Petty, Richard

born July 2, 1937, Level Cross, N.C., U.S.

U.S. stock-car racer.

He entered professional stock-car racing in 1958. In his long professional career he won 200 races. In 1975 he set the NASCAR record of 13 victories in one season. "King Richard" also won seven Daytona 500 races and seven NASCAR Grand National championships. His father, son, and grandson were all NASCAR racers.

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▪ American stock-car racer
in full  Richard Lee Petty 
born July 2, 1937, Level Cross, North Carolina, U.S.

      American stock-car racer who was the most successful driver in the history of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) (NASCAR). Petty won 200 NASCAR races in his career and collected 7 Winston Cups (known as the Grand National Cup prior to 1970), both records.

      Petty came from a racing family; his father, Lee Petty (March 14, 1914–April 5, 2000), also raced stock cars. The elder Petty was a three-time winner of the Grand National Cup as well as founder of Petty Enterprises racing team. Richard joined NASCAR as a driver in 1958, and in 1959 he accumulated nine top-10 finishes and was named Rookie of the Year. In February 1960 he earned his first victory in Charlotte, North Carolina. He won his first Daytona 500 (NASCAR's most prestigious event) in 1964 and also claimed his first Grand National Cup. The following year NASCAR introduced new rules that made Petty's Plymouth 426-inch hemispherical-head engine illegal. Disappointed, Petty left stock-car racing and spent a year on the drag-racing circuit. He returned to NASCAR in 1966 and the following year enjoyed the best single-season performance by any stock-car racer, speeding to a record 27 first-place finishes and earning his second Grand National Cup.

      Driving his familiar number 43 blue-and-red car with the STP logo, Petty continued to collect victories in the 1970s, taking Winston Cup titles in 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, and 1979. His success could be attributed to his intelligent driving and the mechanical expertise of the entire Petty team (brother Maurice built the engines; cousin Dale Inman built the cars). The team also became known as innovators, credited with introducing roll bars, nylon window screens, cooled helmets, and two-way radios to stock-car racing.

      Petty retired in 1992, having raced in 1,184 NASCAR events, winning 200 of them. He took first place in the Daytona 500 in 1964, 1966, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1979, and 1981. His son Kyle (June 2, 1960) and grandson Adam (July 10, 1980–May 12, 2000) also raced in NASCAR circuits.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Richard Lee Petty — Geboren: 2. Juli 1937 Geburtsort: Level Cross, North Carolina Auszeichnungen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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