Chicago, Ill (Aug. 26, 2000) â€“ Mark Petty has plans to pilot the ...
Chicago, Ill (Aug. 26, 2000) – Mark Petty has plans to pilot the #44 Dodge By Petty for the remainder of the 2000 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season. When the 30-year-old Petty got behind the wheel of the truck at Indianapolis Raceway Park just three races ago, he thought that he would only be driving the truck for that one weekend, assuming that they would make the race. But Petty qualified 16th for his first race in four years and finished in the 22nd position.
Following the race at Nashville Speedway, the decision was made that the #44 Dodge By Petty would compete in the rest of the races in the 2000 season with the intent to run the entire 2001 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. With Petty running the races at Texas Motor Speedway and California Speedway, he will gain experience on the higher speed tracks in order to be granted approval by NASCAR to run at the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway during February’s Speedweeks. Petty is looking for a primary sponsor for 2001 to compete for Rookie-Of-The-Year honors.
“We’re pretty excited about the chance to run the rest of the races this season after thinking that we would only be running one,” said Petty. “When this deal started, we just asked if we could run a truck at IRP if there was an older one sitting around that wasn’t being used any more. They told me that we could use this Dodge that Rich Bickle drove for us back in 1996.”
“We wouldn’t have even made the races at IRP and Nashville if it hadn’t been for Dennis Setzer, Bob Keselowski and Howard Comstock with the #1 Mopar Dodge team. Those guys have helped us with the set-ups on the truck and that really allowed me to concentrate on getting the feel of being behind the wheel of a race vehicle again.”
When Petty got behind the wheel of the Dodge By Petty at IRP he had not driven a race vehicle in four years dating back to his Late Model Stock Car that he ran at local short tracks in North Carolina.