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Racing Mania - NASCAR needs continued success from Petty

Racing Mania -The only thing stranger than seeing Richard Petty drinking wine at Infineon Raceway victory on Sunday was to see Richard Petty in Victory Lane.

Petty has not visited Victory Lane as the winner since April 1999, when Small Business scored his last victory with John Andretti.

As Small Business slipped into oblivion, wallowing in mediocrity and become a last minute, many believed Petty, the undisputed king of Formula One, never win again.

And that probably would not have if it had continued to support small enterprises, together with its valuable piece to name just enough funding to keep the organization afloat floundering.

Small Enterprises, but died a slow death, with Small finally pulling the plug and put out of its misery at the end of last year.

NASCAR, the end of Small Business was lost as the patriarch of the family or a dear, old friend. It was a sad, sad day, but you knew that was coming, and then everybody was a little relieved because the struggle and suffering was finally over.

The fear, however, was that Petty himself, one of the most important figures in the history of NASCAR, could also disappear.

Small, but went on to greener pastures, throwing his name and marketing prowess behind the organization of the Sprint Cup George Gillett bought by Ray Evernham. And Gillett, owner of the majority, made a wise move, rename the team of Richard Petty Motorsports.

Suddenly, King was back in the framework of a functioning competitive again, and the movement gave him something he desperately needed - hope.

And the sport and gave her hope that the fans can see one day the King in the victory.

That happened with Kasey Kahne's victory in Sonoma, California, on Sunday, and was a glorious occasion, a fit for a king.

Kahne's victory was one of the most popular victories this season, Kahne is not because (although he is popular, too) that was delivered, but because the King brought back to his place - the sun in the glory of a Victory Lane celebration.

Richard Petty NASCAR needs in the spotlight. We need to front and center and in the thick of things.

After all these years, children remain the most recognizable names in car racing in America and arguably the most important figure in the history of NASCAR. Apart from the family of France, who founded the sport, there is a larger one. Little is who helped make the sport popular and decades taught drivers how to build and service a large base of fans.

At 72, Petty still the face of stock car racing, the name and image that even the most casual of fans all over the world associated with the sport.

Although small because very little capital for Gillett Evernham organization, brought a wealth of knowledge and experience, not to mention the attention and exposure that his name and image of potential supply of funds.

He has become the figurehead of the organization, to attend all races, encouraging drivers and offer any advice and information.

And when one of the four teams to win, victory is in the use of his trademark cowboy hat and sunglasses, flashing his famous smile and attract wide attention and exposure.

See Petty, one of the largest models in the history of sport, in this context makes people happy. It is one of the few competitors and celebrities that are so good, nice and healthy so that you can not help but pull for him. When you win, everybody wins. And that makes Richard Petty Motorsports one of the largest sports organizations and Kahne drivers as one of its most famous stars.

Small Kahne NASCAR needs to win, like the Dale Earnhardt Jr. needs to win. Kahne, like Petty and Junior, has a large following, especially among fans. If it is a competitor, more people are watching.

If Richard Petty Motorsports and Kahne, driver carp are a threat to challenge the elite teams and drivers in the sport, and more fans - especially fans of NASCAR is so desperately trying to maintain - will be intrigued and excited by the action on the track.

Sunday's victory also was a big for Kahne. Has had an up and down career in recent years, winning six races in 2006 and then none in 2007. He won twice last season, but not to make the Chase for the second year.

With 10 career victories, which obviously has the talent to be a big winner, and probably will be. The question is where?

His contract with Gillett Small runs through next season, and is expected to be one of the major sports free agents.

Kahne said he would like to stay with the organization where he began his career in the Cup, but it depends on the performance of your computer.

