The demise of Petty Enterprise is sad, however, it was very predictable, Richard and Kyle refused to change with the times.
Many other teams have suffered the same fate, Junie Donleavy, Bud Moore, Morgan McClure and many others. Soon, I am afraid, we will add the Woods Brothers to the list.
NASCAR, today, is a far different animal than it was 20, 10 and even 6 years ago. NASCAR is fast becoming more like Major League Baseball and Football than the historic NASCAR. I am afraid that soon we will have about 9 to 10 four car teams with minor league teams in Nation Wide, and Truck and as far down as ARCA and camping world late models. Hell, it is almost there already with the feeder system.
For the first 60 years NASCAR had a sanctioning body Independent Contractor relationship with drivers and car owners, however, with the cost of today's racing it will become more of a franchised relationship with only the invited teams like F-1.
NASCAR has already sent out "Paid Hack" Rick Hendrick attempting to convince people over the radio that racing would be better on many tracks with 36 cars, instead of the current 43 car starting field. Sounds funny that NASCAR and Boy Rick would make these statements since as of today there are only about 32 cars with full season sponsors. I am sure the powers that be in Daytona are thinking the fans will soon tire of the "Start and Park" cars that will become a larger part of NASCAR racing, this year.
I am glad that I had my fun with NASCAR when real drivers drove real cars for the love of racing as much as the money. This is why I have gravitated more to Amature Motorcycle Racing of CCS and WERA, rather than to support the plastic corporate drivers who drive non existent COTs on cookie cutter tracks that look good on TV.
The last funny thing is that quite a few tracks are cutting prices on the cheaper tickets, dam it looks bad on TV to have empty seats. This is why they are doing it, not because they want or feel they need the box of chicken, beer or cokes in the cooler fans of the "Cheap Seats".