Andy Petree has had an easy view of NASCAR as of late, but he’s itching to get back into the thick of things.
“I miss being in the game,” Petree admitted to NASCAR.com. “I see a lot of things — I still stay awake at night thinking of things to do, wondering why people do certain things.”
Petree now has his chance. Richard Childress Racing announced earlier this week Petree will return as an advisor for competition to the team for whom he won 2 Cup championships as Dale Earnhardt’s crew chief.
“We welcome Andy to RCR in an advisory role,” said RCR CEO Richard Childress to Motorsport.com. “Andy is someone I’ve known for many years and his knowledge of our industry runs deep. He is well respected within our community and will provide a fresh perspective as we evaluate opportunities to improve.”
Improvement is definitely what RCR needs. The team has 6 Cup titles, but none since the back to back Earnhardt titles in 1993 & ’94. That’s a 23-year dry spell for one of the oldest and most-respected teams in NASCAR.
“He (Childress) spends a lot of money,” Petree said. “They’ve got every single tool that they need to work with and most of it is state of the art. There is no reason that they are not one of the leading cars or top cars every week. And so he’s frustrated.”
RCR currently runs three Cup teams – the #3 of Austin Dillon, the #27 of Paul Menard and the #31 of Ryan Newman. Dillon and Newman have one win apiece this season, the first victories for RCR since 2013. Petree’s directive is to get that turned around.
“It’s something Richard and I have talked about for a few months,” Petree said of his new role. “Richard is very involved with everything that goes on at RCR and he has been forever. Well, they’re not running well and it’s a really, really big machine. He’s trying to figure it all out and he needs help. He needs somebody he can trust, somebody that can come in there and evaluate all these areas and that’s going to be my mission for the next few weeks until the end of the season.”
Petree has been in and around NASCAR for over 30 years, 13 as a crew chief. In his time as chief, he had 25 victories and 113 top 5 finishes. Petree has also been an owner, fielding cars and trucks in Cup, and what is now Xfinity and Camping World.
Petree transitioned to NASCAR TV analyst/commentator for ABC and Fox in 2006.