Chicagoland: John Andretti preview

Andretti Saw Change Yesterday Andretti Knows Changes To Petty Enterprises Is Big This weekend, John Andretti steps into the ...

Andretti Saw Change Yesterday
Andretti Knows Changes To Petty Enterprises Is Big

This weekend, John Andretti steps into the #45 National Tire and Battery Dodge for Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400 at the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway. Andretti is making his final fill-in appearance in the #45 Petty Enterprises Dodge. Kyle Petty will resume his driving duties at Indianapolis- where he will make his 800th career start. Andretti will have made five starts for Petty Enterprises filling-in for Petty.

Andretti will be making his 202nd start for Petty Enterprises this weekend. He has three starts at Chicagoland. He has finishes of 23rd, 22nd and 16th at the track. He has completed every lap, but two, in the races he has competed in.

Comments from Andretti as he prepares for Sunday's USG Sheetrock 400:

"We tested at Kentucky to prepare this weekend, and I think we learned a lot. The '43' team had a different car than what we had. They are going to go with the same car, but we are going to go with a different one. It's more along the lines of where they were last year when they had top-10 runs. I feel pretty confident going to Chicago. The car has been to the wind tunnel and it came back with good numbers. Petty Enterprises has gone through a lot of work to get things done. Hopefully we can reap the benefits of that.

"It's going to be good going back to an intermediate track. We ran one together at Michigan. I've only done four races, but we've shifted around a lot to different types of tracks. I feel really good about going back to a place similar to what we've run.

"Chicago and Kansas are similar tracks, but I'd have to say that they are all a little bit different. The tunnels are both in the turns, and thus the bumps are in the same place. I guess it's just easier to put the tunnels in the turns because of the banking, but that's where all the bumps come from. I guess it gives it character.

"The track has been seasoned and there are a lot more grooves. Qualifying is down on the white line. It's still the same old thing. It's a mile-and-half, but it seems tighter and flatter than a place like Atlanta or Charlotte. It's still a very quick track.

"We were trying to learn some of those things at Kentucky. The track is somewhat similar. It's probably easier because it has more room. We went there with the hardest tire we could find. I think we learned a lot from that.

"Every aspect of Petty Enterprises has improved by leaps and bounds. It's an open book. I'm only here for a designated time. I don't want to get too deep into what they have done. The two teams, however, are well connected. They have expanded into programs that connect them with Dodge. That is all good.

"The whole point it to be competitive. If you only have to race a few guys instead of the whole field, it's that much easier. You want to stand alone. The buildings at Petty Enterprises are still the same, but how business is being done is what changes. Overall, a lot is the same, but there have been huge strides forward.

"It's been a great time. I've enjoyed my time back. I just wanted to come in and not try to get too aggressive. It's unfortunate we had a failure in one of the races, but I wanted to come in and be steady and not heroic."

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers John Andretti , Kyle Petty