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Kyle Petty

NASCAR driver Kyle Petty

Kyle Eugene Petty was born June 2, 1960. He is a native of Randleman, North Carolina. He is the son of NASCAR racing legend Richard Petty. He currently drives the #45 Marathon Petroleum Company Dodge Charger for Petty Enterprises. Petty originally did not intend to become a race car driver. He was a star in many sports in high school, including football and basketball and received scholarship offers from many colleges. However, Kyle did eventually decide to follow in his father’s footsteps and he won his first stock car race, the ARCA 200 event at Daytona International Speedway in 1979 using a retired (but refurbished) 1978 Dodge Magnum race car that his father campaigned the previous year. He then tried to enter the Winston Cup soon after that, but crashed during qualifying in March, May, and just before the July 4th Daytona races. Using one of the few remaining Magnums (the others were wrecked beyond repair), Kyle qualified for the August 1979 Talledega race and finished a very respectable 9th place. The following year, 1980, when spare cars were available, Kyle raced as often as he could, but did not have a successful year, driving as a teammate to his father at Petty Enterprises. He left his father’s team in 1985 to drive for the Wood Brothers team. His first Winston Cup win came the following next year, 1986, at Richmond International Raceway. Petty returned to driving for Petty Enterprises in 1996 and is now CEO of that team. Petty’s son Adam Petty had begun a promising career in racing as well, but was killed in 2000 in a practice accident at New Hampshire International Speedway. Upon his son’s death, Petty finished the 2000 season racing his son’s car in the Busch Series. Petty is active in many charitable causes, such as the Victory Junction Gang Camp for terminally-ill children, which he established to honor his late son, as well as an annual charity motorcycle ride across the country.

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