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Apr 25, 2014 - 01:28 PM
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2014 Richmond Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Richard Petty, Marcos Ambrose
Posted by: ASkyler on Apr 25, 2014 - 01:27 PM
2014 Richmond Q&A: NASCAR Sprint Cup - Richard Petty, Marcos Ambrose

As part of the continued "Racing for a Miracle" program, Marcos Ambrose, Richard Petty and the No 9 STANLEY team spent the morning unveiling their special Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) paint scheme for Saturday night’s race and donating $100,000 to CMN. If Ambrose and the No. 9 team win, STANLEY will donate $1 million to CMN through the Ace Hardware Foundation. If Ambrose and his Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM) team finish second or third, STANLEY, through the Ace Hardware Foundation, will donate $500,000 and $250,000 respectively. Ford Racing caught up with Ambrose, Aric Almirola and Petty to talk about the program, having Petty back and the track this weekend and Petty spoke about what it is like to be back to the track following the death of his wife Lynda.

RICHARD PETTY, owner, Richard Petty Motorsports - WHAT IS IT LIKE FOR YOU TO BE BACK? "I just felt like I needed to sort of had a little time on our own so I have been gone for two or three weeks but I am back in the saddle again now. I am just learning to live all over again."


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DO YOU THINK BEING AT THE TRACK WILL BE A GOOD DISTRACTION? "Yeah, doing the things we were supposed to do the last few weeks have been put off so starting Monday we were in Georgia and Tuesday we were in Tennessee and Wednesday in Wyoming and now here on Thursday. The busier they keep me the better off I will be."

HOW ARE YOU DOING? "I am surviving. It is going to be different I guess. After 55 years I have to start all over again. I was fortunate that all the kids came home for Easter. We had all the kids and grand kids home and that really made things work good."

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE OUTPOURING YOU WILL RECEIVE AT THE TRACK TO BE LIKE? "It is great that so many people knew Lynda so well. Of course she had been around a long time too. She never met a stranger. Every once in awhile I would come in the house and see people I didn’t even know. She would invite them in the house to spend the night or whatever. Again, it is just going to be different."

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A PART OF A CHARITY CAUSE LIKE THIS? TO GO THROUGH WHAT YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH AND NOW BE A PART OF THIS, HOW DOES IT ADD IMPACT TO YOU? "I think it kind of pacifies myself from the standpoint that we have troubles but a lot of other people have a lot of other trouble. Like with Victory Junction Gang camp and other stuff that we do, we were so fortunate. I had 4 kids and 12 grand kids and every one of them was perfectly healthy. And you look at all the people that are not that way. From that standpoint you just want to give back I guess."

HOW CLOSE DID YOU FOLLOW RACING WHILE YOU WERE GONE? "They kept me informed. They called everyday about what was going on and I watched some of it on TV. It was still not the same as being there though."

Ford Racing NSCS Notes & Quotes:

Toyota Owners 400 (Richmond International Raceway)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Page 2

RICHARD PETTY CONTINUED … WHEN IS THE LAST TIME YOU WERE GONE FROM THE TRACK FOR SO LONG? "I have never been gone that long. Never. I have never missed two or three races in a row. Maybe one from time to time but never more than that. It is a different situation. I just have to learn to live with it."

MARCOS AMBROSE, No 9. STANLEY/ACE/CMN Ford Fusion - YOU HAVE SCORED THE MOST POINTS IN SHORT TRACK RACES SO FAR THIS SEASON. "I didn’t know that. That is pretty cool. This track races differently because it has an aerodynamic affect to it. We are hoping our short track program will cross over to here but we know it will be slightly different with the configuration of the track. We have a lot of races to win this weekend. We have Richard Petty back and it is great to have him back at the track. We have a chance to win a million bucks for the sick kids in the Children’s Hospitals and we have a chance to make the Chase and a chance to win my first oval race. I guess it is all stacked up to be a lot of reasons to win and we know it. We have brought a really good package here with a car that we know has run well here in the 2014 season so we are looking forward to it."

YOU HAD TWO TOP-FIVES AT THE OTHER SHORT TRACKS. HOW MUCH CARRIES OVER? "I think that some of it crosses over but this track is a short track race but it kind of drives like an intermediate. I think that we are going to have to be slightly different with our setup and our aero which has been a problem for us a little bit on the intermediates so far. That will come into play a little bit. We have to be ready for that."

RICHARD SAID HE HASN’T EVER BEEN AWAY FROM THE TRACK THIS LONG. HOW IMPORTANT IS IT FOR YOU GUYS TO HAVE HIM BACK? "Well, he is here this morning with us and is smiling and enjoying being here and that is what it is about right? Richard is a legend. He has done so much for our sport and it is great to have him back and see him smiling again. We love having him at the track and hope he will be with us at all the races from here on in. It has been a tough couple of months for the Petty family and our thoughts have been with him although we haven’t been seeing him."

ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 43 Smithfield Ford Fusion - WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU TO HAVE THE KING BACK THIS WEEKEND? "It is going to be really important. He is our leader and the face of our race team. To have him back and have him back on top of the trailer and in the garage with us will be big. It is big for me as a driver but really big for our entire race team to have his presence back is going to be huge."

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