Nascar

Petty's Garage grows with $2.4 million investment as RPM shrinks

during practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.

during practice for the NASCAR XFINITY Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Richard Petty Motorsports, the racing arm of Hall of Famer Richard Petty's empire, may be shrinking. But Petty's Garage, the self-described "high-performance speed shop" that specializes in building and restoring customized muscle cars for collectors and everyday street use, continues to grow.

Petty's Garage has announced it will expand its shop in Level Cross, North Carolina, at the site of the old Petty Enterprises NASCAR operation, with a $2.4 million investment.

The expansion will include renovations to the shop and the addition of 17 new jobs over the next two years. Construction is slated for the first quarter of 2017, the company said in a news release.

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"The expansion will allow the team to continue their high-quality performance parts, restorations and custom builds that are fit for 'The King,' " it added in the release.

The added renovations will increase capacity for manufacturing automotive parts, as well as restoring and modifying cars and specialty builds to decrease the service wait time and meet increasing demand. The added jobs will include technicians, as well as management positions, marketing and sales jobs to the existing Petty's Garage team of 33 employees.

"We're thrilled to announce the expansion of Petty's Garage," said Petty, the owner of Petty's Garage who won seven NASCAR Premier Series championships. "Petty's Garage is the shop where I grew up building race cars and it is very special to me.

"It's great that we've now built the demand to expand our team and increase our capabilities. We want to continue the tradition of renovation and innovation. To add to the economic development of Randolph County (in North Carolina) and bring new jobs to the community is something we're extremely proud of as well."

Petty's Garage was founded by Petty as a way to keep his competitive spirit alive. Petty -- representing the second of four generations of Petty racers -- won 200 NASCAR Premier Series races in his career, a record many believe will never be broken. He also holds the record for most wins in a season in 1967 with 27, including a record-setting 10 consecutive wins.

His seven Premier Series titles are tied with the late Dale Earnhardt and 2016 champion Jimmie Johnson for most of all time.

Petty also is co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports, which announced just four days ago that it would be downsizing from a two-car operation in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series to one with Aric Almirola remaining as driver of the No. 43 Ford. As recently as 2010, it was a four-car operation.