Richard Petty: Gene Haas’ foray into Formula One will boost NASCAR interest globally

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NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty believes Gene Haas’ foray into Formula One beginning next year will also give a significant boost globally for NASCAR.

“That to me will be good for stock cars because every time his car is mentioned it’s going to mention that he’s got a NASCAR car also,” NASCAR Petty told The Austin (Texas) Statesman. “That’ll be worldwide, so that’ll help the whole circuit far as I’m concerned.”

Haas recently received approval from Formula One to form a team that will be based in Kannapolis, N.C., alongside Haas’ current four-team Stewart Haas Racing NASCAR operation, which has drivers Tony Stewart, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Danica Patrick.

Richard Petty said he hasn’t spoken to Haas directly about the F1 venture, but is excited nonetheless to see NASCAR’s name and message spread overseas.

Richard’s son, Kyle, agrees with his father about the impact Haas’ will have.

“This is a man who when he puts his mind to doing something and he’s ready to do something, he can do anything,” Kyle Petty said. “So I’ve got all the faith in the world in Gene Haas.”

The Pettys stopped in Austin as part of Kyle’s 20th annual Ride Across America, which began last week in Carlsbad, Calif., and concludes this Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

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Marco Andretti to drive throwback scheme to honor 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario’s last win

Photo courtesy Andretti-Herta Autosport
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Marco Andretti wanted to do something really special to honor the 25th anniversary of grandfather Mario Andretti’s final Indy car win in 1993 at Phoenix International Raceway (now known as ISM Raceway).

So the third-generation Andretti, along with his team, Andretti-Herta Autosport, came up with a plan and design that will take longtime race fans back in time when it appears early next month for the Phoenix Grand Prix.

Marco Andretti’s No. 98 Oberto Beef Jerky Circle K/Curb Honda will be decked out in the colors of the car his grandfather won his last race on the one-mile short track 25 years ago.

“When the idea of a throwback livery celebrating my grandfather’s final win was thrown around, Oberto was ready to get to the drawing board,” Marco Andretti said in a media release. “The black, white and red car resembles many of my family’s race cars and was a big part of my life growing up.

“It’s really cool to be able to add one of my cars to that family legacy.”

The car is a virtual double of the legendary Newman-Haas Racing and Texaco/Havoline-sponsored car Mario drove on that celebratory day in the Valley of the Sun 2 ½ decades ago.

Various events and ceremonies during the April 6-7 race weekend will honor the senior Andretti. That includes several of his former competitors who will be on hand to celebrate with Mario, including Emerson Fittipaldi, Bobby Rahal, Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Arie Luyendyk, and of course, son Michael Andretti and grandson Marco Andretti.

Check out what happened on that day 25 years ago:

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