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Injury keeps Petty out; Wallace to drive at Bristol


LEVEL CROSS, N.C. -- Kenny Wallace will fill in for Kyle Petty in the No. 45 Dodge in Saturday night’s Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Petty’s broken hand again will keep him out of the driver’s seat for the second consecutive week. Petty is hopeful to return to the car at the California Speedway.

Wallace will be making his 20th Cup start at Bristol this weekend. He has two top-10 finishes at the track and one pole. Wallace also has a Busch Series win at the track.

“I look at this from two ways,” Wallace said. "First, I feel terrible that Kyle can’t drive this weekend. I know he was very determined to get back behind the wheel at Bristol. Everyone is feeling good that he’ll be back in California, but I know he wants to race this weekend.

“Secondly, it’s an honor that Kyle and Wells Fargo are letting me fill in for him. Racing is what we all love to do. I know Kyle wants to be racing at Bristol. I’m going to give this car the best ride I can.”

Wallace made 10 starts this year for Furniture Row Racing. The team announced Aug. 14 that Wallace had stepped down as the driver of No. 78 car.

Team officials said that Wallace would remain with the team as a consultant and will be called upon to run races as needed, but that he also will be available to drive for another team.

Sterling Marlin will drive the No. 78 Chevrolet this weekend at Bristol.

Petty is still recovering from a broken hand suffered at Watkins Glen International. Petty had successful surgery on the hand and it continues to heal.

“It’s disappointing not to be able to race at Bristol,” Petty said. "I had every intention of getting back at Bristol, but I have to let the hand heal. You can’t rush this along.

“Kenny is a good friend and a talented driver. I’m confident that he’ll do a great job for our team and sponsors this weekend.”


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