Class of 1997
Petty, winner of 200 Grand National/Winston Cup races and known as “The King” to race fans was born in Level Cross, North Carolina, on July 2, 1937. Richard grew up in the racing world. His father, Lee Petty, won NASCAR’s coveted Grand National (now Winston Cup) Championship three times. His brother Maurice chose to build race engines and crew for Richard. His mother, Elizabeth, scored races for Lee. It was inevitable that Richard Petty race.
And race he did! Richard began in 1958, following the hectic schedule of the time which had the Grand National teams running up to 60 races per year – all across the United States, from Maine to California, from Florida to the Canadian border.
Richard Petty set records that will never be broken. He won 127 pole positions; the most wins in one season – 27; the most consecutive wins – 10; the most wins from the pole – 61; the most wins from the pole in one season – 15.
Richard won the prestigious Daytona 500 an incredible total of seven times during his career.
Richard, the NASCAR Racing Ambassador, has always taken time to represent NASCAR and acknowledge the race fans – both young and old – by signing autographs, shaking hands, and posing for pictures with all. He was available. The fans appreciated him so much that he was voted Most Popular Driver nine times. He was also voted DRIVER OF THE YEAR in 1971.
Petty Enterprises and STP have become household names over the past 25 years, being the longest lasting sponsorship of a race team in racing history. To say this partnership – Petty and STP – has been successful is a gross understatement. It has been highly successful and is on-going.
Richard Petty, seven time NASCAR Winston Cup Champion, 200 race winner, holder of records which will never be broken, will always be “The King”.