast you can head over to the car guy and six fan show every Thursday evening at 7:00 O'clock Central.
It's a collaborative effort between myself and straight 6 fan, though it alternates from my YouTube channel, it is every Thursday night.
I've been there, it's cool, that's where all.
The cool guys hang out.
It sure is and we look forward to seeing you again.
00:53:32 Tim Jordan
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What Drives You?