Career Chronology: Richard Petty
- 1958: Made his NASCAR debut in Toronto, Canada.
- 1959: NASCAR Grand National Rookie of the Year.
- 1964: Won his first Winston Cup and Daytona 500 race.
- 1966: Won his 2nd Daytona 500, beginning an unequaled winning streak.
- 1971: Named NASCAR Driver of the Year.
- 1984: Wins his 200th victory (and final) at the Firecracker 400 at Daytona.
- 1992: Retires from stock car racing, with an unmatched racing career.
- 1997: Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.
- 2010: Inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame
- 1963 was a breakout year for Richard Petty, launching his career to new and unrivaled heights, with wins at Martinsville and Bridgehampton.
- In 1967, with 27 racing victories under his belt, he passed his father for the most coveted spot of NSACAR driver with the most career wins.
- Richard Petty’s son, Kyle Petty, won his first race in 1979 and began to overtake the victories in the Petty family, as Richard’s racing career slowed.
- After his retirement, Richard Petty devoted himself to the family business, Petty Enterprises, with a bevy of successful drivers behind the wheels.
Nicknamed “The King” for his impressive track record at NASCAR, Richard Petty has become one of the most recognized names in NASCAR history. He is most famously known for his seven winnings of the NASCAR Championship and seven Daytona 500 wins, though his driving success goes well beyond, winning 200 Winston Cup races throughout his career. Born July 2, 1937 in Level Cross, North Carolina, Richard Petty’s mother and father, Lee Petty, raised him deep in the world of racing, as his father was a professional stock car driver, most notably as the first winner of the Daytona 500 in 1959.
Richard Petty began his own NASCAR career in 1958 in Toronto, Canada. Soon he was named rookie of the year and produced his first win in 1959, though his father protested and wound up with the victory. By 1963, though, Petty was becoming a breakout star and his driving record was on fire. He drove a Plymouth in 1964 that took him to nine victories and his first Grand National Championship. 1966 would earn him another Daytona 500, and 1967 would skyrocket his career. That year he won 27 races, with his second Grand National Championship, and he dominated the whole season; it was the success that earned him the nickname “King Richard.”
Richard Petty retired from racing in 1992, with his final top ten finish at the 1991 Budweiser at the Glen. He also added Petty Enterprises racing teams to his many accomplishments, with various successful drivers at the helm like Bobby Hamilton and John Andretti, as well as The Richard Petty Driving Experience, and showed his talent beyond just the driver’s seat. He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.
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