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Happy 74th Birthday King Richard Petty

Posted on July 02, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Richard Petty was the undisputed King of NASCAR.

Few sports legends are remembered as fondly within the annals of their sport as the King of NASCAR, Richard Petty, who was born 74 years ago today.

As the first crossover superstar of the sport, Petty became a household name to people who had never seen an auto race through a variety of television commercials that began in the 1970s and continue today.

On the track, Petty had no equal as he won a record 200 races and is one of only two drivers (Dale Earnhardt being the other) to win seven NASCAR season championships.

He was the NASCAR Rookie of the Year in 1959 and won his first race the following year. He would win at least one race for 18 consecutive years and claimed his final trip to victory lane in the Firecracker 500 on July 4th 1984.

Petty won a record 27 races (races of 250 miles or less counted on the NASCAR schedule until 1972) in 1967, including 10 victories in a row. He won the Daytona 500 seven times and finished in the top 10 in races 712 times during his career.

After retiring following the 1992 season, Petty served as a team owner and has been involved in many other endeavors, including running for North Carolina Secretary of State in 1996.

He was introduced to an entirely new generation of fans thanks to the 2006 move Cars, where the number 43 car was known as “The King” and Petty served as the voice.

He was among the initial inductees into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010. His father, Lee Petty, was inducted the following year.


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