Richard Petty Will Enter Indy 500
NASCAR legend Richard Petty will field an entry for the Indianapolis 500 for the first time, with John Andretti driving the Window World-sponsored car in the 2009 edition of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” on Sunday, May 24.
Seven-time NASCAR champion Petty unveiled the No. 43 Window World Dallara/Honda/Firestone for Indy 500 veteran and NASCAR regular Andretti on April 6 at the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Window World, the world’s largest replacement window company, brought Andretti to the Daytona 500 earlier this year.
Petty’s new entry will feature the traditional “Petty Blue” and “Day-Glo Red” from his stock cars in the “King’s” debut as a team owner in the Indy 500 after participating in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard for the past 15 years. Richard Petty Motorsports currently campaigns four Dodge cars in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Window World and Petty will combine efforts with the Indy-based Dreyer & Reinbold Racing team to field the No. 43 Honda-powered Indy car for Andretti, an Indianapolis native. Petty, 71, joins past Indy 500-winning team owners Roger Penske and Chip Ganassi with entries in the both Memorial Day racing classics at Indianapolis and Charlotte on the same day.
“This is pretty exciting news for all of us,” Petty said. “Never did I think I would have the opportunity to be part of the Indianapolis 500. I know how much this means to John Andretti and the Andretti family, and I’m looking forward to seeing John on the track in May. I’m not sure if I can be of any help to him, but he’s going to have no bigger supporter than myself.”
Like Petty, Window World makes its debut in the Indy 500 in 2009. The North Wilkesboro, N.C., corporation has locations in 46 states with more than 200 dealers. Each outlet is locally owned and operated.
“We, at Window World, are extremely delighted to join Richard Petty Motorsports, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and John Andretti as partners in an entry for the world’s biggest racing event, the Indianapolis 500,” said Todd Whitworth, president of Window World. “We have grown from a small roadside stand to the largest replacement window company in America. And in 2009, we will participate in the two biggest racing events, the Indianapolis 500 and Daytona 500. Racing has been a great outlet for our corporation this year, and we are excited to come to Indy for the first time.”
Andretti is a nine-time starter of the Indianapolis 500 with a best finish of fifth in 1991. He has started the last two Indy 500 races and made five IndyCar Series appearances in 2008. Andretti is the first driver to compete in both the Indy 500 and Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte in the same day, May 24, 1994. Andretti has concentrated on stock car racing since 1994 after a six-year Indy Car career that included a win in Australia in 1991.
Andretti, nephew of 1969 Indy 500 winner Mario Andretti, has recorded two NASCAR Sprint Cup victories in his stock car career with a Daytona Pepsi 400 title in 1997 (for Cale Yarborough) and a Martinsville win in 1999 (for Petty). Andretti’s Martinsville win was the last Cup victory for Petty as a car owner.
In 2009, Andretti continues his NASCAR Sprint Cup career by driving the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Chevrolet. He has started seven Cup races this year.
“It is great to drive the 43 car again for Richard,” Andretti said. “We have had success before in the stock cars, and we hope to have another strong run in the Indy 500. This year will mark my 10th Indy 500, and, with support of Window World and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing, I am really excited about being a part of Richard’s first entry into open-wheel racing.”
Dreyer and Reinbold Racing, co-owned by Indianapolis businessman Dennis Reinbold and former driver Robbie Buhl, has fielded cars in the IndyCar Series for the past 10 years. Buhl won the team’s first race in 2000 at the Walt Disney World Speedway. DRR has made 19 starts in the Indy 500, dating back to 2000.
“The Indy 500 is the world’s biggest racing event and we are very pleased to have Richard Petty Motorsports and Window World as partners in their first effort in the 500 Mile Race,” said Dennis Reinbold, co-owner of Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. “Bringing in a veteran like John Andretti to drive the No. 43 Window World Honda for Richard Petty Motorsports helps our entire program for the month of May. What a combination with a Petty and an Andretti at Indy!”
_ Courtesy of Indianapolis Motor SpeedwayOne Comment