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At 85 years of age, Richard Petty appears to be defying time. He’s still as sharp as ever and informative when talking about the sport where he made his name. This week the King made a guest appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, where he talked about a variety of topics, including safety around the Next Gen car and the recent news that Noah Gragson would be joining the Petty GMS Cup team in 2023. At one point in the conversation, the NASCAR Hall of Famer took a detour and talked about a younger Kyle Petty during his racing days and bluntly called out his son for his cheating ways.   

Richard Petty talks about Noah Gragson joining Erik Jones in 2023

This week, Richard Petty took part in Petty GMS Fan Day, where he and the team, including son Kyle, signed autographs and visited with fans. The main players from the organization also appeared on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio throughout the day.

During the King’s appearance, he was asked about the addition of Noah Gragson next season and what he thought about the JR Motorsports driver.   

“That’s going to be the excitement because you never know what he’s going to come up with,” Petty said. “He’s a completely different individual than Erik. One is just real calm. Erik just sort of goes along with everything. And Noah comes in jumping and hollering. So you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth, or how he’s going to dress, or what he’s going to do. But the big deal is he’s getting the job done in the Xfinity deal, and I feel like he can do the same thing in the Cup Series.”

Petty gives son dose of own medicine, calls him out for cheating

Several minutes later during the conversation, Petty was asked if Gragson’s flair reminded him of son Kyle in his younger days. The legendary driver offered a surprising response. 

“He did his own thing, OK,” Petty said of his son. “He didn’t listen to his dad. Him and Mike Beam, who runs the shop here today, they grew up together. 20-year-old kids. Man, they had all kinds of ideas — how to cheat, how to do this. I think they spent more time trying to figure out how to break the rules than they did about racing. They had a big time. That was the way it was then. Again, so much different today.” 

Kyle Petty calls out drivers

Kyle Petty and Richard Petty pose for photo
Kyle Petty (L) and his father Richard Petty attend day 1 of Autorama at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan. | Photo by Paul Warner/Getty Images

Kyle Petty Doesn’t Sugarcoat Thoughts on Kyle Busch Going to Richard Childress Racing in 2023: ‘It Is a Move in the Wrong Direction’

Richard Petty calling out his son was a surprise moment during the interview. However, it shouldn’t have been. NASCAR fans who’ve watched NBC’s coverage just this season alone have watched Kyle do the exact same thing on multiple occasions. 

As of late, Kyle Busch has been the younger Petty’s target, including recent remarks during a Countdown to Green prerace show when he talked about the Joe Gibbs Racing driver’s unknown future and how he had to be willing to sacrifice.  

“He’s earned the right to ask for a lot of money, but if the market won’t bear it, tough stuff, dude,” Petty said. “It’s like that in any business. This is a business. It’s a sport this afternoon, but it’s a business every other day. Sometimes you have to compromise. You have to look different. 

“This should be a cautionary tale for every young race car driver out there. You’re only worth what the market will bear. No matter how many races you win. This guy’s won 60 races, two championships. No matter what you do as a winner, you’ve got to do stuff off the race track. 

“And the times are changing. You have to change with it. He’s going to have to compromise a little bit. He’s going to have to look a little bit different. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. You’ve got to be away from home sometimes. That’s the nature of the business of being a race car driver. And I hate to be blunt like that, but he’s got to compromise from where he’s at and figure out what works for him and his family and for the sport as long as he wants to drive a race car.”

One Kyle calling out another. Now we know where he got it from. 

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