NOTE: many of the links in the past news will be old and may not work
decided it was not worth the time to go thru each one on all the Team Past News pages
Races  that Kyle Petty will miss when he attends his daughters wedding [Dover] and announced six Cup races for TNT:
Dover 6/1 [wedding], Chad McCumbee
Pocono 6/8, Terry Labonte
Michigan 6/15, Labonte
Infineon Raceway 6/22, Labonte
New Hampshire 6/29, Labonte
Daytona 7/5, Labonte
Chicago 7/12 Labonte replaces McCumbee
Races  that Marathon American Spirit Oil is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2008:
Texas 4/6 [McCumbee]
Michigan 6/15 [Terry Labonte]
Indy 7/27 [Labonte]
Watkins Glen 8/10
Races  that the #45 will run a black scheme to honor Adam and the Victory Junction Gang Camp in 2007:
New Hampshire [6/27] (Labonte)
New Hampshire [6/27] (McCumbee)
Races  that Paralyzed Veterans of America is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2008:
Atlanta 3/9 [donated by PE]
Pocono 6/8 [Terry Labonte]
Races  that Wells-Fargo is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2008:
California - 2/24
Las Vegas - 3/2
Phoenix - 4/12
Sonoma - 6/22 [Terry Labonte]
Bristol - 8/23
California - 8/29
Dover - 9/21
Kansas - 9/28
Phoenix - 11/9
Races  that Coca-Cola is scheduled to be the primary sponsor in 2008:
All-Star Race - 5/17
Charlotte - 5/25
2008 Driver schedule for the #45:
Daytona 500 thru Martinsville 3/30: Kyle Petty
Texas - 4/6, Chad McCumbee
Phoenix - 4/12 thru Charlotte - 5/25: Petty
Dover 6/1 [wedding], Chad McCumbee
Pocono 6/8 thru Indy 7/27, Terry Labonte
Pocono 8/3, McCumbee
Watkins Glen 8/10, Petty
Michigan 8/17, Labonte
Bristol 8/23 thru Richmond 9/6, Petty
New Hampshire - 9/14, McCumbee
Dover 9/21, Petty
Kansas 9/28, Petty
Talladega 10/5, Labonte
Charlotte - 10/11, McCumbee
Martinsville 10/19, McCumbee
Atlanta 10/26, McCumbee
Texas 11/2, McCumbee
Phoenix 11/9, Petty
Homestead 11/16, McCumbee
McCumbee to race #45 Dodge at Texas for Petty: Quotes from Kyle Petty: “Chad McCumbee is going to step into the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge this weekend at Texas. Texas is a good track for him. He had a strong run going in the truck race there last year. At Pocono, he did a great job filling in for me when I went into the booth. Everyone at Petty Enterprises believes in Chad and his abilities. Texas gives us a chance to get another good look at Chad without throwing him to the wolves. He should be relaxed because he knows he can get the job done there.”
Quotes from Chad McCumbee: “I feel comfortable around the #45 team. Billy Wilburn and I work well together. We had a great race last year at Pocono. I’m hoping for more of the same this weekend. Kyle is going to be there, giving me advice and pointers. That means a lot to me. I’ve learned a lot from him already. I’m anxious to do my part to help this team. We’re planning on going to Kentucky Speedway on Wednesday for a test. Just to help me get used to the new car. The two races last year were in the old car, so there will be a little bit of an adjustment period there. I don’t have a lot of experience in the old car either, so maybe that will be a positive.”
In 2007, McCumbee competed in two Sprint Cup Series races for Petty Enterprises, with a high finish of 25th coming in the “spring” race at Pocono. McCumbee is currently 13th in the Craftsman Truck Series point standings. McCumbee, 23, won an ARCA event last June at Pocono Raceway on the same weekend that he made his Sprint Cup Series debut in the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. In the Truck race at Texas Motor Speedway last fall, McCumbee started second and led four laps but finished thirteenth after an accident forced him out of the race.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(4-1-2008) Comment here
Petty finds investor? UPDATE: Yahoo! Sports has learned through two independent sources that Richard Petty [#43, #45] will soon announce that he has struck a deal with a major investor that should keep the Petty name in the sport it has been so instrumental in building. While it's obviously good to keep the Petty name alive in NASCAR, it also signals the beginning of the end of an era.(Yahoo!Sports)(3-9-2008) UPDATE: Richard Petty says he is further along in the process of finding an investor for his Petty Enterprises organization than he was last year when he was in talks with George Gillett. “We ain’t signed a thing," Petty said Friday at Martinsville Speedway. “But we are working on it. We’ve agreed to more things, but we’re not there yet.” Petty indicated that his family would still have control of the "racing parts” of the team. He also said the investors have been to the races. An announcement likely won’t come in the next couple of months, but Petty indicated that he is comfortable with where negotiations are. “If we decide to do it today, it’s going to take three months to get all the stuff done – it’s going to be a little while,” Petty said. “We ain’t got down to signing it. Until it’s signed, it’s [hard to predict]. We’ve done the leg work. … I wouldn’t have gotten this far if I haven’t felt pretty confident at this point.”(SceneDaily)(3-28-2008) Comment here
No Petty Racing points swap for Martinsville: Petty Enterprises officials say they will not ask NASCAR to approve a points swap between drivers Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty. That means that Petty will need to qualify based on speed for the March 30 Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway. The team could have swapped points between the drivers, helping get both into the field. Petty is outside the top 35 in owners points this season, with the locked-in field being set based on this season’s points starting with the Goody’s Orange Cool 500. Since Labonte is the 2000 Cup series champion, he would have been eligible for the past champions provisional as the most recent past champion outside the top 35. Instead, the team is not requesting a change, leaving Labonte 18th in points and Petty 40th.(SceneDaily)(3-19-2008) Comment here
Marathon Oil back on the #45: Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil is on the hood of Kyle Petty's #45 Dodge for the first time this season this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway(Petty Racing PR), see images of the scheme on the #45 Team Schemes page.(3-13-2008)
Petty donates two Cup cars to VT: Petty Enterprises has donated two #43 Nextel Cup race cars to the Virginia Institute for Performance Engineering and Research (VIPER). Richard Petty and son Kyle have donated the race cars to VIPER as research tools for mechanical engineering students pursuing graduate degrees. The Petty's decision was prompted by the Nextel Cup's retirement of the cars in preparation for the move to the "Car of Tomorrow" in 2008. Petty Enterprises General Manager Robbie Loomis noted in an ESPN.com article that the first donation would be to Virginia Tech for use at VIPER, primarily due to the research already underway there with a well-known motor sports team. "In this sport we need an area where we can groom and shape engineers to really fit the racing model. There always seems to be a disconnect between the book engineer and the actual applications engineer at the racetrack. So we hope we can bring that together for the future," said Loomis. VIPER Director Steve Southward couldn't agree more. "We are thrilled to have the race cars in the lab for hands-on experience. Working with these cars on our eight-post shaker rig allows our students to put what they learned about chassis engineering in class into practice in a way that leads to real know-how," said Southward. The VIPER program in mechanical engineering began in 2005. The institute offers unique programs, including testing of commercial vehicles.(Danville Register)(3-11-2008) Comment here
Petty could be out of top 35, is points swap with #43 possible? #45-Kyle Petty is optimistic that even though he is 40th in owners points that he could get back into the top 35. He believes his Petty Enterprise Dodge has been better than a year ago and mechanical gremlins have hurt the finishes as he sits 81 points out of the key 35th-place spot. “We had three bad races but I am more encouraged where we’re at than I was last year. and that is no joke,” Petty said Friday. “Our car has driven good at all three races.”
With the top 35 reverting to this year’s owners points following Bristol next week to determine the guaranteed spots in the lineup week to week, Petty does have another option to get back into the top 35 – he could swap owners points with teammate #43-Bobby Labonte. Labonte, as the 2000 Cup champion, would have access to a past champions provisional, if needed. Labonte, who is 14th in owners points, would still keep his driver points [with #44-Dale Jarrett retiring and #2-Kurt Busch 10th in owners points, Labonte would be guaranteed to make the races unless he used up his 6 past champion provisionals]. “It’s something we’ve thought about, but we haven’t talked about it [with everyone],” Petty Enterprises Executive Vice President Robbie Loomis said Sunday. Petty said the decision would be made by Loomis: “I haven’t thought about it because I’m not worried about it,” Petty said. The top-35 situation also could impact who eventually replaces Petty when he steps out of the car for six races to be in the booth for TNT’s Cup telecasts. The team used Chad McCumbee for one race and John Andretti for the others last year and it likely will be at least another month before those plans are settled. “We’re kind of waiting on this point deal to shake out,” Loomis said. “We have had a lot of drivers contact us about doing it. … I’m really, really big on McCumbee.(SceneDaily)(3-10-2008)
Petty's Donate Atlanta Race Sponsorship to Paralyzed Veterans of America: Petty Enterprises will donate the primary sponsorship of their #45 Dodge at this weekend's Kobalt Tools 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway to Paralyzed Veterans of America. "I would like to express my thanks to Richard and Kyle Petty for doing something good for America's paralyzed veterans, not just one day a year but year-round. We really appreciate the fact that you guys care," said Paralyzed Veterans' National President Randy L. Pleva, Sr. Petty Enterprises announced in November 2007 that Paralyzed Veterans will serve as a primary sponsor on the #45 Dodge Avenger for two races during the 2008 Sprint Cup season at the Richmond in May and Pocono in June. The organization will be an associate sponsor on the #45 Dodge for the remaining 34 races of the season. "I'm honored to have the Paralyzed Veterans of America on board with us for this weekend's race in Atlanta," said Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 PVA Dodge. "We need to take care of those who sacrifice so much for us. Paralyzed Veterans is a leading advocate for the improvement in the quality of health care for our veterans. Everyone knows that I care deeply about charitable work, so this is a natural partnership." "The King" Richard Petty sees Paralyzed Veterans as a great way to give back to those who do so much for our way of life. "From helping our vets get the benefits they deserve to promoting buildings that are wheelchair accessible, Paralyzed Veterans sets a great example of how we should treat our service men and women," said Petty. "People say that racecar drivers are heroes, but these guys are the real heroes." For more information visit www.pva.org/petty. Founded in 1946, Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of individuals with spinal cord injury or disease.(Petty Enterprises PR), see images of the car on my #45 Team Schemes page.(3-7-2008) Comment here
PVA.org scheme for Petty at Atlanta: Quotes from Kyle Petty: “I’m honored to have the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) on board with us for this weekend’s race in Atlanta. Their plan was to be a primary sponsor on the #45 Dodge Charger for two other races this year, but they picked up this weekend too. They are a great sponsor, but an even better group of people. We need to take care of those who sacrifice so much for us. The PVA is a leading advocate for the improvement in the quality of health care for our veterans. Everyone knows that I care deeply about charitable work so this is a natural partnership.” Petty’s Victory Invitational Celebrity Golf Tournament, held last weekend in Phoenix, raised $110,000 for the Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Arizona State University College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation.(Petty Racing PR), see images on my #45 Team Schemes page.(3-5-2008)
Victory Junction Gang Camp Coming to Kansas: Kyle and Pattie Petty announced that they have decided to open a second Victory Junction Gang Camp
in Wyandotte County (Kansas). The Pettys have been meeting with business and civic leaders over the last few months and have been studying the sustainability of a camp in
the area. Today's announcement included Pattie Petty, and NASCAR driver and Kansas native Clint Bowyer. "We're excited to be able to make this announcement today because this is such a special place for our family," said Pattie Petty, co-founder of the Camp. "I'd like to thank all of the communities who opened up their arms to welcome us; it has been a difficult decision. I want to thank Clint Bowyer for being here today. Clint has been extremely interested and supportive of building a Victory Junction Gang Camp here in his home state of Kansas. I'd also like to thank the Kansas City Area Development Council, Wyandotte Development Inc., the Unified Government and Board of Public Utilities for all of their hard work and support since we started thinking about building a second Camp in this area."
"I'm excited about today's announcement because it not only means a great deal to Wyandotte County, but also to Kansas Speedway," said Kansas Speedway President Jeff Boerger. "For Kyle and Pattie Petty to choose to build a second Camp in Wyandotte County is a huge boost for our area. I look forward to working with the Pettys as they continue to work to make the Victory Junction Gang Camp a reality in our community."
"The Pettys' decision to open the second Victory Junction Gang Camp in Kansas City is an example of our region's sprit," said Bob Marcusse, president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council. "Kansas City showed the Pettys it wanted this camp." The Pettys envision that this Victory Junction Gang Camp will not only continue the NASCAR-theme but will also include sports themes that are prevalent in the Midwest.(Kansas Speedway PR)(2-22-2008) Comment here.
Full year for McCumbee in 2008, some races in #45: Chad McCumbee is planning to run his third full season in the Craftsman Truck Series [#8 Chevy]. There is the possibility of driving in a Nationwide Series car for Petty Enterprises. There are plans for as many as five Sprint Cup races in Kyle Petty's #45 Dodge. And there is also a chance he could drive in additional Sprint Cup races in a third [#65 Chevy] for CNC/Haas Racing. It all starts this week at Daytona International Speedway. McCumbee will drive the #8 truck for MRD Motorsports in Friday night's Chevy Silverado 250. Though he won a pair of races in the ARCA Re-Max Series in 2007 - the first wins for Petty Enterprises since 1999 - winning at the NASCAR level would add confidence. McCumbee said he has talked within the past 10 days with Petty Enterprises about a Nationwide Series ride. Although nothing has been solidified, McCumbee said the chances of driving in the former Busch Series could improve after the first quarter of the season. McCumbee's time in the #45 Sprint Cup Series car is also undetermined. There are plans for McCumbee to take the wheel for five races while Kyle Petty works from the broadcast booth [TNT from Pocono in June thru Chicago in July]. McCumbee filled in twice for Petty in 2007, finishing 25th at Pocono Raceway on June 10 and 41st at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 21. But Petty's ability to keep the #45 car in the top 35 in points - he finished 35th last year - guaranteeing a spot in the field, could determine how many times McCumbee gets a chance.(Myrtle Beach Sun News)(2-10-2008) Comment here.
Petty Enterprises Completes Move to Mooresville N.C.: Petty Enterprises is the newest resident of Race City, U.S.A. As of January 7, the organization began
operating completely out of their, 115,000 square foot facility in Mooresville, N.C. Since its inception in 1949 through the 2007 season, Petty Enterprises had been based out of Level Cross, N.C. Intertwined in the movement of man and machine is a renewed commitment to winning that produced such a successful legacy. "This is an exciting time to be a part of the Petty Enterprises' family," said Executive Vice President of Race Operations Robbie Loomis. "NASCAR is going in a new direction with the new car, so we felt this was the right time to make our transition. The fact that the move was finished ahead of schedule shows our determination."(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(1-8-2008)
Petty Enterprises Hires Derrick Finley as Technical Director: Petty Enterprises announced the immediate hiring of NASCAR veteran Derrick Finley to the position of technical director. Finley, 36, will oversee the full-time implementation of the Car of Tomorrow for the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge, driven by 2000 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Labonte, and the #45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/PVA Dodge, driven by Kyle Petty. His first order of business will be to accompany both teams to the NASCAR Preseason Thunder testing that will begin February 7th at the Daytona International Speedway. Finley brings over a decade of NASCAR experience to Petty Enterprises. Upon his graduation from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Finley held crew chief and engineering positions with several racing organizations. This gives Finley the unique blend of an engineering education and hands-on knowledge that is highly sought after in today's
world of auto racing. Finley is another integral piece in the growth of Petty Enterprises back to a championship-contending team. The move by the organization to a state-of-the-art shop in Mooresville, N.C. is almost complete. Several new hires will also give the team plenty of resources to compete for wins immediately.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(1-4-2008)
Petty Enterprises migrates south hoping to improve: By Jan. 2, 2008 most of the move for Petty Enterprises will be complete as the NASCAR operation moves its headquarters 74 miles south from Level Cross, N.C., to the recently vacated Robert Yates Racing buildings in Mooresville, N.C., much closer to most of the other top race shops who call North Carolina home. The red moving trucks with the Petty Enterprises logos displayed prominently on the side have been rolling out of 311 Branson Mill Rd. (a Randleman, N.C. mailing address but actually located in Level Cross) for weeks now, heading south toward the RYR complex in Mooresville. On Wednesday, the fabrication shop and machine shop personnel and their equipment were scheduled to complete their move from the old facility to the new. On Dec. 31, the finished fabrication and suspension folks and all their machinery is scheduled to arrive at their new working address. Most of the rest of the Petty operation will move into the new digs by Jan. 2, followed by the assembly and setup teams for the group's two Sprint Cup cars by Jan. 8. The #45 car driven by Kyle Petty, Richard's son, will leave for the first week of testing at Daytona out of Level Cross but will return to the new shop in Mooresville on Jan. 10. The #43 car driven by Bobby Labonte will leave for the second week of Daytona testing out of Level Cross around the same time and return to its new base of operations for good on Jan. 17. Back in Level Cross, Petty wants to make it clear that he isn't vacating the old place completely. "I'm still going to operate out of here, as far as a bunch of stuff that I do," said Richard, owner of 200 of the race wins claimed by Petty Enterprises. "My secretary will still be here and all that stuff. I'll spend a lot of time going back and forth, seeing what's going on at the race shop. But all my scheduling and all my deals will be done out of here, so I'll spend half my time here and half my time over there. I've got some of the deal done for the body shop. I've got a bunch of cars for them to work on and stuff," Richard said. "We might move the museum back up here [from its current location in Randleman]; we might run a [Nationwide Series] car out of here. We don't know yet. Our main deal now is let's leave this place in limbo, and let's go get our [Cup] racecars going down at the new place, our new main deal. Then we'll figure out what we're going to do with what we've got left."(see full story at NASCAR.com)(12-27-2007)
No Petty/GEM merger: For the time being, Petty Enterprises will go it alone in the increasingly costly world of NASCAR. Kyle Petty said Tuesday that Richard Petty has decided not to merge with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Not at this time, at least. Petty Enterprises and Gillett Evernham were said to be discussing a merger or partnership that would have allowed Petty to maintain its identity.(Kansas City Star)(11-28-2007)
PE donating the 'old' cars to schools: Sunday's Ford 400 marks the final time Nextel Cup Series teams will run the standard-model racecar, so theoretically those machines become obsolete the moment the checkered flag falls. Again, theoretically. While most teams plan to sell those cars to ARCA teams for 20 cents on the dollar, or reallocate them to Busch East or NASCAR West driver development programs, Petty Enterprises will take a unique reinvestment approach focused on grooming future racing engineers. "We're going to take some of the old cars and donate them to universities [that have] good engineering programs, and hopefully we can get some return back on from the engineering side," said Robbie Loomis, Petty Enterprises GM. The idea was hatched on a flight home from a race. Loomis was discussing with Richard and Kyle Petty how they'd discard all of those old cars, and the thought of donation was broached. "There's just not a big outlet to sell them to ARCA teams and things like that," Loomis said. "We'll sell some to those teams, but we feel like the biggest benefit would be for the whole community, for the racing world, is to tie into some colleges and universities with great engineering programs." Among those schools, Loomis said, is Virginia Tech, with which he said Dodge Motorsports has already forged a partnership. Loomis said Dodge's technical team is setting up a test facility at Virginia International Raceway that will include an 8-post shock dynamometer for suspension simulation work. "It's right there at the racetrack," he said. "So we're trying to grow it, and for now it worked out because of the school and the location. "Virginia Tech has a great engineering program. You see what they're doing with Dodge -- there's a lot of things to gain there in the future. In this sport we need an area where we can groom and shape engineers to really fit the racing model. There always seems to be a disconnect between the book engineer and the actual applicable engineer at the racetrack. So hopefully we can bring that together for the future." The biggest gain should be in chassis engineering, as it would give students a real-world, hands-on look at NASCAR chassis engineering. While body work on the old cars doesn't truly transfer to the COT, Loomis said chassis engineering does. "There's a couple of schools in North Carolina we'll give to that have great engineering programs, and Virginia Tech, again, because of the ties with Dodge," he said. "And I'm sure there will be a few others calling now."(ESPN.com)(11-18-2007)
Partnership in Petty's hands: The ball is in the court of Richard Petty as to whether there is a merger/partnership between Petty Enterprises and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. George Gillett, the majority owner of GEM, said he hoped to at least maintain a commercial relationship with the Pettys regarding their exchange of engines and chassis.
"Whether it goes further, that's up to Richard,'' Gillett said. Petty announced this past week that he is moving Petty Enterprises from Level Cross, N.C., into the Robert Yates Racing shop in Mooresville, N.C. He said the move is being made independent of talks with any organization wishing to partner with his. Gillett has expressed an interest in combining the two companies in a manner that would allow Petty Enterprises to maintain an identity. He would not say whether talks were ongoing, but did acknowledge a recent trip to the Victory Junction Gang Camp that the Pettys run for chronically ill children. "I don't know if I've cried as an adult as much as I did there,'' Gillett said.(ESPN.com)(11-12-2007)
Sponsor announcement for Petty's at Phoenix UPDATE PVA.org: Richard and Kyle Petty will be making a 2008 sponsorship announcement at Phoenix International Raceway on Friday morning, November 9th.(11-8-2007)
UPDATE: Petty Enterprises announced that the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) will serve as a primary sponsor on the #45 Dodge Avenger for two races during the 2008 Sprint Cup season. The events will be the May race at the Richmond International Raceway and the June race at the Pocono Raceway. The organization will be an associate sponsor on the #45 Dodge for the remaining 34 races of the season. Richard and Kyle Petty, along with PVA members Dianne Brunswick and Benjamin Garcia, were on hand at the Phoenix International Raceway to make the announcement. The PVA chose to make the announcement at Phoenix because it is Veteran's Day weekend. They feel that aligning themselves with an organization like Petty Enterprises would be a great way to honor the more than 19,000 men and women that comprise the membership of the PVA. For more information visit www.pva.org/petty.(Petty Racing/Moore Consulting Group PR)(11-9-2007)
New home for Petty's Cup teams to be announced UPDATE: on Wednesday Petty Enterprises will announce a new location for its Nextel Cup operation in 2008.(PE PR), past rumor has the new shop being Robert Yates Racing [Mooresville, NC], who will move to Concord near Roush Racing.(11-7-2007) UPDATE: The winningest organization in NASCAR announces its first move since its inception in 1949. Richard and Kyle Petty, in efforts to garner continued wins and championships, have agreed to move Petty Enterprises closer to the center of NASCAR activities in the greater Charlotte, North Carolina area. They have reached a multi-year lease agreement for shop space located in the city of Mooresville. The space was formerly occupied by Robert Yates Racing and its two-car Nextel Cup operation. Petty Enterprises, founded by Richard's father, Lee, in 1949 as Lee Petty Engineering, is currently headquartered in Level Cross, North Carolina. At that location, the 60,000-square foot sprawling facility has become one of the most successful in motorsports' history. The organization has 268 Nextel Cup wins, 10 Nextel Cup titles and nine Daytona 500 trophies have been won from inside the hallowed ground. "Level Cross will always be the home of the wins and championships that the Petty family built," said team owner Richard Petty. "It is where Petty Enterprises was founded and where the team has won and built a legacy in NASCAR. Petty Enterprises and Level Cross are the same as Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers, Yankee Stadium and the New York Yankees and Boston Garden and the Boston Celtics." The move, to begin in December and completed by end of the year, includes the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driven by Bobby Labonte and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil/Wells Fargo/Tire Kingdom Dodge driven by Kyle Petty. It's another move in the forward direction since 2006 when Robbie Loomis was named Vice President of Race Operations and 2000 Nextel Cup champion Bobby Labonte was announced as driver of the famed 43 Dodge. It has not yet been determined how the current location of Petty Enterprises will be used in 2008.(Petty Enterprises PR)(11-7-2007)
McCumbee Could Attempt Homestead; Will Drive 5 Cup Races Next Year: Petty Enterprises General Manager Jerry Freeze said Chad McCumbee will attempt to qualify a third Petty Enterprises car for the season-ending Nextel Cup Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, or try to qualify for the Busch Series race that weekend. "If this Busch opportunity comes through, we may let him focus on that, along with his Truck Series commitment," Freeze said. "One way or the other, we'll run him at Homestead." McCumbee is likely to stick with Petty Enterprises next season. Freeze said there are plans for Petty to partner with an existing Busch team to have McCumbee drive in 22-24 races. McCumbee is also penciled in to drive Kyle Petty's Nextel Cup car for the five races he'll again skip to jump into the broadcast booth. Plus, there may be opportunities to qualify for a handful of other Cup races in a third Petty car without jeopardizing his rookie status.(Myrtle Beach Sun)(10-21-2007)
Labonte & Petty Could Switch Cars: Bobby Labonte could find himself in the #45 instead of the 43 at Petty Enterprises should Kyle Petty fall out of the top 35 in Nextel Cup owners' points over the next five weeks. Petty said he would consider switching cars with his teammate so both would be guaranteed a starting spot, him on Labonte's points [17th] and Labonte on his past champion's provisional, the remainder of this season. That also could help for next season if Labonte could race the #45 back into the top 35 that will be guaranteed a spot the first five races of 2008. "Yeah, we'd consider it," Petty said Saturday between practices at Martinsville Speedway. "I'm not gonna lie. Look, as long as they don't change the rules and the rulebook is written that way, we're in the business to run racecars. We have two racecars, the 43 and 45. Whatever it takes to get those in, I don't see the issue with it."(ESPN.com)(10-21-2007)
Petty to Move Into Top-Five in Career Starts: At Martinsville Speedway, #45-Kyle Petty becomes the driver with the fifth most starts all-time. He enters this weekend tied with Darrell Waltrip with 809 career starts. Petty has made 53 starts at Martinsville. He has five top-five and 15 top-ten finishes at the track. He also grabbed one pole at Martinsville,
which came in 1992. Petty's 23,817 laps completed at Martinsville are the most of any track in his career.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(10-16-2007)
GEM-Petty deal on hold? Alex Gillett still hopes to work out a partnership with Petty Enterprises, although he admits talks have slowed. "What you've got is one of the most storied people in the sport," the co-owner of Gillett Evernham Motorsports said. "There is a lot of emotion attached to what they want to do in the future and who they want to move into the future with. I can respect that. If that means give them space or not space. We did it with Ray." Negotiations to merge Gillett with owner Ray Evernham lasted at least four months longer than anticipated because an underground storage tank had to first be removed from Evernham's property in Statesville, N.C., for environmental reasons. "A lot of people criticized us for taking too long to close," Gillett said. "Well, nobody asked us the question of why. Each one of these has a life cycle. You can't push it." Meanwhile, Gillett said GEM officials are talking to two or three drivers to replace Scott Riggs in the #10 next season. He acknowledged that Canadian driver Patrick Carpentier is a strong candidate even though he has only one Nextel Cup start. David Stremme, who was not re-signed by Chip Ganassi Racing, also is a candidate. "I'm not sure if you bring somebody like a Patrick Carpentier and throw him right into Nextel Cup," Gillett said. "So we've got some other good options in the No. 10 car we're exploring. We'll see over the next couple of weeks where that ends up."(ESPN.cpm)(10-8-2007)
No Penalty for Petty: NASCAR will not penalize Kyle Petty for slapping the visor of Denny Hamlin in the garage area following their accident in Sunday's Dodge Dealers 400, a NASCAR spokesman said.(SceneDaily.com)(9-27-2007)
New Spotter for Kyle Petty: Veteran Nextel Cup spotter and crew member, Roman Pemberton will be taking over the spotting duties for the #45 Dodge's driven by Kyle Petty, for the remainder of the season, beginning with this weekend's race at the Kansas Speedway. Pemberton, an 18 year veteran of the sport has been serving as crew chief consultant and spotter the past few months for driver A.J. Frank in the Hooters Pro Cup series. Frank, taking advantage of recent Cup layoffs, put Pemberton to work the over the final few races and it paid off right away with his best run of the season, a second place finish at Lake Erie Speedway and followed that with a pair of top tens. Despite the enjoyment of the less pressured Hooters Pro Cup, Pemberton is glad to be back home at the Nextel Cup level. "I'm very excited to get back a top the spotters stand and try to help Kyle the 45 team and Petty enterprises close out the season on a positive note. Incidentally, Sunday will be the first time in three years that all four Pemberton brothers, Robin, VP of Competition for NASCAR, Ryan Pemberton, Crew chief for DEI driver's Mark Martin and Eric Almirola and DIRECTV and SPEED television personality Randy Pemberton and Youngest brother Roman will be in the NASCAR Garage at the same time.(PR)(9-26-2007)
Petty vs. Hamlin...the quotes: on lap 204 of the Dodge Dealers at Dover International Speedway, #11-Hamlin got into #45-Petty, sending Petty spinning on the frontstretch and into the inside wall..so in the garage minutes after both cars headed to the garage, Petty came over to Hamlin, who was in the #11 while the crew is working on the car, Petty took the window net down and yelled and pointed at Hamlin, gave Hamlin the one finger salute [which was blurred by ABC], NASCAR Officials tired to block Petty, then Hamlin had enough when Petty touched his helmet, which Hamlin removed and got out the car, where he was restrained by his crew and NASCAR officials, then ABC cut back to the race. Comments made by each sent out by respective manufacture reps:
KYLE PETTY (#45 Wells Fargo Dodge Avenger) ON THE ACCIDENT “We were a little bit loose. I guess it’s my fault. I watched the Busch race yesterday and I knew Denny (Hamlin) was sick, I just didn’t know he was hallucinating and needed three lanes to get up off the corner because he ran all over us. I guess he is in a race by himself.”
ON HIS WORDS WITH HAMLIN “I just told him ‘he is in the Chase and I’m not’. That’s how simple it is. It’s a shame that a guy with that much talent has to drive like that. We’ve seen it a lot. We’ve seen it all year long. Even his teammate Tony Stewart talked about it. I think it pretty much speaks for itself.”(Dodge Motorsports PR) AND DENNY HAMLIN (#11 Fedex Ground Inpala SS - Finished 38th) DID YOU GIVE SO MUCH IN THE BUSCH RACE YESTERDAY THAT YOU WEREN'T FOCUSED TODAY? "That definitely wasn't an issue. The biggest thing is that I know Kyle (Petty) gets run over a lot and a lot of the reason is that he's so far off the pace. I firmly believe in my heart that he was trying to get out of the way. But I was right there on his bumper on the inside of him and I think he was trying to pull low. When he did, he checked up to pull
low. You can't do that when someone's right on you and I think that's the reason that stuff happens. You've got a car two seconds off the pace or whatever it may be. We're in a clutter of leaders and he's racing his own little battle and some days it's your day and some days it's not. Get out of the way."
WHAT DID YOU SAY TO KYLE PETTY AND WHAT DID HE SAY TO YOU AT YOUR CAR WINDOW? "He just said it wasn't racing. And absolutely it wasn't racing. I wasn't racing him. There was no reason. Let's look back at my career. I've never wrecked anyone my entire career has anybody spun off my front bumper. It's not like I'm a guy who runs into everybody. You've just got to use your brain. You've got to calm down. This is not over for us. A lot of guys had trouble today and we're going to bounce back from this. This is just one step of this 10-week chase."
IN HINDSIGHT, DO YOU THINK YOU WERE TOO AGGRESSIVE WITH HIM (PETTY) AT THAT POINT? "There was no reason for me to be aggressive at all. I had the 07 a car
length or two behind, but I can give up a spot. I have no problem in that. I'd seen the way he had been running the laps before and he had been going up to the wall. I was assuming he was going to do the same thing but instead he came off the corner and he slowed up right off my front bumper. It's a mistake whether it's on my part or his part. That's what happens. You can't have two cars that distinguished in speed and expect them to race near each other."
WERE YOU SURPRISED AT PETTY'S REACTION? "Yeah, I think a lot of it was his frustration over this whole top 35 thing, but we're racing for bigger and better things. Hopefully, one
day, if they get it turned around, I can exchange the favor. But right now, we're the guys racing for the championship, so you know, heed a little bit."
WHAT SET YOU OFF TO HAVE YOU JUMP OUT OF YOUR CAR LIKE THAT WHEN YOU WERE WAITING FOR THE CREW TO FIX THE CAR? "Don't smack me on the helmet. You smack me on the helmet and I'm going to punch you in the face, bottom line. So I'd like for him (Kyle Petty) to call me sometime this week, before next week."
IS THERE AN UNWRITTEN RULE ABOUT TAKING YOUR WINDOW NET DOWN OR COMING TO YOUR CAR? "You don't come to my car; you don't come to my pit. You meet me
somewhere else and we'll settle it. I have the utmost respect for Kyle, but don't lay your hands on my head."
