BUSCH: Kyle Petty tests in Miami

HOMESTEAD (Oct. 10, 2000) – Kyle Petty tested the No. 45 Sprint Chevrolet on Tuesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the beginning of a two-day Busch Grand National Series test session. When Petty returns to South Florida for the Nov. 11-12 race...

HOMESTEAD (Oct. 10, 2000) – Kyle Petty tested the No. 45 Sprint Chevrolet on Tuesday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the beginning of a two-day Busch Grand National Series test session.

When Petty returns to South Florida for the Nov. 11-12 race weekend, he’ll be quite a bit busier when he pulls double duty, driving in both the Nov. 11 Miami 300 Busch Series finale and the Nov. 12 Pennzoil 400 presented by Discount Auto Parts Winston Cup Series event. Good seats are available for both races Petty will be competing in. Tickets may be ordered by calling the ticket office at (305) 230-RACE, by visiting any Ticketmaster Ticket Center, or order online at www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com.

Petty sees his double duty effort in Miami as an opportunity to prepare the No. 45 Sprint team for the move toward the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in 2001 with the new Dodge Intrepid.

“You just don’t want to jump out cold turkey and run Winston Cup,” Petty said. “You can’t bring a Busch team and start winning Winston Cup races, although we’ve always looked at this team as being a Winston Cup team that just happened to be running Busch races.

“To finish out here this close to the end of the year at Miami and to run double duty, it gives these guys a double lift. They say, ‘Now, we’ll get ready for Daytona.’ We’ll test all winter with our Dodges and stuff. I think it gives them the mindset that they’re coming out of one Winston Cup race right into the next Winston Cup race in the next Winston Cup season.”

Petty likes competing in South Florida. In last’s year’s inaugural Pennzoil 400, Petty started 16th and finished seventh in his No. 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac.

“I like coming down here,” Petty said. “I love coming to South Florida. I guess when I started driving for Felix (Sabates). He has family that lives here. We spent a lot of time down here – going to the boat shows and the Boys and Girls Club Charity event. When they started racing down here, they gave you a legitimate reason to be down here. Before, it was just vacation and fun.

“I rode down here a couple of years ago on my motorcycle. I left home -- it was 50 degrees. When I came down here -- it was 85. When I got back-- it was two foot of snow.”

During lunch break of Tuesday’s test session, Petty was pleased with the team’s progress on the 1.5-mile course. He hopes his times will pick up on Wednesday when he’ll be joined by more Busch Series teams, including drivers Todd Bodine, Elton Sawyer, David Green, Curtis Markham, Jason Leffler, Mike Stefanik, Jason Keller, Jimmie Johnson and Hank Parker Jr.

“We’ve been testing fairly well this morning,” Petty said. “We’ve started off really well. By being a green race track, you wear the tires out. You only get a few laps out of them. They’re pretty much down to the core. But that’s just the nature of this race track and most of the race tracks that we’ll run when you go test by yourself.

“Tomorrow we’ll be a lot better because you’ve got a lot more cars here. For us, the flat tracks have been good. Hopefully, we’ll get both of these cars running pretty good.”

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Todd Bodine , Jason Keller , Kyle Petty , Hank Parker Jr. , Elton Sawyer , Jimmie Johnson , David Green