Texas II: Kyle Petty preview

Petty Enjoys Stronger Performances; Team Improvement Shown on Track This weekend, Kyle Petty and the ...

Petty Enjoys Stronger Performances; Team Improvement Shown on Track

This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 National Tire and Battery Dodge team will travel to the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) for Sunday's Dickies 500. The Lone Star State stop marks the beginning of the home stretch in the "Chase for the Championship."

For the first time during the "Chase," the Nextel Cup Series will visit intermediate tracks on back-to-back weekends. This is music to the ears of the #45 team as they continue to assert themselves firmly within the top-35 in owner points. These tracks have been the strongest area of the team during the 2007 season, especially at the "sister" tracks to TMS. A third place finish at Lowe's (N.C) Motor Speedway in May, along with the 13th place finish garnered last week at Atlanta, gives the team invaluable confidence heading into Texas.

Petty has made nine starts at TMS. His best finish of 11th came in the 2006 version of this event. He remains 34th in the owner point's standings.

Comments from Petty as he prepares for the Dickies 500:

"Atlanta, man, that was an awesome race. We had a fast racecar. It was a rocket when they dropped the green flag. Billy (Wilburn, crew chief) did a great job in making some in-race calls to get us track position and bonus points. We almost snookered those guys in front of us with some fuel strategy to get a top-five. The breaks just didn't fall our way. We'll take 13th and head to Texas."

"But, I can't say enough at the job that everyone on this team did on Sunday. We weren't quite where we wanted to be when we rolled off the truck. The guys kept at it and worked their tails off. It was a different Dodge Charger for the race because they didn't quit. This is a good race team. We are going to finish this season strong."

"Last weekend helps us a ton because we are going to a very similar track in Texas. I've always liked racing on these mile-and-a-halfs. Texas is getting to where it has multiple grooves where you can race hard. We need to go in there and grab another top-15. That would put us in good position in owner points. We need to string these finishes together to put some heat on the guys in front of us. I know we can finish the year even higher in the standings."

"A lot about racing is having some luck on your side. Look at the guys at the top of the standings. They just haven't had very many bad finishes. That's what it takes. But at the same time, we have a lot of confidence when we show up to these intermediate tracks. These tracks are the most competitive on the circuit. It becomes a balance of confidence and good fortune. This #45 team is beginning to have both."

"Texas has become a great market for our sport. You know, it was one of the first tracks built outside the Southeast when NASCAR was really trying to expand its borders. Those fans down there have embraced us and they love their stock car racing. I don't think you will find anyone in this series, or any other, that doesn't like going to race in Texas. And every driver wants to put a Texas win on their resume. It has become a marquee market."

-credit: pr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kyle Petty