WHY DID HE DO THAT? DID YOU SAY SOMETHING BACK TO HIM? "I did not say one word to him. I asked him to come over and talk to me. He chose to slap my helmet. I have a short fuse. Don't do that. I didn't say one word to him (Petty) in the garage. All I just said wad 'Come here and let me talk to you about it'. He chose to slap my helmet, you know, in hindsight, I should have grabbed his throat."(GM Racing PR)(9-23-2007)
The King talks about possible deal with Gillett: Petty Enterprises is not merging with Gillett Evernham Motorsports. But the Petty family and the Gillett family are exploring the possibility of a partnership. Richard Petty said Friday that his family's company needs a partner to remain competitive and he is further along in talks with George Gillett than any other potential partner in the past. "We're probably halfway there," said Petty, who owns Petty Enterprises. "We're doing a lot of talking, I'll put it that way. We have not signed any papers." When asked if a deal could be done by the start of next season, Petty said "that's a good question" and "we're way on down the road, but we don't know how far down the road we are. Petty said he envisions that if he and Gillett partner at Petty Enterprises, the team would then purchase chassis, and bodies from GEM as well as to continue to buy engines from the team. The two teams, though, would remain as separate companies. There are plenty of sticking points, including how many teams would be in the Petty fold. Gillett could not have an ownership stake in three cars at GEM (#9 with Kasey Kahne, #19 with Elliott Sadler, #10 with Scott Riggs) and then two cars in Petty (#43 with Bobby Labonte, #45 with Kyle Petty) - he would be over the four-team limit. "We at Petty Enterprises are not looking to do away with any of our cars," Petty said. "So he's caught in some situations and we're caught in some situations. ... You never look at going backwards. Even with getting all the engineering and everything from other people, you need something to bounce your people off of, so that's the reason that I would think you would have to have ... two cars." When asked if he was forced to choose between his car numbers, Petty said the 43 would always be with his team but "we haven't gotten that far along" in the discussions. For Petty, the deal is difficult and he called emotional issues about selling his team "half the battle right now." "The deal with us is that we're the Petty name," said Petty, whose team started when NASCAR started in 1949. "We do Petty Enterprises. We've got the Richard Petty Driving Experience. We've got Victory Junction Gang Camp. That's all encompassed, that's all basically one deal. For now, GEM and Petty will still share information as they have for much of this season.(SceneDaily.com)(9-23-2007)
More on the GEM/Petty 'merger': George Gillett Jr., the majority owner of Gillett Evernham Motorsports, has been a big fan of seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Richard Petty for more than 30 years. Now he wants to be business partners. Gillett is actively pursuing a merger that would make Petty Enterprises and GEM a four-car team. Sources close to the situation say the merger likely would happen before the start of the 2008 Sprint Cup season, with Petty likely moving his two-car operation of #43-Bobby Labonte and #45-Kyle Petty to GEM's Statesville [NC] facility. Gillett would only confirm that there have been discussions. "He's a man of great integrity, honesty," Gillett said of Petty. "His values are something like I've never seen. ... I'd love to figure out a way to be associated with him. I'm not prepared to say any more than that today. Richard and I are good friends." GEM minority owner Ray Evernham said such a deal would make both organizations stronger. "From my point of view, I would like to see that happen," Evernham said of the merger. "For me, the sooner the better." Evernham has been looking to expand to four teams. The difference here, he said, is he would have four good teams that are solidly in the top 35 for next season. Gillett said expansion is the only way to keep up, and not just in terms of teams. He is looking to build a large shop in the Charlotte area that will become a destination for racing fans. "Ray Evernham has every bit of technical skill and genius as the best of any one of those programs," he said of Evernham, who won three Cup titles as Gordon's crew chief. "So we will deploy ourselves in a way that gives us as much competitive strength as is possible to do within the rules." To stay within those rules, specifically NASCAR's four-car limit, GEM would have to lose one of its three teams to merge with Petty. The #10 driven by Scott Riggs is the likely target. Riggs is 37th in [drivers and owners] points, well behind Kahne in 22nd [drivers] and Elliott Sadler in 25th [drivers]. Gillett acknowledged that he would like to get more seat time for Patrick Carpentier, who finished 22nd when he replaced Riggs at the Watkins Glen road course last month. "We had our first test with him yesterday on an oval," [Kentucky Speedway] he said. "We're going over the data. ... I can tell you he looked very good and very comfortable on the track. He was competitive. It doesn't appear there will be any significant learning curve." Regardless, to merge with Petty Enterprises there would be no room for Carpentier in a Cup car. "It's all about the number of cars," Gillett said. "We would have to get rid of one of the cars here. Whether 'get rid of' means mothball or have it aligned with another team ... there are a number of teams out there that don't have four cars, several of whom we already have relationships with." GEM and Petty, which would remain under the Petty Enterprises umbrella, potentially could have the knowledge of six to eight cars under that scenario as Roush Fenway Racing plans to do under its partnership with Yates Racing. "As you can see, we've got technical excellence, a commitment to technology and upstanding people," Gillett said. "We need to exploit that. That can be exploited in any number of ways."(ESPN.com), on has to wonder..... what about Petty Enterprises long standing non-alcohol sponsorship policy? neither the #43-Labonte or #45-Petty cars carry any form of alcohol [beer or spirits] decals/sponsorship - like the Bud Pole award. How would teaming up with GEM and the #9 Budweiser sponsorship effect this policy?(9-19-2007)
Latest on the GEM-Petty merger: A possible merger between Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Enterprises would benefit both teams from a competition standpoint, Petty vice president of racing operations Robbie Loomis said Saturday. In a season of mergers, GEM and Petty are just the latest to talk about combining their teams and resources. From Loomis' view on the competition side, sharing engineering would only help. Loomis pointed to the agreement between Roush Fenway Racing and Yates Racing - in which the teams will share information, cars and motors - as one that might work for Petty and GEM. "I think that's the same thing we're trying," he said. "The model of the sport has been created by NASCAR, the framework has been set with the rules. And now we're trying to figure out how to make Petty Enterprises bigger and larger." Petty already gets its engines from GEM. Evernham, who is focused more on the racing and less on the business since selling a majority share of his company to George Gillett, said he would welcome the opportunity to work with the Pettys and "especially Bobby Labonte." "There's obviously discussions going on," he said. "I don't know exactly where they're at. ... I think it would be a good thing for both organizations." Loomis said in the year and a half since he returned to the Petty organization, he'd been approached by three or four teams about doing various deals with the 43 car in particular. "That's what everybody is interested in, they're interested in the Petty brand and the 43," he said. "It's such a clean thing. You look at the things with Kyle Petty and Victory Junction Gang [Camp] and everything they stand for, their worth is worth a lot more than what's on the race track. And what I want to do is make sure we've got the money and the tools to operate on the race track. Right now we're operating on half to a third of the budget that the big teams are operating on, so I want to make sure that we're going to get the money and the financing to carry the company forward and take it to the next level while we still keep what I call the 'P' in the Petty - the things off the track that makes Petty feel good."(SceneDaily.com)(9-16-2007)
GEM/Petty to merge? Petty Enterprises, NASCAR's most storied organization, is open to a change of ownership. The two-car operation owned by seven-time champion Richard Petty is having discussions with Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett Jr. that would allow it to merge with Gillett Evernham Motorsports and form a four-car Nextel Cup organization. "They have quoted some numbers,'' Kyle Petty, the CEO of Petty Enterprises and driver of the #45 Dodge, said on Friday at Richmond International Raceway. Gillett recently purchased majority ownership of Evernham Motorsports, now known as Gillett Evernham Motorsports. Petty said Gillett has floated an offer in which the companies would merge but allow Petty Enterprises to continue working under its flagship name. For that to happen, Gillett Evernham Motorsports would have to drop one of its three teams to comply with NASCAR's cap of four cars. The #10 car of Scott Riggs would be the most likely victim. Riggs is out of the top 35 in owner's points that automatically qualify for races and his contract is up after this season. Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler are solidly in the top 35 in owner's points with Kahne at 22 and Sadler at 28. Both Petty Enterprises cars also are in the top 35 with Bobby Labonte at 18 and Kyle Petty at 34. Evernham said there's no doubt the proper business model is for a four-car operation. Because he already has a relationship with the Pettys, supplying the organization with engines and technical support, he would be all for a merger. "I think we could combine the organizations and be stronger,'' he said. "How the car numbers work, I don't know.'' Petty said he is far from a deal with Gillett, which took more than six months to finalize his deal with Evernham, or any suitor. Should a merger with Gillett occur, Petty said the organization would consider every option from relocating to Salisbury, N.C., as has been discussed regardless to moving to Evernham's shop in Statesville, N.C. "We've been in this business 60 years,'' Petty said. "When you look at it this just seems to be the trend of the moment. Do you jump on the trend of the moment or do you stay the course? We've been the same course for 60 years. Whether that's the right course or wrong course I'm not going to say.''(ESPN.com)(9-8-2007)
Music City Motorplex to name race for Adam Petty: The Music City Motorplex will honor Adam Petty, who was killed in 2000 while practicing for a Busch Series race, during the 25th annual All-American 400. The All-American 400, scheduled for Nov. 2-4, is an ASA Late Model Series race which pits stockcar drivers from the North and South against one another. Pattie Petty said she and her husband, Kyle Petty, were honored by the motorplex's decision to name the race for their son. The Adam Petty Memorial All-American 400 will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Associated Press/NASCAR.com)(9-1-2007)
Petty back in the #45 at California: This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Wells Fargo Dodge team will travel west to the two-mile California Speedway for Sunday's Sharp Aquos 500. Petty will be making his return to the #45 Dodge after missing the past two weeks with a broken hand suffered at Watkins Glen International. Petty regrets the episode, but it showed the racing community that he still has that competitive fire burning. Petty remains determined to keep the team inside the top-35 in owner points. In 14 starts at California, Petty has notched two top-20 finishes. On a historical note, Petty is the only driver entered this weekend that competed in the final race at Ontario Motor Speedway in 1980. Ontario was the first oval track foray by NASCAR into southern California. Comments from Petty as he prepares for Sunday's California 500: "Yea, I think it's going to be good. We're going to get out there in the first practice session and just feel out the hand. Right now, it feels pretty good. I don't expect I will have any problems. My doctors worked hard repairing the bone that was broken. I really wanted to race last weekend at Bristol, but it wasn't a good idea. Bristol is a tough track on you physically. California is much easier on your body. Chad (McCumbee) and Kenny (Wallace) did a great job for me while I healed. Everyone at Petty Enterprises appreciate their efforts. We put both guys, on a short notice, in the car. They were in a tough position, but they helped me out. That was good."(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(8-28-2007)
Kenny Wallace in the #45 at Bristol UPDATE: Kenny Wallace announced on Tuesday that he will race in the Nextel Cup Series race at Bristol motor Speedway in the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge, replacing the injured Kyle Petty. This is currently a one race deal, as Petty is expected to make a full recovery form an injured hand. Kenny says that he is excited and grateful for the opportunity. “I’m very honored that Kyle Petty has asked me to fill in at Bristol,” Kenny says. “ It always makes a driver feel good when someone recognizes their talent. I’m sure Kyle will be ready for California, so this is a one race deal.”(Kenny Wallace site)(8-22-2007) UPDATE: Kenny Wallace will fill in for Kyle Petty in the #45 Wells Fargo Dodge in Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at the .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway. Petty's broken hand will again keep him out of the driver's seat for the second consecutive week. Petty is hopeful to return to the car at the California Speedway. Petty is still recovering from a broken hand suffered at Watkins Glen International. Petty had successful surgery on the hand and it continues to heal. "It's disappointing not to be able to race at Bristol," said Petty. "I had
every intention of getting back at Bristol, but I have to let the hand heal. You can't rush this along. Kenny is a good friend and a talented driver. I'm confident that he'll do a great job for our team and sponsors this weekend."(Petty Racing/MCG Sports PR)(8-22-2007)
Wells Fargo re-ups with Petty: been told that Wells Fargo has extended its contract with Petty Enterprises for an additional year. They will be the primary sponsor for 12 races on the #45 in 2008 and associate sponsor positions for remaining races for the #45 and for all 36 races for the #43.(8-21-2007)
Petty breaks hand: McCumbee to Drive at Michigan Austin Petty co-hosted "The Morning Drive" today on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio with Marty Snider. During the show, Austin revealed that his father, Kyle, injured his hand this weekend at Watkins Glen.
Austin Petty: "I'm not going to disclose all the information but there was an incident between his fist and a wall and a broken bone."
Marty Snider: "Is he OK? [Is] everything alright?"
Austin Petty: "I think so. I think they may have to do a little surgery on it on Tuesday. I don't know the full details."
Marty Snider: "He'll be OK to race at Michigan though, right?"
Austin Petty: "That's what I'm hearing."
"The Morning Drive" airs every weekday (7 - 11am/et) exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128.
Tony Stewart Live, which Stewart hosts with pit road reporter Matt Yocum, will air live tonight, August 13, from 8:00-10:00pm/et exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio channel 128. Stewart will talk about his third victory of the season live tonight.(8-13-2007) MORE: Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge suffered a broken hand as a result of hitting the butt of his hand on a door inside the hauler after a lap 69 incident in Sunday's Centurion Boats at The Glen at the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International road course. Petty was treated and released in the infield care center during Sunday's event. Petty flew back to his home in North Carolina where he was treated by a doctor who determined that the hand was broken.(Moore Consulting Group PR)(8-13-2007) UPDATE: Chad McCumbee will substitute for Kyle Petty in the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge for Sunday’s 3M Performance 400 at the Michigan. Petty completed a successful surgery on his hand on Tuesday in North Carolina. Petty is expected to return to the driver’s seat for next week’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.(Petty PR)(8-15-2007)
McCumbee to Petty Busch ride in 2008? Ray Dunlap reported before the Truck Series race at Nashville on SPEED that Chad McCumbee [who drives the #07] is expected to be in a Petty Enterprises Busch Series ride for the 2008 season. Dunlap also said that McCumbee will not finish out the 2007 season with #07 Greenlight Racing and that he and his sponsor will be moving to another team before the next race at Bristol. [Also hearing from sources that McCumbee will fill in for Kyle Petty in his Cup car one more time this season - no word on which race....New Hampshire? plus could run some Cup races for Petty when Kyle does TV for TNT in 2008](8-12-2007)
Dodge Reconfirms Commitment to NASCAR: Mike Delahanty, senior manager of the Dodge Motorsports program, confirmed on Saturday at Pocono Raceway the manufacturer's long-term intent to remain in the series and an extension of Petty Enterprises' deal with Dodge. He also said its flagship Evernham Motorsports cars might have a different look next season. Cerberus Capital Management, an investment group, this week finalized its agreement to split the Chrysler brands away from DaimlerChrysler, but Delahanty said Dodge's motorsports involvement would not be affected, with the plan for four teams to run 10 cars next season. Delahanty declined to go into the details of rumors that connect Ray Evernham's team to possible deals with commercial sponsors such as Budweiser or a Masterfoods brand such as Snickers -- but said the #9 and 19 Dodges, which have carried Dodge Dealers and UAW sponsorship since the newest program began in 2001, might look different next season.(NASCAR.com)(8-5-2007)
Petty to Make 800th Career Start: This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge team head to the historic 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for Sunday's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. The annual event at IMS has quickly risen to the ranks of one of the most prestigious events on the Nextel Cup schedule. Petty will join the 800 start club when he takes the green flag for the Allstate 400. Only six drivers have reached this milestone number of starts. Petty's father, "The King" Richard Petty, sits atop the list with 1,185 starts. This weekend also marks Petty's return to the #45 Dodge after his brief stint in the TNT Sports booth. Chad McCumbee and John Andretti filled in for Petty in his absence. Petty is one of 12 drivers entered in the 2007 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard that participated in the very first event in 1994. Petty finished 26th in this event in 2006.(Petty Racing PR)(7-25-2007)
John Andretti to Lend Voice to IMS Radio Network: NASCAR and IRL driver John Andretti will join the IMS Radio Network as a broadcaster this Sunday for the Allstate 400 at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway [NOTE: he will NOT run in the new #08 Dodge as the team announced]. The Andretti name is synonymous with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Andretti, born in Pennsylvania, moved to Indianapolis and went to high school only miles from the speedway. In 1994, he made history by becoming the first driver to complete the Memorial Day "double" competing in the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Andretti made his return to the Indianapolis 500 this year. Andretti, who recently completed a four race stretch in the #45 Dodge for Petty Enterprises, competed in this year's Indianapolis 500 after a 13 year hiatus for Panther Racing and sponsor Camping World. He is, again, looking forward to coming back to Indy this season. IMS Radio coverage of the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard begins at 1:00pm/et.(Petty Racing PR)(7-24-2007)
Drivers Have Different Plans for Off Week: The last open weekend on the Nextel Cup schedule until Thanksgiving means different things to different drivers as they gear up for a stretch of 17 races without a break starting July 29 in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard.
Jeff Gordon is going to pack up his family car for a short road trip with wife Ingrid and month-old daughter Ella Sofia. Jimmie Johnson and wife Chandra are flying to Europe. Kyle Petty is getting on a motorcycle to join his annual charity ride. Elliott Sadler is heading to the golf course. And several drivers will be driving, either in a Busch Series race in suburban St. Louis or, in Tony Stewart's case, at a time and place still to be determined.(Indianapolis Star)(7-17-2007) AND: Tony Steweart says he is going to Canada to go fishing for his vacation this weekend. See my Driver Appearances page for more on some drivers running races(7-17-2007)
Petty Racing looks to move shop in 2009: Petty Enterprises Vice President of Racing Operations Robbie Loomis said the team is making progress on its goal to move from its long-time home but likely won't leave it's Randleman, N.C., base until 2009. "We're definitely making a lot of progress," Loomis said. "We've looked at more land and sites and things. The scope and the size of the project has kind of changed a little bit. We were originally looking for 50-75 acres, and now we're looking for a lot more land than that." Loomis said the team would eventually like to expand to four cars, and there needs to be enough land to add shop space to accommodate the increased number of teams. The two-car team is now housed in a sprawling campus in Randleman, about 90 miles from Charlotte, N.C., the home of most NASCAR teams. "We're still trying to identify exactly where the best place to be for the land for all the employees that we have now and for the ones [who would join later]," Loomis said. That appears to be Salisbury, N.C., about halfway between Randleman and Charlotte. "Our main targeted area has been Salisbury," Loomis said. "We feel that's a good location to grow. But right now, there's a lot of things involved in making that next step and making the commitment to get the land." Loomis did say the team would "for sure" be in a new facility for the 2009 season but didn't speculate on exactly when a move would be made.(SceneDaily.com)(7-6-2007)
No Petty's at Daytona 1st time since 1965: The Pepsi 400 will mark the first time a Petty hasn't competed in a Nextel Cup Series race at DIS since 1965. Kyle Petty will serve as a broadcaster for TNT and has put former Pepsi 400 champion John Andretti in his #45 Dodge. A Petty has always been entered in a Cup race at DIS with exception of 1961 and 1965. In 1965, Chrysler was boycotting NASCAR events. In 1961, both Lee and Richard Petty wrecked in the Daytona 500 qualifying races and Richard skipped the Pepsi 400 to compete in a NASCAR Eastern Series late model race in Pennsylvania.(DIS PR)(7-3-2007)
Petty comments about slip of cuss word: UPDATE: TNT's Kyle Petty raced Sunday in the Toyota/Save Mart 350 even as he served an on-air analyst. When he got in an accident on the first lap that also involved Matt Kenseth and Marc Goossens, viewers saw a replay in which the driver/analyst seemed to yell out an expletive — although TNT, during the race, said it wasn't sure it came from Petty rather than from mikes in other drivers' cars. But Petty wants it clear it was his profanity: "I'm sorry it got as far as everyone's living room. But when an incident happens that early in the race and it's unexpected, what I said pretty much described it."(USA Today)(6-29-2007) UPDATE: #45-Kyle Petty will not face any sanctions from NASCAR for uttering the “f-word” on television last week during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. Petty, who was serving as an in-car commentator for TNT Sports as well as driver last week, uttered the expletive during the opening laps of the race when a crash occurred right in front of him. Inexplicably, TNT aired the comment not live, but on replay, after coming back from commercial. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Friday that due to a number of mitigating factors, NASCAR won’t fine Petty points and/or money as the sanctioning body did to Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in 2004 after he uttered an obscenity in victory lane. Poston said the mitigating factors included that Petty wasn’t aware he was on TV at the time, that the clip wasn’t live but shown and replay, and the fact that the FCC recently loosened its own regulations regarding on-air obscenities.(SPEEDtv.com)(6-30-2007)
Petty/Victory Junction Gang Camp Featured on TV This Weekend: Kyle and Pattie Petty, founders of the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman (N.C.), will be featured on two separate national broadcasts this weekend. NBC Nightly News recently toured the camp and will feature the facility on tonight’s national news broadcast. TNT Sports also spent time at the camp this past weekend. Kyle, Pattie and Austin Petty took TNT cameras throughout the camp as they gave viewers an in-depth look at what happens every day at the camp. The piece is scheduled to air this Sunday during TNT’s pre-race show.(Petty Racing PR)(6-29-2007)
Andretti Ready for Avenger Debut: John Andretti, for the first time, will step behind the wheel of a Dodge Avenger in competition. Andretti will race the Lenox Tools 300 this Sunday at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway. Andretti will pilot the #45 Wells Fargo Dodge Avenger in his second start for Petty Enterprises this season. Andretti is filling in for Kyle Petty who returns to the TNT television booth this weekend. Andretti has had some time to get familiar with the new cars. The team recently tested at the Milwaukee Mile in preparation for Sunday's race.(Petty Racing PR)(6-27-2007)
Petty in-car analyst...oops: In what was billed as the first time a driver in a top-tier NASCAR race simultaneously served as a TV analyst on race coverage, TNT's #45-Kyle Petty took viewers a little too close to the action in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350.
After early glitches — TNT's other announcers initially couldn't get through to Petty and when they did he said they were breaking up on him — the multitasking seemed promising. Said Petty, at the green flag, "Everybody is a passenger today." Too true. Driver #17-Matt Kenseth and Petty collided in the second lap in an accident that included driver #91-Marc Goossens. TNT analyst Wally Dallenbach speculated Petty "had no clue" Kenseth was nosing in on him. On a replay of the view out of Petty's windshield, the driver-analyst seemed to confirm that: As Kenseth came into view, viewers heard a clear exclamation of surprise that seemed to come from Petty — "What the f—-!" TNT's Bill Weber immediately apologized "for that language," and Petty, who stayed in the race and finished 39th, came back on-air to say that "was not the kind of excitement I wanted" and later apologized on-air for the accident. All 43 cars in NASCAR races are miked, TNT spokesman Jeff Pomeroy says, and the audio that pops up on-air can't always be identified: "We can assume that audio came from one of the three cars in the accident. But we can't be sure it was Kyle."(USA Today)(6-25-2007)
Petty To Navigate and Commentate in Sonoma: This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Wells Fargo Dodge head to the 10-turn, 1.99-mile Infineon Raceway, located in Sonoma for Sunday's Toyota/SaveMart 350. Petty will give live, in-car analysis during Sunday's race as part of his role with TNT this summer. Petty's love for road course racing put him back into the #45 Dodge for this weekend's event. He will be giving viewers one of the most unique experiences as to what it's like racing a Nextel Cup car in road course competition. The countdown to 800 career starts picks back up this weekend. The road to Indianapolis, the location of Petty's 800th career start, will roll through Sonoma for career start 799. Petty has 16 starts at Sonoma with two top-10 and one top-five finish.(Petty Racing PR)(6-21-2007)
Andretti returns to PE: This weekend, John Andretti returns to the wheel of a Petty Enterprises Dodge. Andretti will fill-in for Kyle Petty in the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge for this weekend's Michigan 400. Petty will once again be in the TNT booth for Sunday's event. Andretti makes his return to Petty Enterprises after making this year's Indianapolis 500. He will be the only competitor in Sunday's race that raced in this year's event. Andretti last raced for Petty Enterprises in 2003. He has 197 career starts with Petty Enterprises. Michigan is a familiar track to Andretti. He has 19 career starts at the track and 11 of them with Petty Enterprises. Andretti has five top-10 and one top-five finish in Nextel Cup competition at the track.(MCG Sports/Petty Racing PR)(6-13-2007)
Petty Enterprises/McCumbee in Victory Lane at Pocono ARCA Race: Chad McCumbee celebrated in victory lane Saturday afternoon in the ARCA RE/MAX Pocono 200. The car was a Petty Enterprises Dodge with Billy Wilburn and the #45 crew leading McCumbee to the front. For McCumbee, it was his first start for Petty Enterprises. He will race the Goody’s Cool Orange Dodge in Sunday’s Pocono 500 at the same track. Tim Andrews, son of #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge crew chief Paul Andrews finished third in Sunday’s race. The car Andrews raced is a former Petty Enterprises Dodge.(Petty Racing PR)(6-10-2007)
Petty on ABC News: Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge, and co-founder of the Victory Junction Gang Camp will be featured on ABC News "thisweek with George Stephanopoulos." The feature is scheduled to air this Sunday, June 3. Air times can be viewed at: abcnews.go.com. The feature will give the audience a look into his life and the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Petty Racing PR)(6-1-2007)
Petty surprises fans with ride-along offer at Lowe's: Like many unsuspecting NASCAR fans camped out at the track Saturday, David Urie was napping in a lawn chair just working on his farmer's tan. Unbeknownst to him, something was stirring in the campground; a visitor terrorizing campers in an all black Dodge Charger covered in decals. And just as Urie hit REM mode, the 57-year-old was ripped from his slumber by ... wait for it ... Kyle Petty? "I'm still tripping and it ain't because of the acid from the 60s," laughed Urie, who on Saturday afternoon was randomly selected to take a few fast laps with the driver of the No. 45 Coca-Cola Zero Dodge as part of a Coke Rewards promotion. He and a handful of others were escorted by Lowe Motor Speedway officials from their campsites and taken trackside to ride shotgun with Petty inside his Richard Petty Driving Experience racecar.(NASCAR.com)(5-27-2007)
Richard Petty at the Indy 500: The King will do the double. Richard Petty will watch the Indianapolis 500 in person for the first time, attending Sunday's race as a guest of former Petty Enterprises driver John Andretti, who qualified for the event. Petty officials Robbie Loomis and Dale Inman will also make the trip. The group plans to fly out Sunday morning and return to Lowe's Motor Speedway in time for the start of the Coca-Cola 600.(NASCAR.com)(5-24-2007)
Goody's Cool Orange to Sponsor McCumbee & #45 at Pocono: Goody's Cool Orange, the revolutionary new flavor from Goody's Headache Powders, will be the primary sponsor for driver Chad McCumbee and the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge at the Pocono 500 Nextel Cup race on June 10 at Pocono Raceway. McCumbee, making his Nextel Cup debut, will fill in for Kyle Petty as he goes to the booth for TNT for the first of five races. Goody's Cool Orange, the market's first flavored headache powder, provides the same fast pain relief as the original Goody's with a new, fresh orange flavor. As part of a national launch, the special Cool Orange paint scheme at Pocono will mark the first major racing activity for Goody's outside its traditional, Southeastern U.S. market. McCumbee, 22, is in his second season in the Craftsman Truck Series after racing in the ARCA-RE/MAX Series where he finished third in a race at Pocono in 2004. He has recently been involved in various testing duties with Petty Enterprises including test sessions at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Off the track, McCumbee starred as Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the ESPN motion picture "3" displaying a natural talent for acting along with his driving skills. The Pocono 500 will mark the first of five races that Petty will be in the television booth broadcasting the races on TNT while McCumbee pilots the #45 Goody's Cool Orange Dodge. Petty, along with the entire Petty organization, have been loyal supporters of Goody's since the brand entered the sport in 1977. Goody's Cool Orange is now available in stores nationally. For more information on Goody's Headache Powders and the new Goody's Cool Orange, visit www.goodyspowder.com.(Lighthouse Marketing PR)(5-23-2007)
Coke Zero to sponsor Petty in Nextel Open/Coke 600: This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 team head to the track with Coke Zero on board. Petty, a member of the Coca-Cola Racing Family, will debut the Coke Zero Dodge this weekend in the Nextel Open and will also compete in it next weekend at the Coca-Cola 600.(Petty Racing PR)(5-16-2007)
McCumbee tests 3rd Petty car at LMS: Chad McCumbee, 22, has been assigned by Petty Enterprises to drive the #45
Petty Enterprises Dodge this June at the 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway. McCumbee made his first Nextel Cup laps Monday afternoon at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway located in Concord, NC in the #47 Petty Enterprises Test Dodge. McCumbee, along with the rest of the Nextel Cup regulars, were testing for the upcoming May events highlighted by the Coca-Cola 600. McCumbee made nine laps Monday afternoon posting a fast lap of 175.137mph. McCumbee will continue to test Tuesday.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(5-8-2007)
McCumbee, Andretti named to Drive #45 Dodge: Petty Enterprises announced that Chad McCumbee and John Andretti will drive the #45 Marathon/Wells Fargo/Tire Kingdom Dodge this summer. The duo will be filling the seat of full time driver Kyle Petty. Petty, with permission from primary and associate sponsors will step out of the car in a five race hiatus to join TNT during their six-race broadcast schedule. Petty will return to the car during the road course event at the Infineon Raceway and provide in-car race analysis. Petty will complete the season after the July 15 event at the Chicagoland Speedway in the #45 Marathon/Wells Fargo/Tire Kingdom Dodge. McCumbee, 22, will attempt to make his Nextel Cup debut at Pocono Raceway on June 10 during the Pocono 500. Veteran
driver John Andretti will race the remaining four open races for Petty. McCumbee, currently in his second year in the Craftsman Truck Series, will have plenty of seat time before heading into Pocono. McCumbee will be assigned to various testing duties for Petty Enterprises including testing next week at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. McCumbee continues his duties for Green Light Racing.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing)(5-2-2007)
Kyle Petty to host Sirius show from NY Auto Show: #45-Kyle Petty will host a special two-hour program live, with Jack Arute, from the SIRIUS Satellite Radio display at the 2007 New York International Auto Show, exclusively on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, channel 128, Saturday, April 7, 2007 from 1:00 to 3:00pm/et. Following the live two-hour broadcast, there will be a two-hour autograph session with Petty at the SIRIUS display. The 2007 New York International Auto Show is being held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in NYC, NY.(Sirius Radio PR)(4-6-2007)
No driver yet for #45 when Petty does TV UPDATE: Kyle Petty comments about a driver during his TNT Sabbatical: "A couple of guys are really good choices, and guys are calling and wanting to know what we're going to do and we really don't know yet. That was kind of the way we planned it. Just like I said at Daytona, there might be guys out here in the garage area that are fired by the time we get there that would be great for two races or one race or five races. We're really not any closer to that than we were."(Clear!Blue/Dodge Motorsports PR)(4-1-2007) UPDATE: John Andretti, Jon Wood and Ken Schrader have emerged as possible candidates to fill in for Kyle Petty in June and July when he takes a break from driving to be an analyst for TNT's Nextel Cup broadcasts. Petty, whose previous television work has been widely praised, plans to work with the TNT crew for five races. Petty Enterprises Vice President Robbie Loomis said the team continues to evaluate choices. "A lot of questions come into play," he said. "Do you go with a guy like Bill Elliott or a guy who's been in Busch or truck? He [Jon Wood] is somebody we've talked about. Our relationship with the Wood guys has always been good, but the bottom line is we have to see some results on the track from these guys."(SceneDaily.com)(4-5-2007)
Petty may also look for invester: #45-Kyle Petty said Petty Enterprises may have to join Jack Roush, Richard Childress and other car owners and sign with a business partner, to keep making a go of it in this sport. Richard Petty was in Montreal this week checking out businesses [and at a Montreal Canadiens agem]. And fellow Dodge team owner Ray Evernham has been talking with Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillet Jr. about a joint NASCAR business venture. Kyle Petty points to Petty Enterprises' close ties with Evernham Motorsports, particularly on the engine building side, and said it just makes sense to check out some of the people that Evernham is considering working with. "There's more to Petty Enterprises than just a race team going round in circles," Kyle Petty said, mentioning the company's other ventures. "So that makes Petty Enterprises a little different venture for a potential investor. "We have already folded our company into some of the stuff that Evernham Motorsports does, so as Ray begins to branch out and take on different partners, we need to find out who those partners are, and if there is an opportunity there we'd be foolish not to explore it."(Winston Salem Journal) AND Richard Petty, owner of Petty Enterprises, was an invited guest of Montreal Canadiens owner George Gillett at Tuesday's Rangers-Canadiens game at the Bell Centre, Journal de Montréal reported this week. Kyle Petty didn't shed much light on what his father and Gillett talked about Friday. "As (team owner) Ray (Evernham) begins to branch out and take on different partners, we need who his partners are if we want to stay in businesses (with Evernham )," said Petty, who drives the No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. "If there's an opportunity there, then we would be idiots not to explore it. We are exploring different avenues with different people." The Petty and Evernham organizations — both Dodge teams — have grown closer in recent months. Evernham builds Petty's engines and the two teams are sharing engineering knowledge. "Those conversations are between George and Richard. I really don't know what's going on there," Evernham said. Petty Enterprises' last victory came here eight years ago, but Kyle Petty said his family's company is still attractive to suitors. "The main part of what we do is race around in circles," he said. "This is our main job, but we have the (Richard Petty) Driving Experience that has 1,000 to 1,500 dates. We are starting a defensive driving program. There's a lot of stuff going on outside of this and that makes Petty Enterprises a little bit different opportunity for an investor."(USA Today)(3-31-2007)
Bobby Labonte says Terry not contacted about #45 ride: #43-Bobby Labonte said he’s not spoken with his older brother Terry about pinch-hitting for Kyle Petty this summer when Petty steps out of the #45 Dodge to work as an analyst for TNT for five races.(SpeedTV.com)(2-9-2007)
Petty to TNT? to run less races UPDATE 4 yep: hearing that Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Petty Racing Dodge, will be part of the TNT broadcast crew that airs six Nextel Cup races in June and July of 2007 and that Petty would not drive in some or all those six races, being replaced by another driver, no idea who that driver may be. Bill Weber will return as TNT's play-by-play announcer and Wally Dallenbach returns as a race analyst.(1-20-2007) UPDATE: from a Clear!Blue/Dodge PR, Kyle Petty quotes during the Nextel Media Tour, day 2:
DO YOU HAVE PLANS TO QUIT DRIVING? "#All that stuff is back like it was last year. Wells Fargo has come back. We have a multi-year deal with Wells Fargo, with Marathon, with Tire Kingdom, with Coca-Cola. We had a huge promotion around the Nextel All-Star race last year with Coca-Cola. There is so much going on right now. I'm like one of those guys if you ever thought about cutting back, it just keeps getting busier with camp with Victory Junction with everything we do there. With everything that's going on at Petty Enterprises, that's good. I'm glad that's story keeps moving because last year about this same time this was a hot story."
DO YOU HAVE OPTIONS TO WORK IN TV? "I've talked to the TNT people about numerous options. I did four or five races for them last year in the Busch Series. We had talked a month or so ago and obviously with Benny's passing and with the way things have gone there hasn't been a lot of communication lately. If I have an opportunity to do some stuff with them I would more than welcome the opportunity to do something at some point in time. If that's this year, great. If it's in two years or 10 years, that's great, too. I just want to keep that option open. I could possibly do anything. There's a couple of years there I sat out 10 or 15 just because I wasn't fast enough. I can sit out any amount."(Clear!Blue/Dodge PR)(1-24-2007) UPDATE 2: Kyle Petty said he's intrigued by the idea of becoming a broadcaster and might make the change, on a part-time basis, as early as this summer. Petty said he has talked to Turner Sports officials about a position. "They've got six or seven races right in the middle of the season; they've got NBA stuff; they've got golf stuff," Petty said. "If I wanted to go do something different and keep Kyle Petty's face in the public, what better place to do it than a place like that?" Jeff Pomeroy, senior director of public relations for Turner Sports, said there have been preliminary discussions with Petty, who has broadcast for the company in the past, but no final determination has been made.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(1-25-2007) UPDATE 3: TNT will make a major announcement regarding its 2007 NASCAR coverage. TNT's coverage of six Nextel Cup Series races begins June 10 with racing from Pocono followed by races at Michigan, Sonoma, New Hampshire, Daytona and Chicago.(TNT PR) AND: #45-Kyle Petty figures driving in a Nextel Cup race while he calls it on TV won't be that big a deal. So TNT will formally announce Wednesday that Petty will be an analyst on its six Cup races this summer, and call one — the June 24 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma, Calif. — as he races in it. "There's constant communication between drivers and their spotters and crew chiefs anyway," says Petty, 47. "Really, just pushing another button and talking to millions of people won't be a ton different. Maybe I'll have to clean up my language." Petty told TNT he didn't want to miss that race because he likes road courses. And, in planning to run all Cup races except ones he'll call for TNT, he says it's "still my #1 priority to drive cars. Or maybe I'd be begging for a seat in the (TV) booth." Kyle kept the idea of working on TV "at arm's length" and says he only appeared on some TNT Busch Series races this summer because TNT analyst Benny Parsons— whom Kyle says he's known "forever" — needed an occasional fill-in. Parsons was diagnosed with lung cancer in July and died last month after months of treatment that seemed to have been going successfully.
Kyle says he's not a replacement: "I'll be really clear about this: Nobody can fill Benny's shoes. I'm not taking his place. I'm in his seat, but Benny will always be there." As an announcer, Petty says he'll avoid "guessing what drivers are thinking" and remember TV announcers "are just there for decoration." And, he says, he might want to pursue future TV work because it fits with his overall goal in life: "If I can float through and say I never had a full-time job, I'll see myself as successful."(USA Today)(2-7-2007) UPDATE 4: Turner Network Television (TNT) announced today a multi-year contract agreement with Nextel Cup Series driver Kyle Petty to serve as an analyst for the network's Nextel Cup Series race coverage. Petty will take a five-week hiatus as driver of the #45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge car for Petty Enterprises, marking the first time a Petty will not be behind the wheel in the Nextel Cup Series for an extended period of time since his grandfather, Lee Petty, raced in NASCAR's Elite Series in 1949. Kyle Petty will join announcers Bill Weber (play-by-play) and Wally Dallenbach (analyst) for TNT's six consecutive Nextel Cup Series races in 2007, beginning on Sunday, June 10 from Pocono Raceway and concluding on July 15 from the Chicagoland Speedway. On Sunday, June 24, Petty will provide analysis from behind the wheel of his #45 Dodge throughout TNT's coverage of the Nextel Cup Series race live from Infineon Speedway in Sonoma, CA. Petty previously served as an analyst alongside Weber and Dallenbach in 2006 for five Busch Series races on TNT.
"This is great opportunity to join the TNT team. We've worked very closely with our partners Wells Fargo, Marathon and Tire Kingdom to make sure that the #45 Dodge is secure on the track while at the same time I can move into this new role," said Kyle Petty. "I started working with Turner last season and it was a great relationship from the beginning. I had a great time with Wally and Bill in the booth and it has led to this opportunity. Everyone at TNT has been great to work with, and I'm looking forward to something new in my career."
"We welcome Kyle to the Turner Sports family and look forward to continuing the long and positive relationship we have had with the Petty family during Turner's 23 years of broadcasting NASCAR racing," said David Levy, president of Turner Sports. "Kyle is a class act both on and off the track, and we are happy to be associated with him."
"Kyle is known throughout NASCAR for his outspoken personality and will bring TNT's coverage a unique 'straight from the car' perspective for our six Nextel Cup Series races this year," said Jeff Behnke, Turner Sports executive producer. "Pairing Kyle with Bill and Wally will provide fans with both an informative and entertaining booth."
Hailing from a long line of NASCAR racers, including grandfather Lee Petty and father and seven-time NASCAR Champion Richard Petty, Kyle has remained a prominent figure on the NASCAR racing scene for the past 27 years with eight track victories, 51 top-five finishes and 172 top-10 finishes. In recent years, his off-the-track activities have included serving as guest host of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and host of NASCAR Night at Turner Field for the Atlanta Braves. Petty has received numerous accolades for his charitable contributions, including the Victory Junction Gang which he founded in 1999 in honor of his late son, Adam, a NASCAR driver in his own right. Kyle was named "Most Caring Athlete" by USA Weekend in 2004 and "Person of the Year" by NASCAR Illustrated in 2000 and 1999. TNT's 2007 Summer Six-Pack of Nextel Cup Series racing: Pocono (6/10); MIS (6/17), Sonoma (6/24); NHIS (7/1); Daytona (7/7) and Chicago (7/15).(TNT PR), no driver has been named for the five races Petty will miss, have heard no rumors...yet.(2-7-2007)
Wells Fargo teams up with Petty again in 2007: Wells Fargo & Company and Petty Enterprises announced the extension of their NASCAR sponsorship arrangement. The 2007 season represents the fifth year the financial services company has sponsored
Petty Enterprises, which includes the Kyle Petty and Bobby Labonte cars as well as a partnership with The King of NASCAR, Richard Petty. Kyle Petty's #45 will carry a full-car red and gold Wells Fargo paint scheme in 12 races during the 2007 season as the car's primary sponsor, starting with the Daytona 500. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $482
billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance to more than 23 million customers from more than 6,000 stores and the internet (wellsfargo.com) across North America and internationally. "We're proud to have Wells Fargo continue its sponsorship of Petty Enterprises," said Kyle Petty. "They are the premier financial services company in the U.S. and an excellent partner with our other top-quality sponsors, like General Mills, Marathon Oil, Tire Kingdom and Coca Cola."(Petty Enterprises/Wells Fargo PR)(2-6-2007)
Olympia Steel Buildings join Petty's as assoc sponsor: Olympia Steel Buildings announced that they have entered an agreement with Petty Enterprises to be the "Official Steel Building" of Petty Enterprises and an associate sponsor for drivers #43-Bobby Labonte and #45-Kyle Petty for the 2007 Nextel Cup season. Under the agreement with Petty Enterprises, the Olympia Steel Buildings logo will be featured on the uniform sleeve of both Bobby Labonte and Kyle Petty. In addition, discounts for Olympia Steel Buildings will be given to 2007 Richard Petty Driving Experience participants and NASCAR fans who are visitors to Olympia's website www.olympiabuildings.com.(Moore Consulting Group PR)(2-6-2007)
Petty's may now run Busch Series: One team--Petty Enterprises--stands to gain when Busch drops out of the Busch Series after this season. The company, which does not associate with alcohol-based advertising [also No Bud sticker on the #43 or #45, so even if a pole is won, doesn't get pole award or entry into Bud Shootout], long has resisted running in the series because of the title sponsor. Now, Petty Enterprises might run in the series, which could help its Cup efforts.(Sporting News), Kyle Petty did own a Busch team, #45 Spree/Sprint Chevy] in 1999-2000 with Adam Petty before he was killed practicing at NHIS in May 2000, then Kyle took over the #45 for 15 races to finish out the season. They last ran in the series in 2001 with Steve Grissom in the #45 at Daytona.(2-5-2007)
Petty has seven race deal from tire companies UPDATE: Tire Kingdom/NTB/Merchant's Tire & Auto Centers are scheduled to sponsor #45-Kyle Petty in the Petty Enterprises Dodge for seven races in 2007. NTB [ National Tire and Battery] will be the sponsor at four races: Atlanta (3/18), Talladega (4/29), Chicago (7/15) and Texas (11/4); Tire Kingdom at Daytona in July and Charlotte in Oct. Merchant's Tire ay Richmond in May.(NTB Racing site), see images of the schemes on my #45 Team Schemes page.(2-1-2007) UPDATE: Tire Kingdom, the largest independent tire and automotive services retailer in the United States, will once again serve as a primary sponsor on the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge driven by Kyle Petty in 2007. Tire Kingdom is a division of TBC Corporation and is the largest tire dealer in the country with over 650 locations under the Tire Kingdom, National Tire and Battery and Merchants Tires and Auto Center names. All names will appear as primary sponsors on Petty's Dodge this season joining Wells Fargo and Marathon as primary sponsors. Tire Kingdom and its names stores will serve as primary sponsor in seven races throughout the season and be an associate throughout the entire season [see list above]. "Tire Kingdom has been great for us so far," said Petty, driver of the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. "They became a big partner for us last season and we're looking to grow the relationship this season. Their stores have a national presence and we see that in the broad number of races that they will serve as a primary. We hope this partnership helps leverage them as the leading tire and automotive services retailer in the nation."(Petty Racing PR)(2-3-2007)
Petty Racing ready for 2007: Track testing, COT testing, wind tunnel testing; it's all over. The month of January had everyone at Petty Enterprises preparing the #45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge for the 2007 racing season. The preparation is complete and both teams are looking forward to the beginning of the season. "The guys are committed to winning in 2007," said Executive Vice President of Race Operations Robbie Loomis. "We saw good signs in both preseason test sessions (Daytona International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway) and we are in a good position to really have strong runs the first three races. We have hired new over-the-wall guys to make our pit stops better. We have hired in the engineering department and in the shop. All the guys want to show everyone what we have." Drivers Kyle Petty and Bobby Labonte both returned from Las Vegas testing knowing that the next time they are on track it counts. "It's another season for everyone," said Petty. "We have had the time to make changes and get better. I've said that we have better people at Petty Enterprises. We have great guys working on both teams. The '45' car was pretty good in Vegas testing, and we've made final changes to the Daytona car. As a driver you dream of the Daytona 500. It's here and we know what it takes to win it." Petty Enterprises has 11 wins at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway. Labonte is a former runner-up in the event.
