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NASCAR star Petty eyeing full-time Rolex move?

Out-of-work NASCAR star Kyle Petty came to Daytona International Speedway to test the #45 Orbit Racing InterMedia BMW Riley in preparation for the 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona – and hinted that may only be the beginning of his involvement in the Rolex Series.

“We're trying to put something together to run not only the 24 hours, but all year-long,” confirmed Petty, a veteran of nearly 20 seasons at NASCAR's highest level said. “Obviously, I'm in a place with the Cup stuff where I don't really have a ride right now.

“I've always said this is where I want to be. When I came here the first time, I said to run in the Grand-Am division would be the next step-up. I don't want to go back to Nationwide, I don't want to run the Trucks...This is a step to the top level of road racing.

“It was a lot of fun. It's been probably a couple years since I've driven a DP car. I've driven for [Orbit Racing's] Rodger Hawley before, and these are a good group of guys.”

Petty raced three times in the Rolex 24 with Orbit, finishing seventh in 2001, 15th in 2002 and sixth in 2003. His co-drivers in all three races were Leo Hindery – who is again set to co-drive in this year's edition of the round-the-clock classic – and Peter Baron, who now manages Orbit's Daytona Prototype program.

Petty ran several additional Rolex Series races for Orbit, winning the 2001 Bully Hill Vineyards 250 at Watkins Glen International with John Andretti.

“It's nice to get into a car like this that somebody like Darren set up,” the 48-year-old enthused. “He's a great road racer – that's his background. I grew up in ovals, and I've got no clue here. Darren is telling me where to brake, and I'm scared to death trying to figure out how to brake.

“Rodger and I have talked numerous times, but the time was wrong for me or the time was wrong for Roger. Hopefully, [with] where Orbit Racing is right now, and where I'm at with my career, we can put together something and run. Who knows?”

Also testing the #45 machine were IndyCar Series veteran Darren Manning along with Michael Riolo and Lawrence Stroll.


Related Pictures

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Kyle Petty.
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. GRAND-AM Championship Weekend Presented by BMW at Lime Rock Park. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Max Angelelli / Jordan Taylor. Continental Tire Sports Car Festival. Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. 2013 Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series
Action. VisitFlorida.com Sports Car 250 at Road America. Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Starworks Motorsport BMW/Riley duo Brendon Hartley and Scott Mayer celebrate their first Grand AM Rolex Sports Car Series victory at Road America [Pic credit: Grand AM]
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Max Angelelli and Jordan Taylor drive the #10 Velocity Worldwide Wayne Taylor Racing Corvette Daytona Prototype (left) to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the third race of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Alex Gurney and Jo Fogarty, drivers of the #99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Corvette DP (right) finish in second place. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Robin Liddell, drivers of the # 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro GT.R., race to victory Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Grand Touring (GT) class of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
John Edwards and Matt Bell, drivers of the # 9 Camaro GS.R, race to second place Saturday, April 6, 2013 in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevrolet)
Juan Pablo Montoya, Memo Rojas, Scott Pruett and Charlie Kimball, co-drivers of the #01 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates TELMEX/Target Ford BMW Riley celebrate their win in victory lane at the Rolex 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 27, 2013 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Rolex Series action [Pic credit: Grand-Am]
Alex Popow and Sebastian Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Ford Riley, celebrate in Victory Lane after wininng the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series Inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Alex Popow and Sebastien Bourdais, drivers of the #2 Soloson Ford Riley, celebrate after winning the Grand-AM Rolex Sports Car Series inaugural Brickyard Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 27, 2012, in Indianapolis, Ind. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR)
The winning #60 Michael Shank Racing with Curb-Agajanian Ford Riley car is brought into victory lane after a gruelling 50th anniversary Rolex 24 at Daytona. [Picture Credit: Daytona International Speedway]
Action Express win the Rolex 24 [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Derek Johnston [Pic credit: Grand Am]
Borcheller/Barbosa - Action Express Racing Porsche Riley [Pic credit: Grand Am Media]
Vic Elford, the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona Grand Marshal (Photo credit: Motorsports Images and Archives)

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December 06, 2010 12:49 AM

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