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Petty Enterprises: 1949-2009

The sign on the front door at the Petty Enterprises shop says "Closed for inventory today." It may as well say closed for good, writes David Newton.

Updated: January 5, 2009, 3:20 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- The sign on the front door of Petty Enterprises says "Closed for inventory today."

It should say closed for good.

The doors were locked and the lights turned off Wednesday as NASCAR's most storied organization worked to finalize a merger with Gillett Evernham Motorsports located about 20 minutes away in Statesville, N.C.

Only a handful of what once were about 120 employees remained on Monday, and they too have been given notice ...

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