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Petty-Andretti at Indy: Will that help boost Brickyard 400 ticket sales?

   By Mike Mulhern


   FORT WORTH, Texas
   Richard Petty may be struggling in NASCAR, but he's not afraid of biting off yet another challenge.
   The stock car legend is expected to announce he'll be car owner for John Andretti's Indianapolis 500 bid this spring, working an arrangement through an already established Indy car team.
   The Petty-Indy move may in part be designed to help boost ticket sales for NASCAR's July Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis. After last summer's tire disaster at Indy, getting fans back may be an issue.
   The Indy 500 is set for a 1 p.m. EDT start Sunday May 24th; Charlotte's Coca Cola 600 is set for a 5:45 p.m. start the same day -- effectively ruling out anyone attempting to run both events.
   For the past several seasons the 600 has pulled in higher TV ratings than the 500, but there are indications this season the ratings battle between ABC's Indy and Fox' 600 could be much tighter.
   Andretti, 46, is driving for Petty this season, on the newly merged Petty-George Gillett team. Andretti, though, hasn't had much success so far in NASCAR: His best finish has been a 29th at Las Vegas, and he's 33rd in the Sprint Cup standings. Andretti's most recent NASCAR Cup win was in 1999 at Martinsville, while driving for Petty.
   Andretti, whose first Indy 500 run was in 1988, was the first NASCAR driver to do the Indianapolis-Charlotte double, running the 500 and the 600 the same day, in 1994. He finished 10th at Indy, and 36th at Charlotte. In his last two Indy runs, he finished 30th in 2007, and 16th in 2008.


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