Petty has hard time choosing favorite Daytona win, his thoughts

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla — Richard Petty will join a group of nine drivers who have won both a NASCAR Cup Series title and the DAYTONA 500 trophy to deliver the starting command for Sunday’s Great American Race (2:30 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN).

The high-profile names include Petty, Jeff Gordon, Bobby Allison, Bill Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Jarrett. Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, and reigning series champion Joey Logano will give the command Sunday as the sport celebrates its 75th Anniversary. Three of them – Johnson, Harvick and Logano – will then climb into their cars and compete in the DAYTONA 500.

Among those champions, NASCAR Hall of Famer Petty is the all-time winningest DAYTONA 500 competitor with seven victories.

“It’s really hard to say,” Petty said of choosing his favorite victory. “I’ve been fortunate to win seven races and two or three I probably shouldn’t have won but then there was two or three we had trouble and should have won. So, it all equals itself out.”

Petty maintains that out of all of Daytona wins, one that stick out to him the most is the way the 1976 Daytona 500 ended.

“The one that really haunts me is the ’76 race when [David] Pearson and myself crashed in Turn 4,” he admits. “That still bothers me, did I made the mistake, or did he make the mistake, must have been I made the mistake because I ran second.”

Petty says that a big reason that he was able to get to the 200 win mark was how strong he was in the Daytona 500. It set the tone for the rest of the year for his No. 43 team.

“If you look back at Richard Petty races, and probably the thing that made people stand out and pay attention was that I was winning the DAYTONA 500,” he continued. “If you win the DAYTONA 500, you’re a winner all year long. … Winning the DAYTONA 500 is winning NASCAR’s Super Bowl.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s