Petty Encouraged By Recent Runs Top-35 Fight Moves To Largest Track On Circuit This weekend, Kyle Petty and the ...
Petty Encouraged By Recent Runs
Top-35 Fight Moves To Largest Track On Circuit
This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge team will travel to the 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for the UAW-Ford 500. Talladega is the only restrictor plate race during the "Chase for the Championship."
Restrictor plate racing as we know it will change this weekend. The Dodge Avenger will make its long-awaited debut on the tracks where these pieces are used to slow the cars down. In the process the aerodynamic rules that are applied here, as well as the size of the restrictor plate itself, may change as well.
Petty has made 51 starts at the Talladega Superspeedway. He has recorded four top-five and 19 top-ten finishes. Petty has finished inside the top-ten more times at Talladega than any other racetrack during his long career. He finished 18th in the "spring" race at Talladega this year.
Petty remains 34th in the owner points standings.
Comments from Petty as he prepares for Sunday's UAW-Ford 500:
"Looking back at Kansas, we had a really strong car between the rain delays. We were able to get out front and lead some laps. The '22' had a strong run so it was important for us to do that. It's going to help us out in the top-35 point's race. Every point you can get will add up in the end. That really makes two consecutive weekends that we have had competitive equipment. For various reasons we haven't been able to finish where we were capable of."
"Obviously this is going to be an important race with the Dodge Avenger. Not only is it a race in the 'Chase for the Championship,' but it will give everyone an idea of what to expect from these cars at Daytona next year. That is one reason I applaud NASCAR for running these cars this week. We don't need to go into the 50th Daytona 500 with an unknown product."
"There has been talk that NASCAR might change the restrictor plate size and the wicker height from where we tested last month. That may throw everyone a curve ball because not only is it a new car for this track, but now you are basically taking away all of the practice that we've had with it. In the end I know that NASCAR will make the right decision and it will be the same for everyone."
"Our test went well at Talladega last month. I think all of the drivers and crew chiefs are pretty happy with the way things turned out. These cars punch such a huge hole in the air. You can get some strong runs and it makes passing up front easier."
"I have seen a lot of changes in my racing career. This ranks up there with the biggest. All year I've equated it to when we went to the shorter wheelbase car in the early 80's. That caused a lot of worry throughout the garage. In the end, it's still a racecar."