(Eds: With AP Photos.) By PETE IACOBELLI AP Sports Writer It was just a couple of fast laps for Aric Almirola and Marcus Ambrose. It was a lot more than that to NASCAR's ''King.''
Almirola and Ambrose went 1-2 in qualifying for the Coca-Cola 600, the first time a Richard Petty Motorsports entry had started up front since November 2010.
To Petty, it was just the kind of thing that shows ''what these guys have been doing has been right.''
Even though the two drivers faded in NASCAR's longest race three nights later, the Petty program left with the confidence that it won't take another 18 months to celebrate success.
''I can't reiterate enough that we're making improvement,'' said Almirola, who ended 16th in Sunday night's Sprint Cup race. ''We see light at the end of the tunnel.''
It's been a long and, at times, dark tunnel for Petty, the NASCAR Hall of Famer. He followed in father Lee's racing shoes and became a seven-time Sprint Cup champion, winning a series record of 200 race...