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Race 2 Win’s Q&A with Kyle Petty

Kyle Petty
Kyle Petty
April 13, 2007 - Kyle Petty, driver of the No. 45 Wells Fargo/Marathon Oil/Tire Kingdom Dodge, television analyst, philanthropist, son of NASCAR legend Richard Petty and all-around fan favorite, took time out of his busy schedule to tackle questions from the readers of Race 2 Win in our second Q&A session of 2007.

Later this season, Petty plans to step out of the No. 45 Dodge for five races and into the broadcast both. Petty will join Bill Weber and Wally Dallenbach for TNT’s coverage of their portion of the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup schedule. Petty will even cover one race from inside his car.

The countdown to 800 career starts continues for Petty, who will be making his 792nd Nextel Cup start at Texas Motor Speedway.

Petty is also known as someone who has a passion for helping others. His Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America, which was founded in 1995, has raised over $1.5 million dollars to date for children's charities. In June 2004, Kyle opened the Victory Junction Gang Camp for terminally and chronically ill children across the country.

Do you have any thoughts on who will drive the #45 car this summer when you call the races for TNT? around that time of the season.
Austin Blake

“I think we’ve been asked that every week. You know, who knows who is going to be available in June. I think there are a lot of good drivers out there, but we haven’t pinpointed any one person yet. We’re just going to wait and see who’s around that time of the season.”

Petty Enterprises seems to be turning the corner and on the rise once again. With the "youth movement" going on in the sport, how far away is your organization to possibly signing a "driver development" deal to build for the future? At one time, I had heard rumors of Casey Atwood possibly helping out... is he out of the picture?

“We’re focused right now on getting the ‘45’ Wells Fargo, Marathon, Tire Kingdom Dodge and ‘43’ Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge teams up front. Yea, I think a part of that is looking to grow and help in that area. We’ve got a lot of good things with Evernham Engines, with Dodge, with our engineering staff. We’re focused on getting that better and growing at the same time.”

What are the keys to the improvements on the racetrack for Petty Enterprises? Drivers, funding, Robbie Loomis...?
I am looking forward to hearing your firsthand knowledge of racing from the booth, congrats.
Tom Lee

“Thanks. I’m looking forward to the opportunity with TNT later this summer. I think that’s going to be a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to it. I’m grateful for the opportunity.

“It’s like I said, we are working on improving a lot of things right now. We’re working on our engineering, the pit crew, the guys that are working at the shop. I think it was huge to have Robbie Loomis come back and to have Bobby come over. We’ve had new sponsors like Marathon and Tire Kingdom come on board. We’re moving in the right direction.”

Will your Charity Ride ever venture into Ohio?
Julie Davis

“You know, we’ve gone a lot of different routes with the ride. I think we’ve tried to change it up over the last few years. This year we’re going to go North to South and see some new people going in that direction.

“We try to change it every year and I’m sure when this thing is all over we’ll have had been in nearly every state.”

Hi, I am a Volunteer fire fighter, first responder, and have been for 15yrs I do a lot of volunteering in my community with children. My Question is I would LOVE to Volunteer at Victory Junction Camp, would that be possible? Thank You for your time.
Denise Marie White

“Heck yea. Sure. We get a TON of great volunteers each summer and it’s great for everyone. You can visit www.victoryjunction.org and sign up there. We love seeing everyone throughout the year. It’s a big help for the kids and the camp.”

Describe your version of a perfect day at the track, and describe your version of a perfect day away from the track?
David Blake

“Oh man. Listen, I’ve been around racing all my life. It’s really all I know. Every day at the track is a good one because that’s where your friends are. These are the people that I grew up with. We all complain about our schedules, but don’t let us fool you. We are all like kids at Christmas when it’s time to race. We love to race.

“Away from the track, I’m either at the shop, the camp or doing stuff for our sponsors. I enjoy that too. I like golfing and taking the time to do that. So maybe a good day of golf with friends.”

Kyle, I'm 17 years old and when I graduate high school I'm moving to NC to go to NASCAR Tech. Is there anything else I can do to try and get into NASCAR? It's been my life long goal and I'm determined to get in and I'm very passionate about the sport. Thanks a lot. Good luck this year.
Ryan Wagner

“I think heading to NC is the best start. All the teams and officials are located there. There are so many opportunities available now. NASCAR Tech is something that has been new. I think it has helped a lot of people get into the sport. But just being around it and meeting people. That’s huge.”

Given that no team in recent memory has won a championship with leased engines, do you ever see Petty Enterprises re-establishing its own engine program? After getting his team off the ground with leased engines, Joe Gibbs Racing has been very successful using its own engines; Might you do something similar?

“We’ve been happy with Evernham Engines and the job that they have done for us. I give them a ton of credit in getting us back to being competitive. That has really helped. We need to just keep getting better in all our areas, but we have a good relationship there.”

A special “thank you” to Jeff Dennison and Kyle Petty for their help with this Q&A.


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