Surprising victory on Sunday on a road course is a good sign. If RPM can continue to put a winning car under Kahne is likely to stay, giving the two valuable assets - and the driver of Petty elite. And that should mean a couple of trips to Victory Lane. - Racing Mania

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Indys Racing Mania

From 93rd End of the Indianapolis 500 is really just a bonus. Only a month ago, Castroneves was fighting for his life during a serious tax evasion case, they've got the popular driver behind bars for several years.Fortunately it went well for Castroneves in the process and he was of all charges. Now the only thing he fought for a third 500 Title.

"There are already very special," said Castroneves after leader in the Friday before the last training on Sunday the 93rd 500th edition of the Indy "Many of the course of the study, I was about, because the race is what I love. I wanted to be here. That was my wish, in these times."

The popular Castroneves, the sport and gradually over a mainstream following, thanks to its Dancing with the Stars win two years ago, the sentimental favorite to win, Sunday race.

The experience and the possibility that his livelihood and passion could be certainly changed the former Indy Car Series champion of the view on the big picture.

"I realized my life is still to be here," he said. "My perspective has become so much."

After the opening session of the race of the season in the trial, Castroneves came charging back, if he could get back behind the wheel and led a Penske Racing sweep of the first two starting spots for the race on Sunday.

He and teammate Ryan Briscoe will be on the front row after a performance which impressed team boss Roger Penske for many reasons.

"Thus, Helio, after all this time, come back and show everyone how good he really is - it was a thrill for me and obviously for him and all the people who are behind him for the last five or six months" Penske said. "I just want to personally congratulate him for a fantastic job."

Castroneves is not the only driver happy again at Indy. Another former winner and series champion returns to the Brickyard and also looking for a little redemption.

Dario Franchitti back in open wheel in the world this season after an aborted shot at NASCAR racing. The Scots found himself without a stick car ride, when team owner Chip Ganassi was forced to close one of its entries due to the lack of sponsorship Franchitti and suddenly found himself at a career crossroads.

But the way back to Indy Car racing open when Ganassi decided Franchitti a ride in his IRL-entry and replace another former 500 winner Dan Wheldon.

Franchitti is now among the favorites to win this year along with teammate and defending champion in the 500 Scott Dixon.

"I tried my child, I was not missing it," Franchitti said of his return to the wings less world. "But I could not.

"It is a blank slate. You also have here in the past, [but] there is no guarantee for success in this year. You have to prove himself again. And with a good month is only half the battle. You 've got to show on race day with the fast car, you are in a position to win the race. Then you are right to do everything on this whole day to do it, and you have a little luck as well. "

While Franchitti enjoys the luxury of the front of the other area on the back of the 33-car grid will need a little luck to end up further in the vicinity of the point.

This group includes John Andretti, who was his way to work in the field on the last Sunday of the last day of qualifying to give car owner Richard Petty his first career Indy 500 start.

The icon NASCAR star property in open wheel for the first time this season, and Andretti does not disappoint with the Petty Blue No. 43 in the 28th Place.

"To return here is, of course, especially," said Andretti, the jump from Indy cars to stock cars and on a somewhat regular basis in recent years. "And to be here with Richard's just a lot of fun and very exciting. I hope we can find the car to the front Sunday and be in a position to make this team a good end."

A happy ending is also Danica Patrick looks forward to a couple after disappointing 500 in the last two seasons.

The IRL lightning, hit the headlines this week with talk of a possible move to NASCAR when her contract expires at the Andretti-Green, but now she is concentrating and trying to fulfill their task to history as the first woman to win the Indianapolis 500.

"It is unlike any other title really, because it's the kind of place when the car is wrong, you can not make it go quickly," said Patrick. "You can not drive it over. You can not do it. If you do this, quickly get out of control the car and the track files. We will be here faster than anywhere else. I think it is really the only place that we go, that the nature of the trail is a little bigger and more powerful than you are. And I think that it is really something that you have to respect. "

"If the car is not good, do not believe that you are better, as it does not believe that it can overcome. I always think back to get the track very well. I feel happy that Indy is a place I had a good race here in the past and is fast. "

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