I ate some of the celebration cake from his 200th win at Atlanta Motor Speedway, I watched him take the checkered flag for the last time and watched his famous signature adorn many hero cards in my day. Who is this impressive driver? None other than, “The King” Richard Petty. Born July 2nd, 1937, Richard’s iconic cowboy hat and sunglasses make him one of the most noticeable people in the garage.

Richard in 1987 on pit road
Richard Petty 1987

Legendary Career

Following the Family Heritage

Lee Petty
Lee Petty, Richard’s father

Lee Petty was Richard’s father. His career was impressive in its own right. He blazed a trail and won the first Daytona 500 and won three Championships. He went on to a crew numerous other records throughout his career. Lee instilled these outstanding racing talents into his son Richard.

Famed #43 STP car with Richard Petty
Richard Petty “The King” by his historic #43

Racing Days

Spanning the series from 1958-1992. “The King” dominated the sport in his No. 43 Plymouth and became the first Seven-Time Champion to take to the track. He also holds the record for most poles at 123, most season wins at 27, most consecutive wins at 10 and the most starts at 1,185. Richard really proved to be a force to contend with during his storied career on the track.

Retirement

Richard Petty Motorsports logo
Logo for Richard Petty Motorsports

When his on-track racing days were over “The King” did not stop there, he turned to team ownership to continue his legendary career. Began in 1992, the year he retired, Petty Enterprises obtained 268 victories. His team then merged with Gillett-Evernham Motorsports in 2009 to become today’s team, Richard Petty Motorsports.

In 2010, Petty became part of the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He joins the likes of Legends like Dale Earnhart Sr., Junior Johnson, Bill France Sr. and Bill France, Jr. the founding fathers of the sport.

Personal Opinion

I spent many years around the track and most every-time I ran into Petty. It is such a shock to turn around and see him there, but it has happened multiple times while visiting around the garage area. I would look for noticeable faces and low and behold I get a glimpse of that hat and you know it is him. His presence makes a difference where ever he goes. Richard Petty really has paved the way for the future of the sport.

About the Author

Erin Campbell has years of media experience in NASCAR. Join us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Where we encourage new and veteran NASCAR fans with the best that the sport has to offer.

About Author

Erin Campbell

Erin Campbell has years of media experience in NASCAR. Join us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @lugnutlivin. I look forward to connecting with you as I pass along my years of NASCAR on to you as I encourage new and veteran fans with inciteful coverage of the sport we all love.

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