Without a doubt, Richard Petty is a legend in NASCAR circles, alongside the late Dale Earnhardt. He has seven Cup Series titles under his belt, something that Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson have managed to equal. In addition to that, Petty has also won the Daytona 500 on seven occasions.
Recently, he spoke about why he was so good at the iconic event. He said, “It wasn’t me, it was the whole combination of Petty Enterprises. We worked all winter to get ready for the Daytona 500. That was our Super Bowl or World Series, all rolled into one. My dad won the very first 500-mile race there.”
Richard Petty acknowledged that he and the team had a pretty good record there. According to him, it was a combination of factors that led to the wins. On some occasions, he had the quickest car, while on other occasions it was a superior strategy or someone else’s misfortune.
Richard Petty will always be known as one of the greatest in NASCAR
In a career spanning almost 35 years, Richard Petty amassed numerous impressive statistics. He participated in 1,184 races and notched up 200 race wins. In addition to that, he also finished in the Top 10 on 712 occasions and took 123 pole positions. Petty continued to be a tour-de-force until he finally hung up his boots at the end of the 1992 season.
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He won titles back when the NASCAR Cup Series used to be known as the Grand National Series and the Winston Cup. In addition to that, he is also fondly known as ‘The King’ in NASCAR circles. It is also worth noting that he suffered a massive rollover crash in the 1988 Daytona 500.
Despite that, his dogged nature won and he continued racing for Petty Enterprises for four more years. After retiring from the sport, he has since settled down to manage his team Richard Petty Motorsports. The 83-year old remains a well-respected figure in the sport.