"We've been up front at Daytona with this Cheerios car and Vegas was a good learning experience," said Labonte. "We have done a lot of testing and a lot of preparation for the next few weeks. We have more experience as a team and that is a big positive step for us. The Vegas test was a good chance for us to see that new track configuration and surface. I'm glad we had the chance to get out there and test it before the race. That will help us once we go back. We want to get back to racing after what we did at the end of 2006."(Petty Racing PR)(2-2-2007)
Petty selects Motorcycle for his 2007 Kyle Petty Charity Ride: Kyle Petty announced he will ride a new Victory Vision luxury touring motorcycle during this year's Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. The new Victory Vision family of motorcycles - both the new Victory Vision Tour and the new Victory Vision Street - were unveiled to consumers and press members [recently] with the help of Kyle and Richard Petty at the International Motorcycle Show in New York City. Both bikes boast Victory's own thunderous Freedom V-Twin engine, unmatched comfort and breakthrough styling, redefining what it means to be an American touring bike. The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America is an annual motorcycle ride that raises money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Each year, more than 250 motorcyclists from around the U.S. join Petty on the cross-country trip and have raised more than $8 million to date. Along the way, Petty and the bikers stop to visit with motorcycle and NASCAR fans across the U.S. and spread the word about the ride and the mission to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Weber Shandwick PR)(1-26-2007)
Petty Enterprises Moving?..to Charlotte area? from a Clear!Blue/Dodge PR, Robbie Loomis quotes during the Nextel Media Tour, day 2:
DO YOU EVER ASK YOURSELF IF IT'S ALL WORTH IT? "It's definitely all worth it. We've talked about that about planning and organizing. We hope the next time we have one of these it's in that new facility. That's one of the things we want to work toward. At the same time, we obviously want to get ready for the Daytona 500, the Bristol race, other things along the way, but that's one of our major goals to be in our new facility. It would definitely be toward the south, whether it be Salisbury or Charlotte. It's a long way away. Right now we have to be focused on winning the Daytona 500. That's first and foremost on our minds."
COMMENT ON RELOCATING PETTY ENTERPRISES "Richard knows he needs to do it. He knows he needs the competition thing to keep attracting and drawing the better people. Deep down inside does he want to do it? No, but he knows it's something that needs to be done to raise the level of the team and keep building on that foundation we've got started. It would be at least 12-18 months before we have ground breaking. I think there will always be something here (Level Cross, N.C.). That's always been Richard's biggest concern. If we come up with the planned facility, the big thing is going to be what goes on here. Kyle and Bobby both love road racing. I would love nothing more to have a series here so the boys here could work on those cars, the ones that don't want to transfer. I think this will be a combination of a race shop and museum."
COMMENT ON DRIVER DEVELOPMENT "We are watching a couple of young drivers. We're very high on Chase Miller. We think he's got a lot of natural raw talent, but it's got to be developed."(Clear!Blue/Dodge PR)(1-24-2007)
Marathon signs with Petty for two years, 14 races in 2007: Marathon Oil Corporation announced that the Company has signed a two-year contract with Petty Enterprises LLC. The contract, covering the 2007 and 2008 NASCAR racing seasons, sponsors the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge driven by Kyle Petty. "Continuing to partner with the legendary Richard Petty and his race team brings a great deal of added value to Marathon's NASCAR sponsorship," said Mary Ellen Peters, MPC senior vice president, Marketing. The #45 car will carry the Marathon Brand as the primary sponsor for 14 races [in 2007]. "We can't thank Marathon enough for their added support in 2007," said Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Marathon Dodge Charger. "Marathon's primary sponsorship of more races shows increased confidence in our commitment to
winning at Petty Enterprises. We're proud to partner with Marathon in NASCAR. We are looking forward to their partnership in the years to come."(PRN Newswire)(1-23-2007)
Kurt Busch Presents "Impact Athlete Award" to Kyle Petty: A special "Impact Athlete Award" presentation by 2004 NASCAR champion Kurt Busch to popular veteran driver/humanitarian Kyle Petty was among the highlights of Wednesday night's 2006 Southern Sports Awards. The two-hour made-for-TV ceremony was held at the Duke Family Performance Hall here at Davidson College. A devoted supporter of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, Busch announced last May that his Kurt Busch Foundation had donated $1 million to the camp to create a 28,000-square-foot, climate-controlled athletic facility at the 72-acre camp located in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina. Included among the other 2006 Southern Sports Awards luminaries announced on Wednesday night were Carolina Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers (Fan Favorite), Wake Forest head football coach Jim Grobe (Coach of the Year), NASCAR rookie competitor Denny Hamlin (Newcomer of the Year), the Columbus (Ga.) Little League All Stars (Amateur Team of the Year) and the Hendrick Motorsports #48 NASCAR Team (Pro Team of the Year). Hosted by James Carville, Finesse Mitchell and Jon Reep, the 2006 Southern Sports Awards two-hour TV special will air in 45 markets and affiliates beginning Saturday (December 9). Visit www.SouthernSportsAwards.com for a complete list of markets, stations and air times [Charlotte, WJZY the CW on 12/16 at 8:00pm/et].(TRPR)(12-8-2006)
Wells Fargo and Marathon Oil looks like back as sponsors of #45: got two diescat images of the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge for 2007 [among many others], one schemes is for Wells Fargo and the other is for Marathon Spirit Oil. Both were part of a many sponsorship package for Petty in 2006. Supposedly Schwan's will not return, but have heard nothing official. See the images on my #45 Team Schemes page.(11-30-2006)
Schwan's not sponsoring a team in 2007? hearing that Schwan's Home Service, who sponsored #45-Kyle Petty in five 2006 races, will not sponsor any Nextel Cup team in 2007.(11-22-2006)
Petty scheme at Homestead UPDATE: #45-Kyle Petty will run a petty blue Dodge with many of his 2006 sponsors featured UPDATE: In appreciation of all primary sponsorships partners on the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge this season the car will feature primary sponsorship logos of Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil, Wells Fargo, Tire Kingdom and Schwan's at Homestead.(Petty Racing PR), see an image of the car on my #45 Team Schemes page.(11-14-2006)
Petty to deliever food in Wisconsin and Texas: Today, Kyle Petty starts his morning by loading a Schwan's Home Service truck. After that, he'll help drive the route, delivering the goods. Petty, who drives the #45 Schwan's car, will be here because customer service managers at the Schwan's sales and distribution center in Ashwaubenon won a regional sales contest. After his work day is finished, Petty will meet fans, sign autographs and display his show car from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Simon Bay Park Square mall in Ashwaubenon. Schwan's also will have a truckload sale of frozen foods during the event, with a portion of the proceeds going to Holiday House, which helps people with disabilities in Manitowoc County, and Petty's Victory Junction Gang Camp in North Carolina. It'll be good practice for Petty, who'll do it all over again the next day [Nov 1st] with a Schwan's driver in Beaumont, Texas.(Green Bay Gazette)(10-31-2006)
Petty Enterprises Notes: #43-Bobby Labonte finished third Sunday at Marrtinsville to score his fourth top 10 finish in the last five races.
- Labonte has scored two consecutive top five finishes- the first time since Fontanta (Race 10) and Richmond (Race 11) of 2004
- The Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge team has a total of 8 top 10 finishes this season. Kyle Petty has two top-10 finishes this season.
- Petty Enterprises has a total of 10 top 10 finishes so far in 2006. That total is the most for the organization since 1999 when they had 19 with John Andretti and Kyle Petty
- Sunday's Subway 500 was the first time both PE cars finished in the Top-10 since Phoenix of 1999 (Race 32). Kyle Petty finished 7th and John Andretti 8th in that race.
- Labonte's finish on Sunday was the best for PE since Bristol (Race Six) of 2001 when Andretti finished second.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(10-23-2006)
Kyle Petty To Be Honored: Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge and Co-Founder of the Victory Junction Gang Camp will be one of three sports professionals honored during the 17th annual CATCH Night of Champions dinner Wednesday night, October 18 in Dearborn, Michigan. CATCH is a children's charity that was founded in 1987 by then Detroit Tigers Manager Sparky Anderson. CATCH raises funds to provide a current and future source of revenue to help improve the quality of life for sick, injured and at-risk pediatric patients who receive care from Children's Hospital of Michigan and Henry Ford Hospital. Included is the CATCH Pediatric Mobile Health Programs that provide basic health services for Detroit children who experience barriers to accessing health care. Petty, along with Detroit Red Wing Chris Chelios and former Detroit Lion and businessman Robert Porcher will be recognized for their achievements in their respective sports, but more importantly for their success in helping needy children. "This is an honor to be a part of this night," said Petty. "CATCH is a great organization that helps children in need. Sparky (Anderson, founder of CATCH) has the heart of a champion. We may come from all different sports backgrounds, but we all share the same goal. I feel blessed to be a part of this event." Petty is an eight-time winner in the Nextel Cup Series and in 2004 opened the doors to the Victory Junction Gang Camp for chronically and terminal-ill children.(Moore Consulting Group PR)(10-17-2006)
Kyle Petty to Share Four of His Favorite Films on TCM: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will take viewers on a ride with NASCAR driver Kyle Petty on Saturday, Sept. 16, as he introduces and discusses with TCM weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz his love for the quintessential Hollywood classic Casablanca to the controversial cult film Freaks (1932). Petty exchanges his racecar driving status for a role as a devoted fan of classic film by hand-picking four of his favorite movies and sharing with viewers what he has come to love about each one.
The film schedule is as follows (all times Eastern):
12pm: Freaks (1932)
1:15pm: Grand Prix (1966)
4:30pm: D.O.A. (1950)
6pm: Casablanca (1942)
Petty's day of co-hosting with Ben Mankiewicz on TCM will precede the first race in the chase for the Nextel Cup Championship.
Coverage begins live on Sept. 17 at 12:30pm/et on TNT.(Turner PR)(9-13-2006)
Labonte and Petty get new Crew Chiefs: In an effort to prepare for the 2007 season, Petty Enterprises announces crew chief changes on both the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. Veteran Bill Wilburn has been hired to crew chief Kyle Petty and the #45 Dodge team. In addition, championship crew chief Paul Andrews will now handle the same duties for #43-Bobby Labonte. Greg Steadman returns to his position as Director of Competition. The changes are effective immediately.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR)(9-11-2006)
Petty Brings New Colors to Michigan: This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Oil Dodge team
will head to the two-mile Michigan International Speedway, located in the city of Brooklyn, for Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400. Petty will debut the Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil scheme for the first time this season. It's a "home" race for the brand because Marathon has a regional office located in nearby Findlay, Ohio. Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil will be the primary sponsor for three more races this season and an associate on both cars [#43 and #45] the rest of the year.(Petty Racing/Moore Consulting Group PR), see an imgae of the car on my #45 Team Schemes page.(8-16-2006)
Petty Brings New Colors to Michigan: This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Oil Dodge team
will head to the two-mile Michigan International Speedway, located in the city of Brooklyn, for Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400. Petty will debut the Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil scheme for the first time this season. It's a "home" race for the brand because Marathon has a regional office located in nearby Findlay, Ohio. Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil will be the primary sponsor for three more races this season and an associate on both cars [#43 and #45] the rest of the year.(Petty Racing/Moore Consulting Group PR)(8-16-2006)
#51 Team ceases operations, sponsorship to Petty's UPDATE: been told that the #51 Competitive Edge Motorsports team has ceased operations and have confirmed that Marathon Petroleum Company will become major associate sponsor with Petty Enterprises with the #45 Dodge of Kyle Petty being most involved in the sponsorship as an associate sponsor at most races and primary sponsor of the #45 for a few races with the #43 Dodge of Bobby Labonte featuring the Marathon Petroleum Company logo at some races.(8-1-2006) UPDATE:Marathon Petroleum Company announced that the company's sponsorship in the Nextel Cup series is being moved to a new race team. The new sponsorship will begin with the Allstate 400 race at the Brickyard in Indianapolis. “Marathon is proud to move our sponsorship to the #45 Petty Enterprises team, with driver Kyle Petty,” said Mary Ellen Peters, senior vice president, Marketing. “The team is owned by Richard Petty, the man known as the ‘King of NASCAR.' We believe this move provides a continued presence for Marathon in all of the remaining races this season.” In addition to the Brickyard assosiate sponsorship [Tire KIngdom is the primary at Indy], the #45 car will carry the Marathon Brand as the primary sponsor for four races: Michigan, Bristol, Richmond, and Atlanta. Marathon also will be an associate sponsor on the car for this season's remaining races. “We're grateful that Competitive Edge Motorsports is allowing Marathon Oil to transfer their sponsorship,” said Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. “We are looking forward to developing a strong partnership with Marathon , starting this weekend at one of the biggest events of the season.”(Petty Racing PR)(8-3-2006)
Petty would step down as driver in right situation: How far would Kyle Petty go to insure the restoration of Petty Enterprises to the glory years of Richard Petty's seven Winston Cup (now NEXTEL Cup) Championships? Would he surrender the #45 Dodge to another driver and hang up his helmet? "Yes, I would retire tomorrow if it would help Bobby Labonte win races and Petty Enterprises contend for the championship," Petty confirmed candidly when asked if he was willing to step out of his ride under the right circumstances. What would be the right circumstances? Petty said he would gladly step aside as a NEXTEL Cup Series driver if the team was able to sign a marquee driver and sponsor capable of furthering the efforts of Bobby Labonte, Todd Parrott, Robbie Loomis and the rest of the team in Randleman, NC. "And," he added, "If I retired from this I would go racing in the Grand Am Series or something like that. But, once I retired from NEXTEL Cup that would be it. If I said, 'I'm done completely then I would be done completely. If I said I would run three or four races then I would only run three or four races.'"(CircleTrackPlus.com)(7-22-2006)
Petty still looking for sponsors: Petty Enterprises continues to look for sponsorship of Kyle Petty's #45-car for races at Chicago, New Hampshire, Phoenix and Homestead.(Roanoke Times)(6-14-2006)
NTB colors for Petty at Pocono: #45-Kyle Petty will be carrying the colors of National Tire and Battery for the second time this season. The first race with National Tire and Battery as a sponsor Petty finished eighth at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR), see an image of the car on my #45 Team Schemes page.(6-6-2006)
Petty wins VOTE more: Kyle Petty and the #45 MyCokeRewards Dodge finished 22nd in the Nextel Open. At the conclusion of the race Petty was announced as the winner of the Nextel Fan Vote. Petty was then awarded the opportunity to race in the Nextel All-Star Challenge. Comments from Petty after he learned of the fan vote: "I think this is big, but I think it's big for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. We just appreciate all the fans that voted. I really hope they know how much they have helped touch the lives of the children that will be affected by this. Coca-Cola and our other partners, Wells Fargo, Schwan's and Tire Kingdom have really supported this program. I think this really shows how much people really care about the camp and the kids. I really believe the fans were voting for the camp and not for Kyle Petty. That really means a lot. We just really, really, appreciate all the fans that voted."(Moore Consulting Group) NOTE: have not seen any voting totals as of yet.(5-20-2006) UPDATE: As the result of the successful “Vote Kyle, Reward Victory Junction” campaign, Kyle Petty captured the 2006 Nextel All-Star Challenge fan vote and drove the MyCokeRewards #45 Dodge car to an eighth place finish in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway today. Through tremendous support from family, friends, sponsors, NASCAR fans and members of the NASCAR community, Petty earned the wildcard spot in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge. As a result, Coca-Cola, Schwan's, Wells Fargo and Tire Kingdom are donating $275,000 to the Victory Junction Gang Camp -- a camp for chronically and critically-ill children. Kyle and Petty Enterprises also donated the purse money won in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge from Petty's eighth place finish, bringing the total donation to Victory Junction to $398.967. “This campaign was all about the kids,” said Petty. “Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, Schwan's and Tire Kingdom developed a great program to honor me and reward Victory Junction at the same time. The money being donated will go towards sending more kids to the camp and continuing our overall mission of serving chronically and critically-ill children.” In addition to driving the #45 Dodge's special MyCokeRewards primary sponsorship paint scheme in the NEXTEL All-Star Challenge, Petty will carry the scheme in the Coca-Cola 600 on May 28. Petty had a strong run in the All-Star Challenge. Petty started 20 th , but the team only had one way to go. Petty's MyCokeRewards Dodge was handling well and the car was to the liking of Petty. Petty moved up as he stayed patient and cars crashed. Petty's Dodge was also faster on longer runs. He made passed on Dale Earnhardt Jr. and moved in on Dale Jarrett in the final 20 lap segment. Petty finished a strong 8th.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing PR) RESULTS: the top vote getters from nascar.com:
1. #45-Kyle Petty 101,966
2. #1-Martin Truex Jr. 50,018
3. #38-Elliott Sadler 38,797
4. #11-Denny Hamlin 18,863
5. #31-Jeff Burton 18,376
6. #7-Robby Gordon 15,401
7. #49-Ken Schrader 10,021
8. #25-Brian Vickers 18,616
9. #07-Clint Bowyer 7,374
10. #42-Casey Mears 7,310
Petty's and Toyota? DENIED: Kyle Petty told Benny Parsons on his nationally syndicated "Fast Talk" radio program [PRN] Monday night that Petty Enterprises would certainly consider switching to Toyota if it made the team more competitive. While Petty said nothing is currently on the horizon with the Japanese manufacturer, PE would be open to doing anything to help the team win.(RacingOne)(5-16-2006) UPDATE: Kyle Petty told Sirius Speedway (MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio) Tuesday that comments attributed to him concerning interest in Toyota were taken out of context. "Benny Parsons asked me if I would be interested in talking to Toyota, if it would benefit the team," said Petty. "I told him that I would never say never, but that we are extremely happy with what we have (with Dodge) and have
no plans to change. We haven't talked to anyone at Toyota, and we don't plan to."(MRN/Sirius Satellite Radio)(5-17-2006)
Kyle and Pattie Petty Honored: Action for Children North Carolina, North Carolina's premier statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the well-being of children and youth, will honor NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and wife Pattie Petty with the inaugural North Carolina Children's Lifetime Legacy Award this Thursday [May 18th] in Charlotte. The award will be given to the Pettys in recognition for their founding of and continued commitment to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, located on 75 acres in Randleman, N.C., in the Piedmont Triad area. The Children's Lifetime Legacy Award event will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2006, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Founders Hall, located in the Bank of America Corporate Center in downtown Charlotte. Tickets to the
benefit are $200/individual and $350/couple. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp and Action for Children. For more information, visit www.ncchild.org.(VJGC PR)(5-17-2006)
Petty looking for a sponsor for select races: The #45 Dodge driven by Kyle Petty has announced sponsorship opportunities for selected races remaining in 2006. The up-coming months offer one-of-a-kind opportunities to be a part of the
resurging Petty Enterprises organization. "We have some races that are open throughout the rest of the season", said Petty. "We were left to fill a void a few weeks ago when a sponsorship deal for us didn't pan out. It was supposed to be about a nine-race deal. That left us to fill some holes, but fortunately those holes are great opportunities for companies to capitalize on." Races include the Brickyard 400 at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the Pepsi 400 at Daytona, the Sharpie 500 at Bristol and the season-ending Ford 400
at Homestead-Miami. Other races include events in major markets such as Chicago, Atlanta, Phoenix, and Richmond. "We are now looking for another new partner to join the Petty family. We are working hard to do that for this season. We feel that we offer something
different at Petty Enterprises. We are looking for a partner that wants to be a part of the excitement that we're building," said Petty. The team will next participate in this weekend's All-Star activities at the Lowe's Motor Speedway [with Coca-Cola as the sponsor]. In fact, Petty's sponsors have put up $250,000 to be donated to Victory Junction Gang Camp if Petty is voted into the All-Star race by the fans. Go to votekylepetty.com for details.(Moore Consulting Group/Petty Racing)(5-16-2006)
Vote for Kyle Campaign: Behind the wheel of a special MyCokeRewards racecar, Kyle Petty will continue his hard-driving campaign for the health and well-being of chronically ill youth. Launched today in downtown Charlotte, the "Vote Kyle, Reward Victory Junction" campaign is a grassroots effort fueled by Coca-Cola and other Petty Enterprises sponsors to reward the man who has given so much of his time and effort to charity with a spot in the Nextel All-Star Challenge on May 20, 2006 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. For the upcoming Coca-Cola 600, the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge will feature a special MyCokeRewards primary sponsorship paint scheme. Petty also will carry the scheme in the Nextel All-Star Challenge on May 20 if voted into the race or if he wins the Nextel Open qualifying race. With the support of Petty's friends, family, sponsors, NASCAR fans and members of the NASCAR community, the "Vote Kyle, Reward Victory Junction" campaign is geared towards creating a unique opportunity to continue Kyle's tireless efforts to give back to kids. Should Petty make the race through the fan vote, Coca-Cola -- along with Petty Enterprises sponsors Wells Fargo, Schwan's and Tire Kingdom - are donating a minimum of $250,000 to support the ongoing efforts of the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Additionally, Kyle and Petty Enterprises also will donate any purse money won in the Nextel All-Star Challenge to Victory Junction. If Kyle wins the race that's an additional $1,000,000 to Victory Junction. Michael Waltrip was announced as Kyle's campaign manager at today's rally launching the "Vote Kyle, Reward Victory Junction" initiative. Speakers at the event included 7-time Nextel Cup champion Richard Petty, business executives and Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory. Also present at the rally, where race fans got a sneak peek at the MyCokeRewards racecar Petty will drive in the Coca-Cola 600 and the Nextel Open, were families and campers from Victory Junction. Voting for the Nextel All-Star Challenge is currently open and fans are invited to cast a vote to help get their favorite driver into the event by voting online at NASCAR.com. Voting will run through May 20 with the winner announced the day of the race. Race fans interested in more information about the "Vote Kyle, Reward Victory Junction" campaign have been asked to go to a special Web site, votekylepetty.com.(Petty Racing PR), more info about the Nextel All-Star Challenge and Open on my 2006 All-Star Race page.(5-9-2006)
Petty to run MyCokeRewards scheme at Coke 600 - IMAGE: Not only will Kyle Petty run a special MyCokeRewards-themed car in the Coca-Cola 600, but some lucky fans will have a chance earn pieces of the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge, and a piece of Coca-Cola 600 history, as part of the $50 million MyCokeRewards prize package. By collecting MyCokeRewards points, fans of the Coca-Cola 600 will have the chance to obtain hundreds of unique NASCAR-themed prizes, including the hood, deck lid and side panels from Petty's #45 MyCokeRewards Dodge. Other rewards include Petty's helmet, driver's uniform, shoes, and gloves, as well race-worn crew uniforms and other NASCAR-themed collectibles. Go to www.mycokerewards.com for more info.(Petty Racing PR), see an image on my #45 Team Scheme page.(5-4-2006)
Petty needs sponsor for 6-8 races: #45-Kyle Petty is looking for a sponsor for six to eight races to complete the sponsorship program for the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge he drives in the Nextel Cup Series. Petty said Friday that a company he had a signed contract with fell through, but he would not name the company. He said he would still drive his car in the unsponsored races. "Whether we have a sponsor or not, we're going to go to the race track," Petty said. "We have to do that, obviously. But at the same time, it puts you in a little bit different position than what we thought we were in January and where we thought we were last week." Petty said not having sponsorship for six to eight races would be "a burden," but he feels confident he can fill the gap. Petty has sponsorship from Wells Fargo, Schwan's, Tire Kingdom and Coca-Cola for various races throughout the season.
He said losing the sponsor had nothing to do with performance.(SceneDaily.com)(4-29-2006)
Petty gets another sponsor for 4 races: The names of TBC Corp.'s Tire Kingdom, Merchant's Tire & Auto Centers and National Tire & Battery properties will appear on NASCAR driver Kyle Petty's #45 Dodge at various races this year. "We believe that involvement with NASCAR is a natural progression in our marketing efforts," says Bob Crostarosa, TBC's vice president of marketing. "TBC (has) reached an agreement with the Petty race team that presents the Tire Kingdom brand as the primary sponsor of the car driven by Kyle Petty for the Darlington, S.C., race on May 13, and for the Lowe’s Motor Speedway Race in Charlotte, N.C., on Oct. 14," say TBC officials. "The car will carry the Merchant’s Tire & Auto Centers logo for the Richmond race on May 6 and the National Tire & Battery logo in Atlanta on March 19. Additionally, the three brands will be identified as associate sponsors throughout 2006 for all other Nextel Cup races."(moderntiredealer.com)(2-17-2006)
Petty fined in 2004 by Dodge: Kyle Petty did a favor for Richard Childress Racing and driver Kevin Harvick in 2004, and he paid $45,000 for it. Dodge fined Petty $45,000 when the veteran relieved Harvick in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol in August 2004. Harvick complained that he had lost feeling in his left arm and Petty, a Dodge driver, took over for Harvick in the RCR Chevrolet. Petty, whose car was already out of the race, did not have permission from Dodge to drive the Chevy, and Dodge promptly fined him for breaching their contract. Dodge didn't announce the fine, but it was revealed in depositions released during their recently completed trial involving Bill Davis Racing. "Initially it was a shock just because that's just a given in the sport - if a driver is down, everybody rallies and tries to help him out," Petty said Feb. 11. "Kevin was sick; Kevin felt bad, so I drove the car. When I got a phone call and a legal letter that said I owed them $45,000, that was a little bit of a shock. But at the same time, they were exactly right. I have a contract to drive for Dodge." Dodge Motorsports Director of Operations John Fernandez said Feb. 10 that he believed Petty's violation of their contract was inadvertent but that the manufacturer must protect the sanctity of its contracts.(NASCAR Scene)(2-15-2006)
Schwan's to #45? UPDATE 2: hearing that Schwan's Home Service, who sponsored the #49 BAM Racing Dodge in 2004-2005 with Ken Schrader, could be heading to Petty Enterprises to be the primary sponsor for Kyle Petty on the #45 Dodge for 10-12 races in 2006. Wells Fargo already announced they would run 12 races as primary. Also there is a rumor floating around, but unable to confirm it at all, the new Coca-Cola soft drink, Vault could sponsor Petty in some fashion.(1-24-2006) UPDATE: Schwan’s Home Service, Inc., a business unit of The Schwan Food Company, has announced its sponsorship of the #45 stock car owned by Petty Enterprises for the 2006 Nextel Cup season. “Everyone at The Schwan Food Company is thrilled to join the Petty racing team for the 2006 season. The team operates under the same values that are important to Schwan,” said Bill McCormack, executive vice president of administration and company spokesperson. The #45 car, driven by NASCAR veteran Kyle Petty, will carry the Schwan’s Home Service yellow-and-blue paint scheme for four races, which will be announced at a later date. Home Service will provide an associate sponsorship for the remaining races. “I’ve raced off and on against a Schwan sponsored car since 1985 and am really excited to finally be able to have them on my team,” said Petty, Petty Enterprises CEO (and #45 team driver). “The best part of this deal is my guys won’t have as far to go to get the great Schwan’s ice cream at the track. They are already clearing space on the transporter to haul the ice cream cooler.”(GoMarshall), Schwan's was the primary sponsor of the #49 BAM Racing Dodge the past two years.(2-8-2006) UPDATE 2: hearing the races Schwan's will be the primary sponsor are Bristol in March, Texas in April, Talladega in April and California in September.(2-11-2006)
Quit Smoking Program teams up with NASCAR: GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare has launched "QUIT Crew" a smoking cessation program through its 2006 NASCAR sponsorship. The program is designed to help partnering teams within NASCAR to quit smoking and help reduce the number of smokers throughout the sport. Last season, GSK Consumer Healthcare conducted a pilot program with the Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Racing team [#41 Dodge in Cup]. Sixteen members of the Ganassi Racing Team in Concord, NC participated in the program last year. Thus far, Hendrick Motorsports, Petty Enterprises and Chip Ganassi Racing have signed up to offer the program to their employees. Other teams are expected to join the program as it's offered more broadly over the next several weeks.
When a group enrolls in the program, interested team members will be invited to an orientation and seminar about quitting smoking presented by Frank Vitale of the University of Pittsburgh Pharmacy School. During orientation, Vitale will explain the process of quitting, the products available to help them and enroll those interested in joining the 10-12 week program.
Program participants will be counseled and monitored closely by GSK Consumer Healthcare smoking cessation counselors on a weekly basis. Vitale will meet with participants privately the afternoon of the seminar and will be available to them by telephone during the program. GSK Consumer Healthcare is providing counselor services free of charge as well as a starter kit of smoking cessation products. In addition, GSK Consumer Healthcare smoking cessation counselors will be available to crew members in the garage areas at 30 NASCAR races this season.
To inspire NASCAR fans to quit, each participating team will be given an opportunity to take a video camera provided by GSK Consumer Healthcare to document their thoughts and experiences during the quit smoking process. The challenges they encounter will be documented on the quit2winracing.com web site to help others understand what the quitting process is really like.(Lighthouse Marketing PR)(1-27-2006)
Sad News: Elizabeth Toomes Petty, wife of NASCAR champion Lee Petty and mother of NASCAR champion Richard Petty, passed away Sunday morning at age 88. She is survived by sons Richard and Maurice, as well as nine grandchildren, 24 great grandchildren, one great great grandchild, two sisters and two brothers. Funeral services are to be held privately. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations by made to Level Cross United Methodist Church, Victory Junction Gang Camp or to Hospice of Randolph County.(Williams Company)(1-9-2006)
Kyle runs at Disney: Kyle Petty finished the Walt Disney World Marathon in 4 hours 42 minutes. He laughed when asked if he thought about ``going behind the wall.'' Petty said his knee began to bother him a lot around Mile 15. ''I walked a bunch so I wouldn't hurt it,'' he said. ``This is not what I do for a living. I do drive race cars, so I don't need to blow my knee out doing this. But it was a lot of fun. And the fans here are great, lining the course. Then you feel bad for walking, man.'' Some of the competitors recognized Petty and talked to him along the way. Petty said next year he might try to get in good enough shape to run Disney and the Miami Marathon, which is at the end of January. Petty was talked into running his first marathon by fellow NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip. They ran the Las Vegas Marathon last year. Petty finished in 4:14.(Miami Herald)(1-9-2006)
Kyle gets a 12 race sponsor: gearing that Wells Fargo will move up from an associate sposnor to be the primary sponsor of the #45 Dodge of Kyle Petty for at least 12 races this season, including the season opening Daytona 500. Petty Enterprises is talking with other sponsors as well at this point. They will run the full schedule in 2006, but still have some sponsorship openings available.(1-6-2006)
Petty to run in Disney Marathon:Kyle Petty has decided to trade his stockcar tires for a pair of running shoes. An avid runner, Petty will run in the 2006 Walt Disney World Marathon on Jan. 8. Petty ran the Las Vegas Marathon last January, his first, as part of a fundraising effort for his family’s Victory Junction Gang charity. Running alongside fellow NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip, he finished in a time of four hours and 16 minutes.(12-31-2005)
Petty in Disney Parade: NASCAR driver Kyle Petty and Herbie introduce Disney-MGM Studios' Lights! Motors! Action! Extreme Stunt Show attraction when Walt Disney World Resort in Florida invites America to celebrate its 22nd annual Christmas Day Parade telecast from the heart of the Magic Kingdom, with special performances from the Disneyland Resort in California. Ryan Seacrest, will host the festivities from Disneyland Resort while Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa, hosts of "Live with Regis and Kelly," co-host in Walt Disney World. The Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade telecast airs on ABC Christmas Day from 10:00am/et to 12:00noon/et. Viewers should check their local listings for any changes in programming times.(Williams Company)(12-20-2005)
Petty's opt out of NSL UPDATE:National Sprintcar League officials learned Tuesday (November 22nd) that the Richard Petty Driving Experience, and Richard and Kyle Petty would no longer be a part of the NSL. Citing overwhelming demands in getting a start-up series off the ground, the Petty's informed the NSL of their decision. Despite the loss, the National Sprintcar League is moving forward with plans to race 410 winged sprintcars in 2006.(more at Motorsport.com)(11-29-2005) UPDATE: Richard Petty Driving Experience announced that it has withdrawn its support of the National SprintCar League effective immediately. "We formed this series with the intention of rebuilding and growing winged sprint car racing," said Kyle Petty. "We had a clear vision about how to undertake this. Unfortunately, our vision for the future of sprint car racing was not shared by all of the key stakeholders in the sport. We believe that a prolonged battle over control of the sport is not in the best interest of anyone involved. Hopefully, by stepping aside at this point, there is time for a common vision to emerge. We still believe that sprint car racing can thrive
in the United States and we hope that the tracks, drivers, teams and sanctioning bodies will put their individual interests aside and work towards some common ground to unify this great motor sports platform. We appreciate everyone who supported us in this endeavor."(Richard Petty Driving Experience /Williams Company PR)(11-30-2005)
Kyle Petty Nominated SI Sportsman Of Year: Kyle Petty has become the first stock car driver nominated for one of
the most prestigious honors in athletics. The Nextel Cup Series driver is up for Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman Of The Year" honor, which the national magazine has awarded since miler Roger Bannister won the first in 1955. Others such as the Boston Red Sox, Tiger Woods, Arthur Ashe, Jack Nicklaus, Muhammad Ali and Pete Rozelle have won it. Others nominated this year include cyclist Lance Armstrong, NBA star Reggie Miller, and World Series star Scott Posednik, among others. Writer Lars Anderson, in making his argument in nominating Petty, noted mostly his and wife Pattie's leadership of the Victory Junction Gang Camp. "Put simply," Anderson wrote, "he's got the biggest heart in American sports today. "Kyle Petty as Sportsman of the Year? Take a look at those beaming kids and tell me he's not." The winner will be announced next month.(Williams Company PR)(11-23-2005)
Nice Gesture: #45-Kyle Petty's wife Pattie gave Stewart a lucky charm from her late son Adam with the inscription John 3:16 on Sunday morning. Stewart had it in his pocket all day.(Yahoo Sports)(11-21-2005)
Andrews son tests for Petty: hearing that Tim Andrews, son of #45 crew chief Paul Andrews, participated in a driver
development test for Petty Enterprises this week at Kentucky Speedway.(11-19-2005)
Checkers Fields Two Cars this Sunday at Homestead: Checkers will field two cars at the NEXTEL Cup race this Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, creating a unique "race within a race" that will give sports fans one more opportunity to gear up for the
intra-Florida rivalry on the football field set for the following week Scott Riggs will drive the #10 Checkers Florida State University
Seminole Chevrolet, racing head-to-head with Kyle Petty, who will drive the #45 Checkers University of Florida Gator Dodge. Checkers will donate $5,000 to the "race within a race" winner's charity of choice. 1:24 scale Gator and Seminole die cast cars are being sold as part of this program with a portion of the proceeds of the sale to benefit the scholarship programs at both universities. The cars will be available for purchase this Saturday and Sunday at all AmeriCrown merchandise trailers at the track, and can also be purchased online at gatorsnolesracing.com(PR). See images of the cars on my #10 Teams Schemes page and #45 Teams Schemes page.(11-19-2005)
Goody's unveils new ad campaign geared toward NASCAR: NASCAR legend Richard Petty has been a long-time resident of Goody's Country, serving as the Goody's Headache Powders spokesperson for nearly 30 years. Tony Stewart has joined Petty and his son Kyle in a new advertising campaign for the "Official Pain Reliever of NASCAR" that includes a commercial depicting the day Stewart moves into "Mr. Petty's Neighborhood" and his appreciation for the speedy pace of life there. The first screening of the commercial will be during a press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday, Oct. 28. Also at this event, as part of its continued support of Victory Junction Gang Camp, Goody's will present a check for $25,000 in Stewart's name to Kyle and Pattie Petty for their camp for seriously ill children and their families.(Williams Company PR)(10-27-2005)
A Petty back in the #43? UPDATE: Jeff Green likely will leave Petty Enterprises' #43 car for a chance to drive the NetZero #0 car, team owner Kyle Petty said Thursday. Petty, in town [CAL]to deliver the keynote address at the High Desert Opportunity business conference, said without securing a sponsor for his own #45 car, he couldn't commit to another driver for the 2006 season. "I really think Jeff's going to the (Net) Zero [#0] car," Petty said. "We've been very honest with Jeff, very honest with everybody we talk to." The problem, Petty said, is that the team hasn't signed a sponsor to replace Georgia Pacific on the #45 car. General Mills still has a contract to sponsor the #43 car. "Since I own the team, I could go drive the 43 if I wanted to," Petty said. Is that a possibility? Could we see Petty back behind the wheel of his father Richard's old car? "Everything's a possibility," Kyle Petty said. "You've got so much on the table." Petty said as a veteran driver, he understood the need to secure a ride when there was an opportunity. "Jeff's 42, 43 years old (actually 43). Everybody wants to sign a 19-year-old to drive their car," Petty said. "If you can find a ride, you better be jumping and getting in it. Don't wait and let me hold you back." The bottom line, Petty said, "If it's good for him, it's good for us."(Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)(10-21-2005) UPDATE: Kyle Petty said Friday that Jeff Green likely will vacate Petty Enterprises' flagship #43 Dodge and take over the #0 Chevrolet owned by Gene Haas. Petty said he and Green talked Tuesday about Green leaving the car he has driven since September, 2003. "I know [Green] has talked to the 0, and he's probably going to go to the 0, and I applaud that for him," Petty said. "It's like I told him, 'When you're my age and you're your age, and everybody's looking for 19-year-olds, if a car opens up, jump in it.'" Petty, 45, said his big hold-up in re-signing Green, 43, was a lack of sponsorship for his own #45 Dodge. Since Georgia Pacific announced that it wasn't returning as that car's backer, the team has been assembling a sponsorship package, but it didn't materialize in time to keep Green. If the sponsorship for the #45 doesn't come through, the team will field only one car full-time and Petty probably would drive it himself [#43].
