March 14, 1914 – Lee Petty is born

The patriarch of the Petty racing family, Lee Arnold Petty, was born on this day in 1914. Petty would begin his racing career at age 35, going on to participate in the first NASCAR race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and eventually winning the first Daytona 500 in 1959. Petty rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s as one of NASCAR’s first superstars. He was father to Richard Petty, grandfather to Kyle Petty and Ritchie Petty and great grandfather to Adam Petty, who was the first fourth generation driver in NASCAR. Adam died during a practice session crash at New Hampshire International Speedway in 2000. Lee Petty passed away just three days after Adam’s Winston Cup Series debut at the age of 86. Illustration of Petty with his 1949 Plymouth Coupe (below) and 1959 Oldsmobile.

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