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Petty has broken hand

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          NASCAR NEWS - Thursday, August 16, 2007
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Petty has broken hand, Michigan status uncertain
By NASCAR.COM

Kyle Petty suffered a broken hand as a result of hitting
his hand on a door inside the No. 45 hauler after a Lap 69
incident in Sunday's race at Watkins Glen.

Petty had early problems -- by Lap 9 he was seven laps down
to the leaders -- and his day got worse when the engine
grenaded and left a trail of fire. It was his first DNF of
the season in 17 starts.

After being treated and released at the infield care
center, Petty flew home to North Carolina where he was
treated by a doctor who determined that the hand was
broken.

Petty finished 43rd and remained 37th in the point
standings.

His status for this week's race at Michigan remains
uncertain. In 51 starts at Michigan he has three top-five
finishes and 10 top-10s. He best run at the 2-mile track
was a third-place finish on June 28, 1987.

Petty sat out five races earlier this season -- including
the Cup Series event at Michigan on June 17 -- while doing
broadcast work during TNT's "Summer Series." John Andretti
qualified 37th and finished 27th that day.

If Petty cannot drive, Andretti will not be an option. He
has signed with BAM Racing for the remainder of the season
as driver of the No. 49 car.

Petty has one top-10 finish -- third at Charlotte -- this
season with an average finish of 28.6.

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Joe Gibbs Racing signs Kyle Busch to drive in '08
Four-time winner signs multi-year deal with No. 18
By Official Release

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Joe Gibbs Racing, winners of three 
Nextel Cup Series championships and more than 70 NASCAR 
races, has signed 22-year-old Kyle Busch to drive for the 
No. 18 team in Nextel Cup beginning in 2008. 

"We're extremely pleased to have Kyle Busch as a part of 
the family here at Joe Gibbs Racing," said J.D. Gibbs, 
president of JGR. "Kyle is extremely talented, as his 
track record has proven, and he had a lot of teams to 
choose from in determining who would give him the best 
chance to win. Obviously, we're glad he chose JGR, and 
he'll have all the tools and resources he needs to win 
races and contend for championships." 

Busch comes to JGR a proven winner in each of NASCAR's 
national touring series, with four Craftsman Truck Series 
victories, eight Busch Series wins and four Nextel Cup 
triumphs. 

continued below...

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"After talking with a lot of different teams and visiting 
their shops, Joe Gibbs Racing is where I want to be," said 
Busch, whose contract with JGR runs through the 2010 
season. "The Nextel Cup Series is filled with good teams 
and good people, but the moment I saw the shop and began 
talking with Joe and J.D. Gibbs, there was a level of 
comfort that made me feel like this is where I belong. 

"I want to win races and championships, and Joe Gibbs 
Racing's three-car/one-team philosophy gives me the best 
opportunity to do that." 

Busch will take over for J.J. Yeley, current driver of the 
No. 18 Chevrolet, following the conclusion of the 2007 
season. He'll begin preseason testing as a teammate to 
two-time Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart and 2006 Nextel 
Cup rookie of the year Denny Hamlin. 

The 2008 season will mark Busch's fourth full season in 
Nextel Cup. He currently competes for Hendrick Motorsports, 
where he ran a six-race schedule in 2004 before joining 
the series full time in 2005. 

continued below...

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While at Hendrick, Busch scored a number of milestones. 
The Las Vegas-native began racing at age 12 and reached 
NASCAR's premier series in just eight years. As a result, 
Busch lays claim to being the youngest Nextel Cup rookie 
of the year, winning the title at age 20 on the heels of 
two wins, a pole, nine top-five finishes and 13 top-10 
finishes. His inaugural win at California Speedway in 
September 2005 made Busch the youngest Nextel Cup race 
winner (20 years, 4 months, 2 days). A prelude to that 
win was Busch's pole at California when the series first 
visited the track in February, making Busch Nextel Cup's 
youngest pole winner (19 years, 9 months, 24 days). 

Busch's second season proved his rookie year was no fluke, 
as the 2002 honor graduate from Durango High School 
finished the 2006 season with one win, a pole, 10 top-fives 
and 18 top-10s. The strong season earned Busch yet another 
milestone, as he became the youngest Nextel Cup driver to 
qualify for the Chase for the Nextel Cup. 

Busch continues to showcase his skills in 2007. He 
currently sits eighth in points with a March win at 
Bristol Motor Speedway highlighting his five top-fives 
and 12 top-10s, and he appears poised to make a repeat 
appearance in this year's Chase for the Nextel Cup. 

"While excited about my new opportunity with Joe Gibbs 
Racing, I remain committed to finishing this year strong 
and running for the championship," Busch said. 

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END OF NASCAR NEWS
Copyright 2007 by NextEra Media. All rights reserved.

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