Sunday, July 01, 2012

Happy Birthday, King!

The King Turns 75 Monday
You will have to find a cake large enough to hold 75 candles if you want to celebrate the birthday of "King" Richard Petty Monday. Petty, the seven-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and owner of 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins, including seven Daytona 500 victories, is celebrating his 75th birthday in the same town he was born, Level Cross, N.C. Petty will spend time working at the current location of Petty's Garage, before spending time with his family later in the day.

Later this week, Petty will fly to a familiar early summer celebration spot -- Daytona Beach, Fla. – where he, his family and friends will celebrate the Fourth of July and enjoy a dinner held in the honor of his 75th birthday. The event, dubbed “Red, White and Petty Blue," will take place at the Wyndham Ocean Walk Resort and feature guest speakers who have been a part of Petty's life. The evening will conclude with a fireworks display and birthday cake made by the TLC hit show "Cake Boss."

"I'm really thankful for everyone who has supported us over the years," said Petty. "I really don't think about age too much. I just keep going to the next race. I've been doing that all my life and that's what I'm going to keep doing. But, I am grateful for each day and all the fans who make this a lot of fun for us."

The NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee is one of the most celebrated athletes in all of sports and his trademark cowboy hat, sunglasses, belt buckle and cowboy boots have made him an American icon. His accomplishments over 75 years read like a "Who's Who" of American athletes. They include:

·         A record 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Wins

·         A record seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Championships (1964, '67, '71, '72, '74, '75, '79)

·         A record 27 wins on one season (1967)

·         A record 10 NASCAR Sprint Cup wins in a row (1967)

·         Led Petty Enterprises and Richard Petty Motorsports to a record 271 wins, most of any team

·         Member of four generations of Petty athletes (Lee, Richard, Kyle and Adam)

·         Has met United States Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama

·         Awarded Medal of Freedom (1992)

·         Elected into three motorsports Hall of Fames including inaugural NASCAR Hall of Fame class (2010)

·         Has appeared in or voiced movies such as "CARS," "Swing Vote," "Days of Thunder," "Stroker Ace" and others

·         Has appeared in television shows including Arli$$, Hee Haw, David Frost Show and others

·         Donated more than 75 acres of his personal land to help build the Victory Junction Gang Camp

·         Lent his name to the first (and still most popular) stock car driving school, the Richard Petty Driving Experience. 

Petty continues to be a major figure in the sport and works with his partners at both Richard Petty Motorsports and Petty's Garage daily. His schedule keeps him as busy as he was when he ended his driving career in 1992.

His familiar smile and wave will be seen this weekend at Daytona during the running of Coke Zero 400.


  1. I'm a HUGE Petty fan - and have been since mid 70s. Genuinely wish him the best for his 75th BD.

    But c'mon Dave, RPDE as the first stock car driving school? If he were still with us, I'm sure Buck Baker would take exception to that claim. Perhaps that notation was clipped from a press release - but still, I have to call foul on that one.

  2. Happy Birthday Your Highness.

  3. The sport needs that #43 to win again.