West test: Dodge driver notes, quotes

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge Charger) NOTE: Petty competed in Sunday's Las Vegas Marathon and finished in four hours and 16 minutes. It was a career-best time for Petty because it was his first marathon. He ran the...

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge Charger)

NOTE: Petty competed in Sunday's Las Vegas Marathon and finished in four hours and 16 minutes. It was a career-best time for Petty because it was his first marathon. He ran the half-marathon last year in Las Vegas. Sunday's run raised money for the Victory Junction Camp. Driver Michael Waltrip also competed in the race and organized the charity contributions for the Victory Junction Camp. Petty said Waltrip has raised about $800,000 for the camp since June.

"Few things in life have I conceded kicked my rear end, but that was one of them. What Michael did was phenomenal. He ran that thing in less than four hours in that wind. To drive a racecar and train and do the stuff he did. That was phenomenal. I thought I did pretty good for my first marathon. When I ran the half marathon last year I did it for Michael because Michael had done it before and I thought it was pretty cool. Last year when we were out here I told him I'd come back and do it with him. It was tough. We had some other guys run the marathon and a group ran the half marathon. Michael likes running and the running thing for him is like the motorcycles for me. He thought he could raise some money running like we do with the motorcycle deal. He started in June and it's almost February and he's raised about $800,000. He wants to raise a million dollars a year, and he'll well exceed that. We had people from Virginia, a mother and her sister, and they flew out just to run the 5-K because Michael was doing it. It's like the charity ride. Michael had a bunch of friends who came out to run with him.

"Michael has NAPA and a lot of corporate stuff. He did a dinner in Maine and raised almost $200,000. A percentage of everybody that entered the marathon out here, a percentage of that money went to the camp. He's had auctions and autograph sessions. Michael worked his butt off the last two or three days. I don't know how he ran."

YOU RAN 26 PLUS MILES YESTERDAY AND YOU'RE TESTING TODAY. ARE YOU SORE, TIRED? "For the last two months, I made a 20-mile run and a couple of 16-mile runs. I've been running on Sundays so I can get used to getting up and going to work on Monday. Some of these people are a little bit sore. I'm tender. I'm not going to say I'm not tender. I'm not as sore as I was last year. I was sore last year because I didn't know what to expect. I didn't really know what to expect this year for the long haul."

YOU WERE TAKING SOME ANTACID. WHAT'S THAT ALL ABOUT? "When it's over with you eat, eat, eat, eat, eat. You eat anything they throw at you. You eat bananas, oranges, power bars. You eat pizza and then you eat the pizza box. I ate so much yesterday. You burn four or five thousand calories running something like that and your muscles are just junk. I ate and drank until I feel like it's all still in my stomach, and it's churning a little bit right now."

ON A NORMAL WEEK HOW MANY MILES DO YOU RUN? "Toward the end I was running somewhere between 40-50 miles a week. That was five days a week. I ran Monday and took Tuesday off. Then I'd run Wednesday and Thursday, take Friday off, run a little bit on Saturday and make a long run on Sunday. I did that last winter just to get used to racing on Sunday. Sunday is a big day. When racing starts back I can't do that. I've got to get adjusted again. With the schedule they've got now, Friday and Saturday is going to be your big day because you're not going to be doing anything. You can still train on Friday and Saturday."

HOW'S THE CHARGER RUNNING? "It was real good this morning. We're trying to get used to the spoiler and new tires, and obviously we're trying to get used to the new Charger body. Our power is up with Ray's engines, so we're getting used to that. This is the first test with the open motors and it's been good. So many variables are going into it we haven't had time to focus on the engines or focus directly on the tires. We're just trying to get the Charger driving good and then we can go from there."

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger)

COMMENT ON FIRST SESSION AT LVMS WITH NEW CHARGER "It's a little loose. I think you'll see the tires give up pretty good. Your car usually pushed real bad here, but then again we had two inches more rear spoiler. That's the problem. You can't drive it like you want to, but I think we can fix it. We'll keep working on it. If it's adjustable we've got some good people to make those adjustments."

RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge Charger)

COMMENT ON FIRST SESSION AT LVMS WITH NEW CHARGER "It's definitely not tighter than last year's stuff. It's different for everybody, but we're getting more comfortable with it. It's been a definite change. There's a lot of unknowns. The new Goodyear tires, the new aero package. You're basically taking downforce off the back of the car and not as much off the front. It makes the car looser, so you've got to tighten it back up. There's only so many devices to do that. That, in conjunction with the new tail and nose section for the Charger is providing a learning curve for us. In the end, it should more of the driver back in the car, but it'll also mean the team will have to do their job as far as building a good car balance so the driver can work with it."

-dodge-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip