In another Dodge garage, Bobby Labonte said he didn’t expect Petty Enterprises to miss a beat despite the defection of crew chief Todd Parrott to Robert Yates Racing. With Greg Steadman as interim crew chief and executive vice president of race operations Robbie Loomis taking a more hands-on role, Labonte qualified 38th.
Steadman, Petty Enterprises’ director of competition, is likely not auditioning for the permanent job of crew chief. “Of course, if Greg goes out and wins two or three races, we’ll find a different competition director,” Loomis said.
“We want some body for the long haul, not a short-term thing,” said Labonte, who reaffirmed that he was staying with Petty. “We’ve got a great base. We’ve just got to find the right person who will grow with the organization. We don’t necessarily have to move forward quickly but we have to move forward very smart on the decisions we make to bring the right race cars to the race track the right setups before we ever get there.”