But he said he hopes that doesn't happen. "I'm extremely confident that within the next four to six weeks we'll have what we want to announce," Petty said, adding that the sponsorship will be tied to fund-raising efforts for the Victory Junction Camp for ill children that the Pettys founded. "That's why we want to release [the sponsorships] all at one time," he said. "We just didn't get things done quick enough to be able to satisfy all of our contractual needs with Jeff."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-22-2005)
#43 to run Fan Fest scheme at Lowe's: This weekend, Jeff Green and the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge head to the
1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway, located in Concord, N.C., for Saturday night's Charlotte 500. Green, who will be sporting a Petty Fan Fest paint scheme this weekend, finished 11th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's earlier this season.(Williams Company), not really sure what the Fan Fest thing is about.(10-11-2005) UPDATE: what the scheme is about, #43 sponsor, Cheerios/General Mills held a contest and the are 43 pictures of winners on the #43 Dodge and 45 more on the #45 Dodge that Kyle Petty drives. Have no images...yet.(10-13-2005)
Petty in pink at Kansas: #45-Kyle Petty will be driving a Quilted Northern Ultra bath tissue pink paint scheme this weekend. The scheme is in conjunction with the “Time for Thanks” program that recognizes the critical role that co-survivors play in the in the lives of breast cancer survivors. Survivors and co-survivors will spend a weekend retreat at the Victory Junction Gang Camp in early November.(Williams Company)(10-5-2005)
Petty's and Sprint Car Series? UPDATE 3: hearing there is supposed to be a press conference scheduled at Dover to announce the new sprint car league being formed by Petty Enterprises, called the National Sprint Car League?(9-21-2005) UPDATE: Been told Tony Stewart is involved and hearing the Petty family has a financial interest in thsi new series that will go head-to-head with World of Outlaws with a couple of Speedway Motorsports tracks. Also hearing that 12 of the top 17 WoO drivers are going with the new series, including Steve Kinser. Look for an announcement from Dover on Friday.(9-22-2005) UPDATE 2: Sprint car racing's biggest names have split into two separate series for 2006, drivers confirmed Wednesday. The World of Outlaws, owned by DIRT Motorsports, will retain five of its 18 full-time drivers — Altoona's Terry McCarl, Craig Dollansky, Brooke Tatnell, Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz — and plans to add more for 2006. Danny Lasoski, who drives for Tony Stewart Motorsports, represents one of 13 current Outlaws teams who have signed with the National Sprintcar League for the 2006 season. The group is backed by Petty Enterprises and has lured drivers such as Steve and Kraig Kinser, Jason Meyers and Tim Shaffer. It's not immediately clear how the split would affect Knoxville Raceway, which draws thousands for Outlaws races. Those figures swell to 25,000 per night during the Knoxville Nationals each August - with fans lured by many of the Outlaws drivers. "We saw no light at the end of the tunnel," said Lasoski, a four-time Knoxville Nationals champion. "This is a breath of fresh air for all of us." DIRT Motorsports completed the acquisition of the Outlaws in February of 2004 from founder Ted Johnson. They have yet to secure a title sponsor. Lasoski said he felt a new direction was necessary. He added an announcement is scheduled to be made this weekend at the NASCAR events at Dover, Del. Lasoski's concerns with DIRT included the lack of live television - Outlaws events air on the Outdoor Channel on a tape-delayed basis. He expects the Petty organization to rectify that situation, although no TV package is set yet. Lasoski said he would not run any Outlaws-sanctioned events next season, and was unsure what would happen regarding a possible non-sanctioned 2006 Knoxville Nationals. He added that NASCAR names such as Stewart, Kasey Kahne, the Pettys and Dave Blaney would field cars in the National Sprintcar League next season. This season, the structure of the World of Outlaws series remains unchanged in terms of points and scheduling. The Outlaws' next race is Friday at Jackson, Minn.(Des Moines Register)(9-23-2005) UPDATE 3 - official: Richard Petty Driving Experience, a leader in providing high quality motorsports entertainment, announced the formation of the National SprintCar League. Steve Kinser, 19 - time World of Outlaws series champion, and 11 other current World of Outlaws drivers and teams have joined the newly formed NSL beginning in 2006. The NSL has signed the following twelve current World of Outlaws series drivers and teams to 3-year agreements beginning with the 2006 season: Steve Kinser, Jason Meyers, Kraig Kinser, Danny “The Dude” Lasoski, Tim Shaffer, Paul McMahan, Joey Saldana, Jason Sides, Brian Paulus, Brandon Wimmer, Shane Stewart and Jason Solwold. The series has also received commitments from 3 - time World of Outlaws series champion Sammy Swindell, 16 - time World of Outlaws championship car owner Karl Kinser and long time team owner Dennis Roth to run in 2006. The NSL is making significant progress in organizing the 2006 championship schedule and is in discussions with several corporate partners regarding series sponsorship. In addition, the group is in the process of securing a comprehensive television package for the series. See full press release at nationalsprintcarleague.com.(9-23-2005)
Mark Green in for Petty MORE: Mark Green, Jeff's brother, is practicing and probably qualifying the #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge at New Hampshire this weekend. Driver Kyle Petty has been feeling under the weather this week but plans to race the car on Sunday.(9-16-2005) MORE Still fighting feelings of grief from his son's death at New Hampshire International Speedway more than five years ago, Kyle Petty will skip Friday's practice sessions and Saturday's qualifying at the track. Petty still plans to race on Sunday. "It's a funny thing, because I thought the longer I went, the easier it would get," Petty said in a telephone interview. "The truth is, the longer it goes, the harder it gets." Adam Petty was killed in an accident during a practice session at New Hampshire International Speedway in May 2000.
Petty has raced at New Hampshire several times since the accident, but it hasn't made him any more at ease there. He said the most recent race weekend at New Hampshire, in July, was particularly tough. "I struggled with just trying to do my job," Petty said. "I was mean to everybody. I just wasn't me."(USA Today)(9-17-2005)
Loomis back to Petty in 2006: Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, today announced the organization's addition of championship-winning crew chief Robbie Loomis as executive vice president of race operations. In his new role, Loomis will head the day-to-day operations of Level Cross-based Petty Enterprises and its two full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams -- the #43 Dodges driven by Jeff Green and the #45 Dodges piloted by Petty."We are excited that Robbie will be rejoining Petty Enterprises," Petty said. "Robbie won races as a crew chief here, and then won a lot of races and a championship with Jeff Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports. We have great respect for the entire Hendrick organization, and know that Robbie's experience with the Hendrick team has prepared him well for the role he will take on at Petty Enterprises. Robbie Loomis will direct our entire race operation, and we expect his experience and his ability to mold a team to help us get to the next level. Robbie has been a part of our family for a long time, and we're happy to have him come home." Loomis, 41, will leave his position as crew chief of Hendrick Motorsports' #24 Chevrolets. Before rejoining Petty, the Forest City, Fla., native will work as a consultant to Concord-based Hendrick Motorsports as the operation pursues the 2005 NEXTEL Cup championship with the #48 Chevrolets.
"We still have a job to do," said Loomis, who won a Cup title with driver Jeff Gordon in 2001 after coming to Hendrick from Petty Enterprises in 2000. "Our goal is winning that championship with Jimmie (Johnson), Chad (Knaus) and the #48 team. I'm here to support them in any way I possibly can. "Hendrick Motorsports opened my eyes to a whole different level of this industry. The experience has allowed me to see things from a new perspective and learn important lessons about business and life. I'm truly grateful to Rick, Jeff and the 500 people who make Hendrick Motorsports so special. "I was with the Petty family for 11 years before being blessed to work with Jeff and the #24 team. Kyle and Richard (Petty) are giving me an incredible opportunity to come home, back where I started my career, and I' m honored and excited to do that."(Williams Company/Hendrick Motorsports)(9-14-2005)
Green and Kyle back at PE in 2006: Kyle Petty and Jeff Green will both return as the drivers of the #43 and #45 cars next year, Petty confirmed Saturday. Petty, 45, said he is not sure how much longer he will keep racing, but he doesn’t see his retirement any time in the immediate future. The son of NASCAR legend, Richard Petty, still loves to drive. "No 9-year-old kid goes to bed at night dreaming about signing autographs at Target," Petty said. "You dream about driving a racecar. As long as I still love driving a racecar, I can put up with the other stuff."(Bristol Herald Courier)(8-28-2005)
Petty-Riggs: College Rivalry schemes at Homestead: Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, the Florida Gators, and the Florida State Seminoles, unveiled its #10 Seminole and #45 Gator stock cars that will compete at the final Cup Series season event at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20th. Scott Riggs will drive the #10 Checkers Florida State University Chevy, and Kyle Petty will drive the #45 Checkers University of Florida Dodge. This sponsorship is designed to give sports fans one more opportunity to gear up for the intra-Florida rivalry on the football field set for the following week. The Company expects to create excitement due to the tremendous fan cross-over among the two sports. In September, new collectible #10 Florida State Seminole and #45 Florida Gator cups will be available at nearly 150 Checkers restaurants in Florida. During the unveiling of the new cars at Bristol Motor Speedway, Checkers pledged $5,000 to both Riggs' and Petty's charities: Carolina Donor Services and the Victory Junction Gang, respectively. An additional
$5,000 will be donated to the race-within-a-race winner's charity on November 20th. The cars can be purchased online at gatorsnolesracing.com or by calling 1-877-212-6017, and are also being sold through school newsletters, newspapers, Web sites, and onsite during university home football games. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the die casts benefits the scholarship programs at both schools.(PR)(8-27-2005)
Petty back in the Pink: This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Quilted Northern Dodge team head to the .533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday night's Sharpie 500. Georgia-Pacific brand Quilted Northern will wrap the #45 Dodge Charger pink for this weekend's race in support of the "Time for Thanks" program. The program supports the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the leading organization in the fight against breast cancer for more than 20 years. The team hopes to raise awareness to this program by collecting a strong finish Saturday night. Petty finished eighth at Bristol in April.(Williams Company)(8-24-2005)
Petty's to lose Dodge? UPDATE Denied: Petty Enterprises may have more to worry about than replacing Georgia-Pacific as sponsor of Kyle Petty's #45. Word is that Dodge may have played out its history hand in backing the Pettys, with results that have scarcely improved since Dodge's debut in 2001.(Speed Channel) UPDATE: sources with the team have vehemently denied that Dodge is leaving the team and the report is completely untrue.(8-23-2005)
Larry King Live: Rusty, Kyle, Jeff: Three NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers are scheduled to appear on Monday's (Aug. 15) edition of "Larry King Live" on CNN-TV. Rusty Wallace. driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge [in his "Last Call" final season as driver], Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge [will discuss NASCAR and Victory Junction Gang Camp] and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevy. "Larry King Live" airs at 9:00pm/et nightly on CNN-TV.(PR's)(8-12-2005)
Petty's in Newsweek: Kyle and Pattie Petty are featured in the national news magazine Newsweek this week as part of a new series, "Red, White and Proud." The series "honors those who make helping others their priority." The Pettys are noted in the prestigious national news weekly for founding the Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Williams Company PR)(7-12-2005)
New #45 Scheme for Rest of 2005, Petty Blue Returns: This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Chicagoland for Sunday's Chicagoland 400. Petty and the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge will have a new look for the rest of the season starting this weekend. Georgia-Pacific will pay tribute to the Petty family by returning the family Petty Blue to the #45 Dodge. The "Petty Blue" color is unmistakable in the minds of race fans across America. The color is synonymous with winning and with Richard Petty's record-tying seven Nextel Cup championships.(Williams Company)(7-7-2005)
Changes For #45 Team In 2006, new sponsors in 2006: Petty Enterprises has announced plans to restructure its primary sponsorship of the #45 Dodge driven by Kyle Petty in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series beginning in 2006. The change is part of a broader initiative that will be announced in more detail in the coming months and will involve multiple corporate partners. “We’re excited with the possibilities of working with new sponsors and structuring our program to allow for our partners to share the assets of the #45 car throughout the season,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “Although they will no longer be our primary sponsor, Georgia-Pacific and its Brawny brand has been a great partner for Petty Enterprises and for me personally. They have been supporting us since the mid ‘90s with our Craftsman Series truck program, and have been a valuable part of not only the racing team but the Charity Ride Across America and the Victory Junction Gang Camp as well.”
In the course of discussing the coming years and evaluating the long-term objectives of the racing team, Petty Enterprises envisions a different kind of sponsorship model. In elaborating on the plans for 2006 and beyond, Petty stated that “… next year our program will provide us with the opportunity to leverage several promotional tie-ins and other marketing elements with a select group of complementary partners working together to do some pretty cool stuff. Because we will have multiple partners, the entry point dollar-wise for this program is significantly below what companies are paying to be full-time primary sponsors. We’ve had great reaction to this program already and we think it is an exciting way to be involved in our racing platform. We look forward to presenting this strategic marketing platform to potential partners/sponsors who are interested in being involved in a unique Nextel Cup marketing program.”(Williams Company)(6-29-2005)
Petty and Jones have an altercation after race UPDATE: After the race at Infineon Raceway concluded, an irate Kyle Petty [#45] tried going after P.J. Jones [#4/one race deal] in the garage area, presumably over a collision that took place at turn 11 midway through the race. Legendary driver Richard Petty, Kyle's father, reportedly had to step between the two to help break it up.(Contra Coast Times)(6-27-2005) UPDATE: We [Yahoo Sports] were there to witness a postrace "discussion" between P.J. Jones and Kyle Petty outside of the Petty hauler. The two had gotten together early in the race and Jones was attempting to offer an apology to Petty, but Petty would have none of it, instead throwing a towel at Jones and grabbing him by the collar. A heated exchange followed and an extremely angry Petty had to be restrained. Father Richard stepped in and calmed everyone down.(Yahoo Sports)(6-28-2005)
Petty engineers travel to high-tech wind tunnel in Germany As the ever-expanding engineering and technical side of
NASCAR Nextel Cup racing continues to grow, Petty Enterprises took a huge step to the forefront of wind tunnel testing this week. Accepting an invitation from Dodge Motorsports, Petty Enterprises spent this week in Stuttgart, Germany, at one of the world's state-of-the-art wind tunnels. The wind tunnel in Stuttgart, Germany is equipped with a rare and unique "Rolling Road" wind tunnel system. Cars travel on a belt and can simulate different pitches and angles. Used by Mercedes, Petty Enterprises hopes the facility will provide them with unmatched information. "The 'Rolling Road' wind tunnel can actually give us better, more realistic data
comparable to on-track conditions," stated Petty Enterprises General Manager Jerry Freeze. "We're hoping to use this data and compare it to the 'static' wind tunnels we use here in the States." Petty Enterprises has two main objectives while in Germany, but is keeping in mind the ultimate goal. "First, we are hoping to learn the tunnel and see how we can take advantage of it," continued Freeze. "Secondly, we want to try different adjustments to the car and gather the data. We are here to win too. The Dodge Charger is a completely new car this season. We want to continue to learn as much about this car as quickly as possible to get us in victory lane. This is a great opportunity for us." Petty Enterprises, which fields the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge driven by Jeff Green and the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge driven by Kyle Petty, shipped their cars overseas a month ago. The cars were shipped in large
#725: #45-Kyle Petty will start his 725 career Nexte Cup race in today's Coca Cola 600, Petty is 7th on the all-time start list.(5-29-2005)
Special Mother's Day Scheme for Jarrett UPDATE: #88-Dale Jarrett is scheduled to drive a car with a childhood image of Dale driving Ned Jarrett's race car at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, May 7th in honor of his mother for Mother's Day which is May 8th.(12-20-2004) UPDATE: #15-Michael Waltrip and #45-Kyle Petty have been added to the Mother's Day special paint scheme program at Darlington.(RacingOne)(1-7-2005) UPDATE 2 - This weekend, drivers take a moment to remember Mom in Darlington Last year, several NASCAR drivers teamed up with Action Performance Companies Inc., to wish their "NASCAR Dads" a Happy Father's Day via a race day program at Michigan International Speedway. Now, some "NASCAR Moms" are getting their due. Veteran drivers #88-Dale Jarrett and #45-Kyle Petty will pilot Happy Mother's Day-edition race cars during the 500-mile NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series at Darlington Raceway. Jarrett's #88 UPS Ford Taurus will include a nod to his mother, Martha, while Petty will roll out the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge Charger with a Happy Mother's Day dedication to his mom, Lynda. In keeping with NASCAR's long-standing tradition of no stock car races held on the actual Mother's Day holiday, the cars will run on Saturday night, May 7, 2005. Martha Jarrett, Lynda Petty and several other NASCAR Moms will be on hand to announce racing's most famous tagline with an appropriate twist: Sons and Gentlemen, start your engines. This year's participants in the Happy Mother's Day program also are eligible for a $10,000 cash bonus. The prize will be awarded to the highest finishing driver, who then will present it to his mother or her favorite charitable organization. A percentage of the proceeds from the sales of the Happy Mother's Day die-cast have been earmarked to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp. The collectibles will be available through Action's usual distribution channels, including the Action Racing Collectables distributor network and Racing Collectables Club of America. To locate an ARC distributor, please call 1-800-411-8404. To join RCCA, call 1-800-952-0708 or visit www.goracing.com.(Action Performance) or see my Collectible Links page for places to buy them. And looks lime Waltrip was droped from the program or never part of it.(5-7-2005)
Petty to test at the Rock: #45-Kyle Petty is scheduled to test his Darlington car at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC on Monday, May 2nd. While the track is not holding any races, it still is open for testing and the Buck Baker Racing School still holds classes there.(4-27-2005)
Petty's son accepted to Military school: Austin Petty, the 23-year-old son of #45-Kyle Petty, has been accepted to Virginia Military Institute.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-11-2005)
Pattie Petty on A&E Special Presentation: Pattie Petty, wife of NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge, will be one of four wives featured in A&E's special presentation: SPORTS WIVES, premiering Wednesday, March 23, 9:00-11:00pm/et. The behind-the-scenes feature will profile Petty at the track and at home giving viewers a look at what it is like to be a wife of a professional athlete. The feature will also highlight Petty's dedication to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, a charitable organization aimed at enriching the lives of children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. Victory Junction was founded by the Petty's in honor of their son Adam. The A&E Network spent time filming Petty during the later part of the 2004 season.(Williams Company)(3-22-2005)
Kyle Petty Crowns Sue Bee Winner: Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny/Sue Bee Dodge Intrepid awarded contest winner Naomi Locklear, of Carlsbad, N.M. a replica of the #45 race car ... street-legal, that is. Also on hand to make the presentation to Locklear was Jim Powell, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Sue Bee Honey. "We've experienced double digit growth since starting our relationship with Kyle Petty," Powell said. " Representatives of The Championship Group, Inc. created and managed the 2005 "Win Kyle's Car" promotion, which drew more than 650,000 entries in the first 48 hours. For "Win Kyle's Car 2," even bigger and better things are in store. "Everyone's just going to have to wait a week for the answer to that question," Petty said.(LVMS.com Pit Notes PR)(3-12-2005)
Coca-Cola Racing Family New Anime Ad to Debut During Daytona 500: In the first-ever NASCAR-themed Anime ad, Coca-Cola Racing Family members Tony Stewart, Kyle Petty, Bobby Labonte and Kevin Harvick are seen as animated superheroes engaging in adventurous activities such as scuba diving with sea monsters and flying fighter planes before they return to the track for a Coke and a bit of racing. Breaking during the broadcast of the Daytona 500 on February 20 -- a growing showcase for new advertising -- the 60-second ad, entitled "Fantastic Four," is the only animated spot in the new Coca-Cola "Make It Real" campaign. It will also run in more than 10,000 movie theaters across the country and a 30-second version of the spot will be featured on NASCAR broadcasts throughout the season. The spot concludes with one word -- 'Adrenaline' -- followed by the campaign tagline, 'Make It Real.' The word 'adrenaline' underscores the drivers' energetic attitude both on and off the track. Created by Berlin Cameron / Red Cell, the new 'Make it Real' campaign also includes print and outdoor executions. Additional ads are planned for later in 2005.(Coca-Cola PR)(2-15-2005)
Mikey finishes LV Marathon under 4 hours, Petty just over: #15-Michael Waltrip and #45-Kyle Petty competed in the Las Vegas International Marathon in Las Vegas on Sunday with Waltrip finishing 747th [of 2189] with a time of 3:59.23 [4 hoursd was Mikey's goal] and Petty finished 1112 with a time of 4:18.34. Full results at tri-a-run.com.(1-31-2005)
Andrews the new #45 Crew Chief: Paul Andrews, a Nextel Cup champion who is one of NASCAR's most well-known and respected crew chiefs, has been hired to handle the crew chief role for the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge and driver Kyle Petty. Petty, also CEO of Petty Enterprises, made the announcement today. Andrew's duties begin immediately. Andrews, 47, comes to the legendary organization as one of the most knowledgeable and trusted crew chiefs in the NASCAR garage. Having worked with some of the sports greatest names, Andrews won a NASCAR Nextel Cup championship with Alan Kulwicki, and has helped bring winning success to drivers such as Geoffrey Bodine, Jeremy Mayfield, Steve Park and Jeff Burton. Andrews most recently served as crew chief for the #38 Akins Motorsports Ford in the NASCAR Busch Series. "We're very excited to have a person of Paul's caliber join our team," said Petty. "His past speaks for itself. He's a proven winner and can help accelerate this team into top form. The addition of Evernham Engines was huge. Adding Paul is another big step forward as we prepare for 2005 and beyond." Andrew's successes in the sport are some of the most impressive of any crew chief. A champion crew chief in 1992, Andrew's has accumulated a dozen wins, over 75 top-five and twice as many top-10 finishes. He expects to continue that winning trend at Petty Enterprises. "I just like the way Petty Enterprise is heading," said Andrews. "Adding Evernham Engines this season was a tremendously positive move. They are striving hard and taking steps to win. I want, and am ready, to make a difference. They are going in the right direction, and I think I can help offer some good input. I'm excited to start working with Kyle and the Georgia-Pacific/Brawny team."(Williams Company PR)(1-19-2005)
Special Mother's Day Scheme for Jarrett UPDATE: #88-Dale Jarrett is scheduled to drive a car with a childhood image of Dale driving Ned Jarrett's race car at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, May 7th in honor of his mother for Mother's Day which is May 8th.(12-20-2004) UPDATE: #15-Michael Waltrip and #45-Kyle Petty have been added to the Mother's Day special paint scheme program at Darlington.(RacingOne)(1-7-2005)
Petty Crew Chief Leaves, other changes: Petty Enterprises announced today a change in the leadership of the #45 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge driven by Kyle Petty. The move was sparked by the departure of team engineer Adam Stevens to Joe Gibbs Racing, after which the team elected to part company with crew chief Bill Henderson. "When we made the change to put Adam and Bill in charge of the 45 team in August of last year, we looked at it as a combination effort," said Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "When Adam came back from the Christmas holiday and told us of his intention to take an offer with Gibbs, we decided to reevaluate the leadership of the team." Petty is currently exploring options. "We have made a number of significant moves forward since the end of the season. Our relationship with Evernham Motorsports supplying our engines is the most public of those moves. We intend to have an experienced crew chief and team engineer in place when we leave for the first race in Daytona," Petty said. "I have a lot of faith in the 45 team, our engineering group and the rest of the team in Level Cross that we will be competitive right out of the box in 2005."(Williams Company PR)(1-6-2005)
Kyle to retire...after 2006? Rumors continue to grow that #45-Kyle Petty will announce his retirement after the 2006 campaign to devote all of his energies to running the team.(Yahoo Sports)(1-5-2005)
Schumacher Pledges help: Formula One champion Michael Schumacher plans to donate $13.60 million — or 10 million euros — to aid efforts for tsunami victims in Asia.(MSNBC)(1-5-2005)
Kyle Petty to be a speaker: The High Desert Opportunity Committee, comprised of local business people interested in promoting business growth in the high desert region has recently announced that the 2005 keynote speaker for their annual business conference will be NASCAR's Kyle Petty. The conference, to be held on Thursday October 20 at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds targets business owners, site locators and real estate brokers who are instrumental in business site decision-making. The annual High Desert conference is a day-long event that includes exhibits from many local cities, chambers of commerce, business organizations, local businesses and services. The attendees of the conference have the ability to gather information about the local business climate and opportunities. The goal is to increase interest in the high desert region and to enhance local business growth. The High Desert Opportunity Committee believes that Petty will enhance the conference and will offer visitors another compelling reason to attend the event and learn more about local opportunities. For tickets, exhibit or sponsorship information call 245-7600 or visit www.highdesertopportunity.com.(Hesperia Star)(12-29-2004)
Petty Running on Sunday UPDATE Results...no Petty: Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge, is entered in Sunday's Gulf Beaches Halfathon [half-marathon] in Clearwater, FL, aiming for a time in the 1:45 to 1:55 range. "I'm running it as a training run for the Jan. 30 Las Vegas Marathon where Michael Waltrip has pledged a million dollars in support of the Victory Junction Gang Camp," said Petty of the camp for children with chronic illnesses in North Carolina. "Naturally, I should run 26.2 miles to support Michael." Race director Chris Lauber has assigned the 44-year-old Petty #45, his race car number.(St Petersburg Times), more info on the halfmarathon at: www.floridahalf.com.(12-11-2004) mini-update: Prerace favorite Keith Sawayda and last-minute entry Vicki Jetton won the Gulf Beaches Halfathon Sunday. Sawayda took the early lead from Jeremy Rogers of London and built on it, winning by more than four minutes. The 41-year-old from Clearwater ran a 5-minute, 45-second first mile, then maintained that pace, winning in 1:15:41. Race director Chris Lauber was pleased with the final registration figure of 804, though only 673 started the race from Madeira Beach to Taylor Park despite ideal running conditions, temperature in the high 40s and low humidity, at 7 a.m. NASCAR's Kyle Petty was registered but did not pick up his bib, No.45.(St Petersburg Times)(12-14-2004)
Kyle, Pattie Petty win Myers Brothers Award: Kyle and Pattie Petty, who turned a dream into a reality and named it the Victory Junction Gang Camp, have been named the recipients of the National Motorsports Press Association’s 2004 Myers Brothers Award. The award was presented during the NMPA’s annual Myers Brothers Award Breakfast, held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Perhaps best known as the son of the sport’s all-time winningest driver, Kyle Petty continues to leave his mark on the sport as well. But where his father, Richard, became well-known for his efforts on the race track, Kyle and his wife have also used NASCAR to reach out and touch the lives of others outside the sport. In June of 2004, Victory Junction Gang Camp, a summer home for chronically-ill children, officially opened its doors. The idea, conceived by the Pettys’ son Adam, became a goal for the family following Adam’s death in a racing accident four years ago. It was a way to not only honor their son, but to see that his generosity and kindness towards those less fortunate wasn’t forgotten. “It is big for us personally,” Kyle Petty said, “for Pattie and myself because of Adam. But for me personally it’s big because this community did it. This community built the camp. Not Kyle Petty, not Pattie Petty. Everything the media printed, everything the drivers did, everything the drivers’ fans did, everything the sponsors did, that’s why the camp is there and that’s why there are kids coming out of that camp that are pretty special kids. For me, that’s as much a cool deal or more personal than anything else. That’s what means the most to me, I guess.” Voted on each year by members of the NMPA, the Myers Brothers Award recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. It is named in honor of Billy and Bob Myers.(Willams Company PR)(12-3-2004)
Petty switches Engines? UPDATE 2: hearing that Petty Enterprises [PE], with drivers #45-Kyle Petty and #43-Jeff Green, will run Arrington Engines the rest of 2004 after Talladega and will supposedly have Evernham engines in 2005. Currently PE uses Mike Ege engines.(10-1-2004) UPDATE: Petty Enterprises will have a new engine supplier for 2005, Kyle Petty confirmed Saturday, but it is unclear who will build engines for Petty and Jeff Green next season. Mike Ege Racing Engines, which has built engines for the Pettys since 2002, will not return next year. "We're at that time in the season where we need to be making a change," Petty said. "We've talked about it for the last three or four months with Mike Ege Racing Engines, and it's come to a point where it's time to make a move. Next year, we'll do something different." The Dodges of Petty and Green will use Ege engines in this weekend's EA Sports 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, and Ege has the option of staying with Petty Enterprises the rest of this year. "We've left that option up to him, if he chose to continue it or if he chose not to," Petty said. "We'll go from there. We have his stuff in down here." But who will be in the #43 and #45 in 2005? Petty said rumors about a switch to Evernham Engines or Arrington Engines are simply rumors. "There are rumors about everything, man," Petty said. "There are rumors I'm going to retire. What are you gonna do? That's why they're called rumors." The team won't return to building its own engines, as it did from 1949-2001. "We talked about it three or four months ago, whether we wanted to open our stuff back up," Petty said. "We made a decision at this point in time not to go down that road. If we were two or three years further down the road, then, yeah, we'd probably look at it. But right now, no."(NASCAR.com)(10-3-2004) UPDATE 2a: been told Petty Enterprises #43-Jeff Green and #45-Kyle Petty will NOT run Mike Ege Racing Engines at Kansas, but have not heard what engines will be run. UPDATE 2b: Ray Evernham says he hasn't signed any agreements with Petty Enterprises, but he is talking with them and some other teams about providing engines in 2005.(NASCAR Scene print)(10-8-2004) UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises will begin using Evernham Motorsports engines beginning with testing for the 2005 NASCAR Nextel Cup season. The organization fields the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of driver
Jeff Green and the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge of driver Kyle
Petty. Petty Enterprises is the winningest organization in major
"We are constantly looking for ways to improve our performance and to
run better as a team," said Petty, who is also CEO of Petty
Enterprises, "We at Petty Enterprises worked very closely with
Evernham Motorsports to develop the Dodge program. Ray has been very
gracious in his comments about the role of Petty Enterprises in that
effort. We have continued to work closely with Evernham and with Dodge
on many aspects of our program since then, and we see this alliance in
the engine program as a natural evolution of our relationship.
"Evernham Motorsports has really moved into the forefront in regards
to Dodge engine development and we're excited to be part of that,"
Petty continued. "We've made some big strides with our chassis and
bodies, so this was obviously the next step."
In its fourth year of operation, Evernham Motorsports has moved to the
elite among NASCAR teams. The organization, which has one driver in
the Chase For The Championship and a second 12th in the NASCAR Nextel
Cup standings while leading Rookie of the Year, has 13 poles, five
race wins, 45 top fives and 81 top 10s.
"We have been working with Kyle and Petty Enterprises on behalf of
Dodge the past four years, and they have a solid organization. The
chassis are pretty much where they want them to be," Evernham said.
"We feel we can help them on the horsepower side as well, and help
them continue to build their program. We're all very excited at
working even more closely with Petty Enterprises in 2005."(Williams Company PR)(11-18-2004)
STP and the Petty's Richard and Kyle Petty will be making an announcement at Lowe's Motor Speedway Media Conference Room on Friday [Oct 15] at 3:30 pm. They will be announcing that long time sponsor STP and AutoZone will help raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp, and host a special STP Family Weekend.(10-15-2004) UPDATE: Long time Richard Petty sponsor STP has teamed up with AutoZone to announce a donation for up to $50,000 to the Petty Family's Victory Junction Gang Camp. The donation, which is being made in celebration of STP's 50th Anniversary, will allow STP and AutoZone to host a special "Family Weekend," for children with a chronic or life-threatening illness, sometime in the Spring of 2005. Kyle and Richard Petty were on hand to help kick-off STP's 50th Anniversary celebration in grand style, when they unveiled a special STP "Future's Car" which will be the pace car in Kyle Petty's Ride to Victory II charity ride. The Ride to Victory will take place on Sunday, October 17 leaving the Lowe's Motor Speedway and concluding at the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, North Carolina. The STP future's car and coinciding donation are two highlights of STP's golden anniversary celebration. Money will be raised, in part, through sales of STP products at AutoZone stores during the month of November. For every bottle of STP sold at AutoZone stores in November, 50 cents will be donated to The Victory Junction Gang Camp, up to a goal of $50,000. Additionally, consumers who purchase two bottles of STP products at AutoZone will also be able to mail away and receive their choice of three limited edition STP/Petty die cast cars:
· 1972 STP Car (Petty's first #43 STP car victory)
· 1984 STP Car (Petty's final Victory)
· 2004 STP Car (Pace car for Ride to Victory II)
STP's 50 years of business have been synonymous with NASCAR racing. In 1972 STP began making headlines in the racing world with the historic sponsorship of Petty and the No. 43 car. In 1979, Richard won his seventh NASCAR title, which put him in a class of his own, and also etched STP as an icon in the racing world. The STP logo returned to the #43 Dodge this season as an associate sponsor and will remain on the Jeff Green's #43 Dodge car throughout the 2005.(Ketchum for STP PR)(10-16-2004)
Wells Fargo Re-Ups with Petty and expands sponsorship: Wells Fargo Financial announced today it has renewed and expanded its sponsorship of Petty Enterprises in NASCAR's Nextel Cup Series. For 2005, the sponsorship will increase to include driver Kyle Petty and his #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge and driver Jeff Green and his #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. Wells Fargo Financial, the North American consumer finance subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, is continuing and growing the sponsorship as a result of its highly successful three-year partnership with Petty Enterprises.
Petty Enterprises is unique in its ability to bring added value to a Nextel Cup sponsorship. "We are very happy with our relationship with Kyle and the entire Petty Enterprises team and excited to now be affiliated with Jeff Green and the celebrated #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. Wells Fargo Financial is proud to be involved with one of the most celebrated names in all of NASCAR and in the fastest growing spectator sport in America," said Tom Gibbons, Director of Corporate Sponsorships.
"We're very pleased to have Wells Fargo Financial continue its sponsorship of Petty Enterprises," said Kyle Petty. "We believe they
are the premier financial services company in the U.S. and an excellent partner with our other top-quality sponsors, like General Mills, Georgia-Pacific and Coca-Cola."
The sponsorship has provided significant benefit and impact to Wells Fargo Financial's business lines through client/dealer incentives and entertainment, customer promotions, driver appearances, show car appearances and employee incentives. NASCAR's popularity exceeds the NBA, NHL and MLB combined and averages more than 190,000 fans attending each event and more than 7 million viewers per race. Over 80 million Americans call themselves fans of the sport. More info on Wells Fargo at financial.wellsfargo.com.(Williams Company PR)(9-20-2004)
Fans Vote Kyle Petty and Fonty Flock in Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame: Kyle Petty, son of seven-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Champion Richard Petty and Fonty Flock, a legendary NASCAR driver whose three siblings also competed, have been chosen by the fans to be enshrined in the Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame in nearby Davey Allison Memorial Park on the eve of the Oct. 3 EA SPORTS 500. Petty will be inducted into the Walk of Fame as the active driver and Flock will be enshrined into the Walk of Fame as the inactive driver of 2004. The 2004 Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame Induction Ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Davey Allison Memorial Park in uptown Talladega, a block south of the town square. This year’s induction ceremony will be emceed by Benny Parsons and begins at 7 p.m. The event is free to the general public.
