KYLE PETTY (2003 No. 45 Georgia Pacific/ Brawny Dodge Intrepid R/T) NOTE: Petty unveiled the 2003 No. 45 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge Intrepid R/T Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The sponsorship moves from the No. 44 Petty Enterprises ...
KYLE PETTY (2003 No. 45 Georgia Pacific/ Brawny Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Petty unveiled the 2003 No. 45 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge Intrepid R/T Friday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The sponsorship moves from the No. 44 Petty Enterprises Dodge for 2003.
"We've been associated with Georgia Pacific with our truck team. A lot of people forget that early on when we started the truck team and Dodge was a major sponsor on our truck team, Georgia Pacific was a major partner for us in that program. When they came on board the last year or year and a half, we struggled with this program and I'm excited to be a part of it now. I'm also excited about this paint job. We've seen this paint job on a couple of different cars. Kenny Schrader did it right after Sept. 11 last year, but for the 71,000 employees that work for Georgia Pacific and for the home products that Georgia Pacific represents, I think this sends a message in their 75th year of business that this is an American company that believes in American values just like the Petty family believes in American values. We hope this portrays that. It's going to be a little bit brighter than this. We had to hurry up and get something done, so we wrapped it. It's most decals, but when we get it done it's going to be brighter than this. I'm extremely excited and extremely proud to be associated with Georgia Pacific and look forward to putting one of these things in victory lane.
"I was looking forward to it tonight in qualifying. I've never run this good at Atlanta and now it rains. What's up? You're killing me. I've got Georgia Pacific pole night and I've got an opportunity to show off a little bit. Now there's a damper on it, but I'm excited to be here.
"Jerry Nadeau came down here and tested for us and then got hurt. We basically came back with a variation on some of the stuff he tested. All of our cars have been good. John went to the top of the board real quick. Ted went to the top of the board and then it rained. After it rained, I got a lap on the race track and they didn't get a lap on the race track. That's basically why they're not up there. There were better than I was. I was just running my mouth on stage. We were decent, but I think they're a little bit better than we were. Elliott is tough. He ran a flat. As long as they were in the .20s and .30s we felt like we were pretty good and had a shot at doing something, but two tenths is a lot here. That was a phenomenal lap.
"We've got to talk with Jimmy Smith about Musgrave. He can't run next week because the trucks are in California, and they had planned to run a couple of races with the No. 07 Sirius Dodge. Whether Leffler or Ted does it, Jimmy has worked with us real well, so we're going to have to talk to him about that. We need somebody to just stabilize that car. I think that's what we looked at when we looked at Jerry. It was Jerry's car for the rest of the year. Then Jerry got hurt. We could try three or four drivers before the end of the year, but that doesn't do anything for us. We may try one or two drivers and let Ted drive a couple of races or we might let Ted drive two or three and then try one other driver. We've got to do something at Rockingham.
"Jerry was in a go-kart and hurt his shoulder. It's bad enough that it needs to rest and not be operated on. He's not driving for us next year, and he needs to be rested up and ready for those guys.
"We've agreed to everything with John Andretti. We just haven't sat down and put it on paper. That's the same place we're at. I tested two days this week. John is going to test two days next week. His kids were out of school two or three days this week. Every time you turn around there's other things going on and we just haven't sat down. We've all committed to each other. We just haven't done it.
"Jerry had a really good test. He had a good qualifying deal and a good race package. If the race package is anywhere close to the qualifying package, we'll feel pretty good. Our engines have been good all year long. We were weak last year on the mile and a half and two-mile tracks. Mike Ege's stuff has been strong this year on the two-mile and mile and a half tracks. To come back to a place like this we feel pretty confident, and we feel like our aero package is pretty good. We're not perfect. We're not there by any stretch, but there are races we can do good and we feel like this is one of them.
"We struggled at the half-mile tracks and a little bit at the mile tracks, at some of them, the flatter places like New Hampshire. We're a little bit concerned about a couple of races that are left, but this wasn't one of them. We're pretty confident about this place."