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Maybe both sides are right in Richard Petty, Smithfield soap opera

Relations between Richard Petty Motorsports and Smithfield have definitely gone sour since Smithfield’s announcement of its departure from RPM to Stewart-Haas Racing for next year. The back-and-forth between team and sponsor now has RPM co-owner and face Richard Petty criticizing Smithfield’s business practices and Smithfield calling Petty, a NASCAR legend, a liar and putting down the performance of Petty’s race team.

Fans have taken sides, with one side vowing to ever consume a Smithfield product again, while the other side commits to supporting Smithfield as Smithfield continues to support the sport, just with a different race team.

Maybe we all just need to chill. Have you ever considered the possibility of both sides being right, at least in their own eyes? I wouldn’t be so quick to call out either side, since I wasn’t a witness to anything that went down behind closed doors. I just read the public statements released by both sides Tuesday.

Maybe Petty really did shake the hand of someone from Smithfield who assured him that their sponsor/team relationship would continue into the foreseeable future. But maybe that person didn’t have the power on his/her own to make sure that happened. I’m guessing Smithfield’s decisions are made by a board of people, perhaps by vote, rather than a single person. Maybe the person Petty had this “handshake deal” with did all he/she could to keep the relationship going, and he/she failed. I’m guessing Petty didn’t shake the hands of every person in a Smithfield board room who voted on whether or not to continue the relationship with RPM.

Meanwhile, maybe Smithfield’s version of the story has truth to it, too.

Again, maybe Petty made his “handshake deal” with someone he didn’t realize didn’t have the power to keep the relationship going. Maybe Petty thought someone at Smithfield had more power than he/she actually did. And maybe, Smithfield’s CEO who released the scathing statement on Tuesday wasn’t aware Petty had shaken a hand of some employee within his company when he made his statement.

Again, I’m sure a single person at Smithfield doesn’t have the power to make such a decision as a multi-million dollar expenditure to a NASCAR race team, or to any entity for that matter. Corporations the size of Smithfield are just too big for there to even be a possibility of a valid “handshake deal.” Again, the big financial decisions are made by a group of people, not a single individual, so I really don’t see how a “handshake deal” could even be possible, even with the most ethical of corporations.

We’re not talking about a sole-proprietorship, here. This isn’t the mom-and-pop store down the road.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on September 13, 2017. Filed under Blog by Amanda Vincent,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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