Petty is an eight-time series race winner and eight-time series pole winner. He made his series debut in 1979, with his first start coming at Talladega Superspeedway on August 5. In 2000, NASCAR Illustrated named Petty along with his father Richard and the entire Petty family, “persons of the year” for their charitable work. The Petty family opened Victory Junction Gang Camp, a medical camp for children and their families living with chronic and/or life- threatening illnesses, in honor of their late son Adam earlier this year. Flock, a native of Decatur, GA began his racing career in 1949. In 154 races, he posted 19 wins and 33 poles. Yet he is most noted for the fact that in nine of his 19 victories, he started from the pole position. He came from a racing family as younger brother Tim, older brother Bob and sister Ethel also raced. Flock passed away in 1972 at the age of 51. Fans can find out more about the Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame on www.talladegawalk.com. The Talladega/Texaco Walk of Fame was created in 1994 after the death of Davey Allison. Since 1995, one active driver and two inactive drivers have been inducted into the Walk of Fame based on the fans’ vote. Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnett, Red Farmer and Davey Allison were inducted as the inaugural class in 1994 by decree of the board of directors. Past active driver inductees have included Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Hamilton, Ricky Rudd, Mark Martin and Darrell Waltrip. Richard Petty and Benny Parsons were the first inactive drivers to be inducted. Alan Kulwicki, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Buddy Baker, David Pearson, Junior Johnson, Harry Gant, Lee Petty, Tim Flock, Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly. Red Byron, Bill Rexford, Jim Paschal, Rex White, Bobby Isaac and Herb Thomas have been inducted as inactive drivers.(Talladega Superspeedway PR)(8-18-2004)
Changes at Petty Enterprises UPDATE: Jeff Green and Kyle Petty will have new crew chiefs, and both teams have seen crew changes which begin immediately. Petty made the announcement today. Three crew members, including crew chief Greg Steadman, will move to the #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge of driver Jeff Green this week. The move was precipitated by former crew chief Gary Putman leaving Petty Enterprises by mutual agreement. "I'm very grateful for the opportunity Richard Petty gave me at Petty Enterprises, and I am looking forward to the future too," Putnam said. "We both agreed we needed to try something different, so I am moving on to look for other opportunities."
Steadman, car chief David Hyder and race engineer David Hoelger move from the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge of Petty to Green's #43. While engineer Garth Finley, considered one of the top in his field on road course setup, will handle crew chief responsibilities at the Watkins Glen, N.Y., race this week for the #45, a permanent crew chief will be named next week. Ironically, it is the third straight year Finley has served as an interim crew chief at the Watkins Glen race.
"We really appreciate the effort Gary and all of the guys have given us. These changes will be good for everyone," Petty said. "Greg Steadman has worked with the #43 guys before and has done very well there, and we have some exciting things happening with the #45 too. We are looking forward to the future."(Williams Company PR) AND Crew chief Gary Putnam and car chief Wayne Orme, both from the #43 Cheerios Dodge, were released on Monday. Ten-year Petty Enterprises veteran Greg Steadman returns to lead the #43 along with car chief David Hyder, race engineer David Hoelger and team engineer Adam Stevens. Driver Jeff Green is 34th in the Nextel Cup point standings, which is last among drivers who have competed in all 21 races this year. Team manager Jerry Freeze says that Petty Enterprises was looking for a one-team approach with two race teams that could work constructively with one another. "For us we felt like we had nothing to lose with two cars that were behind 30th in points," Freeze says. "We were nowhere near where we wanted to be, and we didn't feel the people we had were making the best of the resources that were available to the them. We wanted to bring people in that could grow with the program."
Multimatic engineer Garth Finley will assume the crew chief duties for the #45 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge this weekend at Watkins Glen. The 34-year-old Albuquerque, N.M.- native was also interim crew chief during his three-year stint at Robert Yates Racing. Bill Henderson, who is currently car chief on the #10 Nextel Cup team, is expected to be named crew chief next week.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(8-11-2004) UPDATE: Veteran mechanic Bill Henderson has been named crew chief of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge of NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Kyle Petty. Henderson, 37, a native of Brookfield, Mass., now living in Mooresville, N.C., has been involved in NASCAR's highest levels of competition since 1999. Henderson joins Petty Enterprises from MBV Motorsports where he served as car chief for the #10 car of driver Scott Riggs. Henderson is familiar with the crew chief role. Henderson served as crew chief for the #12 FitzBradshaw NASCAR Busch Series team in 2003 for drivers Kerry Earnhardt and Tim Fedewa. Henderson also has past
experience working at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, serving as the car chief for Jason Leffler. "In the short time that I've been here I have been very impressed," said Henderson. "Petty Enterprises is very organized and one of the most professional organizations in Nextel Cup racing. I am excited to work for this Georgia-Pacific/Brawny team, not only for the rest of this season, but in the future as well."(Williams Company PR)(8-17-2004)
Petty in Nashville: Nextel Cup driver Kyle Petty is scheduled to be at Nashville Superspeedway tomorrow to accept a check from Toyota for his Victory Junction Camp for ailing children. Toyota and Darrell Waltrip auctioned off a truck with the proceeds designated to Petty's camp.(Tennessean)(8-14-2004)
New Petty Site: Petty Enterprises has unveiled its newly-designed Internet web site at www.pettyracing.com. Animink, Inc., which has created websites, cartoon animation and 3D animation for almost six years, designed and is handling the new web site. The company is now based in Huntersville, N.C., and has designed sites for other NASCAR drivers, the Richard Petty Driving Experience, and the John Boy and Billy nationally-syndicated radio show. "We're really pleased with Animink and the new design of www.pettyracing.com," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "They have done a tremendous job, and I know the fans are going to love it." The Petty Racing site was recreated to better connect with race fans, and cater to those who already have a passion for motorsports and the Petty family. There are dialup and broadband versions. Both versions have audio and video clips, galleries and other downloadable features. The broadband version includes full motion-video, as well as music that changes as the user surfs the site. The motion and flow of the site is as unique as it is attractive.(Williams Company PR)(8-3-2004)
Petty's Honored: Kyle and Pattie Petty have been named recipients of the National Motorsports Press Association/Pocono Spirit Award for the second quarter of 2004. On June 20, 2004 the doors officially opened to Victory Junction Gang Camp, welcoming chronically-ill children from all walks of life. Located just outside of Greensboro, N.C., the 75-acre site that looks, Kyle Petty said, "like Daytona USA collided with The Jetsons," is part theme-park, part campground. But fun through and through. Offering a chance for kids, regardless of their medical conditions, to be just that. Kids. The NMPA/Pocono Spirit Award is designed to recognize character and achievement in the face of adversity, sportsmanship and contributions to motorsports. Members of the NMPA select four quarterly winners, from which an overall winner is chosen each year. It has been awarded annually since 1992. Others receiving second-quarter votes include NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Elliott Sadler and car owner Ray Evernham and Hermie Sadler.(ThatsRacin.com)(8-3-2004)
Austin Petty in wreck, is OK UPDATE: Austin Petty, 22-year-old son of Kyle and Pattie Petty, is recovering in a Greensboro, N.C., hospital with non-life threatening injuries following a motorcycle accident last night near Level Cross, N.C. Petty's motorcycle was hit by a car on Highway 62 near Level Cross Thursday evening. He was taken to Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro with two broken ankles and some minor injuries. His release is anticipated later this week.(Williams Company)(7-9-2004) UPDATE: Kyle Petty was on his way to Chicagoland Speedway when he got word his son Austin’s motorcycle was struck by a car near their home in North Carolina. Kyle talked with Austin several times Friday and says he’s doing well. Petty said "They operated on him yesterday (Thursday) put pins in his broken ankles and may drain his left ankle Saturday. I’m not sure how long he’ll be in the hospital but he’ll be out by mid-week or so and he’ll be in a wheelchair for probably three or four weeks." While the younger Petty recovers, Dad has a plan for the 22-year old. "He’s going to be out of commission for a few weeks but we’ll send him to camp (Victory Junction Gang Camp) because the camp is wheelchair accessible and we’ll let him be a councilor so he’ll have a good time."(PRN's Garage Pass radio show)(7-10-2004)
Kyle to be master of ceremonies at Route 66: The rolling thunder of the AMA Progressive Insurance Flat Track Championship [Motorcycles] rolls into Joliet, Ill., and Route 66 Raceway this Friday, July 9. The leading AMA Grand National riders from across the country will vie for the top prize on the half-mile oval in round seven of the 20-race series. In an historic first, this race is being held in conjunction with a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series and Busch Series race at the neighboring Chicagoland Speedway. The AMA race will be held directly after Nextel Cup qualifying giving NASCAR fans a unique opportunity to see AMA Grand National motorcycle racing. Many of NASCAR's top drivers are expected to be among the crowd taking in the exciting two-wheel action Friday night and Kyle Petty will be on hand as Master of Ceremonies.(Chicagoland Speedway PR)(7-9-2004)
Petty Testing engines at Lowe's: Petty Enterprises broke two engines at California, and they weren't the first engines to blow this year. The #45 and #44 Petty Enterprises cars will test this week at Charlotte. The #44, a developmental car driven by Christian Fittipaldi [not so far in 2004], will be used strictly for engine work and will be driven by Mark Green, who normally works as the spotter for Kyle Petty and the #45.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(5-10-2004)
Harsh [but correct] words by Kyle: Kyle Petty says NASCAR should boycott Talladega Superspeedway after fans littered the track last weekend with trash and debris because that race finished under caution. "They should not allow a race back at Talladega for throwing beer cans on the race track," Petty said. "When we've got guys riding around [under caution] at 70, 80 mph, throwing beer cans on the race track, it's dangerous. We should not go back to that race track. That's pitiful that those people call themselves fans. That's Kyle Petty's opinion and I'll stand by that forever. I don't care how disgruntled you are, that's crap. I've been to football games and didn't like the endings. Did I pick up crap and throw it down on the field and hit the guys in the back of the head or throw stuff at the coaches. No."(Roanoke Times)(5-2-2004)
Petty finishes 11th and 2nd: Kyle Petty [with Gunnar Jeannette] finished the Food City 250 at Phoenix International Raceway in 11th [of 40 listed] overall, and 2nd in the GT class [won by Boris Said and Bill Auberlen] in the #45 Gunnar Racing / Porsche GT3 RS. Max Angelelli held off Scott Pruett in the closing laps to give SunTrust Racing its first-ever Rolex Sports Car Series win the overall race on Saturday night. For more see the PIR site.(4-11-2004)
Kyle Petty to Talk to Teens about Safety: Petty Enterprises driver #45-Kyle Petty is scheduled to take part in Georgia-Pacific Corp.'s Teen Safety 500 program for five suburban Pittsburgh schools next Wednesday [April 14th]. Students from Elizabeth Forward, South Allegheny, Thomas Jefferson, West Mifflin and McKeesport are scheduled to take part in the program to promote safe driving practices among teenagers. Petty is scheduled to sign autographs and pose for photos with the students.(Williams Company PR)(4-10-2004)
Kyle Petty Returns to Rolex Series for Phoenix 250: Kyle Petty announced that he will return to the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series next month, competing in the Phoenix 250 at Phoenix International Raceway, April 10 [off weekend for Nextel Cup]. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver will rejoin Gunnar Racing, this time at the wheel of the No. 45 Porsche GT3 RS. Petty kicked off his 2004 racing season by competing in his fifth Rolex 24 At Daytona earlier this year, teaming with famed-actor Paul Newman, Gunnar Jeannette and Michael Brockman in the Gunnar Racing entry. Jeannette and Petty will team back up in the No. 45 Porsche for the Phoenix 250. Petty is no stranger to the Rolex Sports Car Series, competing in seven races over the last three seasons. He teamed with John Andretti for the GT victory at Watkins Glen International in 2001 and has scored five class podium finishes, including a second-place finish with Jeannette and Newman in the GTS class at Watkins Glen last season. Petty's No. 45 Porsche is one of 40 race cars on the pre-entry list for the Phoenix 250 announced earlier this week. Tickets to the Phoenix 250, round three of the Rolex Series, are available at www.phoneixraceway.com. The Phoenix 250 will be broadcast LIVE on SPEED Channel, April 10 at 9 p.m. ET. For additional information on the Rolex Sports Car Series, visit www.grandamerican.com.(Phoenix International Raceway PR)(3-24-2004)
Teen who helps others, joins forces with Kyle: Zach Frye was eight years old when he met Kyle Petty on a South Carolina beach 10 years ago. Petty was vacationing, gathering sand dollars with his daughter Montgomery Lee. Kyle invited Zach to join them. A decade later, that chance meeting paid dividends to needy Bristol-area citizens. Over the next 10 years, Zach followed Kyle's career, particularly Petty's charitable work in the Bristol area. Petty's successful "Race To End Hunger" food drive collected thousands of pounds of food for the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry.
Zach picked up where Petty left off, and he created a highly-successful food drive of his own. Next week at Bristol, Petty will meet Zach again as the Blountville, Tenn., youth serves as an honorary member Kyle Petty's #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawney Dodge crew.
Last year, the Sullivan Central High School (Blountville, Tenn.) running back and basketball player took time away from school and athletics to generate publicity and gather food at his school and at a Food City store located near Bristol Motor Speedway. He collected more than 4,000 pounds of canned goods for Bristol Emergency Food Pantry.
Though he wants the spotlight on his cause and not himself, his efforts attracted several honors this year, including one from The White House. Frye received the "President's Award for Student Service," as well as the 2004 "Civic Responsibility and Outstanding Character Award" and the "National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Award." What he really wants is to tell Kyle Petty about his successful food drive and how meeting him 10 years ago put him on track to achieve his goals of service to others.
Petty and his Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge crew more than welcome Frye to the team for the Food City 500 at Bristol. "The ripple theory - one pebble in a pond creates ripples that go forever - really came into play here, but you need young people with Zach's compassion and willingness to help others to make it work," Petty said. "A lot of cool things happen in a race car driver's life, but something like this is pretty hard to top. Somebody told me Zach had said it was a real honor to be in our pit at Bristol. Let me tell you, it's an honor to us to have him there," Petty added.(Williams Company PR)(3-23-2004)
Tenth Anniversary Charity Ride to Kickoff May 1 in California: The Chick-fil-A family is teaming up with the First Family of Stock Car Racing for the 2004 Chick-fil-A Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp for kids. This spring's ride marks the first of a multi-year partnership between the Kyle Petty Charity Ride and Chick-fil-A, the nation's second-largest quick-service chicken restaurant chain. "In the past we've celebrated the end of the Charity Ride with a big concert, but this year is going to be a little different. The Chick-fil-A Kyle Petty Charity Ride will conclude at a private event at Victory Junction. It's an important way for us to honor Adam's memory. Plus it will give all the riders who have supported the camp over the years a first look at the finished product," said Petty.
The 2004 Chick-fil-A Kyle Petty Charity Ride marks the tenth year that Kyle, his wife Pattie and father Richard along with other friends,
family and supporters will take to the open road to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. To celebrate the ride's tenth anniversary and Chick-fil-A's new partnership, the #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge will sport a special look for the Nextel Cup race at California Speedway during the Charity Ride's kickoff weekend. The Sam Bass-designed paint scheme will feature the new Chick-fil-A Kyle Petty Charity Ride logo and colors. Joining Chick-fil-A as corporate partners of the Charity Ride are Georgia-Pacific, Victory Motorcycles, Coca-Cola and Daytona Harley-Davidson. The tenth anniversary ride will kick off May 1 in Palm Desert, Calif. From California, the ride will travel east, making overnight stops in Las Vegas, Nev.; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Roswell, N.M.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Branson, Mo.; Tupelo, Miss.; and Atlanta, Ga. The Charity Ride will conclude on May 8 at a special event for ride participants at the Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, NC.(PR), more information on my Racing Charities page.(3-12-2004)
Georgia-Pacific Brings Safe Teen Driving Program to Las Vegas: Georgia-Pacific Corp. brings its Teen Safety 500 program to two Las Vegas high schools on Thursday, March 4. Cimarron-Memorial High School and Centennial High School have been selected to participate in this innovative program that extends Georgia-Pacific’s involvement with NASCAR to spread the message of safe driving among teen-agers. NASCAR driver Kyle Petty will be on hand to present the Georgia-Pacific Teen Safety 500 program to students. The assembly will include Petty, local dignitaries and George Wurtz, executive vice president of pulp & paper at Georgia-Pacific, speaking to students about the importance of safety behind the wheel. After the assembly, students will have the opportunity to view the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge racecar outside the school and receive autographs from Petty. Activities begin at 12:00pm at Cimarron-Memorial High School. The Georgia-Pacific Teen Safety 500 program is in its fourth year. To date, students have logged more than 1 million safe miles through the program. Las Vegas is the first stop the Teen Safety 500 will make during the 2004 NASCAR season. In 2003, the program visited five cities and reached more than 10,000 students. Student drivers at the two schools will sign a safe-driving pledge to remain violation-free with no crashes during a three-week period. Once registered at Georgia-Pacific’s Web site, students will have the opportunity to win prizes for themselves and their school. Visit Georgia-Pacific’s racing Web site at www.gp.com/racing for more information about the Teen Safety 500 program.(3-3-2004)
Kyle and Mikey to run for a cause: A Kyle Petty-Michael Waltrip match-race on foot through the streets of Las Vegas in January might not be prime-time stuff, but this sport's two top runners figure they can put together a charity sponsorship package to generate more funds for Petty's Victory Junction Camp for seriously ill children. The camp is to open this year, and it has become one of this sport's top charities.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-16-2004)
Petty in the NY Times UPDATE: Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge, will have an op-ed piece appear in the New York Times, Sunday, Feb. 15. The piece, which will run in the sports section, is the first op-ed piece written by a NASCAR driver for the Times.(2-13-2004) the link:It's That Time of Year for Nascar, With Something New by Kyle Petty (NY Times)(2-15-2004)
Kyle Petty denies retirement talk: Kyle Petty isn't quite ready to hang up his driving suit. Petty on Monday denied a published report that he would step out of the #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge and into retirement at some point this season. "I don't know where that (rumor) came from; I don't have a clue," Petty said during a break in testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If I was going to retire, I wouldn't have come out here and run in the half-marathon and then got up this morning at 6 o'clock to come to the track." Petty said that "there is no plan at all" for him to turn over the driving duties of the Petty Enterprises car to Shane Hmiel, as was rumored. Hmiel currently is serving an indefinite suspension by NASCAR for violating its substance-abuse policy. Although both Petty Enterprise's cars struggled last season, Petty said the addition of veteran driver Jeff Green in the #43 car already is paying dividends. Both Green and Petty finished in the top 20 during testing earlier this month at Daytona International Speedway. "Realistically, Jeff brings a lot to the table," Petty said. "He drove for DEI and he drove for Childress, so he came in and looked at our stuff and he said, 'look, you guys are not a 40th-place team; we've got to get this thing straight.' Jeff has done a lot to get us turned in the right direction."(Las Vegas Sun)(1-28-2004)
Kyle Retiring Sometime in 2004? Hmiel to drive #45? UPDATE 2 Denied: At some point this season, for the first time in the history of NASCAR there will not be a Petty in the roster of drivers. Shane Hmiel is in line to replace Kyle Petty in the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. Petty would remain CEO of Petty Enterprises. "It's really not going to affect anyone but us," said seven-time champion Richard Petty, Kyle's father. "But it will be a family thing because we won't have anyone out there. We might have to adopt someone." Hmiel could be reinstated to compete in NASCAR as early as this week and be ready to race as early as Daytona. After failing a drug test last fall following the Busch race at Richmond, Hmiel, 23, was suspended from racing in NASCAR events. Gary Smith, NASCAR's director of event logistics, said last week that Hmiel has been involved in a rehabilitation program administered by an independent agency and is doing well.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(1-26-2004) UPDATE: being told by Petty sources that this is not true and Petty plans to run the full 2004 season, Hmiel could run a few select races in the #44. No idea what the plan is for Christian Fittipaldi in 2004.(1-26-2004) UPDATE 2: Contrary to a unconfirmed Internet report, Kyle Petty has no plans to retire in 2004, a source close to Petty Enterprises said. The report said that some time during the 2004 season, Petty would be replaced by Shane Hmiel in the #45 Dodge. Hmiel is currently undergoing a NASCAR-mandated program to gain reinstatement to the sport after being suspended last year for an undisclosed substance violation. Hmiel attempted to qualify in a Petty [#43] car last year in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona but was too slow to make the field. The report that Hmiel would replace Petty, however, is "not true at all," a source said.
"(It) was never checked with anyone at Petty Enterprises and had the quotes taken out of context," the source said. "Richard (Petty) was asked, as he has been more than once over the past few years, of the day that would sometime come when there would not be a Petty driving at Petty Enterprises, and this was not in any way a reaction to this 'story.' But the quotes were placed to make it look as if it were." Petty has been in NASCAR since 1979, competing in 678 races, making him ninth on that all-time list. He hasn't won since 1995, however, as Petty Enterprises has struggled in recent years. Petty has taken on the role of car owner, running the two-car team out of the famed Level Cross, N.C. shops. But retirement as a driver? A "baseless" claim, a source said.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(1-26-2004) UPDATE 3: been told there are no plans to run Hmiel in a Petty car in 2004, plans are still to run Christian Fittipaldi in some races, depending on sponosrship in the #44 Dodge.(1-27-2004)
Kyle Petty runs in the Las Vegas marathon: this is a few days old and have not seen results, but Kyle Petty was scheduled to run a marathon in Las Vegas: Kyle Petty, 43, will be wearing bib #5001 as he takes part in Sunday's [1/25] Las Vegas Marathon, half-marathon race. Petty is mixing business with pleasure by combining a Tuesday practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a spot in the 6,500-person marathon field.(from Friday at the Las Vegas Sun)
No word on where Petty finished but the half marathon was won by Jason Warick of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in 1:07:31.(Las Vegas Review Journal)(1-26-2004) UPDATE: Petty finished 163rd in his division with a time of 2:09:41; see results at www.lvmarathon.comAND see a column at the Las Vegas Sun: Despite 'pit stops,' Petty happy with his Vegas run(1-27-2004)
Kyle to Visit Two Miami High Schools on Nov. 13th: Georgia-Pacific Corp. brings its Teen Safety 500 program to two Miami high schools on Thursday, Nov. 13. Felix Varela Senior High School and Miami Palmetto Senior High School have been selected to participate in this innovative program that extends Georgia-Pacific’s involvement with NASCAR to spread the message of safe driving among teen-agers. #45-Kyle Petty will be on hand to present the Georgia-Pacific Teen Safety 500 program to students. The assembly will include Petty, local dignitaries and Ken Haldin, vice president of corporate communications at Georgia-Pacific, speaking to students about the importance of safety behind the wheel. After the assembly, students will have the opportunity to view the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge racecar outside the school and receive autographs from Petty. Activities begin at 9:45 a.m. at Miami Palmetto Senior High School. Both schools will receive a contribution from Georgia-Pacific for their participation. The school with the highest ratio of students completing three weeks of safe driving will win an additional contribution. Georgia-Pacific will provide participating students with a variety of prizes for those who log safe miles, including racing merchandise and entertainment and dining packages. One student will be chosen from the winning school for the grand prize – a gift card from Best Buy. Visit Georgia-Pacific’s racing Web site at www.gp.com/racing for more information about the Teen Safety 500 program.(Williams Company/Petty Racing PR)(11-13-2003)
Greg Steadman Takes Helm Of #45 Dodge Veteran to lead G-P team for rest of season: Veteran Greg Steadman will serve as crew chief of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge for the final two races of the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Steadman, who has previously served as crew chief of the #43 and #44 Dodges at Petty Enterprises, had been serving as shop foreman. “Greg has done a great job in the shop but he realizes we need him back on the road,” said Kyle Petty, driver of the #45 and CEO of Petty Enterprises. “As a crew chief with both the #43 and #44, he did a tremendous job, and is a great leader. We are fortunate to have him available. “We have not been able to build on our improvement in 2002. We feel Greg can help us get back on the right track,” Petty added.(Williams Company PR)(11-4-2003)
Special Scheme at the Rock for Petty - and - Petty/Stewart to appear in NYC: The Victory Junction Gang, a Proud Charity of NASCAR, and Toys "R" Us will join together this week for a special event to unveil the #45 "Hands to Victory" Dodge, which will be driven by NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty at North Carolina Speedway in Rockingham, NC, on November 9. The car features hand-prints of 46 NASCAR Winston Cup drivers. Petty will join 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart at the Wednesday, November 5 event taking place at Toys "R" Us Times Square at Broadway and 44th Street. Both drivers will be on hand for a private autograph session signing "Hands to Victory" die-casts following the presentation and unveiling of the car. Those who purchase a "Hands to Victory" die-cast from Toys "R" Us Times Square, while supplies last, will receive a ticket to attend an autograph session, being held from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. To receive a ticket for the signing session, purchasers must bring their "Hands to Victory" receipt to Personal Shopping on level three of the Toys "R" Us Times Square location. Proceeds from purchases of the "Hands to Victory" die-casts will benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp, founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty, which is due to open 2004 in Randleman, N.C. The camp, the only year-round multi-disease camp of its kind in the Carolinas and Virginia, was founded in honor of their late son Adam. Victory Junction Gang Camp will be geared toward making every child's camp experience unforgettable and empowering. For more information, visit their site at www.victoryjunction.org.(NASCAR PR), see an image of the car on my Cup Paint Schemes Gallery - Cars #'s 24-99.(10-30-2003)
Petty asks Inman to help out: Kyle Petty won't discuss reports he may be interested in hiring Robbie Loomis or Steve Hmiel to help run Petty Enterprises, but Petty says he has tried to lure Dale Inman out of retirement to become an adviser. "We need someone, we know that," Petty says. "I asked Dale to come to a few races to study things for us. We know we're missing something at the track." And Petty says he may have a new driver at the wheel of 43 next season: "We gave General Mills a list of four or five names. There are guys in the market now, Jeff Green, Johnny Benson, Kenny Schrader, Jimmy Spencer, you have to look at. We'll just ride it out for a while."(Winston Salem Journal)(10-25-2003)
Both Hmiels to Petty Enterprises? or Green? or Benson? A combination deal might land Steve Hmiel, technical director for Dale Earnhardt Inc., and his son Shane Hmiel, a Busch Series driver, at Petty Enterprises in 2004. Steve worked for the Pettys early in his Winston Cup career. Shane was supposed to drive the #43 Dodge in the Pepsi 400 in July at Daytona but failed to qualify. Jeff Green has run well recently in the #43 and also is a candidate to drive it. Johnny Benson, who will be released from the #10, might be in the mix because of his previous relationship with General Mills, the primary sponsor for the 43 car. "We're still looking, we're still evaluating, and we're still working in that direction whether it's Benson, Jeff Gordon, the guy sitting in the third row of the grandstands or Jeff Green," says Kyle Petty, the team's general manager. Petty says Christian Fittipaldi will drive the team's #44 if a sponsor is secured for next season.(Yahoo Sports/Sporting News)(10-20-2003)
Petty Enterprises safe with Dodge: DaimlerChrysler officials denied reports that Petty Enterprises was losing its top-tier status with Dodge. Although there have been concerns regarding the performance of the Nos. 43 and 45 cars this season, Dodge is committed to honoring the remaining years on Petty's contract.(FoxSports/Sporting News)(9-24-2003)
Atlanta Braves NASCAR Night on Monday with Kyle Petty: On Monday, September 8, the Atlanta Braves will host NASCAR Night at Turner Field, prior to the game against the Philadelphia Phillies. Fans will have the opportunity to see a number of authentic NASCAR stock cars live at Turner Field. The cars scheduled to be on hand are #50 NASCAR on TNT, #20 The Home Depot car, #15 NAPA Auto Parts car, #31 Cingular Wireless car, #8 Budweiser car, #45 Georgia-Pacific car, and the Richard Petty Driving Experience show car. Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty will be the Braves’ honorary team captain for the evening. The Braves are planning a special in-game feature with field drive-arounds during designated innings.(Atlanta Braves Press Release via MotorsportsTV)(9-5-2003)
Wells Fargo Re-ups with Petty: Wells Fargo Financial announced it has renewed and extended its sponsorship of NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty and his #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge for the 2004 season. Wells Fargo Financial, the North American consumer finance subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, is continuing the sponsorship as a result of their highly successful partnership with Petty Enterprises. Petty Enterprises is unique in its ability to bring added value to a Winston Cup sponsorship. "We are very happy with our relationship with Kyle and the entire Petty Enterprises team. Wells Fargo Financial is excited to be involved with one of the most celebrated names in all of NASCAR and in the fastest growing spectator sport in America," said Tom Gibbons, Director of Corporate Sponsorships. "We're very proud to have Wells Fargo Financial continue its sponsorship of Petty Enterprises," said Kyle Petty. "We believe they are an excellent partner with our other top-quality sponsors, like General Mills, Georgia-Pacific and Coca-Cola, and are the premier financial services company in the U.S." The sponsorship has provided significant benefit and impact to Wells Fargo Financial's business lines through client/dealer incentives and entertainment, customer promotions, driver appearances, show car appearances and employee incentives. NASCAR's popularity exceeds the NBA, NHL and MLB combined and averages more than 190,000 fans attending each event and more than 5.5 million viewers per race. Over 75 million Americans call themselves fans of the sport. Petty Enterprises, located in Randleman, NC, fields two Winston Cup teams: Kyle Petty's #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge and Christian Fittipaldi's #43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge. In addition to the race teams, the associated Richard Petty Driving Experience gives fans and corporate groups the opportunity to ride in or drive a Winston Cup-style stock car at 26 racetracks around the country. The Petty family is well known for its charitable efforts and will complete construction of The Victory Junction Gang Camp, founded in honor of Kyle and Pattie's son Adam, in 2004. The camp will host children with chronic and/or life-threatening illnesses ages 7 to 15 years old and their families at no charge. The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America has raised millions for charity over the past nine years. Kyle was named 2002 "March of Dimes" Sportsman of the year, 1998 and 2002 True Value Man of the Year and the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated "Person of the Year". Kyle's dad, known as "The King", Richard Petty, NASCAR's all-time most winning driver with 200 wins and seven championships, is still significantly involved in race operations and charities.(Wells Fargo Financial PR)(8-26-2003)
Hands of Victory Charity: hearing #45-Kyle Petty will run a "Hands of Victory" scheme at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Oct. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Hands of Victory Charity - not sure what that is.(6-23-2003) IMAGE: See an image of the scheme at 2003 Winston Cup Paint Schemes - Car #'s 24-99.(8-19-2003)
Changes coming at Petty Enterprises:......However, outsiders say that the problems are not so much technical as managerial, and [Kyle] Petty agrees: 'So we're getting ready to make a structural change in the next couple of weeks. I'm starting to give some of it to other people, so I can focus on just the driving and the business.' So will Fittipaldi be in that car again next year? There is speculation that Jeremy Mayfield may get a Petty ride. Petty said: 'Our plan is for Christian to be in that car next year, and that's the plan we've laid out for General Mills. However, if all of sudden Tony Stewart, for example, comes knocking at the door, then he's either going to get my seat or Christian's. 'Barring unforeseen circumstances, Christian will be in that car. But I won't give you a definitive, because I don't think there are any definitives in racing any more ... except we're Petty Enterprises and we're going to be here for a while.'(see full story and many quotes at the Winston Salem Journal)(8-17-2003)
PE's Ray Hudson finishes the Appalachian Trail, raises $45k for VJGC: Not many people can boast that they hiked 2,172 miles, through 14 different states all in one attempt.. Ray Hudson can say just that, and that he raised over $45,000 for his favorite charity. Ray Hudson, a shop fabricator at Petty Enterprises, hiked the entire 2,172-mile Appalachian Trail starting in Springer Mountain, GA on March 1.. Hudson finished his hike on July 21, 143 days since he began.. His inspiration for this incredible hike was to raise funds for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. On August 11th at 4:00 pm Ray attended a huge welcome home bash and celebrated his very own Ray Hudson Day. The town of Randleman generously named August 11th Ray Hudson Day.. Over 100 individuals who donated to Ray's hike joined Richard and Kyle Petty at the Petty Enterprises Fab Shop in Thomasville.. A check in the amount of $45,000 from Ray's hike was presented to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. "My goal was somewhere between $15,000 to $20,000. I just can't believe that I raised $45,000, I had no idea. This is amazing, thank you", said Ray Hudson. Kyle Petty was just as shocked at the amount raised, " Ray we are so proud of you.. By living out your dream you helped us to build our dream of Victory Junction". For more information, visit www.victoryjunction.org.(The Victory Junction Gang PR)(8-13-2003)
Cup Drivers do ok in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250: there were a few drivers with NASCAR connections in Friday's Bully Hill Vineyards 250 at Watkins Glen International. Rick Carelli and John Metcalf picked up their first Rolex Series GTS win in the Team Re/Max Racing #05 Corvette on Friday night. The duo took a three-lap victory over the second-place Gunnar Racing #6 Porsche GT1 of Gunnar Jeannette, Kyle Petty and Paul Newman. The Porsche was able to take second in the class despite a spin by Newman that sent the car into The Glen's foam walls and brought out a caution. The team was able to repair the car and get it back on course before the track went back to green flag conditions. Petty was the only guest NASCAR driver to earn a spot on the podium. Robby Gordon finished fifth in the Daytona Prototypes class in the Cegwa Sport #3 Toyota, and Geoffrey Bodine took seventh in the class in the G&W Motorsports #8 BMW. The Bully Hill Vineyards 250 will be broadcast on SPEED Channel on Sunday, August 10 at 5:00pm/et. The overall race was won by Terry Borcheller and Forest Barber. Former Busch driver and son of Racing legend Mark Donohue, David Donohue was 2nd.(Grand American Road Racing Association Site)(8-9-2003)
2,172 miles, 14 States, 143 Days - Ray Hudson finishes the Appalachian Trail: Not many people can boast that they hiked 2,172 miles, through 14 different states all in one attempt. Ray Hudson can say just that, and that he did it all to help his favorite charity. Ray Hudson, a shop fabricator at Petty Enterprises, hiked the entire 2,172-mile Appalachian Trail starting in Springer Mountain, GA on March 1. Hudson finished his hike on July 21, 143 days since he began. His inspiration for this incredible hike was to raise funds for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Ray will return to his hometown of Randleman, North Carolina to a huge welcome home bash and his very own Ray Hudson Day. The town of Randleman has generously named August 11th Ray Hudson Day. All of the individuals who donated to Ray's hike will be invited to join Richard and Kyle Petty to welcome back Ray. A check with the total amount from Ray's hike will be presented to the Victory Junction Gang Camp. "This is huge, we are all really proud of Ray," said Kyle Petty.(Victory Junction Gang PR)(8-5-2003)
Petty to drive a Porche at the Glen: Kyle Petty will return to the Grand American Rolex Sports Cars Series at Watkins Glen International, August 7-8, driving a Porsche in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250. At the same time, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series veteran will be raising awareness for the eight Hole in the Wall Gang camps for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families. Petty will join Gunnar Jeannette in the Gunnar Racing #6 Porsche GT1. The car, driven by Petty to a second place finish in the GTS class in the recent Paul Revere 250 at Daytona International Speedway, will carry a special paint scheme featuring all eight Hole in the Wall Gang
camps for the 250-mile race. "Kyle joined us at the Paul Revere 250, and he liked racing in our car and asked if he could drive it again," said team owner Kevin Jeannette. "Of course we were thrilled to have him come back and join us. Because of our team's prior affiliation with Paul Newman, who founded the Hole in the Wall Gang camps, and Kyle's Victory Junction Gang Camp, I thought it would be a great idea to help promote awareness of these camps in front of the Winston Cup crowd at The Glen." Jeannette will donate his winnings from the race to the Hole in the Wall Gang camps, and plans to encourage all of the other Rolex Series teams to do the same at the Bully Hill Vineyards 250. The car will mark the first time that all eight of the Hole in the Wall Gang camps have been featured together. That number includes the Victory Junction Gang Camp near Greensboro, N.C., founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of Adam Petty, which will open in 2004. The
other camps include the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Connecticut, Boggy Creek Gang Camp in Florida, Double "H" Hole in the Woods Ranch in New York, Barretstown Gang Camp in Ireland, L'Envol in France, Painted Turtle Camp in California and Jordan River Village in Israel. Petty is no stranger to Gatorade Victory Lane at The Glen. He won the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race, and joined John Andretti in the Orbit Porsche to capture GT honors in the 2001 Bully Hill Vineyards 250. He has also competed four times the Rolex 24 At Daytona, scoring two overall finishes in the top seven driving the Orbit Racing Porsche.(Watkins Glen PR)(8-5-2003)
Garfield's Engine Has No Purr: Kyle Petty's #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge was painted in a tribute to the 25th birthday of Garfield, the popular comic character created by Muncie [IN] native Jim Davis [do not remember seeing much of it on TV during the race]. The famous cat didn't help the car purr, however. "It felt terrible today," Petty said. "We have no motor, no motor, no motor. We have to figure it out. We need to find a motor somewhere." Petty used a provisional to start Sunday's race in 41st place. The rear end broke in the car on lap 95, forcing Petty to the pits, where repairs cost him 19 laps. Petty finished 40th, 19 laps behind winner Kevin Harvick.(Muncie Star Press)(8-4-2003)
Kyle gets claws: Although the crewmembers at Petty Enterprises work hard to turn the team's Dodges into tigers on the track, their newest race car has proved to be a real pussycat - thanks to motorsports designer Sam Bass. It was Bass who took the image of Garfield, the world's most famous cartoon cat, and wrapped him around the wind tunnel-tested curves of Kyle Petty's #45 Dodge Intrepid. Garfield, who celebrates a milestone 25th birthday this year, has loaned his mischievous, Cheshire-like grin to the front of Petty's car, while the chunky feline's trademark orange-and-black tail curls to the back, anticipating his next opportunity for lasagna. Garfield's appearance on the Intrepid's hood wearing Richard Petty's cowboy hat, shades and Petty Enterprises crew jacket makes it clear he imagines himself to be the new King of stock car racing. The special paint scheme's appearance at Indianapolis Motor Speedway's August 3 Brickyard 400 is part of a celebration to honor Marion, Ind., native Jim Davis' cartoon creation during the week of the race. "I like it," commented Davis about the Bass design. "It's fun, bright, colorful and captures Garfield's wit. We should be able to see this car from outer space!"
