Tag Archives: Kyle Petty

Matt McLaughlin Mouths Off: Let the Games Start

The engines have fired. The first laps have been driven in anger. Victors have celebrated... and losers have been left to lick their wounds. Yes, ladies and gents, the 2009 Cup season has officially kicked off -- for better or worse. The Cup season began on a day when the Northeast of the great United States was bathed in some remarkably warm weather, free of the ice and sub-zero temperatures that have plagued us since last November. It’s hard to imagine now, but the Magical Mystery Tour that is the NASCAR season will roll on to almost Thanksgiving, a length I find frankly ridiculous.

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2008 Driver Review: Kyle Petty

*2008 Ride:* No. 45 Petty Enterprises Dodge *2008 Primary Sponsors:* Wells Fargo / Paralyzed Veterans of America / Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil / Coca-Cola *2008 Owner:* Richard Petty / Boston Ventures *2008 Crew Chief:* Billy Wilburn (Feb. - Apr.) Stewart Cooper (Apr. - Nov.) *Stats:* 15 Races, 0 Wins, 0 Top 5s, 0 Top 10s, 1 DNF, 2 DNQs, 44th in points. *Best Finish:* 24th (Richmond – September). *Average Finish:* 34.8. *High Point:* OK, let’s be honest here. Other than his dedication to charity and the Victory Junction Gang Camp(s), there was no high point to the 2008 season for Kyle Petty.

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With The Season Over, I Leave You With a Few Parting Thoughts and Shots

Let’s start with Jimmie Johnson. While I refuse to compare Jimmie to Cale Yarborough, for the two are uncomparable, it is at this time that I formally congratulate Jimmie Johnson for winning three Cups in a row... Sprint Cups that is, not Winston Cups, for they too are uncomparable. Recently, at a meeting of some highly trained minds bent on saving NASCAR as we know it -- one that included Mark Dyer, CEO of Motorsports Authentics and others -- Dyer shed a little light about Jimmie Johnson and his connection to Winston Cups.

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Out With The Old, In With The Who?

For so many millions of us, favorite athletes become so much more. Role models for our kids, our communities, ourselves; they’re put on a pedestal of success we can only wish to achieve. Through them, we choose to live our wildest dreams, placed in a fantasy world in which a larger-than-life persona can show us the joys of perfection. Every once in awhile, we get lucky in love, and the dream never dies. Our idols leave the sport we love at the top of their game, and we’re allowed to remember the end just the way we want it – like a fairy tale. But more often, the bubble bursts and we find out the truth – that these drivers we worship are human, too, unable to fend off the inevitability of age and time. And that makes it so much harder when you see their careers come crashing down.

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Did You Notice? Petty’s Like Waltrip, Drivers Get Paid Too Much, And Parity’s Lost

*Did You Notice?* … That the way Kyle Petty’s career is ending is very reminiscent of … Darrell Waltrip? Before I covered this sport through TV and print, I made no secret of the fact Waltrip was my favorite driver. His fall from grace in the years leading up to retirement (save for a few races in ’98 with DEI) was painful to watch, especially for a kid that idolized him growing up. During that rough stretch, there’s an article I read from motorsports writer Bones Bourcier that I’ll always treasure.

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Nepotism In Reverse: Kyle Petty’s Days Coming To a Close at Petty Enterprises?

There was a stunning admission made by Patti Petty, wife of NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, reported Sept. 29 in the "Winston Salem Journal":http://www.independenttribune.net/sports/index.php/sports/article/has_kyle_petty_had_it_at_petty_enterprises_was_this_his_last_ride_for_the_l/ With a few choice words, she changed the landscape of racing’s royal family, giving us pause to reconsider what, to this point, we'd assumed was a fully functioning unit. But perhaps functional is no longer the right word to use in this case. It seems Kyle Petty will soon depart from Petty Enterprises -- a team he once helped run -- but is not doing so voluntarily.

