NASCAR has given racing world many legends but none like ‘’The King’’ Richard Petty. Known to many simply as “The King,” NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty is the most decorated driver in the history of NASCAR.
Petty who just turned 80, is NASCAR’s winningest driver and is considered as the most talented. He’s still the most influential driver in the sport’s history, for his mainstream appeal and his touch with the fans.
Richard Petty with his “stock car,” No. 43 made innumerable records. Among the Petty records set in a 34-year illustrious career are two that almost certainly will stand the test of time—and both were recorded 50 years ago, in the 1967 NASCAR season. Petty won an astonishing 27 races (of 48 total run) and, more remarkably, won 10 in a row.
The King of records took 200 checkered flags (a record); seven Daytona 500s (a record); 10 consecutive races and 27 in a season (both records).
With his shades on, cowboy hat, and trademark moustache, he led an image of a rebellion, from the very first stock car racing till today.
Here, DSPORT has picked up the top 5 Richard Petty’s Memorable NASCAR Moments. Have a look:
The King is Born, 1967
With 48 starts that season, Richard Petty won 27 races, a record that certainly will never be broken. In his 27 wins, 10 of them were consecutive, with the 10th one coming during the Wilkes 400 in North Wilkesboro, NC. In the same year, Petty earned $130,275, becoming the first Cup champion to earn six figures.
Crushing Defeat at the 1976 Daytona 500
The 1976 Daytona 500 was a battle to the finish and proved to be an incredible moment in one of NASCAR’s greatest rivalries. This race holds the title of best Daytona 500 finish ever. Petty was leading the final lap, in his classic STP Plymouth. Halfway through the last lap, David Pearson stole the front position. And it all started from there! Richard Petty and David Pearson had battled for the lead all day long and coming off the final turn of the final lap, Pearson drifted high and Petty went low.
In the crash, Petty’s car stalls, and Pearson managed to make it across the finish line at 25 mph in his damaged car. His only Daytona 500 win!
The 1979 Daytona 500 Battle for the Finish
The race is remembered as one of the most striking and significant NASCAR races of all-time. The epic final lap battle between Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison took all the media and fans’ attention. But amidst all the fight and crashes, Richard Petty held off Darrell Waltrip and A.J. Foyt to win his sixth Daytona 500.
His final win at Daytona, 1984
Richard Petty’s 200th and final Cup Series victory came in the 1984 Firecracker 400 race at Daytona. It was an electrifying match, indeed. Petty defeated Cale Yarborough to the finish line by inches in front of Ronald Reagan, the first US President to attend a NASCAR event.
After taking the checkered flag, Petty didn’t go to Victory Lane right away. Instead, he went to the press box first to meet up President Ronald Reagan.
The King’s last race, 1992
The season-ending race at Atlanta not only featured the closest championship battle in NASCAR history but was also a pivotal moment in the history of the sport as Richard Petty retired and Jeff Gordon ran his first Cup race.
In the race, Petty was caught up in an accident on lap 95 of 328, hitting the rear of Rich Bickle’s car. Petty’s car caught fire was badly damaged and came to a rest in the infield. Petty’s last race ended with a 35th place finish and after the race completed one last lap as a salute to the fans.