Originally created 11/09/99

Petty Enterprises switching from Pontiac to Dodge



CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Petty Enterprises drivers will race Dodges instead of Pontiacs starting in 2001, the Charlotte Observer reported Monday.

The newspaper said Pontiac officials were notified of the switch. Petty Enterprises spokesman Chip Williams said Monday no announcement has been made.

Fred Simmonds, the manager of motorsports for Pontiac, was unavailable for comment.

Richard Petty scored 175 of his Winston Cup-record 200 career victories in Chrysler vehicles.

The Petty operation fields John Andretti's No. 43 Pontiac and Kyle Petty's No. 44 Grand Prix.

The family's fourth-generation driver, Adam Petty, competing on the Grand National circuit, is expected to move up to NASCAR's top circuit as soon as 2001, DaimlerChrysler's first year back in the series with the Dodge Intrepid.

Ray Evernham, the crew chief for Jeff Gordon's three Winston Cup championship seasons at Hendrick Motorsports, left that team in September to spearhead Chrysler's return to the sport.