'Patience Pays' This weekend, Kyle Petty and the ...
This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge team head to the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway, located in Concord, N.C. for Saturday night's Charlotte 500. Petty will be making his 48th start at the speedway this weekend. Petty, a former winner at Lowe's, finished 17th at the track in May during the Coca-Cola 600.
Petty, 45, will be making his 744th career start this weekend. He is seventh on the all-time list in NASCAR Cup career starts, and fourth among active drivers. His eight career victories place him 55th on NASCAR's all-time list in Cup wins. One of the most recognizable names in international motorsports, as is his sponsor, Georgia-Pacific, Petty's driving career began with a five-race season in 1979. The native of Level Cross, N.C., has won over $21 million.
The thoughts of Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge driver Kyle Petty heading into Lowe's:
"Charlotte (Lowe's Motor Speedway) has been around forever. It hasn't turned into a maze or anything like that. It's still the same Charlotte that we've been racing forever. The surface itself might be a little different, and the turns might be a little different, but this isn't something that is totally different. It's a slight change, yeah, but I think we're still racing the same Charlotte that guys have been racing on forever.
"We saw a lot of wrecks in May. It was a long race and a lot of things happened. You don't ever want to see that happen, but sometimes it does. Fingers will be pointed and people will always get mad. This is a competitive and results-based sport. Emotions run high, and when things don't go right someone is going to blame something or someone else. That's just the way it is.
"This is still going to be a good race, and I think we saw a great race in May too. That finish, after 600 miles, was as close as you could ask for. It proved that we can race side-by-side and can have great finishes at Charlotte. It's tough to argue anything when you see a finish like that. I think we will have another good race this weekend.
"The track really doesn't change that much from May to October. I don't think this Saturday night race is terribly different from the night race in May. The track is sensitive to weather, and it's probably going to be cooler in October, but some things that applied in May will still apply in October.
"The track, when it cools, gets faster and it's not as slick. Everyone prepares for it. We have to transition from day to night in May. We don't have to do that this weekend. We're going to be starting when it's going to be pretty dark. The track will be fast and it's not going to be slick. I think we can see some great racing this weekend.
"We are the ones driving the cars. We know what we can do and what the track is like. If you don't want to run high or run low, it's simple, just don't race that line. We can still pass at Lowe's. Every race is different and things are always changing, but you are still going to see guys pass this weekend. You can't force anything, and you can't get too anxious. It's a long race and a long night. We're planning on being there at the end.
"I think some of the veteran drivers might have an advantage. We know how to be patient and let the race come to us. You can't be too aggressive at Charlotte, and you don't want to be aggressive with so much at stake. Guys like Mark Martin, Bobby Labonte, Dale Jarrett and others have had a lot of success there. They understand that it's a long night.
"This Georgia-Pacific/Brawny team had a good race in May. You have to be around at the end. It just doesn't pay to win the race in the first 200 miles. This is a 500 mile race and it only pays out on that last mile. That's when in counts and you just hope you are around. We'll be patient this weekend and hopefully we'll be in a good position. If you're in position then you can make a move like Jimmie Johnson did in May. We're looking to be around and get a good finish."