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Ten Points To Ponder… After the 2008 Camping World RV 400 at Kansas

*1. Naturally Good* - The Chase for the Sprint Cup point format initiated in 2004 is designed to narrow the point gap amongst the Top 12 drivers and aid in creating a more exciting and suspenseful ten race climax to the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Following Sunday’s Camping World RV 400 from Kansas Jimmie Johnson leads Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle by 10 and 30 points respectfully, with seven races remaining before the Sprint Cup Champion is crowned. Interesting? Well, in the Craftsman Truck Series, scheduled to compete next weekend at the high-banks of the Talladega Superspeedway there is one whale of a battle for the CTS championship brewing between former Cup drivers Johnny Benson and Ron Hornaday. Benson holds a *ONE* point lead over Hornaday with just six races remaining. Who needs artificially induced drama, anyways?

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One Down, Nine To Go: 2008 Chase for the Championship Raises Interesting Questions At The Mystery Mile

The 2008 Championship Chase began in earnest this past Sunday with the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Greg Biffle’s lights out performance (pun obviously intended) passing race leader Jimmie Johnson with 11 laps to go served notice that there are more title contenders in this fight than just The Three Amigos of Johnson, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. Biffle did not seem as if he was going to be able to mount much of a charge after the previous three restarts had the No. 48 riding off into the sunset, but the darkhorse that Greg Biffle was cracking the whip on got to steppin’ on lap 289, when it powered by Johnson rather unexpectedly at the exit of Turn 2.

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Kyle Petty’s Time To Step Down: It’s Not Personal, It’s About Performance

The latest news out of Petty Enterprises, Inc. has Chad McCumbee penciled in to drive the No. 45 Dodge in place of Kyle Petty at Pocono. This is the second unscheduled absence in as many weeks by the 30-year NASCAR Cup veteran, and very possibly an indication that his career as a driver may abruptly be coming to a close. The 48-year-old Petty, who for the second year in a row took six races off to be a color analyst for TNT's Sprint Cup broadcasts, had also been scheduled to race last week at Indianapolis. Instead, two-time Cup champion Terry Labonte -- who relieved Petty during his TV sabbatical -- drove the car in what was an apparent last minute decision by team management. Neither Petty nor the organization that he once ran as well as drove for has seen fit to publicly comment ever since, apart from a schedule released Tuesday that put Petty back behind the seat of the No. 45 at Watkins Glen. But Labonte was also revealed as a substitute for Michigan the following week, with future driving plans for the program left up in the air. At the very least, the son of stock car legend Richard Petty appears far from a lock to drive for the team in 2009 -- or even for the rest of 2008. Petty Enterprises, Inc. partnered with Boston Ventures earlier this year, with the private equity company acquiring controlling interest of the two-car organization. Previously, PE had been a family-owned and operated race team for almost 60 years. However, just last month a Board of Directors was put in place along with the infusion of cash from the new partner, and they are now responsible for the team’s business decisions -- not the Pettys themselves. That management change -- while good for the long-term health of the program -- may very well have sealed Kyle’s fate as a driver.

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10 Points To Ponder… After The 2008 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona

1. The Other Big Three - American automakers GM, Ford, and Chrysler have just about reached the panic stage, as their financial well-being becomes a critical concern. GM stock has lost approximately 75% of its value over the last year, Ford Motor Company has seen a 50% decline of stock value in the last three months, and Chrysler is expected to either file bankruptcy or sell off what profitable segments of the company they can. NASCAR's Chairman and CEO Brian France, speaking on whether there'll be continued support from the "Big Three" in the sport considering their financial crunch, summed up the situation by saying, “...we’ll just have to see.” On the other hand, in 2007 Toyota earned about $16 billion on sales of 9.37 million vehicles, surpassing GM as the No. 1 maker of automobiles. But although they're expecting a decrease in profits for 2008 due to the economic downturn, the company's expected to still be very much in the black and continue to expand their world markets.

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