By Mike Mulhern
Kyle Petty is turning his Cup ride over to rookie Chad McCumbee for this week’s Texas 500, in an unexpected move, following Petty’s failing to qualify for last weekend’s race at Martinsville.
“Texas is a good track for him,” Petty says of the 23-year-old. “He had a strong run going in the truck race there last year.
“At Pocono (last summer) he did a great job filling in for me when I went into the (TV) booth.
“Everyone at Petty Enterprises believes in Chad and his abilities. Texas gives us a chance to get another good look at Chad without throwing him to the wolves. He should be relaxed because he knows he can get the job done there.”
McCumbee says he and crew chief Billy Wilburn “work well together. We had a great race last year at Pocono. I’m hoping for more of the same this weekend.
“Kyle is going to be there, giving me advice and pointers. That means a lot to me. I’ve learned a lot from him already.”
McCumbee will test Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway “just to help me get used to the new car.
“The two races last year were in the old car, so there will be a little bit of an adjustment period.
“But I don’t have a lot of experience in the old car either, so maybe that will be a positive.”