Thursday, April 5, 2018

"Nascar Legend" Lee Petty Dies - April 5, 2000

March 14, 1914 – April 5, 2000
Lee Petty
Born in Randleman, North Carolina, USA.
He is the father of NASCAR legend, Richard "The King" Petty, who would become NASCAR's all-time race winner. With sons Richard and Maurice Petty, he founded Petty Enterprises, which became NASCAR's most successful racing team. He was the grandfather of Kyle Petty, and great grandfather of Adam Petty who died in a racing accident during a NASCAR Busch Series practice session at New Hampshire International Speedway. He is also the grandfather of Ritchie Petty who ran a few races in NASCAR. His nephew Dale Inman worked for Petty Enterprises as Richard's crew chief from the early 1960s until 1981 and during the 1990s.
(Photo: The Pettys at Bristol via photopin (license)
He was one of the pioneers of NASCAR, and one of its first superstars. He was thirty-five years old before he began racing. He began his NASCAR career at NASCAR's first race at the three-quarter mile long dirt track, Charlotte Speedway. He finished in the Top 5 in season points for NASCAR's first eleven seasons. He won the NASCAR Championship on three occasions and the inaugural Daytona 500 in 1959.

Lee Petty died on April 5, 2000 at Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the age of 86. Lee died just three days after his great-grandson Adam made his Winston Cup Series debut.

In 1990, Lee Petty was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1996. He was elected to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. He was selected as one of Nascar's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998 along with his son, Richard Petty. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on May 23, 2011.

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