Petty Enterprises has hired NASCAR veteran Derrick Finley to fill the position of technical director for the racing team. Finley, 36, will oversee the full-time implementation of the Car of Tomorrow for the No. 43 Dodge, driven by 2000 Cup champion Bobby Labonte, and the No. 45 Dodge, driven by Kyle Petty.
“Petty Enterprises is the gold standard of stock car racing,” Finley said. “Their legacy of success is unequaled. From top to bottom they have shown a commitment to return to the top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and I am honored to be part of that process. In crew chiefs Jeff Meendering and Billy Wilburn we have two of the brightest minds in the garage area. Both Bobby and Kyle had several strong runs last year. Everything is in place to build on those finishes and have an even better year in 2008.”
Finley brings more than a decade of NASCAR experience to Petty Enterprises. Since his graduation from the University of New Mexico with a degree in mechanical engineering, Finley has held crew chief and engineering positions with several racing organizations, giving him the unique blend of an engineering education and hands-on knowledge that is highly sought after in today’s world of auto racing.
Finley is another integral piece in the growth of Petty Enterprises back to a championship-contending team. The move by the organization to a state-of-the-art shop in Mooresville, NC, is almost complete. Several new hires will also give the team plenty of resources to compete for wins immediately.
“We have been really busy this offseason with our move to Mooresville and our preparation of the Car of Tomorrow for the entire 2008 Sprint Cup season,” said Petty Enterprises executive vice president of race operations Robbie Loomis. “Derrick brings a lot of experience to Petty Enterprises that will be tremendously valuable as the season draws near. He is an excellent engineer and he has been a successful crew chief. That is exactly the type of person we were looking for to supplement Jeff and Billy. We see Derrick as another key hire that will bolster an already strong foundation here at Petty Enterprises.”