Richard Petty is known as the King of NASCAR due to winning the Daytona 500 and NASCAR seven times. He is a family man, racecar driver, businessman, broadcaster and charitable fundraiser. Petty has met with much success in life as he has in racing.
Petty is a second generation racecar driver. In 1959, his dad Lee Petty won the Daytona 500. Racing must be a genetic trait, as his son Kyle is also a NASCAR driver. In 2000, he had a grandson that was killed in a practice run at the New Hampshire International Speedway. Petty lost his wife, Linda Owens Petty to cancer in 2014. The couple raised four children together in North Carolina.
Petty began racing in 1958 and retired in 1992. He collected a total of 200 wins during his racing career. His career peaked from 1964 to 1981. Petty was known to win more races and earn more money than any driver in stock-car history. After retiring, he worked as a television announcer on the stock-car racing circuit.
Petty is the co-owner of Richard Petty Motorsports. The company fields two teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Aric Amirola drives the No. 43 Ford Fusion and Marcos Ambrose drove the No. 9 car for the company. However, Sam Hornish Jr. took over driving the No. 9 car in 2015. Dakoda Armstrong began competing in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 2014 for the company. The company sponsors three charities, Petty Family Foundation, Victory Junction and Paralyzed Veterans.
Visitors to Las Vegas may book a Richard Petty driving experience to ride three laps in an authentic racecar at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Adrenaline junkies may prefer to drive the racecar and experience the thrill of sitting behind the wheel with a foot on the gas pedal. There are other locations nationwide offering a similar experience.
The Petty Museum is located in Randleman, North Carolina. The museum was established to preserve the heritage of the Petty racing family for fans. The museum offers show cars for special events and rents the building out as a venue. A gift shop is available at the museum. Items purchased at the gift shop may be autographed and returned via U.S. Mail.
(Richard Petty 1984 Photo as uploaded by Ted Van Pelt at Flickr’s Creative Commons.)