Kennedy to replace Peterson at Mattei HARRISBURG, N.C. (Oct. 29, 1998) Mattei Motorsports announced Thursday it would release veteran crew chief Pete Peterson from his responsibilities with the No. 7 Philips Ford, effective after the Nov. 8...
Kennedy to replace Peterson at Mattei
HARRISBURG, N.C. (Oct. 29, 1998) Mattei Motorsports announced Thursday it would release veteran crew chief Pete Peterson from his responsibilities with the No. 7 Philips Ford, effective after the Nov. 8 season finale NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and replace him with Bobby Kennedy.
Kennedy currently serves as the crew chief for veteran owner/driver Kyle Petty's No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac. Petty's PE2 team had recently announced that crew chief Doug Hewitt would move from the No. 30 Gumout Pontiac team at Bahari' Racing to PE2 following the Atlanta finale but until now had made no mention of Kennedy's intentions.
"Jim Mattei is doing everything that it takes to make this a championship team," said Kennedy, a 35-year-old native of Concord, N.C. "With everything that he is putting into place, things are definitely headed in the right direction."
Peterson, a long-time employee of NASCAR legend Junior Johnson, has served as crew chief for driver Geoff Bodine since taking over for another former Johnson employee, Tim Brewer who was released last April.
Kennedy has spent the last two and a half seasons calling the shots for Petty, first with Team SABCO and then at PE2, following the formation of that team as a related operation to Richard Petty's Petty Enterprises team.
Kennedy will begin working at Mattei Motorsports' shop following the NAPA 500 and will make his debut with the team, along with new driver Michael Waltrip, during the NASCAR exhibition race on Nov. 22 at Twin Ring Motegi in Japan, the NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi - Coca-Cola 500.
In an attempt to raise the level of his team Mattei also fired driver Geoff Bodine, formerly the team's owner, shortly before he made his 500th career NASCAR Winston Cup start in the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 11.
"Going to Japan together will be a good situation for us," said Kennedy of his debut with Waltrip. "It's going to help us get our communication started so I understand what Michael is looking for in the car, and he can understand what I'm saying to him. It's just going to get us a free race under our belts, and that can't do anything but help."
The 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season will begin at Daytona International Speedway in February.
Source: NASCAR Online