Petty, Richard, 1937–, American auto racing driver, b. Level Cross, N.C. The son of Lee Petty, a champion stock car race driver, he won a record 200 National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing races, among them a record seven Daytona 500s, in his 35-year career (1958–92). He was also the career leader in starts and money earned. "King Richard" won the Winston Cup (now the Sprint Cup), emblematic of NASCAR supremacy, seven times (1964, 1967, 1971–72, 1974–75, 1979), a record later equaled by Dale Earnhardt.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.