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Petty, Andrettis To Do Indianapolis 500

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 31 2010

The car of John Andretti and Richard Petty rolled through Gasoline Alley a year ago. It will be back this year. (File photo courtesy of Indy Racing League)

By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
RacinToday.com

Two of the great families in American auto racing will team up to race in this year’s Indianapolis 500 it was announced Wednesday.

Andretti Autosport of the Indy Racing League, it was revealed, will work in a joint effort with racing legend Richard Petty and Window World, Inc., to field a fifth IZOD IndyCar Series entry for veteran driver John Andretti, first at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 1 and then in the 2010 Indianapolis 500 on Sunday, May 30.

“I’m excited to be a part of this venture with John, Andretti Autosport and Window World for the Indy 500,” Petty said. “There is so much history around this event, and the Andretti’s have such a rich tradition in racing. I’m looking forward to watching John hit the track in May.”

After his debut run at Kansas, Andretti will attempt to make his 11th Indianapolis 500 start behind the wheel of the No. 43 Team Window World car. A successful qualifying attempt for Andretti on Saturday, May 22 or Sunday, May 23 will deepen the Andretti family legacy at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as he drives for the team owned by his cousin, Michael.

“It would be difficult to script a scenario any better than the one we have here,” John Andretti said. “The relationship I have with Richard, the respect I have for Michael and his team, the partnership I enjoy with Window World and all of it focused on the Indianapolis 500 – it’s really a perfect situation. I can’t wait to get in the car and get to work. May can’t get here soon enough.”

John Andretti will join current drivers Danica Patrick, Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan and Ryan Hunter-Reay on the Andretti Autosport roster at Kansas and Indy.

Michael Andretti said his team will have no problems adding another car and driver.

“We feel it only adds strength to the team,” Michael Andretti said during a teleconference Wednesday afternoon, “and will not

Window World will enjoy its second-consecutive Indy 500 as primary sponsor of the No. 43. as the company teamed up with Petty and John Andrettiti for last year’s Indy 500. The car once again will feature Petty’s traditional “Petty Blue” and Day-Glo Red” color scheme made famous by “The King” during his unparalleled career.

The 43 car also will sport the marks of Window World Cares, the charitable foundation of Window World, Inc., which supports St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The foundation is currently working in support of the company’s newly-launched program, “Opening Windows for St. Jude Kids,” through which Window World hopes to raise $1.5 million – the hospital’s daily operating cost. Since its inception, Window World Cares has raised more than $630,000 for St. Jude.

Petty, a racing icon and one of the most-recognizable figures in NASCAR history, will be participating in his second-straight Indianapolis 500. A 200-time NASCAR race winner and seven-time NASCAR champion, Petty witnessed the Indianapolis 500 in person for the first time in 2007 and participated as a co-owner for the first time last year.

He said he caught Indy fever last year when he was at the Speedway on race day.

“When they said gentleman, crank your engines last time, I became a real fan,” Petty said.

Andretti Autosport has won twice at Indianapolis – the first time in 2005 with Dan Wheldon driving, and most recently in 2007 with Dario Franchitti driving. The latter victory came as part of a five-car effort.

“I’m really excited to be able to be a part of this,” Michael Andretti said. “Richard Petty is one of the true legends in our sport and someone I have always admired. Window World deserves a lot of credit for bringing all of this together.

“I have a lot of respect for John’s talent – I always have. I really think he will fit in very well at Andretti Autosport and can be a factor during the month of May.”

– Jim Pedley can be reached at jpedley@racintoday.com

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Wednesday, March 31 2010
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