"It's hard work to draw for a living," Bass said about his and Davis' occupations. "To create a comic strip character that is still being enjoyed a quarter-century later by readers of all ages, all around the world is an incredible accomplishment. I have been a fan of Jim's work and creativity for a long time. It was so much fun for me to work on this project." Bass has announced the release of a fine art poster commemorating Garfield's 25th birthday that features the Petty car design. It will be available through the Sam Bass Gallery for $20 per poster. For more information about the Kyle Petty/Garfield car design, log on to www.sambass.com or phone 704/455-6915, see image of the scheme on my 2003 Cup Paint Schemes, #'s24-99.(7-30/8-2-2003)
Parrott to PE? maybe Roush? UPDATE 3 looks like neither: Sources in the garage say former Robert Yates Racing crew chief Todd Parrott could be coming out of retirement and headed for Petty Enterprises -- if the Pettys can afford the seven-figure price tag it would take to retain him.(more 'Dish' at Sporting News)(7-21-2003) UPDATE: Earlier this year, Todd Parrott was released as director of competition at Robert Yates Racing. Earlier this week, there was a report that Parrott may wind up with Petty Enterprises, but a source told me Friday that Parrott could wind up at Roush Racing. We'll keep you posted on that.(Fox Sports Net's Totally NASCAR)(7-26-2003) UPDATE 2: Crew chief Todd Parrott is shopping for a job, and two places he's applied are Petty Enterprises and Roush Racing. But sources say that Parrott won't be offered a job with Roush. 'Todd came to me, and I have talked with him,' Jack Roush said, without further explanation.(Winston Salem Journal)(7-28-2003) UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises has talked to Todd Parrott about its General Manager's job, but Kyle Petty says Parrott will not be joining the team. Petty continues to look for a GM for the team.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to view)(8-1-2003)
Shakeup at PE? Richard Petty is not happy with the shape of things at Petty Enterprises [#43, #44, #45], and a shakeup may be coming.(Winston Salem Journal), see above story.(7-28-2003)
Special Paint for Kyle UPDATE: #45-Kyle Petty will run a Garfield scheme in the Brickyard 400.(4-13-2003) UPDATE: Indianapolis Motor Speedway says the #45 Dodge that Kyle Petty will drive for Petty Enterprises in the Aug. 3 Brickyard 400 will sport a special paint scheme promoting the 25th birthday of the cartoon cat Garfield. An ice cream social and autograph session for fans is scheduled for Aug. 2 at the track with both Kyle and Richard Petty scheduled to be on hand from 2:45 to 3:45 p.m.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter), see an image of the scheme on my 2003 Cup Schemes page #24-99.(7-25-2003)
Kyle all black: #45-Kyle Petty will have his all black #45 Dodge at New Hampshire, a schemes he has run at the track since his son Adam was killed at NHIS back in 2000 in a Busch Series practice wreck.(7-20-2003)
Petty Sorry: After finishing 27th at Chicago, #45-Kyle Petty apologized for being too harsh on his engine builder, Mike Ege, last week at Daytona. Only one of three Petty Enterprises cars qualified for the Pepsi 400. "They worked 96 hours straight to send us to Chicago with something different, and in 98 hours, they made some big gains," Petty said. "My hat's off to them. There's daylight at the end of the tunnel. We just have to keep plugging at it."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-14-2003)
Petty Not Changing Engine Builders: Kyle Petty said Friday he had no intention of removing Mike Ege Racing Engines as the engine builder for Petty Enterprises, despite his scathing statements last week at Daytona. Petty said he went public with his criticism of Ege because private efforts to get Ege's attention went unheeded. Petty said Ege's company responded by working 72 straight hours to bring better engines to Chicago. Petty practiced well, posting the 20th-best speed. But he and Fittipaldi still needed provisionals to make the field.(NASCAR.com)(7-12-2003)
#45 Upproved Jacking Bolt UPDATE Penalized and docked points: Kyle Petty 's #45 Dodge had unapproved rear jacking bolts confiscated during an inspection before practice.(Roanoke Times)(7-7-2003) UPDATE: The #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge was found to have unapproved rear jacking bolts during opening-day inspection. Crew chief Steven Lane was issued a $25,000 fine while Kyle Petty forfeited 25 championship driver points and Pattie Petty forfeited 25 championship owner points.The team was in violation of Section 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and Section 12-4-Q (Any determination by NASCAR Officials that parts and/or equipment in the Event do not conform to NASCAR rules) of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rule Book.(NASCAR PR)(7-9-2003)
Petty: Engines to Blame UPDATE: Why did two Petty Enterprises cars [#43 and #44] miss the Pepsi 400 at Daytona? What went wrong? Simple, Kyle Petty said. The engines weren't up to snuff. "It's the way things go, especially at a restrictor-plate race," Petty said. "Somewhere, we've gotten behind on our engines, and we just ain't caught up. It's been showing everywhere we've been, but it really showed up here. Mike's engines have been really, really good, but these are the same cars that we ran here before. We lost ground this time. You can't say it's got a lot to do with the cars. I've got to put all this on our engine department." Petty Enterprises engines are built by Mike Ege Racing Engines, a company started before the 2002 season to exclusive construct engines for the Pettys. Ege came from Robert Yates Racing, long known as one of the best engine-building companies in NASCAR. But Ege hasn't gained any horsepower on restrictor-plate engines. That doesn't sound too bad, but when you consider everyone else is gaining a few horsepower, the Pettys slide backwards.(NASCAR.com)(7-4-2003) UPDATE: After two of the team's three cars failed to qualify for the Pepsi 400, car owner and driver Kyle Petty was seen holding engine builder Mike Ege against the chain-linked fence in the garage area. Petty said Ege will continue to build engines for the team and that the two had a confrontation after time trials.(Florida Times Union)(7-5-2003)
Hands of Victory Charity: hearing #45-Kyle Petty will run a "Hands of Victory" scheme at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Oct. A portion of all sales will be donated to the Hands of Victory Charity - not sure what that is.(6-23-2003)
Georgia-Pacific, Petty and USO: Volunteers from Georgia-Pacific, the maker of Brawny paper towels, presented Delaware's United Service Organization with a check for $2,000 Monday. Kyle Petty attended the press conference at Dover's City Hall in support of Georgia-Pacific, his racecar sponsor. Mr. Petty and Georgia-Pacific are working together to honor charitable organizations on the second an-nual Brawny Brigade service tour.(Dover Newszap)(6-3-2003)
and Petty not happy with Bodine: Kyle Petty also got into the act after Todd Bodine bumped him out of the race. Petty walked past Bodine's crew chief, Derick Finley, and pointed to his sunglasses -- probably not as a goodwill gesture to help Bodine see more clearly on the track.(Charlotte Observer)(6-3-2003)
Interesting Comments by Kyle: #45-Kyle Petty has been around stock-car racing so long that he can laugh off or shrug off just about any misfortune or odd bid of luck. But he said he's continually amazed at how people who say one thing one day, sometimes wind up doing something different the next - with a straight face. "Why don't you reread all those press releases these people keep sending out ... because you'd catch everybody here in ultimate lies," Petty said with a laugh. "That's always the best part. I want you to write a book someday on things that were said one year about how things were going to be, and then go back six months later, or two years later, and see how things changed. Because everything in here changes. Everything. It changes. But it stays the same."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-1-2003)
Georgia-Pacific Joins Petty Ride: Georgia-Pacific Corp. today announced that the company will be the presenting sponsor of the 2003 Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America to benefit the Victory Junction Gang Camp for kids. The week-long motorcycle ride begins June 22 in Palm Springs, Calif., and concludes June 29 in Daytona Beach. To celebrate the ninth anniversary of this cross-country motorcycle trek, Petty's #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge will sport a different look for the Winston Cup race at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA.
Petty's car will carry a special paint scheme designed by famed NASCAR artist Sam Bass and featuring the colors of the 2003 Kyle Petty
Charity Ride Across America presented by Georgia-Pacific. Bass created the overall look for this year's event, including the design for the Victory motorcycle that Petty will ride during the 2003 Charity Ride. Speed Channel will document the 2003 Charity Ride for an hour-long special to air later this summer. Speed Channel cameras will travel cross-country with the riders, giving fans an in-depth look at one of racing's biggest charity events. Joining Georgia-Pacific as corporate partners of the 2003 Charity Ride are Victory Motorcycles, Coca-Cola and Daytona Harley-Davidson.(Three Wide Marketing PR), more info on the ride on my Racing Charities page.(5-22-2003)
New Rigs for Petty's: Freightliner Trucks has presented five spanking-new Freightliner Coronado heavy-duty trucks to Petty Enterprises. Three of the Coronado trucks are assigned to Petty Enterprises race teams, hauling Dodge Intrepid R/T racecars and equipment to NASCAR's Winston Cup races nationwide. The other two will see duty at various tracks around the country where Petty crews conduct tests on their cars and equipment. According to Mark Lampert, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Freightliner Trucks, the trucks are being furnished as part of a sponsorship agreement with Petty Enterprises. Each Coronado is accessorized and custom-painted with the distinctive graphics of the individual sponsors of Kyle Petty's #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge, John Andretti's #43 General Mills Dodge and Christian Fittapaldi's #44 Dodge. Freightliner Trucks is a division of Freightliner LLC, headquartered in Portland, Ore. Freightliner Trucks produces and markets Class 5-8 trucks and is a company of DaimlerChrysler.(Truckinginfo.com)(4-29-2003)
Andretti, Petty Set Donation At California: John Andretti and the #43 Dodge team did more than run a race for themselves and their fans Sunday at the two-mile California Speedway. By completing all 250 laps in Sunday’s NASCAR Winston Cup event, 10,750 new books will now be donated by First Book and Cheerios to children in the greater Los Angeles area. Through the Cheerios Spoonfuls of Stories program, 43 books were donated for every lap Andretti completed Sunday to children participating in Boys and Girls Club of Fontana, Sivaland Head Start and The Agape House, also both in Fontana, and in LA’s BEST, an after-school program serving children in the city of Los Angeles. The goal of the donation was to drive home Cheerios’ commitment to childhood literacy.(Williams Company PR)(4-28-2003)
New McDonald's/NASCAR Commercial: McDonald's will launch its newly-created NASCAR advertising campaign during Sunday's FOX telecast of the Auto Club 500 Winston Cup race. The new series of commercials is an enhancement to the inaugural McDonald's Drive-Thru Pit Championship fueled by POWERade. Tony Stewart and Kyle Petty are featured in three different versions of the 30-second commercials, produced by DDB Chicago, McDonald's national advertising agency. Stewart, driver of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet and the reigning NASCAR Winston Cup champion, has firsthand knowledge of the similarities between a NASCAR crew and a McDonald's restaurant crew. As a teenager, Stewart worked as a McDonald's crew person [as did Jayski].(PR)(4-27-2003)
Petty still hurtin' but makes it thru: Kyle Petty finished a season-high 11th despite racing with two cracked ribs. It wasn't easy. "My ribs hurt so bad and my back hurt so bad that I just rode around for the first 170 laps," Petty said as he walked in the garage but kept his left arm still. "I told them to tell me when there were 15 laps to go and we'll race."(Roanoke Times)(4-7-2003)
Teen Safety 500 to Birmingham: Georgia-Pacific Corp. brings its Teen Safety 500 program to two Birmingham-area high schools on Thursday, April 3.. Mountain Brook High School and Vestavia Hills High School have been selected to participate in this innovative program that extends Georgia-Pacific’s involvement with NASCAR to spread the message of safe driving among teen-agers. NASCAR driver Kyle Petty will be on hand to present the Georgia-Pacific Teen Safety 500 program to students. The program will include Petty, local dignitaries and Georgia-Pacific representatives speaking to students about the importance of safety behind the wheel. After the assembly, students will have the opportunity to view an actual NASCAR car outside the school and receive autographs from Petty. The Georgia-Pacific Teen Safety 500 program is in its third year. To date, students have logged more than 1 million safe miles through the program. Birmingham is the first of six stops the Teen Safety 500 will make during the 2003 NASCAR season. Student drivers at the two schools will sign a safe-driving pledge to remain violation-free with no crashes during a three-week period. Once registered at Georgia-Pacific’s Web site, students will have the opportunity to win prizes for themselves and their school. Both schools will receive a cash contribution from Georgia-Pacific for their participation. The school with the highest ratio of students completing three weeks of safe driving will win an additional contribution. Georgia-Pacific will provide participating students with a variety of prizes for those who log safe miles, including product coupons from Chick-fil-A, racing merchandise and entertainment and dining packages. One student will be chosen from the winning school for the grand prize – a $200 gift card from Best Buy. Petty will be joined by John O’Donnell, president, North American Commercial Business, Georgia-Pacific; Sgt. William Rogers, Birmingham district public information/safety education officer; Dicky Barlow, principal, Mountain Brook High School; and Ann Jones, principal, Vestavia Hills High School. Visit Georgia-Pacific’s racing Web site at www.gp.com/racing for more information about the Teen Safety 500 program.(Williams Company PR)(4-3-2003)
Car Chief tests for Petty: David Hyder has been Kyle Petty's car chief for a couple of years. Tuesday morning, though, Hyder moved from outside the car to inside the car. Petty's team was set to test at Martinsville Speedway Tuesday and Wednesday, but the driver of the Georgia Pacific Dodge is still nursing sore ribs from a hard crash at Bristol International Raceway two weeks ago. When Petty went looking for a sub for testing, he never left his shop. He just asked Hyder to change uniforms for a couple of days to help the team to prepare for the Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, April 13. "Kyle asked me Saturday night at Texas if I would do this for him. It makes me feel really good they had the confidence in me and would ask me to do this," said Hyder. It's not like Petty threw a raw rookie into his Dodge, though. Although Hyder isn't a household name to race fans from coast-to-coast, Late Model Stock fans throughout Virginia and the Carolinas are familiar with him. The 35-year-old Hyder won 103 Late Model races in that area during the early and mid 1990s. And Martinsville Speedway was the site of his most important Late Model Stock win, the 1997 Miller 300. He set a track Late Model qualifying record for that race, a record that still stands, and won the race. He took home a record payout of $27,500 that day, another Martinsville Late Model mark that still stands. Hyder said his Martinsville experience certainly came into play when Petty was looking for a testing substitute. "I've run a lot of laps here and I think Kyle knew that," said Hyder, who stepped out of fulltime Late Model racing three years ago to pursue a more stable career. "I think he knew I'd run enough laps here that I could give them some good data. I know this isn't a simple race track by no means." Hyder was solid in testing all day Tuesday as the team worked on short runs. He said his best time was 20.70 seconds (91.478mph) around the .526-mile oval. Hyder and the Petty team weren't looking for pole-winning times Tuesday, though. They had a new car at the track, and Hyder spent most of the day shaking it down. "Tomorrow we'll build on what we learned today and we learned a lot of things today," said Hyder. "We only ran a hundred or so laps today and they were all short runs. We just wanted to get laps on the car. It's a brand new car. "We've still got a ways to go. We made some gains late today. I think we'll be right there with everyone else. We'll talk about everything we learned tonight and we'll come back and apply it all tomorrow." Hyder will be back as car chief this week when Petty returns behind the wheel at Talledega, but he admits it would be nice to return to driving full time one of these days. "I've always told Kyle I'd like to drive again. But Kyle has been great to me and it would take a really, really good deal to go back to driving," said Hyder. "I like to drive cars, but I'm perfectly satisfied with what I'm doing with this team." Hyder said right now, his goal is simple. "Nothing would suit me better than for us to take what we learn up here this week and come back and help KP run better here next week. That's our goal and that's what I want us to do," said Hyder. Hyder said he felt comfortable with his return to driving on Tuesday, but there was one point in the day when he did get a bit edgy. "I came out of the hauler after lunch and both of them ... Kyle and Richard (Petty) were standing there. That showed me they had confidence in me, both of them coming up here. "But anytime you walk out of the truck and see the King standing there ...I mean he's won 200 Winston Cup races. I didn't know whether to get in the car or go back up in the truck. Testing will resume at Martinsville at 9 a.m. on Wednesday with the same group of teams. Testing is open to the public at no charge.(Martinsville Speedway PR)(4-2-2003)
Petty to skip Talladega? denied: The black box data recorder in Kyle Petty's car registered an incredible 80-Gs in his Bristol crash last week. No wonder he has two broken ribs. Petty's car hit on the driver's side, and it was very close to being a flush hit - the most dangerous type. Petty may also sit out this week's Talladega race. Christian Fittipaldi subbed for Petty on Sunday but crashed midway through the race. "The last 10 or 15 laps I was out there I think I was running out of brakes," Fittipaldi said. "When I came out of turn two, Dale Jarrett was right next to me, and I guess I forgot to pump the brake pedal. When I went into three, it was way, way low, like almost on the floor of the car. But considering I hopped in at the last minute, I was having a pretty good time out there."(Winston Salem Journal) BUT was sent this Tuesday: Please note Kyle Petty should be listed as the driver of the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge for the NASCAR Winston Cup event this weekend at Talladega, Ala., and is planning on.participating in practice, as well as qualifying,.and racing the car.(Williams Company PR)(4-2-2003)
Kyle takes hardest hit: It's no surprise Kyle Petty needed more time to recover after taking an 80-plus G-force hit that cracked two of his ribs at Bristol. According to some NASCAR officials, it was the hardest hit taken by a driver since data recorders were installed in the cars last year. Petty says he was extremely sore and credits the composite seat developed by owner Cal Wells and his driver, Ricky Craven, for lessening the blow.(Sporting News)(3-31-2003)
Fittipaldi to give Kyle Saturday off UPDATE 2 Petty has two cracked ribs and will NOT race Sunday: #45-Kyle Petty got through practice and qualifying Friday, but likely won't get back behind the wheel again at Texas Motor Speedway before Sunday's race. After hitting a wall at Bristol last week, Petty needed help getting out of his car and was placed on a stretcher. He was treated and released from the hospital, but is still hurting. "Kyle is pretty sore," said Steve Lane, crew chief of the #45 Georgia Pacific Dodge. "As for the race, I'm going to let him make the call. We're going to let Christian Fittipaldi practice the car Saturday." Petty qualified 28th at Texas. If Petty is unable to finish Sunday, Fittipaldi - a former Formula One and CART driver - would take over.(ThatsRacin.com/AP) UPDATE: Kyle Petty had xray's taken after qualifying on Friday at Texas and it was found he has two cracked ribs. It is expected that Christian Fittipaldi will race in the #45 Brawny Dodge Sunday, not sure if from the start or as a relief driver.(FX Coverage of Happy Hour)(3-29-2003) UPDATE 2: Kyle Petty will not race today at Texas in the #45 Brawny Dodge, Christian Fittipaldi will start the race and run the distance.(Fox Sports Net's NASCAR This Morning)(3-30-2003)
Dale Earnhardt Jr/Kyle Petty in TBS Baseball Promos: TBS Superstation recently unveiled a new integrated print and on-air advertising campaign that is MLB topical and focuses on match-ups and the superstars around the league that will be battling against the Braves throughout the season on the Superstation. WTBS, Turner South and the Atlanta Braves also unveiled their new campaign, which centers around the classic ballpark song "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." The campaign features such celebrities as Dale Earnhardt Jr., Charles Barkley, D.L. Hughley, Brian Littrell (of The Backstreet Boys), Mike Mills (of R.E.M.), Kyle Petty, Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." The relaxed and casual demeanor caught on film shows viewers a different side of the players and celebrity Braves fans.(Turner Sports PR/MotorsportsTV)(3-26-2003)
Petty to the hospital UPDATE 3: Kyle Petty has been transferred to a local Bristol hospital for further observation, Petty was awake and alert otherwise. This ends Petty's 40 race streak of not having an DNF-Did Not Finish. UPDATE: Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty was airlifted to Bristol Regional Medical Center for evaluation following a hard wreck on Lap 424 of 500 in Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Ward Burton spun in Turn 3, hit Petty's No. 45 Dodge and Petty's car swung hard into the wall, driver's side first. Petty had to be assisted out of his car by medical personnel and went to the track's infield care center for initial evaluation. He appeared very groggy. Petty was awake and alert at the care center but was sent to the hospital for precautionary measures. Petty was expected to be released from the hospital later Sunday. "He just said he hurt all over," said Petty's crew chief, Steven Lane. "I think they are just going to take him for the sake of caution just to make sure he is OK. I hope that's all that it is. He took a hard lick."(ThatsRacin.com)(3-23-2003) UPDATE 2: Kyle Petty was treated and released from Bristol Regional Medical Center on Sunday night after a hard impact late in Sunday's race.(Roanoke Times) UPDATE 3: Kyle Petty returned home Sunday night following the Food City 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race. He is expected to be ready for this week’s events at Texas Motor Speedway. Petty was examined at Bristol (Tenn.) Regional following a crash Sunday, and was released. He will obviously follow up with a routine examination from his personal physician this week. "He’s very sore," said Steven Lane, crew chief for Petty’s #45 Georgia-Pacific Dodge. "He hit pretty hard, so you would expect that. But he should be ready to go at Texas this week."(Williams Company)(3-24-2003)
Petty 2003 Ride Details: Kyle Petty's ninth annual Charity Ride Across America is scheduled for Sunday morning, June 22, through Saturday afternoon, June 28. The motorcycle caravan will help raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp being built by the Petty family on 60 acres near Randleman, NC. The ride will leave from Palm Springs, Calif., and make six overnight stops: Sedona, Ariz.; Santa Fe, N.M.; Amarillo, Texas; Shreveport, La.; Biloxi, Miss.; and Tallahassee, Fla. It will end at the Dale Earnhardt Legacy concert at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. This year's ride is the first not to start from near a Winston Cup venue. The first two rides headed eastward after races at Sears Point Raceway at Sonoma, Calif. The third ride left from the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth and the next three from the California Speedway at Fontana. The 2001 and 2002 rides left from the Sonoma area.(Daily Press)(3-23-2003)
Add another to the Petty Family: Harrison Ridge Moffitt - son of Rebecca and Brian Moffitt - was born at approximately 8 a.m., Monday, February 24.. He weighed in at 8lbs. and is 21 inches long.. Mother and child are doing fine and we be in Women's Hospital in Greensboro until Friday. Brian is Vice President of Marketing for Petty Marketing. Rebecca is the daughter of Richard and Lynda Petty. Harrison Ridge is their 12th grandchild.(Williams Company PR)(2-25-2003)
Petty's back on TV with STP: After a 10 year hiatus from its advertising campaigns, race car legend Richard Petty is returning to TV on behalf of Clorox Co.'s STP brand. Petty, a seven-time Nascar Winston Cup champion, first appeared for STP in the 1970s. In recent years, however, he has limited his association with the brand to driving an STP-sponsored race car and serving as a spokesman for the brand in a public relations capacity. Michael Hoar, management director on the account at Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, San Francisco, said the decision to bring Petty back for the campaign resulted from research that found that sons learn about car care from their fathers. The ads back the STP Fuel Additives line, which includes three products: Gas Treatment, Super Concentrated Fuel Injector Cleaner, and Complete Fuel System Cleaner. In the spots, titled "Dad's Advice," Petty's son Kyle, a NASCAR Winston Cup driver, talks about the importance of cleaning a car's fuel system as well as the engine's oil. The younger Mr. Petty speaks to the camera, but when he slams down the hood of the car, his father is seen in the background wearing his trademark cowboy hat and glasses. "It's the ultimate father handing advice to the ultimate son," Mr Hoar said. The spots broke this week on NASCAR and sports programming. A print and in-store component also is included, along with public relations activities.(AdAge)(1-8-2003)
Pemberton leaves Petty Enterprises? UPDATE yes: it was reported on Sunday's LTN Network radio show that Robin Pemberton has left Petty Enterprises at Team Manager.(1-6-2003) UPDATE: Petty Enterprises will further restructure its competitive setup, as part of the earlier announcements regarding its two full-time NASCAR Winston Cup teams and the Winston Cup-Busch-ARCA team of driver Christian Fittipaldi. As part of that structuring, Robin Pemberton will not return in 2003. "We really appreciate the knowledge and experience Robin brought to our race teams, and wish him nothing but the best as he continues his career," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "We know he will be successful in anything he does, and we will continue working to bring that same type of success to all of our teams."(Williams Company)(1-6-2003)
Petty Racing on Discovery Channel UPDATE TONIGHT: The Monster Garage team of the Discovery Channel packs its bags, tool cases and attitude and takes off for the rolling hills of North Carolina. The maverick mechanics convert a Petty Racing Team Winston Cup car into the fastest street sweeper on the planet. Will air in Monday, Jan 6th on the Discovery Channel (check local listings) at at 8:00pm and 11:00pm and on Sat Jan 11 2003 at 7:00pm.(Discovery Channel)(12-31-2002) UPDATE: Missed the pre-race for last fall's NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway? Then you missed the Discovery Channel's
Monster Garage and its newest creation, the fastest street sweeper on the planet. This racecar-powered sweeper zoomed around the high banks of Atlanta's 1.54-mile track, the fastest in NASCAR, at over 100 mph. Lucky for you, the Discovery Channel is airing the segment three times next week so that you can get "up to speed." Monster Garage is the Discovery Channel's program that transforms ordinary vehicles into extraordinary machines. The street sweeper was created from a Richard Petty Winston Cup car and was debuted during the pre-race of the Oct. 27 NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.(AMS PR)(1-3-2003)
Special Paint for Kyle: #45-Kyle Petty will run a different scheme in the Brickyard 400, no idea what it is....yet.(12-13-2002)
Kyle to race in the Rolex 24: Kyle Petty will drive a Porsche at the 24 Hours of Daytona teaming up with Orbit Racing in Feb.(Orbit Racing)(12-11-2002)
The King and Kyle Honored: Kyle Petty, son of NASCARs other seven-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion, Richard Petty, accepted the Buddy Shuman Award on his father's behalf. The Buddy Shuman Award, a lifetime achievement type of honor, is named for the late Shuman, a NASCAR driver who died in a hotel fire in 1955. Jay Burkhart, vice president of marketing for Federal Mogul, presented the award. Kyle Petty said the inclement weather hitting much of the nation this week kept his father back home in North Carolina. "You know ˜The King"," Kyle said. "He's a man of few words, but here's what he did say: ˜If it's gonna snow, I'd rather be snowed in at home, than in New York City."
Kyle then returned to the stage several minutes later to receive the True Value Person of the Year Award from Pamela Lieberman, president and CEO of True Serve Corporation. Petty, Jeff Gordon, Ken Schrader and Ricky Craven were the four nominees for the award, which recognizes drivers who have excelled in humanitarian efforts. Kyle earned high marks in that area, with his annual Kyle Petty Charity (motorcycle) Ride Across America, and the ongoing establishment of the Victory Junction Gang Camp for seriously ill children among his charitable venture.(NASCAR PR)(12-5-2002)
Kyle Honored: Kyle Petty was presented with the 2002 March of Dimes Sportsman of the Year Award at the March of Dimes 11th Annual Sports Luncheon, held at the Waldorf-Astoria's Grand Ballroom [in NYC]. The award punctuated a season of competitive resurgence for the younger Petty, who drives the #45 Sprint Dodge. Petty finished this season 22nd in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship standings, riding the crest of a remarkable consistency over the balance of the 36-race season. The key statistic: Petty failed to finish only one race. Of course, Petty has become synonymous with more than racing. His annual Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America (on motorcycles) has raised over $3 million for children's charities across the United States. In honor of his late son Adam, Petty and his wife Pattie are in the process of establishing the Victory Junction Gang Camp for seriously ill children. That sort of thing was the "bell-ringer" for the March of Dimes, said NASCAR President Mike Helton, who spoke at the luncheon. Petty, Helton pointed out during his speech, is the first NASCAR competitor to receive the March of Dimes award. "Kyle is truly a great ambassador for all sports," Helton said. He has had a great deal of success over the years [in racing], but what he is best known for throughout the sport is using his fame to help others. In professional sports the product is the sport itself. The success of the sport depends on the character of those who choose to participate in it. Motorsports, in particular NASCAR, has been fortunate to have the Petty family members as participants... Kyle has elevated the Petty name to a new plateau."(NASCAR PR)(12-5-2002)
TV Stuff: Kyle Petty, who will drive the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge next season, will be featured on national network VH-1's Top Twenty Countdown. The two-hour weekly show, one of the biggest on the network, counts down the hottest 20 videos in America, and is hosted by Aamer Haleem. Petty taped an interview during the Homestead, Fla., race weekend, and talked about his interest in music. He introduced the #4 video in the countdown, "Family Portrait," by the artist, Pink. The show airs an average of five times during the week.(Williams Company PR) ANDShelby Howard, the youngest driver to ever compete in the 50-year history of the ARCA Series, will be featured on ABC’s prime-time show 20/20 on Friday, November 29th at 10:00pm/et. The renowned news magazine show went behind-the-scenes
with the Howards to show the sacrifices that Howard and his family have made in order to advance his racing career. ABC also sent the 20/20 production crew to follow his progress at Kentucky Speedway this past July, and, in addition, traveled to his home for a more candid angle. Howard, who debuted in the ARCA RE/MAX Series on September 9th, 2001 at Salem Speedway, was barely 16 when he
qualified 4th and finished 6th, actually leading a handful of laps in his first race. Howard finished 5th in the ARCA championship point standings, posting a career-best 2nd place finish on the heels of series champion Frank Kimmel at Winchester Speedway in August. (PR)(11-21-2002) UPDATE: Golin/Harris PR arranged the VH1 show that was shot in Miami. The show, VH1 Top Twenty Video Countdown, will
premiere on Monday, Nov. 25 at 5:00pm/et and will feature Bill Elliott, Jeremy Mayfield, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon,
Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kyle Petty.(11-23-2002)
Wells Fargo moving UPDATE: #11-Brett Bodine Racing was surprised and very disappointed to hear over the weekend, and confirm this morning that Wells Fargo Financial will be going to another team for 2003. Supposedly the other team is the #45 Petty Enterprises team.(10-28-2002) UPDATE: Wells Fargo Financial, the North American consumer finance subsidiary of Wells Fargo & Company, announced today it has finalized an agreement to sponsor the Petty Enterprises #45 Dodge driven by Kyle Petty beginning in 2003. Wells Fargo Financial will partner with Kyle, Georgia-Pacific, and the entire Petty Enterprises team to build on its successful program in NASCAR. The associate sponsorship provides significant benefit and impact to Wells Fargo Financial’s business lines through driver appearances, client/dealer entertainment, customer promotions, show car appearances, and employee incentives.(Williams Company PR)(11-19-2002)
Kyle Petty has been named the 4th quarter True Value Person of the Year: In recognition of his compassion and endless effort in serving the community with charitable projects, Kyle Petty has been named the fourth quarter recipient of NASCAR's True Value Person of the Year. True Value, the Official Hardware Store of NASCAR, sponsors the award, which is designed to honor NASCAR drivers for their community service contributions and charitable efforts. Petty, a second generation NASCAR driver, is involved in a number of charities, including Kyle Petty's Charity Ride Across America, Race to End Hunger, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary (WCRWA) and the Victory Junction Gang Camp for chronically ill children. Since the 1995 formation of Kyle Petty's Charity Ride Across America, the unique fundraiser has raised nearly $3 million for various children's hospitals, Victory Junction Gang Camp and the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary. Petty and his wife, Patti, founded the Victory Junction Gang Camp for chronically ill children. Scheduled to open in the summer of 2004, the Victory Junction Gang Camp is located in Randleman, N.C. on 62 acres of land. Petty has been honored in the past for his many hours of charitable work. He was named the 1998 True Value Person of the Year and in 1999 he was named NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated Person of the Year. For the purpose of determining the NASCAR True Value Person of the Year award, the NASCAR Winston Cup season has been divided into four quarters in which drivers are nominated for their off-track charitable efforts. Ricky Craven was the first quarter winner, Jeff Gordon the second quarter recipient and Ken Schrader was named the third quarter winner. An elite group of panelists will select one of the quarterly finalists as the True Value Person of the Year. The award and a prize of $100,000 will be presented Dec. 6 in New York City at the Meyers Brother Breakfast, which is part of the NASCAR Winston Cup awards weekend. The money will be divided evenly between the driver and the charity of his/her choice. In addition to the NASCAR True Value Person of the Year, True Value sponsors the Driver of the Race Award, which goes to the eligible driver who wins each of the 36 NASCAR Winston Cup championship events. Each True Value Driver of the Race Award winner receives $2,500 with an additional $2,500 going to the charity of his/her choice.(NASCAR PR)(11-16-2002)
Wells Fargo moving: #11-Brett Bodine Racing was surprised and very disappointed to hear over the weekend, and confirm this morning that Wells Fargo Financial will be going to another team for 2003. Supposedly the other team is the #45 Petty Enterprises team, can see the partial logo on the 2003 Scheme.(10-28-2002)
#45 Georgia Pacific car to be unveiled at AMS UPDATE: Georgia-Pacific and Petty Enterprises will unveil new #45 G-P Dodge at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Friday afternoon, Oct 25th. In September, Georgia-Pacific and Petty Enterprises announced plans to shift G-P’s NASCAR sponsorship to the #45 car in 2003, with Petty Enterprises’ lead driver, Kyle Petty, behind the wheel. This will be the first look at the 2003 #45 car and the new identity created to launch the relationship between Kyle and G-P.(Williams Company PR)(10-23-2002) UPDATE: Executives from Georgia-Pacific and Petty Enterprises today celebrated Georgia-Pacific Qualifying Day at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the unveiling of the 2003 #45 G-P/Petty Enterprises Dodge. A. D. (Pete) Correll, Georgia-Pacific chairman and CEO; Richard Petty, seven-time Winston Cup champion and Petty Enterprises chairman; and Kyle Petty, Petty Enterprises CEO and the driver of the #45 car, introduced a striking patriotic design that envelops their NASCAR entry with a dramatic image -- an American flag waving in motion. "The #45 now bears the only flag I like better than a checkered one," quipped Richard Petty, seven-time Winston Cup champion and Petty Enterprises chairman.(Georgia-Pacific Site), see images on my Paint Scheme Gallery.(10-25-2002)
Engine Stuff: Larry Lackey, the Robert Yates' motor room specialist who was involved in last week's garage fight with Ricky Rudd, is expected to move to Kyle Petty's Dodge team, according to sources. And Cal Wells' new GM engine operation next season, which will be Wells' first in-house venture, is expected to be handled by specialists moving over from Yates' operation.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-16-2002)
Petty wears special helmet: #45-Kyle Petty wore a special helmet Saturday that memorialized three people killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center last year. Featured on one side is a portrait of firefighter John Vigiano II and his brother, detective Joseph Vigiano. The other side features a portrait of firefighter Peter Martin.(Roanoke Times)(9-8-2002)
Petty Announcment on Saturday UPDATE 2: With "Silly Season" in high gear - and the Petty Enterprises name part of the talk - Kyle Petty and the #45 Sprint Dodge team head to Richmond this week for Saturday night’s Cup race. Some of that talk may be cleared up Saturday at the speedway. Petty Enterprises will make a media announcement at 3:30pm/et, Saturday, September 7, in the Infield Media Center. The thoughts of Sprint Dodge driver Kyle Petty heading into Richmond: "We’re going to make an announcement Saturday afternoon at Richmond. That’s a good example. Hearing what people think we’re going to announce or hearing what people think we’re doing, some of it is pretty funny. Some of it might be kind of close. Some of it is absolutely outrageous. There was one wild rumor a few weeks ago that we had some motorcycle company [Harley Davidson - posted here - DOH!] that was going to sponsor us. The rumor had everything all figured out - other than the fact that I ride a Victory and we have agreements with Victory, and the fact that if it isn’t a Victory, I’m not going to ride it. That would pretty much kill out any other company being involved. Once that filtered out, that particular rumor died out - for a while anyway. It’s coming up before, will come up again and won’t be any more true then than it was before or it is now. When we put the word out this week about our press conference, there is going to be a bunch of talk. ‘Kyle told me this’ or ‘Kyle told me that’ and then someone will take all of that and start trying to add it up. The problem is it doesn’t always add up the way it is supposed to. We feel we have a pretty significant thing or two to say Saturday, and that race fans - and the media and the rest of the garage - are going to want to know what we had to say. And it should make our plans clearer. You’re going to hear a lot of different ideas of what it might be and what we might say but, you know what? Nobody knows for sure until Saturday. Finally making the announcement ends it. That’s the only way to stop rumors. Well, most of the time anyway."(Williams Company)(9-3-2002) UPDATE: Petty Enterprises is expected to announce Saturday that the Georgia-Pacific sponsorship will be switching from the #44 Dodge now driven by Jerry Nadeau to the #45 Dodge of Kyle Petty.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) UPDATE 2: Richard Petty, seven-time Winston Cup champion, and Georgia-Pacific Chairman and CEO A. D. “Pete” Correll announced that Kyle Petty, NASCAR champion and CEO of Petty Enterprises, will be behind the wheel of the #45 Georgia-Pacific Petty Dodge for the 2003 NASCAR Winston Cup season. Sharing the podium at the Richmond International Raceway, the Pettys and Correll unveiled plans to shift Georgia-Pacific’s sponsorship to the #45 car, with Petty Enterprises’ lead driver, Kyle, at the wheel. “Our partnership with Petty Enterprises is based on the common values our organizations share, including a strong commitment to family, community, hard work and performance,” Correll said.. “We’ve been proud to have the Georgia-Pacific name on a Petty Enterprises race car for the past couple of years. Having Kyle Petty behind the wheel is the perfect next step in our partnership.”
