How bout this for "Inspiration" - Posted by Petty Cash

Posted by eric on April 20, 2000 at 21:53:15:

I only skimmed this, since I’m not a racing fan, and I’m not trying to be rude, but - what does this have to do with real estate?

How bout this for “Inspiration” - Posted by Petty Cash

Posted by Petty Cash on April 20, 2000 at 15:15:27:

Pettys carry on after patriarch’s death
By Paul Newberry
AP Sports Writer
(April 20, 2000)
Even after Lee Petty left racing nearly four
decades ago, he still poked his head inside the
family’s garage every week to offer advice.

"Here’s where you messed up … what went
wrong … what you should have done Sunday,"
he would tell the drivers and crew.

But the patriarch of NASCAR’s first family of
racing doesn’t come around anymore. Petty died
April 5 of complications from a stomach
aneurysm, leaving behind a dynasty that still
loves to drive fast but is struggling to cope at
slower speeds without the man who got it all
started.

“It’s been pretty hard on us,” grandson Kyle
said. “The one thing that has helped is the outpouring from the fans. My grandmother has been amazed …
that’s been a big help for her to know there are that many people out there who knew who Lee Petty was
and what he had done.”

The pioneer driver and greatest star of the 1950s won 55 races, still seventh-best in NASCAR history,
and three Grand National – now the NASCAR Winston Cup Series – championships.

In 1959, he become the photo-finish winner of the first Daytona 500.

Petty’s legacy goes beyond his own accomplishments, though.

One son, Richard, became The King of stock car racing with a record 200 victories and seven
championships. Another son, Maurice, was the family’s engine builder.

Richard’s son, Kyle, is now in his 20th year as a NASCAR Winston Cup Series regular, and has taken
over the day-to-day business of running Petty Enterprises. Kyle’s son, 19-year-old Adam, made his debut
in Texas just three days before Lee’s death, making the Pettys the first four-generation family of
NASCAR racers.

Lee’s passing was not unexpected – he was 86 and had been in failing health since undergoing surgery in
February – but it’s been especially hard on his widow, Elizabeth, and their two sons.

“I’ve seen my father in 10 million different situations in his lifetime, from laying in a hospital bed to
standing on top of his car in the Daytona 500 Victory Lane,” Kyle said. “But I don’t think I’ve ever seen
him this emotional about anything.”

Together, the family had struggled, suffered and endured. When Richard and Maurice were young
children, the Petty home in Level Cross, N.C., burned down. Maurice was stricken with polio. Lee was
seriously injured in 1961 during a qualifying race at Daytona, effectively ending his driving career.

“I think the bond that those four people had was an
incredible bond,” Kyle said. “All families are that way to
some degree. But for this family, it just seemed to be a
lot more intense. I think it’s been hard for them to adjust
to him not being there.”

The eldest Petty lived out his days in a modest white
bungalow near where he founded his racing organization
in a farm shed more than a half-century ago. In his later years, he still walked through what became a
sprawling complex almost daily and would practice his golf swing in front of his home.

But he had no interest in cashing in on NASCAR’s amazing surge in popularity over the past decade.

“He never thought of himself as anything but Lee Petty, who just happened to drive a race car and put
food on the table,” Kyle said.

Lee was intensely competitive, even protesting when it appeared Richard had won his first race at a
North Carolina dirt track in 1959. Race officials later changed their ruling and declared Lee the winner.

Earlier that year, it took NASCAR a while to decide it had erred in declaring Johnny Beauchamp the
Daytona winner. Petty got the trophy, Beauchamp the congratulatory kiss.

Kyle Petty said his grandfather’s motives in the North Carolina race are misunderstood to this day.

“The reason he protested was because he had a late-model car, and the race paid a couple of hundred
dollars more for a late-model car to win than it did for my father’s car to win,” Kyle said. “And that’s
what it was all about to him, putting food on the table.”

After crashing at Daytona, the elder Petty raced occasionally, then retired in 1964.

“Once he walked away, he just walked away,” Kyle said. “He didn’t care about all the hoopla and all
that stuff that went on when NASCAR had their 50th (anniversary). If they didn’t call, it didn’t bother
him.”

In the past year, there have been more changes at Petty Enterprises. Richard still signs off on major
decisions, but little else.

These days, he might stop by the track on race day, but is more inclined to be at his second home in the
mountains of Wyoming or traveling the country with his nine grandchildren.

“He doesn’t have to do this anymore,” Kyle said. “Finally, he has gotten to the point in his career where
he wants to know something different.”

The Pettys – Kyle is joined by John Andretti in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series – have struggled with
engine problems this season. They are hopeful that a switch next year from Pontiac to the new Dodge
improve their fortunes.

If not?

“This is all we do,” Kyle said. “We race cars.”