FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 12, 1995 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Andy Petree will be the first to tell you he's in a pretty good position. As crew chief for seven-time and defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, Petree believes he...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 12, 1995
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Andy Petree will be the first to tell you he's in a pretty good position.
As crew chief for seven-time and defending NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Earnhardt, Petree believes he already has a step up on most of the rest of the field on Sunday afternoon.
"I can't speak for anyone else, but in my opinion, he's the best, " Petree said of Earnhardt. "He the best now and the best ever. Like I said,
I can't speak for anybody else, but I'll bet you there are an awful lot of people who would agree with me.
"He knows what it takes and he has what it takes. That's a strong combination. He has honed his abilities to know when to mash the button and when to wait."
With the help of Earnhardt's ability and a team that has seen some battles in its time, Petree once again sits atop the standings for the season-long Plasti-Kote Quality Finish Award. Sponsored by Plasti-Kote Spray Paint, the official Spray Paint of NASCAR, the award goes to the eligible crew chief whose team, at the end of the 31-race NASCAR Winston Cup season, has the best average finish. The winner receives $25,000. Petree was last year's winner with Earnhardt and the GM Goodwrench Services Racing team posting an average finish of 8.03 with 25 top 10 finishes in 31 events.
This year, Petree (5.57 avg. fin.) is just ahead of Tony Glover (6.00), crew chief for Sterling Marlin, driver of the Kodak Film Chevrolet and ;#inner (of the last two Daytona 500s. The eligible crew chief for each race winner is awarded $2,000.
"The thing about Dale is he'll finish races," Petree said. "Look at Bristol. We wreck, tear practically the whole front end off the car and we get him back out there and he's still running as fast as the leaders. We see that and that pumps us up as a team. It just makes it easier for everybody all the way around when you can feed off each other and we're able to do that."
Petree said there is another person that should get some credit for that.
"Richard Childress has built his operation into one of the finest in motorsports," Petree said. "Everything runs so smoothly that even when there is turnover in personnel, a new guy can step right in and follow the lead that is already there.
"At the sane time, I want to be careful and not make it sound like we're doing this in our sleep. It's a heck of a lot easier to get on top than it is to stay there. I used to hear that when I was a kid and I never really paid that much attention to it. Now, I know exactly what they meant by that."