Petty Pulling The Double
May 24, 2007 | 4:14 P.M. EST
For "The King" Richard Petty, Andretti’s invitation marks the first time that Petty has witnessed the start of the Indianapolis 500. Petty, along with Loomis and Inman, will depart Greensboro, North Carolina Sunday morning and arrive in Indianapolis to watch the race. The trio will then arrive back to Concord, North Carolina in time for all three to participate in that night’s Coca-Cola 600 to complete the “double duty” day. Petty will have two entries, Kyle Petty and the No. 45 Coke Zero Dodge and Bobby Labonte and the No. 43 Chocolate Chex Dodge, entered in the event.
"We just have to really thank John for this opportunity," said Petty. "He has been a big part of the Petty racing family. Robbie, Dale and I wanted to go out there and cheer him on. Indianapolis is really important to John. He has great sponsors and a great team too. We’re proud of him and want to support him.
"I’m really looking forward to it,” continued Petty. “I’ve never had the chance to see the start of the Indianapolis 500 in person. John has given us a great opportunity. We couldn’t pass this up. I guess we’ll see what this 'double duty' is all about."
Andretti is making his eighth career start at Indianapolis Sunday and his first after a 12 year hiatus. In that time, Andretti raced 197 races for Petty Enterprises giving the team a win in 1999. Andretti will again race for Petty Enterprises in four races later this summer in the No. 45 Wells Fargo/Marathon/Tire Kingdom Dodge. He will drive for Kyle Petty who will be in the television booth for TNT.
"The Petty family will always be important to me," said Andretti. "It’s an honor to have Richard, Dale and Robbie join me on Sunday. You can’t put into words what this race means to me and my family.
"I’ve been so thankful for everything that has happened to make this possible. Having Camping World and RVs.com support, having a great team in Panther Racing, great teammates for the race and now to have the Petty family there to support me is really humbling. I know this team will give it our best to make sure we make everyone proud on Sunday."
Panther Racing will compete in the 91st Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 27th, a race that will be broadcast live in HD on ABC, starting at noon (EST). Additional coverage will be provided by the IMS Radio Network and XM Satellite Radio channels 144 and 145.