Andretti Returns To Petty Enterprises This weekend, John Andretti returns to the wheel of a Petty Enterprises Dodge. Andretti will fill-in for Kyle Petty in the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge for this weekend’s Michigan 400. Petty will once again be in the TNT booth for Sunday’s event.
Andretti makes his return to Petty Enterprises after making this year’s Indianapolis 500. He will be the only competitor in Sunday’s race that raced in this year’s event. Andretti last raced for Petty Enterprises in 2003. He has 197 career starts with Petty Enterprises.
Michigan is a familiar track to Andretti. He has 19 career starts at the track and 11 of them with Petty Enterprises. Andretti has five top-10 and one top-five finish in Nextel Cup competition at the track.
Comments from Andretti as he prepares for Sunday’s Michigan 400:
“I was the one that did the pursuing to race again for Petty Enterprises. I went and spoke with Robbie Loomis and then I went and I asked Kyle. It seemed as quick as I asked him we were able to work on putting this together. You are never quite sure what the answer will be, but I wanted to be a part of this. The reason I was at Petty Enterprises before was to be an asset. If I can come back, be part of it and provide something, it will be something I will enjoy. I am taking this as serious as anything. I’m looking forward to this. It’s exciting for me to go back home.
“Petty Enterprises, in a lot of ways, is back to where it is when I first came to the organization. Robbie Loomis is back. You see Dale Inman working there. Everything else is pretty much the same. You see a lot of the same faces. It’s funny, you see a lot of guys that have left and done other things, but they come back to Petty Enterprises. I think people enjoy working there. They don’t consider it work. They know they are a big part of everything that happens there. The way you feel, it’s more responsibility. It’s more of an obligation to work hard and do a good job. You want to do your best.
“Robbie Loomis didn’t have to come back to Petty Enterprises. Dale Inman didn’t have to come out of retirement. These things weren’t given. It just speaks volumes to Petty Enterprises and the organization. They treat people right and it’s viewed as a great place to be. I’m not the only guy that views it as coming back and being a part of a family.
“It’s ironic that I’m coming back at Michigan. It’s where my career started with Petty Enterprises. It was the second Michigan race and we qualified outside the front row. I’m looking forward to going there. I’m going to work with Bobby Labonte, closer with Kyle Petty and his team, and in a way it will be a lot of the same, but totally different too.
“I’ve raced the ‘43’ a lot. They know the way I work and I know the way they work. I know a lot about the organization because it’s where I’ve spent the majority of my career. I like to think that going back to Michigan is a good omen. I’m excited to go to any track with Petty Enterprises.
“I want a pole and a win. You can’t expect to go to the track thinking anything else. We’re going to test before we go there. That will give Billy (Wilburn) and I a chance to communicate more. We want to go out and be solid, whatever that is. I am going to give 100% and make sure I can control what I can. Hopefully everything else will work out.