“We wanted to provide Georgia-Pacific with a competitive driver -- one who knows his way to victory lane and has the ability to win,” explained Richard Petty. “We wanted a driver that has a strong following among the millions of NASCAR fans that make our sport so popular. We wanted a leader. We wanted a driver that gave time and service back to the community, and inspired others to do the same.” The #45 Georgia-Pacific Petty Dodge, bearing a striking new design, will be unveiled Oct. 25 at Atlanta Motor Speedway during Georgia-Pacific Qualifying Day. Although the #45 car will be our primary focus, by linking the Georgia-Pacific name with the other Petty Enterprises’ teams, we will be able to further spotlight our household brands such as Brawny, Dixie, Angel Soft and Vanity Fair, among others, through our participation in NASCAR racing,” Correll said. Georgia-Pacific joined the Winston Cup circuit two years ago as a primary sponsor of the #44 car with Petty Enterprises, after a few years of motorsports involvement, including a past sponsorship with Petty in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.(Williams Company) - no word on the fate or plans for the #44 or if John Andretti will be back in the #43, but Andretti will not be in the third Ganassi ride as the new driver was announced today.(9-7-2002)
Petty Enterprises to two cars in 2003? UPDATE denied and more on Andretti: The Buzz has learned that Petty Enterprises may be making a sponsor switch between the #44 and #45 Dodge teams. Sprint has already announced they would not be returning to the #45 of Kyle Petty after this year. With current sponsor Georgia Pacific still signed on with Petty, the team may move the sponsor from the #44, currently being driven by Jerry Nadeau, to the #45 for the 2003 season. With Christian Fittipaldi coming aboard next year in Busch and ARCA competition, Petty Enterprises may not put a driver in the #44 at all and utilize the shop space and resources for Fittipaldi. An announcement is expected to be made in Richmond next week if a sponsor switch is going to be made.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-28-2002) UPDATE:PRN's Garage Pass radio show reports that Kyle Petty said Petty Enterprises will have three Cup teams in 2003, contrary to reports and that they need three teams to make it work. Petty also said the main question is if John Andretti will return in 2003 to the #43. Andretti has a contract in hand from Petty but has not decided on his 2003 plans yet.(8-31-2002) UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises is waiting to see what John Andretti decides to do for next season. Andretti's contract is up at the end of this season, and he has been wooed by Rick Hendrick and Chip Ganassi, according to team sources. It is not clear when Andretti might have to make a decision.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-2-2002)
Petty Enterprises to two cars in 2003? The Buzz has learned that Petty Enterprises may be making a sponsor switch between the #44 and #45 Dodge teams. Sprint has already announced they would not be returning to the #45 of Kyle Petty after this year. With current sponsor Georgia Pacific still signed on with Petty, the team may move the sponsor from the #44, currently being driven by Jerry Nadeau, to the #45 for the 2003 season. With Christian Fittipaldi coming aboard next year in Busch and ARCA competition, Petty Enterprises may not put a driver in the #44 at all and utilize the shop space and resources for Fittipaldi. An announcement is expected to be made in Richmond next week if a sponsor switch is going to be made.(NASCAR.com Buzz)(8-28-2002) UPDATE:PRN's Garage Pass radio show reports that Kyle Petty said Petty Enterprises will have three Cup teams in 2003, contrary to reports and that they need three teams to make it work. Petty also said the main question is if John Andretti will return in 2003 to the #43. Andretti has a contract in hand from Petty but has not decided on his 2003 plans yet.(8-31-2002)
Loomis sends note: Robbie Loomis, who left Petty Enterprises to become Jeff Gordon's crew chief, tried to smooth things over with his former employer by sending a note to [Kyle] Petty's pit. Loomis was relieved to get a reply. "I love the Pettys to death, and they didn't understand why we weren't giving them the lap back," Loomis said. "I'd go over there and mow their grass if they called me to help make up for it. They sent a note back saying they understood he was trying to protect his lead."(St Petersburg Times)(8-27-2002)
more Petty plans for 2003: Kyle Pettysaid he's returning to drive [in 2003]. Petty, whose team does not have a sponsor for next season, said the team should have an announcement within two months on that issue. Petty said the organization also is searching for sponsorship for Fittipaldi's team. Petty said the team hopes John Andretti will return, and that Jerry Nadeau, the team's other driver for the rest of the season, is unlikely to return because he has other offers.(Roanoke Times)(8-8-2002)
It's Official - Fittipaldi to Petty: Petty Enterprises announced today that 31-year-old CART driver Christian Fittipaldi will drive a Petty Dodge beginning in 2003. The plans call for a combined BGN and Cup program beginning next season that will lead to a full-time Winston Cup program with the team in 2004 and 2005. The team is currently looking for a primary sponsor for the program..
Fittipaldi’s racing experience is impressive. After winning the Formula 3000 Championship in 1991, the Brazilian competed in Formula One from 1992 – 1994 and then moved to the CART Series in 1995. He has won twice in CART and now brings his diverse experience and impressive talent to Petty Enterprises and NASCAR. “I’ve been looking at NASCAR over the last several years and knew I wanted to be a part of it,” said Fittipaldi. “I’ve been part of one of the top teams in the CART series with Newman/Haas and I wanted to find a similar opportunity in NASCAR. Petty Enterprises is one of the top names in the sport. Their team is clearly on the way up and they have an impressive group of people and equipment working to take them to the top. I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”.
“Christian will be another bright new star in our sport,” said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. “It’s exciting for us to have landed him. He’s got tremendous experience and he’s been very successful in every series he’s raced in from Formula 3000 to F1 to CART. With our knowledge in this sport and his ability and experience as a driver, we’re confident that he can win races and contend for Championships in the near future.”. Fittipaldi currently drives the #11 Newman/Haas car in CART. He has four top-five finishes this season and is currently 9th in points. He has run a limited number of BGN races in 2001 and 2002 (for Innovative Motorsports #30). His schedule in 2003 will consist primarily of BGN and Cup races and possibly several ARCA races as well. “We tested him in our cars in Lakeland (FL) and he was very impressive,” said Petty Enterprises Vice President and General Manager Robin Pemberton. “He’s clearly an incredibly talented driver, very smart and communicates well with the team. He’s going to be exciting to watch.” Dodge is equally excited about adding Fittipaldi to their current stable of NASCAR drivers. Dodge Vice President of Motorsports and SRT Marketing Jim Julow said, “We’re always looking at building for future success and it’s rare you are able to add somebody with as much talent and experience as Christian. This is a great move for Petty Enterprises and a tremendous boost for Dodge and NASCAR.”.(Williams Company PR)(8-7-2002)
Petty Has a 2003 Sponsor? UPDATE - Petty Announcment WEDNESDAY Fittipaldi to run for Petty?: Sprint will not return with Kyle Petty next year, but Petty says the team has sponsorship for the #45, and will definitely return with three cars. Petty says he also expects #43 driver John Andretti to re-sign for next year.(Autoweek) Some rumored sponsors include Gateway Computers and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.(7-21-2002) UPDATE - Petty Announcment: Kyle Petty and Richard Petty will make an announcement at Indy regarding future plans of Petty Enterprises Saturday morning August 3rd.(7-31-2002) UPDATE 2: another rumor [that seems to crop up each year] is that Harley Davidson would come aboard as the sponsor and also Domino's Pizza is another one and also hearing a drug company, AstraZeneca.(8-1/3-2002)
Been informed the Press Conference/Announcement has been cancelled.(8-3-2002) UPDATE 4: Kyle Petty cancelled a news conference yesterday. He was expected to announce that Bobby Hamilton was joining Petty Enterprises in 2003. No reason was given for the change.(Winston Salen Journal) OR is it Petty Enterprises abruptly canceled a scheduled Saturday morning press conference, supposedly called for the purpose of announcing a limited BGN schedule in 2003 for CART driver Christian Fittipaldi.(Gaston Gazette) WHILE Fox Sports Net's NASCAR This Morning mentioned Fittipaldi could be in one of the Winston Cup cars.(8-4-2002) UPDATEs: After three years in Formula One and seven years in Indy cars, Christian Fittipaldi is moving to NASCAR in 2003. Petty Enterprises is expected to announce that Fittipaldi, 31, will drive its cars in selected Winston Cup, Busch Series and ARCA races next season. The combination schedule likely will be similar to the one Ryan Newman ran in 2001 to prepare for his first full Cup schedule this season. Fittipaldi drives for Newman/Haas in the CART series and is ninth in points.(Sporting News)(8-5-2002) another UPDATE: hearing that Petty Enterprises will make some sort of announcement on Wednesday, August 7th.(8-5-2002)
Paul Tracy to NASCAR? Nope, staying in CART: forget all those rumors about CART driver Paul Tracy switching to NASCAR - ESPN.com has learned that Paul Tracy has signed a contract to join Player's/Forsythe Racing in next year's FedEx Championship. "It's not done yet but Player's made me a great offer," said Tracy. ".....I've said all along, I'll do whatever it takes to stay in CART."(ESPN)(7-31-2002)
Petty Has a 2003 Sponsor? Sprint will not return with Kyle Petty next year, but Petty says the team has sponsorship for the #45, and will definitely return with three cars. Petty says he also expects #43 driver John Andretti to re-sign for next year.(Autoweek) Some rumored sponsors include Gateway Computers and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream.(7-21-2002)
Petty to Honor Fan: Prior to the NHIS Winston Cup race, Kyle Petty will honor Jaclyn Bauer, age 12 of Morton Grove, Ill. and winner of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America's Design a Cool Helmet for Kyle contest. Petty wore Bauer's helmet design on the sixth day of the 2002 Charity Ride as it traveled through Chicago on June 28. Petty will present Bauer with the helmet, which was auctioned off for $20,000 to raise money for the Victory Junction Gang Camp for kids.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(7-21-2002)
Paul Tracy and Petty? UPDATE: Have heard from some readers that during the CART race at Cleveland, it was reported that Kyle Petty flew to Cleveland to talk to Paul Tracy about his interest in NASCAR and the possibility of driving for Petty in the future.(7-14-2002) UPDATE: being told by sources that Petty did NOT go to Cleveland and has not even spoken to Tracy about a possible ride.(7-15-2002) UPDATE 2: but hearing from other sources that Petty was at the Cleveland track last Wednesday and stopped by the credential office and asked where Paul Tracy and was directed him to the motorhome area of the track where presumably he met with Tracy(7-16-2002)
#45 in black at NHIS: #45-Kyle Petty will show up at New Hampshire International Speedway with a special paint scheme. ''Every time we run at Loudon, we run a black car,'' he said. ''The Sprint people were supportive and allowed us to do it last year, so we run a solid black car up there. It's not a diecast deal. It's nothing like that. It's a personal deal for me.'' So when his #45 Dodge takes the track at NHIS, will it be solid black again? ''Yeah,'' Petty said, somberly. ''Always.'' [as a tribute to his son Adam who lost his life in a BGN accident there in May 2000](Boston Globe)(7-14-2002)
Petty Looking for a 2003 sponsor for the #45: Petty Enterprises is seeking primary sponsorship for the #45 Dodge driven by Kyle Petty for the 2003 season and beyond.. Sprint recently notified Petty Enterprises that it will not pick up the option in its contract to continue as primary sponsor.. Discussions are continuing with Sprint about future involvement with Petty Enterprises, but in the meantime Petty Enterprises is seeking other potential partners for the primary sponsorship of the #45 Dodge. "We continue to keep our options open with Sprint and we fully expect that we will continue to be involved with them in some way," said Kyle Petty. "They've been an important part of our team since 1996 and it's been a very successful relationship for both parties. The bottom line is that Sprint has not exercised its option to continue as the primary sponsor and so we need to look at other opportunities for the #45 Dodge." The Petty name continues to be the most recognized in all of motorsports. Kyle Petty is consistently ranked among the top five most popular Winston Cup drivers and received back-to-back honors as Winston Cup Illustrated's Man of the Year in 2000 and 2001. On the track, General Manager Robin Pemberton, Crew Chief Steve Lane and a new relationship with Mike Ege Racing Engines helped Petty run consistently in the top 15 this season. The team is confident their entire organization is poised for the future. "We've had great success delivering a complete marketing platform that helps drive results for our sponsors," said Bill Scott, Executive Vice President, Petty Enterprises. "The combination of Kyle's enduring popularity and his current success on the track creates an exciting opportunity for a new sponsor. We feel that companies like General Mills, Georgia Pacific, Sprint, Coca-Cola and Dodge provide us one of the strongest stables of sponsors in all of sports.. Now we're looking to add another strong partner." Petty Enterprises offers a wide range of marketing and sponsorship opportunities. In addition to three Winston Cup teams and a Craftsman Truck team, the Richard Petty Driving Experience operates at 24 tracks across the country. The Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America is in its 8th year raising money for children and the Victory Junction Gang Camp for Kids is scheduled to open in the summer of 2004.(Williams Company PR)(7-5-2002)
Kyle's Ride Ends: Charity was a big winner as the Sprint/Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America wound up at the Petty farm in Trinity, N.C., yesterday with a public concert and other events. Among those benefiting was Brenner's Children's Hospital, which received a check for $74,045. In his diary on the ride's Web site, Petty says several local businesses and civic groups also presented checks for almost $30,000 to Victory Junction Gang Camp.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter) and see links to Kyle's diary of each day on my Story/Columns Links page or see past info at the Sprint/Kyle Ride site.(7-1-2002)
Special Paint Scheme for the #45 - MIB UPDATE: Today, Sprint is announcing a new marketing campaign that leverages the company's promotional partnership with the highly anticipated summer film "Men in Black II" (MIB II), which opens in theaters
nationwide on July 3. In director Barry Sonnenfeld's "Men in Black II," agents Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) and Jay (Will Smith) reunite to provide "our best, last and only line of defense" against a sinister seductress. This is the toughest challenge yet to MIB's untarnished mission of "protecting the earth from the scum of the universe." Sprint's newest ad campaign features the Sprint Guy talking to three
MIB II worms. In classic Sprint style, the Sprint Guy clears up confusion caused by cellular static that results in miscommunication
about bringing home "tangerines … NOT trampolines." To coincide with the launch of the movie, the #45 Sprint Dodge driven by Kyle Petty will showcase a "Men in Black II" paint scheme designed solely for the July 6 NASCAR Winston Cup race in Daytona, FL.(6-24-2002) AND See my Paint Scheme Gallery(link fixed) for a image of the scheme found at the Sprint Site.(6-26-2002)
Petty Sponsor Updates: While General Mills and Georgia-Pacific already have signed contracts to return as sponsors at Petty Enterprises, the organization continues talks with Sprint, which sponsors Kyle Petty 's team, for next year.(Roanoke Times)(6-25-2002)
Jarrett to take batting practice UPDATE add Petty: Dale Jarrett will take batting practice with the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, June 19, at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco.(PR)(6-18-2002) AND Kyle Petty will be appearing at Pac Bell Park before Thursday afternoon's game between the Giants and Devil Rays after visiting a children's hospital in Oakland that morning. He will then take part in pregame ceremonies before the 3:30pm (EDT) game. Petty's appearance will be part of the kickoff festivities for his annual cross-country motorcycle ride for charity, which begins after Sunday's race at Sears Point.(ThatsRacin)(6-19-2002)
Kyle not Happy: Kyle Petty tied a season best with a 12th-place finish [actually his best was a 10th at Talladega] but wasn't particularly happy. While making his final pit stop with three laps remaining, Petty's car was blocked by Joe Nemechek, whose #25 Chevrolet was two laps down. "That 25 has a Busch driver and a Busch crew chief," Petty said. "They blocked us in the pits, and that really messed us up."(Richmond Times Dispatch)(6-17-2002)
Petty hopes Andretti stays: Kyle Petty said on Saturday that he hopes John Andretti returns for a sixth season in the #43 Cheerios Dodge, but also acknowledged that Andretti is exploring other options. "John's been out talking, and that's a fact of life in Winston Cup racing," Petty said, " We want him to stay. We would be remiss to change drivers." Andretti's contract with Petty Enterprises is up at the end of this year. It's been a frustrating season for Andretti, 39, who has scored just three top-20 finishes in 12 races this season and is currently 32nd in points. He was 31st last year. Petty also said that the improvement of the #44 Dodge -- Steve Grissom finished eighth at Richmond, that car's best finish since 2000 -- has sparked interest among other drivers. Petty is also busy solidifying the future of his own #45 Dodge, whose contract with Sprint runs out at the end of the year. Petty's other two cars, the #43 and the #44, are fully sponsored for 2003.(NASCAR.com)(6-1-2002)
Petty to bring back BGN team? Kyle Petty said a goal at Petty Enterprises is to form a BGN team and run a few races this season. Petty said the goal had been to put Steve Grissom in the team's BGN car or align with a BGN team. That was before Grissom replaced Buckshot Jones in one of the team's three Winston Cup rides [#44]. Petty said the team continues to work toward restarting a BGN program by the end of the year. If a team is developed, Petty said it probably won't have a young driver. "At this point in time we are probably 80% sure, unless it's a phenomenal younger driver, we're not going to put a younger driver in the car," Petty said. "We don't have the luxury of a Hendrick or the luxury of a Roush organization or a Gibbs or a Yates to train a driver and bring a driver along. We've got to get guys in here that can win races. I think that was the main reason we made the change with Buckshot. We just felt like to move forward with Petty Enterprises we just didn't have time to bring Buckshot along at the rate we needed to come along."(Roanoke Times)(5-5-2002)
Kyle on MTV: A new MTV show, scheduled to debut in July, will feature Sprint Dodge driver, Kyle Petty, along with a variety of top musical talents. The show, "All Access," is a day-in-the-life type television show which follows each talent through a key time period. Petty is the only driver, in fact, the only person featured not because of his musical abilities. "I did offer to sing a little bit for them," laughed Petty, who is known for a singing voice which allowed him to open once for a Hank Williams Jr. concert. "We're still negotiating that part." For Petty, that is this weekend at Fontana, Calif. An MTV crew began following him and the Sprint Dodge team this week, beginning Thursday with Petty's appearances at a Sprint PCS store in the Los Angeles area and at the Georgia-Pacific Teen Safety program at Los Angeles-area high school. The crew stayed with Petty during practice and qualifying Friday at California Speedway, and will remain with him through Saturday's practice and Sunday's race. "It's a little bit different deal because of who they are but it's pretty much the kind of thing we've seen in this sport too," Petty said. "Getting our race team and Sprint in front of the MTV audience is a good deal and it's important. This is something that is just good for the sport, just like it is good for Petty Enterprises."(Williams Company)(4-27-2002)
Kyles best in almost 2 years: #45-Kyle Petty finished 12th for his best finish since placing ninth at Talladega in April 2000.(News and Record)(3-25-2002)
Picabo and Petty: Downhill skiing champion Picabo Street will be in Atlanta this weekend for the MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. She will kick off her weekend on Saturday by visiting at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta with NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty. Street and Petty will also videoconference with hospitalized children across the country at Jackson Memorial Hospitalin Miami, Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, and Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Centerin Seattle. Kids will have the opportunity to ask Kyle and Picabo questions about racing, downhill skiing, and how fast these two travel around the track and on the snow. Petty, who will be driving the #45 Sprint Dodge at Sunday MBNA America 500, and alpine skier Street share a strong commitment to communities where they live and work, and value an opportunity to connect with the communities they're in. Street will then head to the track on Sunday for a taste of Winston Cup racing at the MBNA America 500. She will be available for media interviews at 10 a.m. in the deadline room of the infield media center.(AMS PR)(3-7-2002)
Petty likes new seat: Kyle Petty was sold on the composite seat designed by PPI Motorsports long before he learned the hard way just how effective it would be when he needed it the most. Petty used the seat while testing during the offseason and began using it in competition beginning at Daytona. But in the Subway 400 at Rockingham, it was put to the test when he was caught up in a multi–car crash. “Somebody asked me on Tuesday (after the race) if I was sore and I said, ‘From (what)? You’re going to have to give me a little information. What should I be sore from?’” Petty said March 1. “And they said, ‘The wreck on Sunday.’ I wasn’t sore at all.” That’s the intention of the seat, of course, but the results thrilled Petty. “It really amazed me that the week had gone by and my neck wasn’t sore. It hasn’t been sore from my HANS for a while, and the seat was phenomenal,” Petty added. So far, Petty and PPI Motorsports’ Ricky Craven are the only two drivers using the seat, which was approved by NASCAR during the offseason. One driver who plans on giving the seat a try is John Andretti, who has a background in Indy cars where he used a seat similar to the one designed by PPI.(Winston Cup Scene - need sub to read)(3-7-2002)
Petty Streak UPDATE - stays intact: Should #45-Kyle Petty fail to earn a spot in Sunday's Daytona 500, it would be the third of 44 runnings of stock car racing's premier event and first since 1965 without a Petty in the starting lineup.(Miami Herald)(2-12-2002) UPDATE: Kyle Petty made the race and will start 34th and the streak continues(2-14-2002)
PE in the wind: hearing Petty Enterprises [#'s 43,44,45] has a few cars at the N.A.S.A.'s Langley Research Center located in Hampton, VA today testing the a speedway car and a downforce car(1-22-2002)
Richard Petty Driving Experience Raises $23,280: Race fans in Atlanta, Charlotte, Las Vegas and Orlando climbed into the passenger seat of a stock car to help raise money and awareness for families affected by the events of September 11. The fundraiser, which was held on Wednesday, November 28 by Richard Petty Driving Experience (RPDE), raised $23,280 for the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund. The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund was created to provide educational assistance to financially needy dependents of those who were killed or permanently disabled as a result of the September 11 attack or rescue efforts. Former President Bill Clinton and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole serve as co-chairs of the campaign fund efforts. More than 200 firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians accepted RPDE's invitation to participate in the event for free. The Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund was created by Citizen's Scholarship Foundation of America (CSFA), the nation's largest nonprofit administrator of private scholarship programs, located in Minneapolis and St. Peter, MN, and Lumina Foundation for Education, a private foundation dedicated to expanding access to post secondary education in Indianapolis, IN. Specifically, the Fund will benefit dependents of the victims from Tuesday, September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, including airplane crew and passengers, World Trade Center and Pentagon employees and visitors, and relief workers, including firefighters, emergency medical personnel and law enforcement personnel.(Petty Enterprises PR)(1-3-2002)
Pemberton to Petty? UPDATE: rumors have former #2 crew chief, Robin Pemberton going to work for Petty Enterprises in some capcity (team manager, general magaer, consultant - but not as a crew chief) for the 2002 season.(12-7-2001) UPDATE: Robin Pemberton has been named Vice President and General Manager for Petty Enterprises. "Bringing Robin to our race teams is another important move in taking Petty Enterprises to where we want it to be," said CEO Kyle Petty in making the announcement. "One of the winningest crew chiefs in Winston Cup history joining one of the best engine builders with Mike Ege and bringing them together with all three of our race teams under one roof, we think these moves are going to be big for us." Pemberton, whose career began at Petty Enterprises and has served with some of the top names in motorsports as a crew chief - Kyle Petty, Mark Martin, Bobby Allison, Neil Bonnett and, most recently, Rusty Wallace - has 499 career starts and winnings of nearly $25 million. Both are second in NASCAR's modern era. Pemberton.s position continues a series of bold moves made by Petty Enterprises over the past seasons. The first organization to join forces with Dodge for NASCAR Winston Cup racing, Petty Enterprises began an engineering agreement with Elan Technologies of Atlanta, Ga., last Spring; moved all three teams under one roof in Level Cross in the past month; added Mike Ege Racing engines as its exclusive supplier at the beginning of this year; and now has one of the sport's top organizational mechanical minds as Vice President and General Manager.(Williams Company PR)(1-2-2002)
Rolex 24 at Daytona - Robinson in?(no) UPDATE 4 Harvick, Petty, R Gordon, Stewart, Dallenbach, Andretti: hearing Shawna Robinson is going to be driving a second Flis Corvette in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, with Conway and Goad as co-drivers. Supposedly Bam Motorsports is buying the seat time for her.(12-7-2001) UPDATE: hearing Shawna Robinson will NOT drive in the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona and that Kevin Harvick could be in the seat now(12-25-2001) UPDATE 2: Flis Motorsports, which claimed 2001 AGT-class driver and car owner championships, will test two Corvettes entered for this year's race. A championship-winning NASCAR driver, whose name will be made public Jan. 2, has signed on to drive in the team's second car(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-27-2001) UPDATE 3: Kevin Harvick will help kick off Speed Weeks 2002 by driving a Flis Motorsports Corvette during the Rolex 24 At Daytona on Feb. 2-3. Harvick will join the Daytona Beach-based team drivers Rick Carelli, John Metcalf and Dave Liniger, primary sponsor of the Flis Corvette. Carelli, a Truck Series driver [in Harvicks CTS truck] and longtime friend of Harvick, was instrumental in suggesting that the NASCAR star join the team. Harvick joins a growing list of NASCAR drivers who will suit up for this year's 24-hour event at Daytona International Speedway. Kyle Petty [#45 Cup car], whose team finished seventh overall in the 2001 endurance event, is returning for another run and will bring along Petty Enterprises teammate John Andretti [#43], also a sportscar racing veteran. They will drive a Porsche GT3R. Tony Stewart [#20] will drive a Judd-powered Crawford prototype racer. Wally Dallenbach Jr. will drive a Robinson Racing Riley & Scott MkIII, also a prototype. Robby Gordon [#31] is said to be joining Indy Racing League driver Scott Sharp, who announced Wednesday that he will drive for the Jim Matthews Racing team in an Elan-powered Riley & Scott. Sharp, a two-time SCCA Trans-Am champion and 1996 IRL inaugural season co-champion, teamed with Wayne Taylor and Jim Pace to win overall honors in the 1996 Rolex 24 At Daytona.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-28-2001) UPDATE 4: Robby Gordon will drive a Jim Matthews Racing R&S Mk III C for the 40th annual Rolex 24 At Daytona, according to Bill Riley, vice president of chassis manufacturer Riley & Scott, and Jim Matthews, owner of Jim Matthews Racing. Guy Smith, Jim Matthews and 1996 Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Scott Sharp will share driving duties with Gordon.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-29-2001)
Pemberton to Petty? rumors have former #2 crew chief, Robin Pemberton going to work for Petty Enterprises in some capcity (team manager, general magaer, consultant - but not as a crew chief) for the 2002 season.(12-7-2001)
Petty and Teen Newsweek: Petty Enterprises is the focus of a column in Teen Newsweek this week, a national publication for children in grades six through nine. The column, My Turn, is a regular reader-written feature of all Newsweek publications. The column was written by Cortney Cameron, a 10-year-old girl from Hays, N.C., who released a helium-filled balloon from her home soon after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. She and her younger sister, Cassidy, tied a note to the balloon expressing patriotism, and asking for whomever found the balloon to notify them. The balloon ended up at Kyle Petty.s farm in Trinity, N.C. Not long afterwards, Cortney and her family were invited to Petty Days in Randleman, N.C., where they met the Petty family. A photograph of the girls, along with their mother, and Kyle and Austin Petty ran in the edition of the magazine.(Williams Co PR)(11-13-2001)
Rolex 24 and Cup Drivers: Kyle Petty, John Andretti, Jeff Burton will race together in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. Petty, Andretti and Burton will drive an Orbit Racing Porsche in the GT class, while Wally Dallenbach will take the wheel of Robinson Racing's prototype for the race Feb. 2-3. Petty helped Orbit Racing to a fourth-place finish last year in the GT class, and teamed with Andretti in Orbit's Porsche GT3 RS to win the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 at Watkins Glen International. Dallenbach will join team owner George Robinson, Jack Baldwin and Steve Knapp in a Judd-powered Riley & Scott Mark III-C.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(11-8-2001)
Hewlett to leave PE UPDATE: Doug Hewitt is leaving his position with Petty Enterprises as the head of its Research and Engineering Developmental Program. He is expected to go work for Joe Gibbs Racing as crew chief for Coy Gibbs in the BGN series, Gibbs currently runs in the CTS(truck) series(NASCAR.com Buzz) UPDATE: sources tell me that Gibbs will STAY in the CTS and NOT move up to the BGN series(10-31-2001)
New Crew Chief for Kyle and more hires for PE: The #45 Sprint Dodge of driver Kyle Petty has added new leadership. One of the top young minds in stock car racing will become crew chief for the team beginning next week in Phoenix, Ariz. In addition, Richard Buck has joined the team as Technical Director. Steven Lane, 30, at native of Winston-Salem, N.C., now living in Mooresville, has been named crew chief for the team. Chris Hussey, who had been in a dual role, will move into an overall operational role. "We've been looking for someone with Steven's capabilities and attitude. His expertise and new ideas will help us on the track. His personality and demeanor is going to be great for us off the track too," said Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. Lane joins Petty Enterprises from Penske Racing, where he was car chief for the #12 car of driver Jeremy Mayfield. Buck joins the team from Andy Petree Racing, where he was Team Manager. Prior to that position, Buck spent 17 years in Indy car racing - 14 years as a crew chief and chief mechanic with Penske Racing and four years as Director of Operations with PPI Motorsports(Williams Company)(10-19-2001)
Special Shoes: Red Wing Shoes has developed a Limited Special Edition Richard Petty Series boot, which will soon be available only at Red Wing dealers and only for a limited time. The boots are embossed with Petty.s likeness and the number 43, and are unique in motorsports. Red Wing Shoes, an associate sponsor on the Petty Enterprises 43 and 45 cars of John Andretti and Kyle Petty, developed the limited edition boot with assistance from Petty(Williams Company)(10-18-2001)
Cup car stolen UPDATE 3 Petty and Yates? new Petty engine supplier: At sometime over the past weekend someone stole an official Winston Cup race car from a race team's parking lot. Investigators are not saying which team owns the car. But they are saying the car is worth $200,000. Investigators say it was locked inside a white trailer when someone pulled up, hooked it up and drove off. The team is expected to announce the theft soon, ask for help finding it, and offer a very substantial reward to get it back.(NBC6.com)(9-28-2001) UPDATE: quite a twist from NASCAR.com's Buzz - The Buzz has learned that the car was stolen from the property of Robert Yates Racing. It wasn’t a Yates car, though, but a dyno chassis car owned by Petty Enterprises. So, what was a Petty car doing at Yates? Well, the two teams may be making some sort of announcement in the next couple of weeks regarding either a joint venture or new ownership of an existing division of Yates. The current ownership of all race teams for both teams will remain the same.(NASCAR.com)(9-29-2001) UPDATE 2: hearing that Yates is helping Petty design heads and is looking at supplying Dodge engines to Pettty next year UPDATE 3: Petty Enterprises will get engines for its 2002 Winston Cup teams (#'s 43,44,45) from a company being spun off of Robert Yates' engine manufacturing business. Mike Ege, general manager and chief engine builder at Robert Yates Engine Manufacturing, has acquired that company and will rename it Mike Ege Racing Engines. That company will supply engines to the three Petty Enterprises Cup teams beginning next season. Ford teams (#'s 7, 11, 26, 32, 66, 90) that had been getting their engines from the subsidiary operation Ege was leading for Yates will start getting their motors directly from Robert Yates Racing, Inc., which also builds the engines for the two Yates-owned Cup teams of drivers Dale Jarrett and Ricky Rudd(That's Racin')(10-2-2001)
Melling and Petty to work together? According to #92 Melling Racing driver Stacy Compton, his search outside the Melling camp will intensify if no sponsor is garnered within the next few weeks. He has discussed future opportunities with at least four Winston Cup teams, and a few Busch Series teams as well. Compton wants to stay put. Compton said that Melling is in discussion with Petty Enterprises about a possible future partnership, somewhat similar to that of the Wood Brothers’ relationship with Roush Racing. “The Pettys have been great to work with. I’ve really been happy with the progress we’ve made with those guys,” Compton said. “They’ve just bent over backwards to work with us. We work together really good. We’re trying to align ourselves with another team. It’s tough to do that, because it’s tough to find a team that’s willing to work with you. The Pettys have been so great. I’m awful excited about what we’re building with them. Mark and Kyle have worked some things out and are working good together."(NASCAR.com)(9-24-2001)
Fire at Petty Enterprises UPDATE 3: hearing there was a fire at Petty Enterprises Wednesday afternoon, been told it was a small in the engine room, more info as it is found UPDATE: FOX8 WGHP reported today that a fire occured at the Petty Enterprises shop, two crewmembers injured, one mechanic was flown to Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, NC with burns to hands and legs. The other employee was not injured as badly. Appears that gasoline was spilled while preparing the 44 car to load on the hauler, the spill entered a room that contained a hot water heater and ignited. Guil Rand Fire Dept responded(a few readers sent this info)(9-12-2001) UPDATE 2: Two employees were injured at Petty Enterprises Wednesday afternoon when vapors from a fuel spill were ignited in a storage area. The two men were loading a 55-gallon drum of racing fuel onto a truck when the drum was knocked over. One of the caps on the drum was either missing or loose, allowing the fuel to spill. Vapors drifted into an adjacent room where a pressure washer is kept. The vapors were ignited by a flame from the hot water heater that supplies the pressure washer with water. The identities of the two men were unavailable Wednesday night. Randolph County EMS responded to the accident. A helicopter from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center transported one of the men from the complex. Hussey said the man who was airlifted had received injuries to his leg and arm. The fire had been extinguished by the time firefighters arrived at the complex. He said a former Level Cross volunteer firefighter works at Petty Enterprises. Hussey said that man orchestrated the use of fire extinguishers and the cleanup of the spill.(Racing Extra)(9-13-2001) UPDATE 3: A small storage room located at the famed Petty Enterprises race shop caught on fire late Wednesday afternoon leaving two crew men with injuries and burns. The fire was believed to be caused when the two crew men, Mike Root and Rich Parks, were cleaning up a gasoline spill and a flash fire erupted. Root suffered second and third-degree burns to his arms and legs. He was taken to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem to be treated for his injuries. Root was kept overnight where he remains in stable condition. Parks suffered a laceration to his head and a minor burn to his hands. He drove to High Point Regional Hospital where he was checked and released. The famed A-frame shop at Petty Enterprises suffered minimal damage. "Our thoughts and prayers are both with Mike and Rich this morning," said Kyle Petty, who serves as the CEO of Petty Enterprises. "Things could have been a lot worse than they were, and we.re grateful that both are going to be ok."(Williams Company PR)(9-14-2001)
Sprint and Petty? UPDATE: there are some questions now about Petty Enterprises' Sprint sponsorship. Kyle Petty's team has missed a number of races this season, and there are reports that Richard is getting antsy about the team's performance(Winston Salem Journal)(8-10-2001) UPDATE: hearing that Sprint will stay with Petty in 2002 and has no plans to withdrawal its sponsorship of Petty Enterprise drivers and is looking forward to the 2002 season and beyond. Sprint says they have spent a great amount of time and resources to align themselves with one of the best names in racing. The Company is proud of their association with the Petty family including John Andretti and Buckshot Jones. The recent rumors started circulating after Winston-Salem Journal published an article on August 10 about cellular companies investment in motorsports. Sprint was named in the headline, but the content was based on 2001 performance. The writer speculated on the company's future involvement without calling Sprint or its agency representatives.(Sprint Email)(8-21-2001)
#600 for Kyle UPDATE he's in: Marking a milestone in his career, Kyle Petty will be making his 600th NASCAR Winston Cup start this week when he and the Sprint Dodge team head to the two-mile Michigan Speedway for Sunday’s Michigan 400. Petty, 41, will be making his 600th career start this weekend. He is 13th on the all-time list in NASCAR Winston Cup career starts. His eight career victories place him 45th on NASCAR’s all-time list in Winston Cup wins. One of the most recognizable names in international motorsports, as is his sponsor, Sprint, Petty’s driving career began with a five-race season in 1979. The native of Level Cross, N.C., has won nearly $13 million in NASCAR Winston Cup competition(Williams Company)(8-13-2001) UPDATE: Kyle Petty starts 36th Sunday and will be making his 600th career start. Petty, 41, is 13th on the all-time list in Winston Cup starts. "I guess this is a personal milestone, but to be honest, I don't see it as that big of a deal," Petty said. "I wasn't jumping up and down at 100 starts or 300 or 500, and I probably won't be jumping up and down at 600 either. "I'm grateful to have been in the sport this long but that is about all it marks - longevity. For the most part, 600 starts just means I'm about 20 years older than when I got started racing." Petty, of course, still is second in his own household in career starts. His father, Richard, started 1,177 Winston Cup events.(That's Racin')(8-19-2001)
Watkins Glen Double Duty UPDATE: Kyle Petty and John Andretti are stepping out of their Dodge Intrepid R/Ts at Watkins Glen and into something a little bit sportier - a Porsche GT3R. They will team up with Orbit Racing and compete in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race Friday night, August 10, one of three races slated during the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend August 9-12.(Watkins Glen PR)(7-31-2001) UPDATE: Winning the GT class of the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 were NASCAR Winston Cup Regulars, Kyle Petty and John Andretti in the #45 Orbit racing Porsche. The teammates were involved in a late race incident, but were ruled by Grand-Am officials as the class winners. Petty and Andretti finished 14th overall in the 28 car field(Watkins Glen Site)(8-11-201)
