Racing Royalty: Petty lineage back in spotlight at Daytona

Driver Todd Gilliland speaks to the media during the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race media day Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Driver Todd Gilliland speaks to the media in the course of the NASCAR Daytona 500 vehicle race media day Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, at Daytona Intercontinental Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photograph/Chris O’Meara)


Thad Moffitt is much more apt to dress in a baseball cap than a feathered cowboy hat. And when he’s out on a day night with his girlfriend at the bowling alley or the beach front, he wears sneakers — not cowboy boots.

Moffitt could not request his grandpa for significantly manner guidance.

But when it comes to automobiles, very well, who far better to seek suggestions from than NASCAR’s King?

“He’s a really smart dude,” Moffit mentioned.

Moffitt does share bonds with grandpa Richard Petty, at the very least on the keep track of: The 21-year-aged Truck Series driver makes his NASCAR national series debut in the No. 43, with race family sponsor STP on the truck in Friday night’s period opener.

Moffitt will break out the truck in Daytona, in which grandpa gained 7 Daytona 500s and wonderful-grandpa Lee Petty won the extremely initially a single in 1959 in an Oldsmobile.

No tension, kid.

Richard Petty, who at 84 continues to be the experience of Richard Petty Motorsports, is synonymous with NASCAR. With that looping script in the R and P, he’s very likely signed extra autographs than any athlete, ever. He’s even spry sufficient to star in commercials with Moffitt.

“He’s a definitely big section of almost everything I have done in my career so significantly,” Moffitt claimed Thursday.

The Petty pipeline operates deep in NASCAR: Lee Petty is a NASCAR Corridor of Famer and father of The King. Richard Petty’s son, Kyle, gained 8 periods in the Cup Sequence and is now a broadcaster. His son, Adam, was in the commencing of his NASCAR career when he was killed at 19 through exercise at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Brian Moffitt is CEO at Petty Motorsports and his wife, Rebecca, is Richard Petty’s daughter.

“It’s just heading to be really great for me to insert to the legacy this weekend,” Moffitt explained.

Moffitt is driving a truck out of Reaume Brothers Racing, and GMS Racing will give specialized and engineering help.

The blue-and-orange paint scheme on the truck pays homage to the 30th anniversary of Petty’s “Fan Appreciation Tour” from his 1992 retirement period. Petty retired as NASCAR’s profession Cup wins leaders with 200.

“To have Thad racing with STP at Daytona, a position that our family members has been so profitable at, is just really exclusive to me personally,” Petty mentioned. “Obviously, I’ve viewed Thad’s vocation expand and he is prepared for this subsequent action. It will be wonderful to see a different member of the Petty loved ones racing with STP.”

Moffitt was winless in 44 starts off in the small-level ARCA Collection and scored 8 best-five finishes. Moffitt will contend in a hybrid program this period which will incorporate 12 to 15 Truck Series races, ARCA, Late Design, and Trans AM.

“Grandpa hardly ever really wanted me to race a truck,” Moffitt said. “He normally thought I need to go from a car straight to a auto. From ACRA to Xfinity. Which is the explanation we ran ARCA for so extended.”

Moffitt hopes he can hang with the veteran contenders in his to start with race.

Ben Rhodes, whose tipsy submit-race push convention from Phoenix Raceway went viral in NASCAR circles, returns to defend his championship for ThorSport Racing, a Truck Sequence group since 1996 dependent in Ohio. Rhodes gained the fourth motorists championship for ThorSport — the workforce received in 2013, 2014 and 2019 with Matt Crafton — but it was the very first proprietor championship for Duke and Rhonda Thorson.

“Honestly, I remember up to the press conference,” a stone-cold sober Rhodes explained Thursday. “(It) acquired a very little fuzzy in there and then they give me a bunch of drinking water and like snacks, and then I diluted the beverages in the system and then it became unforgettable once again.”

Matt DiBenedetto is a Vehicles rookie after a winless Cup job flamed out soon after 248 races and just one controversial ending. DiBenedetto, admittedly sour right after getting rid of his experience with Wooden Brothers Racing, appeared in films about NASCAR’s championship weekend at Phoenix Raceway declaring “Let’s Go Brandon” and socializing with a conservative social media character. DiBenedetto later apologized for his actions.


Extra AP auto racing: and activities

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