Petty Enterprises Hires John Andretti for 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Season
18 November 1997
LEVEL CROSS, NC - It's official. Petty Enterprises and John Andretti will reunite for the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup season. This is the second time in his career that Andretti has been tapped to drive the famous STP-sponsored Pontiac. He drove for The King Richard Petty in the final 11 races in 1994 but the combination could not come to an agreement for the following season and went their separate ways. "John drove for us three years ago and we liked what we seen," said Petty. "At that time he wasn't ready for us or we weren't ready for him or whatever. Now he's a little bit more experience. The way everything worked out for his we thought maybe it would be a good time to put the Andretti and the Petty team back together." The 34-year old driver finished 23rd in the 1997 final point standings with Cale Yarborough Motorsports and recorded his first career victory in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 5. In October the team's sponsor RCA announced that they would be reducing their involvement in NASCAR racing and would not return as a primary backer in 1998. Just last week crew chief Tony Furr was named to replace Andy Graves as the head wrench for the No. 25 Budweiser Hendrick Motorsports Team and pilot Ricky Craven. Andretti replaces Bobby Hamilton who will move over to the No. 4 Morgan- McClure Motorsports team. Hamilton completed the season 16th in overall points with one victory at North Carolina Motor Speedway in October, six top-five and eight top-ten finishes.