Fontana II: Kyle Petty preview

Kyle Petty: "It was good to get back in the car at Bristol. I didn't realize how much I had missed being around the guys working in the garage. The car was fast, but we had no luck. Rubber built up on the throttle linkage and we had to come in...

Kyle Petty:

"It was good to get back in the car at Bristol. I didn't realize how much I had missed being around the guys working in the garage. The car was fast, but we had no luck. Rubber built up on the throttle linkage and we had to come in and get that off. That can get frustrating, but the guys kept their heads up and we got the best finish that we could. We need to get a better finish this weekend to gain those points back."

"It's important for NASCAR to keep a large presence in southern California because we have been there for so long. A lot of the new fans don't remember when we raced at Ontario and Riverside. I'm one of the few that have raced at all three tracks, including Fontana. Ontario was a track way before its time. It was a replica of Indianapolis, but it had a ton of fan-friendly amenities that most of the tracks have today. That was a cool place. Riverside used to be the first race on the schedule, not Daytona. There is a lot of history for us in southern California."

"Are rivalries good for our sport, for any sport? Absolutely. It draws a line in the sand. You're either over here or over there. In Carl (Edwards) and Kyle (Busch) you have the makings of a rivalry that could last for awhile. Both are young and on top of the sport. This could be the best rivalry since Earnhardt-Gordon. Out of the car they are two different people, so they appeal to two totally different groups. In the car they are aggressive and will probably get together a few more times on the track. I hope this doesn't go away, but if it does we are going to be treated to one heck of a championship fight this year, at least."

* Petty has competed at Auto Club Speedway 16 times.

* His highest finish at Auto Club Speedway is 17th, which he scored in 2003.

* Of a possible 4,005 laps at the California track, Petty has completed 3,487 (87.1%). He has led a total of four laps at the venue.

* Petty was behind the wheel of the No. 45 Wells Fargo Dodge last weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time since May when he competed in the Coca-Cola 600.

* Petty is the only driver entered this weekend that competed at the Ontario (Ca.) Motor Speedway and Riverside (Ca.) International Raceway, which were the other southern California tracks to host the Sprint Cup Series.

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kyle Petty