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If possible, after this weekend I have even more respect for Richard Petty

By admin | March 22, 2010


By Richard Allen

 Richard Petty talking with fans at Volunteer Speedway

 

In my mind Richard Petty has always been a man worthy of whatever respect he has been given. Millions of adoring fans have followed him for decades, and for good reason. Not only are his records as a driver outstanding, but his record as a person is even better.

This past Friday night at the Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee the World of Outlaws put on a sprint car race just a few miles from the site of this weekend’s NASCAR activities in Bristol. Needless to say, there were a number of dignitaries from Bristol who visited the dirt track to take in the high speed action.

Helicopters shuttled NASCAR drivers and owners from one site to the other throughout the evening. Each time a landing took place a crowd of on-lookers would assemble to see just who had arrived. One such landing provided a special treat for the racing enthusiasts as ‘The King’ himself emerged from the flying machine.

A golf cart carried Petty to the pit area where he began to mingle with a number of WoO drivers and other NASCAR folks.

While he could have easily disappeared into the darkness of the hauler parking area, Petty remained out in the open among his legion of fans. Although the requests for autographs and pictures was constant, he never wavered or turned anyone down. His patience and generosity are as legendary as his driving ability.

The man who will soon be inducted into the first class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame never got to do very much of what he likely came to Bulls Gap to see. He mingled much more with fans than with his counterparts. He only climbed to the top of a hauler for a short time to watch a portion of the racing and then back down to his followers.

On the night of March 19, 2010, the man I am actually named after rose in status in my eyes which is something I did not think possible because he already held such a lofty status in my mind. Even in the time of his wife’s sickness, which must be a time of tremendous stress and anguish, Richard Petty seems to always have time for the people who care so much about him. He is definitely a king worthy of admiration.

One King wishes another(Steve Kinser) well

 

Follow @RacingWithRich on twitter.

Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.

Topics: Articles |

3 Responses to “If possible, after this weekend I have even more respect for Richard Petty”

  1. Jim Davidson Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Nice article Rich! Richard Petty is worthy of all the respect anyone can give him! Being a Petty and Mopar fan since 1963, I hoped to meet the great man someday! In October of 1974, 2 friends and I went to the old Level Cross shop, while in NC for the Charlotte Fall race. We were in the main showroom area, when Richard himself stepped out of the shop area and came into the museum area. He asked us if we “looked at the race yesterday”? After telling him that we were at the track and saw Richard have trouble toward the end of the race, he invited us into the shop area to show us the car he had raced the day before! After explaining what had caused the car problems, he personally took us on a tour of the shop and allowed us to take all the photos we wanted. To this day, I have a framed photo of Richard posing with me and my buddies! I will always remember that day and the huge impression that Richard made on me! Like you said Rich, its hard to think you could ever have more respect for this man than you already had! PS: Richard was riding his bicycle around the shop area that day…quite funny!

  2. jim Says:
    March 23rd, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    I LOVE THIS MAN RICHARD PETTY HAS BEEN IN MY HEART
    FOR YEARS NASCAR THINK THEY NEED DALE JR. AND
    DALE JR. IS GOOD BUT IF THE 43CAR AND THE 21CAR
    START TWO RUN UP FRONT YOU WILL SEE THE STAND
    FILL UP AND YOU WILL SEE GOOD RACING
    LET ME NO WHAT YOU THINK
    JIM

  3. Gabe Says:
    March 27th, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Nascar needs all of the “Hero’s” it can get, to overcome the problems caused by it’s Management….

Comments