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NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Lee Petty

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Stock Car Racing Topics:  NASCAR, Lee Petty

NASCAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony: Lee Petty

Maurice Petty
May 23, 2011


KERRY THARP: Representing Lee Petty of the Petty family is Maurice Petty.
Maurice, just talk about tonight's event, the induction of your dad into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
MAURICE PETTY: I want to tell you something, that's a hard act to follow, that David Pearson. He's something else. Anyway, what do you want to know?
It was great being here. I enjoyed it. I really appreciate them asking me to represent him. I'm just tickled to death that I was part of helping him get in it and helping Richard get in it. I get a good feeling out of that.
KERRY THARP: Questions for Maurice.

Q. I believe Kyle suggested that you should be the next Petty to go into the Hall of Fame. How do you feel about that?
MAURICE PETTY: That would be great. That would be a pretty good group, I hope, with Lee and Richard and myself in it. I'm looking forward to it happening.
I think it will happen. It's just a matter of time. I hope I'm still alive when it does happen.

Q. Maurice, obviously Richard turned out to be a pretty good driver. How much did you consider getting behind the wheel? Did you try it? When did you finally decide that Richard was going to be better than you were at driving a car?
MAURICE PETTY: I didn't drive but 26 races. That's right after that time I was trying to race a little bit. Dad got hurt. When he got hurt, we didn't have no money. I mean, we were flat broke as far as when we came back from Daytona. We tore up two racecars. He told us, he was laying there all beat up and banged up, said, Go on home, get the racecar ready, go on to the next race.
We went back, got all the marbles together, made it to the next race, made it to the next race, the next race. It all evolved out of what Richard and myself accomplished of Lee getting hurt.

Q. We have the Pettys, the Frances, the Earnhardts. What makes NASCAR such a family sport?
MAURICE PETTY: I look at it from the ground that there wasn't that much of, I hate to keep bringing it up, but money. There wasn't that much money around. It took a family working together in order to succeed in racing.
KERRY THARP: Maurice, congratulations to you and your family and continued best wishes. Thank you for being here tonight.
MAURICE PETTY: All right. Thank y'all.

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