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THE TWO MOST FAMOUS NAMES IN MOTORSPORTS REUNITE...


Level Cross NC (November 18, 1997) the two most famous names in motorsports will reunite for the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series. John Andretti returns to the driverís seat of the STP Pontiac owned by seven-time Winston Cup champion, Richard Petty, as announced in a joint release by the two.

Andretti's first Winston Cup Victory came at the Pepsi 400 in July of 1997 at the Daytona International Speedway. He joins his uncle Mario Andretti, his godfather A.J. Foyt, and the late Mark Donahue, by becoming the forth driver in motorsports history with major race victories in the country's three most prestigious racing series: NASCAR, CART (1991 Gold Coast Gran Prix in Australia), and IMSA (1989 24 Hours of Daytona).

"I can't tell you how much I am looking forward to getting back with Richard, (crew chief) Robbie Loomis, (team manager) Dale Inman and all the guys with the STP team," explained Andretti. "The half year I spent with them before was fantastic. We achieved a great deal during those 11 races. We were running up front and leading races. Since then, they have won and I've won. We feel by getting back together, we hope to add to the win total for both the team and STP."

The association first took the spotlight in 1994 when Andretti, an Indianapolis, Indiana native took over the driver's seat for the STP Pontiac in the last 11 races of the season.

"We are excited to say, John Andretti is our driver for 1998," said Petty. "When we got together a couple of years ago, it wasn't the right situation for John, as well as for Petty Enterprises. This time things are different, John has won in this series and Robbie Loomis has guided our STP team to the next level with two victories in two years. I think now it is the right fit. John is hungry for more Winston Cup victories and so is the Petty Enterprises STP Racing team. I think that Kyle (Petty, driver of the #44 Hot Wheels Racing Pontiac) and John will be able to work together successfully and that is an important factor."

"As excited as I am to return to Petty Enterprises, I have mixed emotions," said Andretti. "I've had a great time with Cale Yarborough, Tony Furr and all the guys on the #98 team. We've won a race in a very short time together, and I feel like we were right on the verge of doing a lot of great things. It really boiled down to timing. Cale has been working hard to bring another sponsor and I have done everything I could to help him, however, I will be driving for Richard Petty in 1998."

Robbie Loomis will remain at the helm of Petty Enterprises as crew chief and Dale Inman will remain as team manager.