FORT WORTH, Texas -- The King of NASCAR is going to the Indianapolis 500.
Richard Petty Motorsports will field an entry for John Andretti in this year's Indy 500, sources confirmed to NASCAR.COM. It will be the first foray into the premier open-wheel event for RPM, the former Gillett Evernham team that absorbed the 60-year-old Petty Enterprises organization late last year. The formal announcement will be made Monday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Petty, who won seven championships and 200 races on NASCAR's top level, never attempted the Indy 500. Andretti has started the event nine times, with a best finish of fifth in 1991. He placed 16th last year driving for Roth Racing.
Andretti, whose long relationship with the Pettys goes back to his days driving for Petty Enterprises, would neither conform nor deny the venture Friday after qualifying his No. 34 car for Sunday's Sprint Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway. "People are jumping the gun on something," he said.
While RPM fields four cars on NASCAR's Cup circuit -- those of Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Reed Sorenson and A.J. Allmendinger -- the Charlotte-based organization does not have an IndyCar wing, making it unclear exactly how the program will take shape. Indications are that the RPM name will be placed on an existing operation.