Petty family Celebrates 75 years of NASCAR Competition

Petty family's 75th anniversary logo
Petty family’s 75th anniversary logo

After the year-long celebration of NASCAR’s 75 years of conducting racing activities, one of the most famous and successful teams under the NASCAR umbrella will have its own recognition. In 2024, the Petty family plans to honor its diamond, 75th year competing in the sport.

Once family patriarch Lee Petty and wife Elizabeth learned NASCAR was hosting its first stock car race as a sanction in Charlotte, N.C., they began their own stock car business and Lee competed in that contest, emerging 17th. This would begin the enterprise that spans four Petty generations and continues today as LEGACY MOTOR CLUB.

During the past seven decades, the Petty family pretty much defined the sport of stock car racing, particularly with 200-race-winner Richard Petty, commonly known as The King. While the family’s enterprise took on the build of their own cars and they managed their own front office in Level Cross, NC, they showed the way and gave opportunity to a myriad number of drivers, crew chiefs, mechanics and fabricators, allowing them to hone their skills and become leaders in their respective trades.

The innovation seen in Petty family racing projects have, over the years, helped grow NASCAR as a national sport. Even so, the family always stayed true to their Level Cross roots.

“My father (Richard Petty) is a walking encyclopedia of NASCAR,” said his son Kyle Petty. “He was there with my grandfather, grandmother and uncle Maurice at the first NASCAR race in Charlotte in 1949 and our family has been going ever since. There isn’t anything our family hasn’t seen in NASCAR,” he said.

The winner of 200 NASCAR races, Kyle’s father Richard Petty realizes that “75 years in the sport is an incredible milestone for our family, especially when it all began as a family business,” he said. “Spending 2024 celebrating the success and contributions to the sport of racing that started with my mom and dad, then my brother Maurice, cousin Dale Inman, then to Kyle, Timmy, Ritchie, Mark, onto Adam and now Thad. We are all looking forward to sharing these stories with the fans,” King Richard said.

While NASCAR’s first sanctioned race was held on the Daytona Beach Road Course in 1948, the first Strictly Stock Series contest on June 19, 1949 at Charlotte Speedway was the precursor of NASCAR’s premier Cup Series and is the event alluded to by the Petty Family, which began its ascent at that race.

Maurice Petty’s son Ritchie has watched the family’s evolution in the sport. “It’s special because it took the whole family to make it all work with such a huge amount of success,” he said. “Nobody in the family was more important than any other, and from my grandfather to my dad and all my cousins, we felt involved in the success and growth of the Petty family and NASCAR.”

To commemorate this 75th anniversary, the Petty family has produced a new, commemorative logo that will be prominently featured next year at all Petty-related events and at all tracks where the renamed LEGACY MOTOR CLUB race cars compete in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series.

This year-long celebration will include exclusive digital and social media content never seen before, including items from the Petty family photo and video archives. The new content will be featured on a variety of social media accounts, including @therichardpetty, @pettybrothersracing, @kylepetty, @pettymuseum and @pettygarage. There is also a soon-to-launch YouTube channel that the Petty family is putting together to help fans celebrate their history.

NASCAR’s 76th season begins with the Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, February 4th.

About Anne Proffit 1222 Articles
Anne Proffit traces her love of racing - in particular drag racing - to her childhood days in Philadelphia, where Atco Dragway, Englishtown and Maple Grove Raceway were destinations just made for her. As a diversion, she was the first editor of IMSA’s Arrow newsletter, and now writes about and photographs sports cars, Indy cars, Formula 1, MotoGP, NASCAR, Formula Drift, Red Bull Global Rallycross - in addition to her first love of NHRA drag racing. A specialty is a particular admiration for the people that build and tune drag racing engines.

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