Nice Gesture by the Champ: As a token of its appreciation for Bobby Labonte's achievements last season, Pontiac presented Labonte with a 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix to donate to the charity of his choice. Labonte selected the Victory Junction Gang Camp as the recipient of the gift and presented the car to its founder, Kyle Petty, this weekend in Indianapolis. The Victory Junction Gang Camp was founded by the Pettys for kids in honor of their son, Adam. It will be a place where children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families can retreat to rejuvenate their minds, bodies and spirits. The camp will be located in Randleman, NC.(That's Racin')(8-5-2001)
Watkins Glen Double Duty: Kyle Petty and John Andretti are stepping out of their Dodge Intrepid R/Ts at Watkins Glen and into something a little bit sportier - a Porsche GT3R. They will team up with Orbit Racing and compete in the Bully Hill Vineyards 250 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race Friday night, August 10, one of three races slated during the Global Crossing @ The Glen NASCAR Winston Cup Series weekend August 9-12.(Watkins Glen PR)(7-31-2001)
Good Guy - Kyle Petty: Since 1999, the Sporting News 'rates' the sports top 'Good Guy's', athletes who are helping their communities, Kyle Petty was chosen as NASCAR's top 'Good Guy', others include: Jeff Gordon. Jeff Burton, Ricky Craven, Jimmy Spencer, Terry Labonte and Rusty Wallace. See full stories at: #1 NASCAR Good Guy - Kyle Petty from the Sporting News(7-15-2001)
Petty Enterprises Upgrading: Continuing its effort to upgrade its access to the cutting edge of research and development technologies, Petty Enterprises has begun working with Elan Motorsports Technologies Group for its NASCAR teams. Elan is known for its engineering development, including the company that designed and manufactured the first car to exceed the speed of sound. Petty Enterprises fields three teams in NASCAR Winston Cup competition, as well as a team in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. "This is another step in bringing our organization closer to where it needs to be," said Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises. "We're working hard to make our race teams better in every way. Working together with Elan is a good way to keep that going." The first project involves scale-model cars developed for wind tunnel research. This allows the engineers to try a large variety of subtle changes in a minimal amount of time, to give a multitude of aerodynamic adjustments a chance in the wind tunnel. Other major development projects are also underway. "This is the type of research and development we need," Petty said. "In every NASCAR division these days, hundredths of seconds are making the difference. This is another step in finding those hundredths and tenths that we need to move back to where we want to be." Elan Motorsport Technologies Group is located just north of Atlanta, Ga. Its core business is its motor sport technology center, which provides composites, engineering, engine development, servicing and design, and fabrication facilities(Williams Company of America PR)(7-28-2001)
Austin Petty UPDATE 2: been asked often about Kyle Petty's son Austin and his plans for racing, never had much of an answer, her is a good column about Austin and his future plans: Another Petty working to step up by Jim Utter of That's Racin'(7-13-2001) UPDATE: looks like the AP picked up on the story, see CNN/SI for the story with an image: In the blood - Petty teenager considering continuing family tradition - His friends call him "Road Rash" because of the numerous scrapes on his body from a recent spill on his motorcycle. But to everyone else, he's "another Petty," viewed as the next in line to continue the family business.(7-19-2001) UPDATE: History was made twice Tuesday night during round seven of the OdoBan Summer Shootout Series at Lowe’s Motor
Speedway as Austin Petty became the fifth member of racing’s “first family” to visit victory lane at the legendary speed plant and the first races were run on Goodyear’s long-shelved stock car rain tires. Following in the tire tracks of his great grandfather Lee, grandfather
Richard, father Kyle and brother Adam, Austin Petty took the checkered flag in the 15-lap Bandolero Outlaws feature. The 19-year-old son of Kyle and Patti Petty, started second in the nine-car feature, took the lead at the green flag and lapped all but three cars en route to the checkered flag in the 15-lap event on the rain-soaked quarter-mile oval. Driving NASCAR Winston Cup–style convertibles fitted with Goodyear rain tires on loan from Hendrick Motorsports, Busch Series drivers Andy Santerre and Mike McLaughlin battled in three three-lap races during the NASCAR Grudge Match. The confrontation came down to the final three-lap shootout with Santerre emerging victorious after both cars spun coming off turn two on the final lap. James Sanders of Concord, N.C., was the lucky fan selected to ride alongside Santerre, who credited his years of experience driving on snow in his native Maine with giving him the edge on the slick track, while Charlotte Observer columnist Tom Sorenson was a passenger in McLaughlin’s machine.(Lowes Motor Speedway PR), Actually it was four Petty's Lee never won at Lowes/Charlotte Motor Speedway(7-25-2001)
Good Guy - Kyle Petty: Since 1999, the Sporting News 'rates' the sports top 'Good Guy's', athletes who are helping their communities, Kyle Petty was chosen as NASCAR's top 'Good Guy', others include: Jeff Gordon. Jeff Burton, Ricky Craven, Jimmy Spencer, Terry Labonte and Rusty Wallace. See full stories at: #1 NASCAR Good Guy - Kyle Petty from the Sporting News(7-15-2001)
Grissom Practices at NHIS: Steve Grissom ran some laps at New Hampshire yesterday, putting him in position to fill in as a relief driver if a Truck or Winston Cup team needs him this weekend. Grissom practiced in the Petty Enterprises truck driven by Carlos Contreras. Because he has Cup experience here and has been on the track this weekend, Grissom could fill in for a driver with approval by Winston Cup Director Gary Nelson(Richmond Times Dispatch)(7-21-2001)
Kyle at New Hampshire? UPDATE 5 Will Race: Kyle Petty has not decided if he or the #45 Sprint team will race at the New Hampshire race on July 22nd(CNN/SI-NASCAR Plus TV Show)(6-25-2001) UPDATE: Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty, whose oldest son, Adam, was killed in a Grand National series practice session wreck last May at New Hampshire International Speedway, remains unsure whether he will compete in the Winston Cup race at the track next weekend. Tuesday would have been Adam's 21st birthday. Petty skipped both Winston Cup races at the track last season. "Right now I'm considering Chicago, and when I'm done with Chicago I'll see about next week. This week has been a hard week because of Adam's birthday. ... There have been so many things this week that have brought back so many memories," Petty said. "I couldn't bring myself to go back last year and it's kind of crept up on me this year. I'll wait until the first of the week to see where I'm at. Everybody at Petty Enterprises, they know what my position is. They stand behind the whole program."(That's Racin')(7-13-2001) UPDATE: Kyle Petty says he'll announce a decision in a few days on if he'll compete at New Hampshire International Speedway next weekend for the first time since his son, Adam, died in a crash there May 12, 2000. Petty said that the team's crew members also have the option of not going. If Petty does not, Steve Grissom will drive for him. Grissom is the team's test driver and also works as an adviser for Carlos Contreras, who drives for the Petty Enterprises truck series team. The trucks also will race at New Hampshire next weekend, so Grissom already was scheduled to be there(RacingExtra)(7-14-2001) UPDATE 2: CNN/SI's NASCAR Plus reported tonight that Kyle Petty will run at New Hampshire in a black car with some Sprint decals and the #45 on the car. None of Kyle's family will be at the track(7-16-2001) UPDATE 3: sources tell me that contrary to the CNN/SI report, Petty has not made up his mind regarding New Hampshire. As of this morning, he just was not sure. He said it could be as late as Friday morning before he makes a decision(7-17-2001) UPDATE 4: FSN's Totally NASCAR show on Thurs reports that Kyle Petty is expected ro run at NHIS with Steve Grissom standing by(7-19-2001) UPDATE 5: A Statement From Kyle Petty: This is going to be a pretty tough week for our family, the 45 team and for everyone at Petty Enterprises. We.re anxious to race and we.re anxious to do well but we are in New Hampshire with mixed emotions. Bob and Gary Bahre are the greatest people in the world. We feel as badly for them as we do anyone. The fans in New England are fantastic and are some of our favorite people. It.s hard to find better and more dedicated fans anywhere. The Bahres and the fans up here are a large part of the reason we.re racing this weekend. But we have one more very big reason. Adam would want me and the 45 team to come here and race. As a tribute to Adam, we've repainted his race car. We wanted to do something special. We wanted an on-track memorial to him and to those who love him. This isn't a Sprint car or a Petty Enterprises car or anything like that. For this weekend, this is an Adam car. I want this car to speak for itself. Adam's car and this statement will be all we have to say this weekend. Pattie and I, my mother and father, our entire family and the members of the 45 team would just rather not do any interviews at all this weekend, and we appreciate the media.s understanding. The guys at the #43 and #44 have said they would be glad to talk about their race cars but they, too, want to join us in honoring Adam by letting the race car speak for itself. I love Adam, we all love Adam, and miss him terribly. Thank you for letting us come back to New Hampshire with such an understanding and loving manner.(Williams Company PR)(7-20-2001)
Austin Petty: been asked often about Kyle Petty's sone Austin and his plans for racing, never had much of an answer, her is a good column about Austin and his future plans: Another Petty working to step up by Jim Utter of That's Racin'(7-13-2001)
Petty Ride a Success: The Kyle Petty Charity Across America had its most successful year in its seven-year existence, donating $500,000 to its selected charities including the Victory Junction Gang Camp, Starbright Foundation, the Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary and various children's hospitals. More than 18,000 people were present for the entrance of the 250 Charity Ride participants at Kyle and Pattie Petty's farm on July 1.(That's Racin')(7-8-2001)
Austin Petty Injured: Austin Petty, 19-year-old son of Winston Cup driver Kyle Petty, was injured Sunday in a motorcycle accident at his Trinity, NC, home. Petty suffered cuts and abrasions on his back, arms and legs. He was expected to compete Tuesday night in the Summer Shootout Series at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Petty drives the #46 Beattie Racing Bandolero in the Outlaw Division. He is expected to return to action next week. It was not known whether Petty participated in any portion of the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, however he did participate on June 26 in a Summer Shootout Series event at Lowe's Motor Speedway(That's Racin')(7-3-2001)
Nice Gesture: UltimateTV from Microsoft made a quick transfer of funds following qualifying for Sunday’s race. UltimateTV was to adorn the rear quarterpanels and deck lid of Kenny Wallace’s #27 Eel River Pontiac, sharing the rear of the car with a logo of the Victory Junction Gang Camp, but Wallace narrowly missed the race. UltimateTV took the program, which called for the Victory Junction Gang Camp to receive $50 for every lap Wallace completed on Sunday, and moved it to the #45 team driven by Petty(RacingOne). Petty ran all 112 laps for a total of $5600 donated, thanks(6-25-2001)
PE Changes? UPDATE 2 Larry Mac?: hearing Petty Enterprises (#'s 43, 44, 45 and #43 CTS team) has parted ways with some of it's engineering staff and that Larry MacReynolds (Fox Broadcaster) is considering working with the team when the Fox part of the TV deal is up after Sears Point(June 24th)(5-29-2001) UPDATE: while hearing there were some personnel changes in the engineering staff are true, have been told by some the part about Larry MacReynold's coming to PE is not true and others say yes, as a consultant(5-30-2001) UPDATE 2: Ex-crew chief Larry McReynolds says he'll be back in action in somebody's shop in July after his tour as a Fox TV commentator ends. "But I'm not going to be a crew chief," McReynolds said, "because I don't think that would be fair to a race team to walk in and say, 'OK, here I am, and I'll be your crew chief the next five months, but then I'm leaving.' "But I'm definitely going to do something. If I can go in and help a race team and give them some feedback and keep my hand in it, that would be my goal." McReynolds says the no-compete clause in his contract with Richard Childress "has been worked out. We're good there. I can do anything I want, except to broadcast with another network."(Winston Salem Journal)(6-12-2001)
Melling Racing and Petty Enterprises Team Up: Melling Racing and driver Stacy Compton(#92) have formed a working relationship with Petty Enterprises(#'s 43,44,45) from which both organizations hope to benefit. Compton said it will take a while before the whole plan is in place and results gained. "I'm pretty excited about it. We'll send one of our guys when they go testing, and they'll send one of their guys when we go testing," Compton said. "We're going to go to Chicago on Monday and Tuesday and, hopefully, what we learn there we can let them know and it'll help them."(That's Racin')(6-3-2001)
Labonte/Petty HS Grads: Terry Labonte found time last night, barely, to attend daughter Kristen's high-school graduation in Trinity, NC, borrowing a helicopter from brother Bobby to make the sprint up, despite heavy thunderstorms. "After sitting in the principal's office a couple of times for her fighting in school, I never thought I'd get her graduated," Labonte said with a laugh. Kyle Petty's son, Austin, was also graduating, but Petty didn't have the luxury of a possible champion's provisional. "Austin has really buckled down since Adam's death and got serious about school," Petty said. "He wants to be an engineer and he's set to go to Pfeiffer next year. He was in some kind of honor society, and he got some medal for four years of honor work. He and Montgomery Lee are both a lot smarter than myself and Adam were."(Winston Salem Journal)(5-25-2001)
Petty/Labonte Announcement UPDATE: Two-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, his son Justin Labonte, NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Kyle Petty and Kerry Scherer will be on hand in the Winston Media Center at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Thursday afternoon at 2:15pm/et on May 17, to make a special announcement concerning a new ARCA RE/MAX Series program(LMS PR)(5-15-2001) UPDATE: Justin Labonte, son of two-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Terry Labonte, has joined the Briggs Cunningham-Kerry Scherer ARCA RE/MAX Series team and will receive assistance from Kyle Petty and Petty Enterprises to run Dodge Intrepids. Although the third-generation driver will debut the new team at Lowe’s Motor Speedway in a Chevy Monte Carlo, Labonte will compete in Dodge Intrepids in ten remaining RE/MAX Series superspeedway events at both events at Michigan and both events at Pocono as well as Kansas(tenative), Kentucky, Chicagoland, Lowe’s, Talladega and Atlanta. ARCA RE/MAX Series veteran Eddie Sharp has been tapped to serve as the team’s crew chief(ARCA Series Site)(5-17-2001)
New #45 Scheme: Sprint, Kyle Petty and Kyle's father, Richard "The King" Petty, today unveiled a special paint scheme for Kyle's #45 Sprint Dodge revealing the 2001 Sprint/Kyle Petty Charity Ride logo during a special ceremony at the California Speedway. Petty will drive the Sprint/Kyle Petty Charity Ride car at the Winston Cup race June 24 at Sears Point Raceway. With the 2001 Sprint/Kyle Petty Charity Ride already at capacity, Sprint also announced that they have created a variety of promotions and customer events that create opportunities for more riders to participate. Sprint's local telephone division is also awarding one lucky customer a spot on the Charity Ride through a sweepstakes being conducted at the Sprint Stores in select markets. Besides the sweepstakes, customers who sign up for Sprint SolutionsSM while at the stores will receive a miniature die-cast Sprint 45 Dodge car with their purchase. The special paint scheme features the colors of the 2001 Sprint/Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America. The Starbright Foundation, one of the benefactors of the charity ride, is also featured on the c-post of the car.(Three Wide Marketing PR), for more info on the Charity Ride, see my Racing Charities page(4-27-2001)
Petty's Honored: Kyle and Pattie Petty are this year's recipients of the Racing Angels Award. The award is presented annually at the International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction banquet by Linda Vaughn and sponsor Prolong Super Lubricants. Previous winners of the award are Bill France and the late T. Wayne Robertson. The induction ceremony is slated to be telecast on Speedvision on April 29.(Winston Cup Scene - need subscription to read online)(4-26-2001)
Petty's Crew Chiefs to Embark on Year-Long Trek Across America: A recent survey of ASE-certified Master Auto Technicians revealed that a properly maintained and operated vehicle will run more efficiently, will be safer and will last up to 50 percent longer. Findings such as these, along with the concern that people have gotten out of the habit of taking care of their cars, have prompted NASCAR-legend Richard Petty and his crew chiefs to share with people their best practices for engine maintenance: the `All 3 Every 3' program, which recommends Americans practice proper engine maintenance by simply following these easy steps every 3,000 miles: (1) Change Your Oil (2) Clean Your Fuel Injectors (3) Check Your Belts, Hoses and Fluids. Richard Petty has enlisted the help of his Petty Enterprises' crew chiefs - Greg Steadman, Bryant Frazier, Chris Hussey, and Howard Comstock - in order to educate Americans about the importance of automobile maintenance. From March through November, Petty's crew chiefs will travel across America to introduce the
`All 3 Every 3' program. Tour stops with the crew chiefs will include a brief talk about the maintenance steps involved with the `All 3 Every 3' program, a car care question and answer session and then actual "under the hood" demonstrations and tips. Launching in Greensboro, N.C., the `All 3 Every 3' tour is scheduled to hold car maintenance events in Bristol, Tenn.; Roanoke, Va.; St. Louis, Mo.; Charlotte,
N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; Daytona Beach, Fla.; Lexington, Ky.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; Birmingham, Ala.; and Atlanta, Ga.(Petty PR)(4-17-2001)
Petty's on TV: The Petty family and Petty Enterprises will be featured in a segment on the CBS News magazine show 48 Hours at the end of this month. The show is tentatively scheduled to air Monday night, April 23. Some members of the Petty family and Petty Enterprises team members were interviewed for the show, and the crew taped some of the activities at Atlanta Motor Speedway during the race weekend there.(Williams Company)(4-3-2001)
CBS Show: CBS' show "48 Hours" has completed filming for a piece it is doing on Petty Enterprises and Kyle Petty. The segment is scheduled to run in late April (hearing April 19th or 21st) and be part of a show dedicated to comebacks(Roanoke Times)(3-24-2001)
Soft Wall Testing UPDATE: A major story of the day was the latest "soft wall" testing, in which NASCAR appears to have made a major breakthrough. A crash test of a Kyle Petty car within the past 10 days against a special plastic padded wall at an undisclosed location appeared to show that the two-foot-thick padding cut impact G-forces from 100 Gs to less than 40 Gs, according to NASCAR sources. More testing is needed for confirmation, and that testing is expected within the next two weeks. If successful, NASCAR officials could have tracks installing the padding by early June, possibly in time for the Dover race, a track with fearsome concrete walls(steel plated actually). The proposed wall padding is part of a project first set in motion by Indy's Tony George, who would like the padding ready for his Indianapolis 500 in May. The padding is designed in sections that can be easily removed and replaced after being hit in a crash(Winston Salem Journal)(3-3-2001) UPDATE: NASCAR officials have continued soft-wall testing. Last week, they traveled to Nebraska to test a new padding surface(Richmond Times Dispatch)(3-5-2001)
Petty Crewman Arrested UPDATE 3 Petty Announcement: A mechanic for NASCAR driver Kyle Petty was arrested after a city traffic accident seriously injured an off-duty beach patrol officer. Jeremy Lee Upchurch an engine tuner for Petty's #45 Dodge, was arrested and charged Monday night with aggravated battery with a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a crash with injuries, culpable negligence, driving with a suspended license and reckless driving(That's Racin'/AP)(2-14-2001) UPDATE: NASCAR driver Kyle Petty visited Halifax Medical Center on Wednesday night to apologize for a wreck police say was caused by one of Petty’s mechanics, a wreck that badly injured a Volusia County Beach Patrol officer. But family members and friends said Thursday that they wouldn’t let Petty see Alan White, who at the time didn’t know the circumstances that left him with multiple skull fractures, two cracked vertebrae and other injuries. They said White was too weak to see Petty. Also, Upchurch was fired from Petty’s team and was not with the pit crew for Thursday’s Twin 125 races. See the full story at the Orlando Sentinel(2-16-2001) UPDATE 2: A police officer who was critically injured during a car wreck involving two NASCAR mechanics is suing the men and Petty Enterprises Inc. Alan White, 47, said in a lawsuit filed Thursday that Petty Enterprises provided a rental car for Joseph Fiorelli, 39, and Jeremy Upchurch, 25, despite knowing of their "immaturity and propensity to consume alcoholic beverages and then operate motor vehicles while under the influence." White also named the rental car's owner, Enterprise Leasing Co. of Orlando, in the lawsuit. He is seeking more than $15,000 in damages(Orlando Sentinel)(3-2-2001) UPDATE 3: While their prayers are still with an injured off-duty police officer in Daytona Beach, Fla., Petty Enterprises is disturbed with unfounded news reports that it has fired crew member Joseph Fiorelli, Kyle Petty said. Fiorelli was the victim of a passenger.s dangerous prank in an automobile during Speed Weeks at Daytona several weeks ago. Fiorelli was driving the car while Jeremy Upchurch, who was not a Petty Enterprises employee but rather an employee of an engine building company, was riding in the front passenger seat. According to police reports, Upchurch suddenly put his left foot on Fiorelli.s right foot, mashing the gas pedal down. Fiorelli fought to regain control of the car but slammed into an SUV which was making a turn. Upchurch was reportedly arrested, and Fiorelli was not cited for any violation. As the police record indicates, alcohol was not involved as none of those in the car had been drinking. "Joseph was a victim as much as anybody in this deal, and it.s sad that he remains a victim," Petty said. "There have been unfounded rumors about his employment and I guess some news people have picked up on that. The fact of the matter is Joe Fiorelli is a solid citizen and a valued member of Petty Enterprises and continues to work with the #44 team, and we plan on him being with us for a long time. "The other guy was not our employee. He was in the car and all indications are he had some pretty poor judgement," Petty replied. "I hate that anybody was hurt because of this but I also hate that Joe is getting dragged through the mud over somebody else.s doings." Fiorelli will be at the 500-mile race in Hampton, Ga., this week assisting in preparations for that race. He was also at races in Rockingham, NC, and Las Vegas, NV(Williams Company PR)(3-6-2001)
Adam's car buried: Kyle Petty says the car in which his son, Adam, was killed at Loudon last year hasn't been destroyed, as car owner Sabates did with the car in which Kenny Irwin was killed. Petty won't say where the car is, but hints it may be buried somewhere near Level Cross, to keep souvenir hunters at bay.(Winston Salem Journal)(2-15-2001)
Another Petty? Many readers reported that during the telecast of the Rolex 24 on Speedvision, announcer Bob Varsha revealed that Kyle Petty mentioned that Austin Petty, Kyle's second son, was planning on being a race driver. Seemed odd, as most reports in the pasted noted that, Austin had stated that he had no interest in racing(2-5-2001)
Kyle in the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona too UPDATE: Kyle Petty will join Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Grand American Road Racing Association’s season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona on Feb. 3-4. Petty will drive a brand-new GT-class Porsche GT3RS fielded by Rodger Hawley's Orbit race team, a long-time entrant in road racing competition. He will be joined in the entry – appropriately wearing No. 43 – by Leo Hindery (former president of TCI Cable, Global Crossing and a business partner of Richard Petty), Gian Luigi Buitoni (former president of Ferrari of North America) and Peter Baron. This will not be Petty’s first foray in the Rolex 24, as he co-drove a Ford Mustang for Roush Racing at the classic enduro in 1986 with fellow NASCAR drivers Bill Elliott, Ricky Rudd and Ken Schrader.(SpeedVision)(1-4-2001) UPDATE: story at Speed Magazine - Petty is latest to bid for around-the-clock race by Godwin Kelly(1-6-2001)
Petty and horses: Montgomery Lee Petty, Kyle Petty's daughter, is featured on the cover of the Quarter Horse Journal, the story is not online but there is an image of the cover for those interested at AQHA Online(1-4-2001)
Petty Enterprises Changes UPDATE: Rick Mann, head engine builder at Petty Enterprises, left the team after Atlanta to pursue other opportunities. Petty Enterprises continues to search for a replacement for Mann and hopes to have someone in place by January 1. Also the #44 PE Georgia Pacific team hired Mark Tutor to be the crew chief for new driver Buckshot Jones. As for the PE #45 BGN team, plans are still a go for that team, with Steve Grissom behind the wheel of the #45 Chevy, they are still looking for a sponsor for the car(contact info on the Engine Builder job is on my Team Addresses page)(12-8-2000) UPDATE: The new #44 Georgia-Pacific Dodge will enjoy a lot of experience in 2001. Mark Tutor has been hired as crew chief for the team and new driver Buckshot Jones. Tutor, 38, joins Petty Enterprises from Haas-Carter Motorsports, where he spent part of the time as crew chief for retiring legend Darrell Waltrip. A native of Raleigh, N.C., Tutor has worked with such teams as Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Robby Gordon Racing and Loy Allen
Motorsports. The 2001 season will mark Petty Enterprises' 52nd year of racing, evolving from a small A-frame shop in the middle of North Carolina into one of the most successful racing organizations in motorsports history. Combined, the Pettys have won 273 races. For the 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup season, all three Petty drivers will race Dodges. Kyle Petty will drive the #45 Sprint Dodge, while John Andretti will handle the #43 Cheerios Dodge(Williams Company)(12-13-2000)
Kyle Award: Kyle Petty on Friday became the third-generation member of his family to win the Myers Brothers Award presented by the National Motorsports Press Association. Lee Petty, Kyle's grandfather, won the award in its second year in 1959. Richard Petty, Kyle's father, won it three times by himself and shared it in 1992 with his wife, Lynda. The award is given each year by the NMPA for contributions to stock car racing. Petty was honored for his continuing efforts on behalf of a number of charities in spite of the death of his son, Adam, in a crash at New Hampshire International Speedway, on May 12(That's Racin')(12-8-2000)
Petty News: Winston Cup Illustrated announced Saturday it has selected the Pettys as the magazine's Persons of the Year. And...Sprint PCS will sponsor Kyle Petty 's charity motorcycle ride. Next year's ride is the seventh annual cross-country trek(Roanoke Times)(11-12-2000)
Petty News: Kyle Petty, CEO of Petty Enterprises, announced Saturday that he and wife, Pattie Huffman Petty are founding The Victory Junction Gang Camp. The camp will serve as a retreat for seriously ill children and will be in honor of their son, Adam Petty. The new Camp will be the seventh in the network of Hole In The Wall Gang Camps, founded for Kids by Paul Newman, joining Camps in Connecticut, Florida, New York, California, Ireland and France. The Camp will be located on property in Level Cross, North Carolina, donated by Richard and Lynda Petty. Other contributions include $50,000 from The Hole In The Wall Gang Camp Fund and $50,000 from The
Winston Cup Racing Wives Auxiliary(Williams Company PR)(10-22-2000)
Petty Ride: The dates for the 2001 Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America have been finalized. The motorcycle ride, which will be in its seventh year, will leave from Sacramento, Calif., June 24 and will end at the Petty Farm in Trinity, N.C. on July 1. Petty will race at Sears Point in Sonoma, Calif., then leave on the cross-country trip. The Winston Cup teams will have an off weekend the next week(Kyle Petty Ride Site)(10-13-2000)
Kyle, Safety and Fox: As the Winston Cup circuit returns to Loudon, New Hampshire, the National Sports Report's weekly NASCAR feature will deal with safety in the sport. Earlier this year, two NASCAR drivers were killed in separate practice accidents at the Loudon track. Thursday night's show will feature Alex Flanagan's report on what NASCAR is trying to do to make the sport safer. Friday night, Winston Cup veteran Kyle Petty will join our Chris Myers to talk about how their family is dealing with the tragic loss of 19-year old Adam. The National Sports Report airs on Fox Sports Net nightly at 10pm and Midnight in each time zone(9-13-2000)
Kyle and Cup in 2000? UPDATE yep: saw in a testing story at the Martinesville Speedway site that Kyle Petty would be testing the #45 car at the track on Sept 19th and 20th. Hearing that Petty will run two Cup races for Sprint in the #45 Chevy/Pontiac this season, looks like Martinsville will be one of the two(9-6-2000) UPDATE: It was reported on ESPN2's RPM 2Night that Kyle Petty will drive the #45 Sprint car(Chevy?) at Martinsville and Homestead Cup races(9-7-2000)
Dodge News: Kyle Petty says Dodge teams expect NASCAR to approve the Dodge Intrepid within two weeks. Once the car is approved, Dodge teams can begin building cars for next season.The Dodge engine has more work to be done to it before it is taken to NASCAR for approval. Dodge is not expected to present an engine for more than a month(Roanoke Times/Williams Company)(8-25-2000)
Petty's final Cup start of 2000: Kyle Petty, planning on making his final 2000 Winston Cup start at Bristol before handing the duties over to Steve Grissom for the rest of 2000, will hold an Interview Session/Press Conference on Thursday in the Bristol area. Petty plans to run the rest of the 2000 season in his late son's BGN car, the #45 Sprint Chevy in the BGN series(8-21-2000)
Petty Enterprises News UPDATE: On Tuesday, July 18th, there will be a press conference detailing Sprint's 2000-2001 sponsorship plans with Petty Enterprises (#'s 43 Cheerios and #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac in Cup; #45 Sprint Chevy in BGN; and #43 Dodge Truck). The announcement will take place at Lowes Motor Speedway at 11:00am/et. See Speedway Illustrated for the announcement at 11am(7-16-2000) UPDATE: big news! Starting with the Sept. 3 Pepsi Southern 500 at Darlington, Kyle Petty, will run only the #45 Sprint Chevy in the BGN series. Steve Grissom, who drives the #43 Dodge Truck for Petty in the CTS series, will drive the #44 Hot Wheels Pontiac in the Winston Cup series. For 2001, Kyle Petty will drive the #45 Sprint Dodge in the Winston Cup series. Petty plans to run the #44 Cup team, but will need to find a driver and new sponsor as Hot Wheels will not return in a mutual decision. There are no plans to continue the Petty BGN team, but if Petty Enterprises in unable to land a sponsor for the #44, Petty said the organization could return to the series(Petty Racing Site, NOL, That's Racin' and SpeedVision)(7-18-2000)
Adam Petty was supposed to be the driver of this car until he was killed at Hew Hampshire on May 12th, 2000. I set this page up to be a tribute to him, but his Father Kyle will now run the #45, so I made a separate page for Adam's Tribute and made this back to a Team page. See my Adam Petty Tribute (9-11-2000)
Lowe’s Motor Speedway Testing Notes II: Petty Enterprises brought two cars for Adam Petty to test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but there was a unique twist; one was a Pontiac Grand Prix and the other a Chevrolet Monte Carlo(LMS PR)(5-10-2000)
Petty Notes: TNN's Raceday reported there was talk of Kyle Petty driving the #45 Sprint Chevy in place of son Adam, who qualified for his first Cup race at Texas, but Kyle said No, that Adam would make his first Cup start and stay in the car. Kyle will be in Adam's pits for the race. Kyle also said the Petty Enterprise's engine department needs to step up and that the cars drive fine but have engine problems(4-2-2000)
Adam does ok: #45-Adam Petty, making his CUP debut, was running in the mid 20's when he lost an engine and ended up finishing 40th(4-2-20000
Petty...Adam...to CUP? UPDATE: Adam Petty hedged when asked if he will move from the Busch Series to Winston Cup next year. "We've got a decision, but we just haven't made an announcement yet," Petty said(St Petersburg Times) it was announced on NOL back on 11-11-99 that Adam Petty would make his Cup debut at Texas run up to five Cup races in 2000 with an eye towards CUP in 2001 if his father Kyle thought he was ready. From my understanding, if Kyle does not feel Adam is ready for CUP this May, Adam's debut will come at a later date(2-11-2000) --UPDATE: Adam Petty said Saturday he is not planning on expanding his five-race Cup schedule in 2000 despite a new NASCAR rule that allows drivers to run as many as seven Winston Cup races in a season and maintain rookie status. He is considering running the Winston Open at Lowes as practice for the Coke 600(That's Racin')(2-12-2000)
Petty and Dodge: During an interview on ESPN2's practice coverage, Kyle Petty said that Petty Enterprises has set Monday(2-14) as the deadline for deciding what manufacturer the team will use in 2001(ESPN2)(2-11-2000)
Petty Logo: One of the most familiar logos in motorsports has undergone a change. The familiar Petty Enterprises logo will change as the most successful organization in motorsports begins its second 50 years. Petty Enterprises fields the #43 STP/Cheerios Pontiac and #44 Hot Wheels Racing Pontiac in CUP; the #45 Sprint Chevy in the BGN Series; and the #43 Dodge by Petty in the CTS. "This year at the beginning of our second 50 years, we have brought all four teams - five, if you include Adam's (Petty) Winston Cup cars for some races this season - under one banner, "said Kyle Petty, who heads day-to-day operations of Petty Enterprises as well as driving the Hot Wheels Racing Pontiac. "Last year the Busch team ran as pe2, and the truck team as Richard Petty Motorsports. Now all of our teams and drivers are part of Petty Enterprises. This new logo incorporates four teams and three NASCAR divisions, and is representative of how Petty Enterprises has grown," Petty continued. "People can look at our new logo and realize we are more than just one team in one division. Petty Enterprises is an organization with a wealth of talented drivers, crew members and staff. With our new research and development team and our new sponsorship partnerships, we are looking to move to the forefront in our next 50 years as we did in the first 50. This is the kind of logo any of our sponsors and teams can display with pride on their products and in their marketing programs." The new logo is a striking red and blue design which incorporates the Petty Enterprises name in blue with a red-and-blue swoosh. The modern design will quickly become one of the most recognizable logos in motorsports. To see the logo click here(Williams Comapny)(1-21-2000)
PE hanging Dodge Sheet Metal? "(Ray) Evernham might be leading development along with Chrysler engineers, but Petty Enterprises is doing the actual work. While (Lou) Patane says additional teams will be announced around the time of this February's Daytona race (and drivers after that), sources in Charlotte say the Pettys are reporting to Evernham on the Intrepid's development and that they're over there hanging sheetmetal on frames[at Petty Enterprises]"(Autoweek)(1-20-2000)
Petty Re-news with Pontiac: Dodge may be in Petty Enterprises’ future, but Kyle Petty said that for the upcoming 2000 season, the Randleman, N.C., team will continue to enjoy its relationship with Pontiac. While Petty neve denies talking to Dodge, he says they are a GM team for 2000 and just recently renewed with Pontiac for 2000. He said the future was wide open(seen on the StockCarFans Newsletter from the Kingsport Times-News)(1-20-2000)
Petty to Dodge UPDATE 3: hearing that Petty Enterprises has decided to switch to the Dodge Intrepid for the 2001 Winston Cup season(12-21-1999) -- UPDATE: from Racer Magazine site - The announcement won't be made until after the first of the year, but Petty Enterprises has signed a deal with Chrysler that would make the entire Petty Winston Cup stable part of the Mopar group for 2001. Chrysler will likely make the formal announcement at the unveiling of the 2001 NASCAR Dodge Intrepid at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, probably on Jan. 11. The team will continue to use Pontiacs for the Cup teams in 2000(Racer Magazine)(12-22-1999) -- UPDATE 2: It is possible that a driver announcement for Ray Evernham's Dodge team could also be announced on 1-11-2000. Evernham expects to have running developmental Intrepids by May, likely powered by higher-compression versions of the Craftsman truck engine, pending development and NASCAR approval of an all-new Winston Cup V-8. Reportedly Pontiac fought to keep the Pettys, but has managed to keep the Joe Gibbs team with drivers Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart in Pontiacs(SpeedVision)(12-23-1999) -- UPDATE 3: no announcement at the Dodge Winston Cup announcment, not sure when it will be made(1-11-2000)
New #10: Tyler Jet Motorsports owner Tim Beverley said Wednesday that his team is preparing "without the slightest hint of hesitation" for a full run in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition for 2000. With driver Johnny Benson secured to drive the Tyler Jet Pontiacs for 2000, Beverley said the team continues to ride the wave of positive momentum generated when it won its first-ever Bud Pole at last month's Winston Cup event at Homestead, Fla. Benson signed on the following weekend at Atlanta. In other team news, Tyler Jet Motorsports, which last week relinquished the #45 it paraded during the 1999 season, was today assigned the #10 by NASCAR. Adma Petty and Petty Enterprises will use the #45 in 2000 and beyond(12-15-1999)
Petty Announcement Update: RPM2Nite reported that Adam Petty will run five Cup races in 2000 starting at Texas. NASCAR Online shows the #45 Sprint Chevy, not sure what the deal is with #45 which Tyler Jet Motorsports presently uses, also would think he'd run a Pontiac since Petty Enterprises uses Pontiac for Cup and Chevy for BGN. The car shown in the pictures at NOL and the Adam Petty site is a BGN car(note, the BGN sticker on the front 1/4 panel). See stories at NASCAR Online: Adam Petty to make Winston Cup debut in 2000 and the Adam Petty Site which also says that Petty will run the Cup races at Charlotte in the Coke 600, Bristol in August, the fall Martinsville race and Homestead. Nothing mentioned about Dodge(11-11-1999) -- UPDATE: Joe who runs the Petty Page was able to ask Kyle Petty two questions in reference to Adam Pettys Winston Cup plans in 2000. Kyle Petty answered lots of questions at a short Hot Wheels promotional autograph session. 1) What make of car will Adam run the 5 Winston Cup races in 2000? Kyle's answer was that they would most likely be Pontiacs since they already have Pontiac cup cars in their shops. 2) What number will Adam run in Cup since the 45 is on another car this year? Kyle said Adam would run the #45. The Petty Page also has a batch of images from the weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway so far at the Petty Page(11-14-1999)
Petty Press Conference UPDATE 2: Petty Enterprises has scheduled a press conference for Nov 11th at the All Star Cafe on Miami's South Beach to discuss the future(Winston Cup Scene)(11-5-1999) -- UPDATE: There's an announcement scheduled for Thursday night in Miami's South Beach involving the Petty family, but sources say it will not have anything to do with any of the Petty Enterprises teams converting to Dodge. The announcement will concern Adam Petty's racing plans - perhaps a five-race Winston Cup deal in 2000 in preparation for a move to the top series in 2001(That's Racin')(11-7-1999) -- UPDATE 2:
"there is a Petty press conference scheduled for this Thursday in Florida, but it's more likely about plans for Kyle's son, Adam, to run five Cup races in 2000. Kyle said that Adam's Busch sponsors – Sprint, Nike and Coca-Cola – are expected to ante up enough money to let Adam get a taste of Winston Cup next year, then run for rookie of the year in 2001(Steve Smith/Racer Magazine)(11-10-1999)
Adam Petty to Cup? UPDATE: From the Adam Petty site in his Dover Journal - "I’m not supposed to comment on that question, but if y’all can keep a secret I’ll tell you that we are building a Cup car for next year. Whether or not I run it depends a lot on how this year goes. As of today, we are planning to run 5 Cup races next year"(www.adampetty.com)(6-7-1999) -- UPDATE: Adam Petty is reportedly going to reassess his attempt to run five Winston Cup races in 2000. Petty Enterprises built a Cup car for the teenage future star but some recent tough outings have he and father Kyle looking at slowing down the speed of his trip to Winston Cup. He was originally looking at a possible run for Rookie of the Year in Winston Cup in 2001 or 2002(Inside Motorsports)(8-5-1999)