We’re back with another “Answers from The King.” Thank you to everyone that submitted questions. Enjoy!!
Q: How did you know you wanted to race?
RP: “I grew up around racing. My Daddy was a racer and I was always working on the car with my brother and cousin, Dale (Inman) After I got old enough, my father let me drive. I went to my first race, not really knowing what to expect, and after the race I told Dale, ‘Hey, I might like this driving part.’ From that point on, I just became the driver and it worked out pretty well.”
Q: If you had not become a professional race car driver, what job/career path do you think you would have taken?
RP: “You have to remember that racing is all I was ever around growing up. It’s really all I wanted to do. Working on the cars, racing the cars or just going to the races. That’s really what I was around all my life so I never gave anything else that much attention. I tell people it’s like being a farmer. If you’re born into a family that farms, you’re most likely going to farm. I just had a parent that chose racing and that’s what we did to feed our family.”
Q: Why did you retire from racing?
RP: “I don’t think I have really. I may not race the car any more, but I’m probably as busy as ever with running the race team, our Petty’s Garage company and things we do with Victory Junction Gang Camp. It has really never stopped. The only thing different is that I’m not behind the wheel. I don’t think I’ll ever officially retire. I just turned the keys to the car over to someone else to do the driving part.”
Q: What was your favorite memory from your father’s career?
RP: “Lee winning the 1959 Daytona 500 and it took him 3 days to get the win.”
Q: What is your favorite race track? Why?
RP: “Anyone that I won at (smiles). I’d probably say Daytona. It’s the sports most prestigious track for us and if you won there, especially the 500, sometimes that was bigger than winning the championship. They would introduce you as the Daytona 500 winner all year and that was a big deal. And having my 200th win come there was special too. I guess there are just a lot of memories from Daytona.”
Q: Do you still own the #43 Plymouth Superbird?
RP: “Yes it is in the Museum and I still own it.”