'Petty, Green Looking Forward To Infineon' This weekend, Kyle Petty and the ...
'Petty, Green Looking Forward To Infineon'
This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge team head to the 1.99-mile Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., for Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350. Infineon is the first of two road courses the Nextel Cup Series will stop at this season. Petty is considered one of the better road course racers among regular Cup drivers, and is one of a handful with race victories on a road course.
Petty, 45, will be making his 728th 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 Infineon:
"I love road racing. I have just always enjoyed the road courses. I raced at the old Riverside (Cal.) track, and I just really liked racing the road courses, even back then. It's just something that you either love or hate. I just happen to love road course racing.
"Jeff (Green) hasn't had a lot of races at Infineon, but that fifth-place finish he had there a couple of years ago says a lot for anyone. You think about guys like Robby Gordon, Tony Stewart, Rusty Wallace and some of those other guys that have had so much experience on road courses. They are always up front and are always tough to beat. Jeff (Green) comes along and in just a couple of starts and gets a fifth-place finish. That's pretty impressive. It's so hard to grab a good finish when you have some really good road racers out there.
"I think there is a group of us out here who wants to see more road courses on the schedule. We have a bunch of mile-and-a-half ovals, some short tracks, and some superspeedways. We have a couple road courses thrown in the mix, but I wish there were a few more. I think it's something different for the fans and the drivers as well.
"Road courses are really good for the series. The end of the season we crown a champion. He's the guy and the team that's supposed to be the best in our sport for that year. A part of that is being successful at every track that we race on. The road courses are an important part of it. We really need a road course race as one of our final 10 races of the season. That's a part of being the champion. You just can't be successful on certain type of tracks. You need to be good and adapt to all the tracks we race at. I think that a road course is an important part of that.
"Hey, the road courses are always going to be there. We are always going to race them. It's good to have practice on them. I enjoy racing sports cars and doing the 24 Hours of Daytona. I've done some other sports car races as well. It's just fun to me. It's different from what we do every week. I love racing and love driving. We don't get much free time, but I enjoy racing the sports cars when I get a chance. The cars are different, but any chance to turn right is going to help.
"It helps to pull information from the Cheerios team as well. We are one team at Petty Enterprises. We just happen to race two cars. We pull information and data from each other every weekend. We do it with our tests and in a lot of things we do. It's always going to benefit us having each other to feed off, especially at a road course where handing is so important. We can try some things and the Cheerios team can try some things. Hopefully we can come up with a fast setup.
"I'm excited to get back to Infineon. It's good to go back with Jeff (Green) too. He's proven that he's fast at this track. We are probably one of the few teammates that both like going to road courses. It's a little unique, but hopefully we can use it to our advantage. We want to get this Georgia-Pacific/Brawny Dodge to the front on Sunday."