Richard Petty is widely recognized as the greatest driver that NASCAR has seen. Petty remains involved with the sport that earned him iconic status with the generations of talent that followed him. With that in mind, the Hall of Famer revealed he holds a prized possession that he values more than anything he accomplished on the NASCAR track.
Richard Petty’s illustrious NASCAR career
Richard Petty has earned clear-cut recognition by many as the greatest driver in NASCAR history.
Petty strung together an incredible career that spanned over three decades in the sport. It featured a record of 200 Cup Series wins, seven Cup Series championships, and 712 top-ten finishes. Petty still holds various marks for the most wins in a season (27 in 1967), consecutive wins (10 in 1967), pole positions (123), starts (1,185), and most second-place finishes (157).
Petty also remains atop the all-time leader board with seven Daytona 500 wins and most consecutive seasons with a victory (18). Many of the NASCAR records he holds will stand the test of time, which only speak greater about his utter dominance on the track.
“The King” is the gold standard that all other drivers strive to experience that type of success. He helped pave the way for the many others that followed him while being a vital source of motivation. His excellence on the track also lifted the sport to greater heights it hadn’t been before.
Despite all that, Petty’s most prized possession is something that isn’t NASCAR related.
Richard Petty’s most prized possession isn’t NASCAR related
Richard Petty experienced a tremendous amount of success throughout his Hall of Fame career.
Over the years, Petty has kept many pieces from his time on the track in his vast garage collection. However, the seven-time Cup Series champion revealed during an interview with In Depth With Graham Bensinger in April 2015 that his most prized possession is his Presidential Medal of Freedom.
“This is something that if you wanted, you couldn’t get it,” Petty said. “There wouldn’t be enough money in the world to get you one of those.”
Petty received that honor in 1992 from then-president George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush. It’s a moment that he cherishes tremendously behind his museum-like shrine to the distinction.
The fact that it is the most valuable piece in his collection that includes many iconic cars shows that it outweighs anything he accomplished on the NASCAR track.
Passion for racing remains
Beyond the connections to the NASCAR record books through his sheer dominance on the track, Richard Petty remains securely associated with the sport.
The Hall of Famer launched Richard Petty Racing in 2000 that competes in the Cup Series. The company initially started as a two-car operation. It now fields Erik Jones as the full-time driver in the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro that holds a partnership with Richard Childress Racing.
Petty remains active around the sport through interviews and other prominent events. He was part of the first class of inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010, which marked the fourth such honor he received following his illustrious driving career.
The 83-year-old may be moving up in age, but it hasn’t pulled him away from the sport where he made his name. His continued involvement has only further strengthened his influence. Beyond that, Petty has his legacy forever etched into NASCAR lure.