Buy this product here: I’m Not Just Daddy’s Little Girl I’m A Veteran’s Daughter Shirt, hoodie, tank top
Home page: Beutee Store
I’m Not Just Daddy’s Little Girl I’m A Veteran’s Daughter Shirt, hoodie, tank top
He made racing not-so-PettyBy Ron FlatterSpecial to ESPN.Com He has not won a race since 1984. His last championship came in 1979. But Richard Petty’s big sunglasses, cowboy hat and that No. 43 still loom large over stock-car racing.
His record seven Daytona 500 wins might fall some day, as might his seven Winston Cup championships. But what never can be displaced is the role Petty had building stock-car racing from a day at the beach for good ol’ boys into a superspeedway sport for the masses.
The winner of a remarkable 200 NASCAR races was a man for the people, a charismatic presence the way Arnie was for golf and Babe was for baseball. From the ’50s to the ’90s, millions flocked to see the races because of him — “The King.”
“It was as if Richard had written the script,” driver Darrell Waltrip said, “and NASCAR just helped him out.”
The script had many milestones: First stock-car racer to exceed $1 million in earnings; first to repeat as winner of the Daytona 500; winner of 10 consecutive races; 356 top-five finishes; $7,755,409 in earnings.
Not bad for a guy who made only $760 his first year of racing.
Richard Lee Petty was born on July 2, 1937, in Randleman, N.C., the son of one of stock-car racing’s early pioneers, Lee Petty. The elder Petty won three Grand National championships in the ’50s, and his 54 NASCAR victories stood as a record until his son broke it.
Even though young Richard was bitten by the racing bug as a kid, his father would not let the future king compete until Richard was a legal adult. Only days after turning 21, he finished sixth in his first race.
The next eight events would come and go, and Petty failed to finish any of them. Then he thought he had his first win. The checkered flag was waved for him. He was on his way to victory lane before another driver protested, successfully claiming the checkered flag was waved on the wrong lap.
The driver? Lee Petty.