Two drivers, same thrilling experience By Brett Borden DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 18, 1999) The two-day NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division testing session at Daytona International Speedway Sunday and Monday provided the opportunity...
Two drivers, same thrilling experience By Brett Borden
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 18, 1999) The two-day NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division testing session at Daytona International Speedway Sunday and Monday provided the opportunity for two drivers of vastly different backgrounds to get their first experience at "The World Center of Racing."
The first, 40-year-old Ron Hornaday, is the two-time and defending NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion. The second, Adam Petty, is an 18-year-old grandson of a legend embarking on the latest step in a NASCAR career.
For both drivers, it was an experience they won't soon forget.
"That was something," Hornaday said. "I kept thinking it would be like a lot of the tracks we run in the Truck Series, but this is nothing like any of those tracks. It was fun."
Petty doesn't have too many other NASCAR tracks to compare it to, but the experience still left him grasping for superlatives.
"Man, that was neat," he said. "It's something to be out on a track you've seen on tv so many times."
Petty's father, NASCAR Winston Cup Series veteran Kyle Petty, said he was nervous watching Adam at first, but then settled in after seeing his son was up to the task.
"He only got to run two laps (Sunday)," Kyle Petty said, "but he did such a good job, and these guys have done such a good job putting the car together, that I think (Sunday) he came down here my son but today he's a race car driver. So I keep having to tell myself to treat him like a race car driver and not like my kid."
The elder Petty said watching Adam return from the track for the first time brought memories of his first ride around the historic 2.5-mile trioval.
"He was probably about the same --you couldn't see anything but teeth," he said. "He was grinning from ear to ear. I think he's just had a good time and that's what it's been all about for him anyhow. You know, he's 18 and he's starting something new and starting something big and he's having a good time doing it."
Petty said he was on hand more to offer his son moral support than anything else.
"This is their deal and that's basically it," he said. "What we tried to do at Petty Enterprises was set up a deal that the Busch stuff was going to be at the race track where we're at with the Winston Cup team 22 times. That gives us the opportunity --if he's there and need some help or something happens --we've got two Winston Cup trucks sitting there that he can borrow stuff off of. Hopefully it will help us there. But after watching these cats this week I don't think they're going to need Winston Cup help, I think we're going to need their help."
Source: NASCAR Online