Crew Chief Changes At Petty Enterprises

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LEVEL CROSS, N.C. - Veteran Bill Wilburn has been hired as crew chief for Kyle Petty's No. 45 Dodge while Paul Andrews will now handle the same duties for the No. 43 Dodge of Bobby Labonte, Petty Enterprises announced this week.

Greg Steadman returns to his position as director of competition. The changes are effective immediately.

"We're looking ahead. We feel we needed to make a change now to be best prepared going into next season," executive vice president Robbie Loomis said. "I think Bill coming in and switching Paul to the Cheerios team is exactly the type of move that is going to energize Petty Enterprises for the remainder of this season and for 2007.

"Bill proved earlier this year that he can win no matter what the circumstances are. He's a great addition to the team. He's veteran leader and one that will fit perfectly with Kyle. Paul is a champion as is driver Bobby Labonte. Their combined talents will help get this Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge running consistently up front."

Wilburn has over 20 years of experience at the Nextel Cup level. He returns to Petty Enterprises where he was employed for the 1986 and 1987 seasons.

Wilburn has experience as a crew chief in both Nextel Cup and the Busch Series. He spent 14 years at Penske Racing, including working as crew chief for Rusty Wallace. Wilburn was a part of 39 wins during his tenure at Penske Racing.

Wilburn was most recently the crew chief for Clay Andrews Racing and rookie driver David Gilliland. He led the team to one of the biggest upset wins in Busch Series history earlier this season at the Kentucky Speedway.

"This is a great opportunity to come back to Petty Enterprises," Wilburn said. "There is probably no better time than to be a part of this storied organization than right now.

"I think they have proved this season that they are committed to being competitive and winning races. I've known Kyle for a long time. He's still one of the fiercest competitors I know. I'm looking forward to getting started."

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