Both of the Andy Petree-owned Chevrolets won races during the 2001 season and are therefore set for tomorrow night's running of The Winston. Despite capturing a win at North Carolina Speedway just 14 races ago, Petree's No. 33 Chevrolet team has...
Both of the Andy Petree-owned Chevrolets won races during the 2001 season and are therefore set for tomorrow night's running of The Winston. Despite capturing a win at North Carolina Speedway just 14 races ago, Petree's No. 33 Chevrolet team has been forced to run a part-time schedule in 2002 due to a lack of full-time sponsorship. Petree is hoping his team, which now features driver Mike Wallace, can attract and secure sponsorship for the rest of the season with a solid showing in The Winston.
ANDY PETREE, TEAM OWNER, NO. 33 PREEN WEED PREVENTER CHEVROLET AND NO. 55 SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC CHEVROLET:
HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE THE '33' TEAM BACK AT THE RACETRACK FOR THE WINSTON? "The biggest thing is that we're proud to be in the race, that's for sure. The only way you get in is to win a race and we did that last year with this '33' team. I'm very proud of that. I'm just glad that we've got a quality driver like Mike Wallace that can come in here and get the job done for us. Hopefully, we can make a real good showing."
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THAT TEAM? "We're still looking for sponsorship to try to get it on a full-time basis. Without that we can't run them all, so we're just going to come to the ones that we can get sponsorship for. Preen is on-board for this race, which allowed us to come here. If we could get some more sponsorship, we'll run. I'd love to get a sponsor on this car to finish the season."
IS THERE EXTRA PRESSURE ON YOUR TEAM TO RUN WELL THIS WEEKEND? "Oh yeah - darn right. There is a lot of pressure. We've put a great effort into this race, so hopefully we can open some eyes this weekend with what we can do."
IS IT HARD TO IMAGINE THAT YOUR TEAM COULD WIN A RACE IN NOVEMBER AND THEN BE ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN JUST A FEW MONTHS LATER? "It's a little tough to figure out, that's for sure. Last year we built our program to a point where we won a race with both teams and were really in a position to step up to the next level. Then, the economy kind of took a bad turn on us and we didn't get sponsorship on one of the cars. It's been disappointing, but we're going to keep digging as hard as we can. We're not giving up.
"I think what we're seeing here is a dip in the economy that's definitely affected our sport more than it ever has. I hope it's just a bump in the road. We're just going to keep digging. All we can do is just do the best job we can and give the sponsors that we do have the best value we can give them and the best performance we can give them. That's all we can do. We're just doing all we can right now."
IF WINNING A RACE DOESN'T ASSURE YOU THAT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE PRIMARY SPONSORSHIP, THEN WHAT DOES IT TAKE? "I don't know what it is. That's a good question because that's what I thought it was. We knew Oakwood Homes wasn't coming back this year, so we were out there trying to showcase what we can do. Then, we win a race late in the year, right when we're looking for sponsorship, and nothing materializes, so I don't know what it takes. Maybe you've got to win three, four, five of these things - I don't know what you've got to do. But, we're going to keep doing all we can."