peHUB First Read

* Boston Ventures buys into Petty Enterprises, the NASCAR company run by former driver Richard Petty. This is the last we’ll speak of it, as I’m in that 15% of Americans who doesn’t understand the fascination with people driving in a circle for three hours.

* FT is reporting that Goldman’s Tom Connolly is leaving the U.S. leveraged finance group, in order to work in the firm’s private equity group. Well, he’s actually going to run a debt fund — but apparently that qualifies as private equity nowadays.

* Lehman may face pressure to merge.
* Relationships remain strained between the BCE buyers and banks.

* Private equity keeps outperforming, according to the latest State Street PE Index.

* HBO takes equity stake in VC-backed Funny or Die.

* Deal Journal folks have lots of reports from their Deals & Dealmakers Conference.

* peHUB Across America is heading into its home stretch, with an event tonight in New York and tomorrow’s finale at Fenway Park. We’ve opened up a limited number of new tickets for Boston, so go here to get them.