Petty Has Seen It All at Talladega This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 National Tire and Battery Dodge team will head to the high-banked, 2.66-mile Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499. Talladega is the largest oval on which the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series competes.
The switching between the “standard” Nextel Cup car and the Car of Tomorrow (COT) continues this weekend as the teams will be utilizing the “standard” car. But, when the teams come back to Talladega for the second time, it will be with the COT.
Sunday will mark Petty’s 794th career start as he continues to inch closer to the remarkable milestone of 800 career starts in the Nextel Cup Series. This weekend will be Petty’s 51st start at Talladega and it is a track where he has had considerable success. He has garnered four top-five and 17 top-ten finishes at the Alabama track. Petty finished 18th in this event in 2006.
Comments from Petty as he prepares for Sunday’s Aaron’s 499:
“Restrictor plate racing is always exciting. It’s probably more exciting for the fans though. Some drivers really dread this type of racing, but I actually enjoy it. Obviously you have to miss the ‘Big One.’ You know it’s coming, but missing it is easier said than done. There’s no art to missing it, but a whole bunch of luck and help from your spotter. I’ve seen a lot of wrecks, and nobody has an answer on avoiding yet.”
“You just try to come to the track prepared with a good car. Most of your work for restrictor plate racing is done before the cars leave the shop. Once you get to the track it is really hard to improve the car a whole lot. We had a pretty good car at Daytona. We feel our ‘plate’ program has come a long way. We run Evernham motors so we have good power. We just need a good solid run. Anything can happen. We’ve seen so much happen there. You just never can predict what will happen at the track.”
“I’ve raced with the ‘plate’ and without it. Hey, we need it. I’ve seen Bobby Allison go up into the fence. I’ve been in the cars easily going over 200 miles per hour. We don’t need to launch these cars. The ‘plate’ has done a good job of helping to slow these cars a little bit. We still see dramatic racing and big wrecks, but NASCAR is always keeping their eyes on the speeds here.
“The fans come to see the big packs. They love it. They might have some of the best fans in the country down in Talladega, too. They have been witness to some great races and everyone loves the show that we put on there. Hopefully we can take this National Tire and Battery Dodge to the front this weekend. We’re ready for a strong finish.” Petty Enterprises PR
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