Richmond II: Kyle Petty preview

Petty Ready for Richmond Driver Keeps On Top In Top-35 race This weekend, Kyle Petty and the ...

Petty Ready for Richmond
Driver Keeps On Top In Top-35 race

This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge team will travel to the Old Dominion State for Saturday night's Chevy Rock and Roll 400 at the .075-mile Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (RIR). This race is the final one of the 2007 NASCAR Nextel Cup "regular season."

Petty continues his drive to keep his #45 Dodge inside the coveted top-35 in owner points. His 28th place finish this past weekend at the California Speedway moved the team up one spot in the standings. They now sit 33rd with 11 races left on the schedule.

Petty's first career victory came at RIR in 1986. He has made 51 career starts a the Virginia short track with one win, three top-five and 12 top-ten finishes to his credit. Petty has led 211 laps at RIR. Petty finished 25th at the track in May.

Comments from Petty as he prepares for Saturday's Chevy Rock and Roll 400:

"California was good for us. It was good to be back in the car again. The hand wasn't too bad. We had a better car than our finished showed. We had to fight track position. It really makes a difference on these cars. When you get in a crowd it is hard to pass. Still, it is an encouraging race to build on."

"I felt good to be back with the guys. We are in a pretty good fight to stay inside the top-35 in owner points. We need consistency to help make that happen and that includes having me in the seat. Richmond has been one of the better tracks for me in my career. Billy has enjoyed a lot of success there with the #2 car and Rusty Wallace. His experience is a huge plus for us. It's going to be a good track for us to keep pushing forward with this team."

"We had a solid run at Richmond in May. The Dodge Avengers are still an evolving machine. We learn something new, something that will basically help the car turn, every time we run it. It has been put through its paces this year. We should start seeing some better results from it during the "Chase" because our notebooks are filling up with information. It is still a "tight" racecar by construction, but we are making gains on it daily."

"This upcoming weekend at Richmond has turned into one of the best events on the schedule. It probably was before the "Chase," but it is even better now. I think Richmond is the most competitive short track that we have. It is the perfect spot to set the field for the "Chase."

"We still have some excitement going into this weekend. You never know what can happen. Can Dale Earnhardt Jr. get in? Sure, it's possible. It's going to be hard, but anything can happen. We don't have three our four guys looking to get in, but you still have guys paying attention to that 12th position in points. That's the purpose of creating this chase format. NASCAR wanted to create this excitement. They have. It's not earth-shattering excitement this weekend, but there is still some suspense. There will be plenty of it the last 10 races too.

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Rusty Wallace , Kyle Petty