Kyle Petty Recalls Daytona ARCA Triumph
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Petty family name has long been synonymous with Daytona International Speedway and stock car racing.
And, as the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards gets ready to descend on Daytona for its 50th annual race at the famous speedway on February 16, the Petty name is once front-and-center.
That’s because none other than Kyle Petty picked up a victory in his first-ever stock race, the 1979 Daytona ARCA 200. His grandfather, Lee Petty, won the inaugural NASCAR Daytona 500 in 1959 and his father, Richard Petty, won seven Daytona 500 races.
“Winning the 1979 Daytona ARCA 200 is still one of my fondest moments in racing,” Petty recalled. “To win at Daytona, where my grandfather and father had so much success was a dream come true.”
Petty cruised to victory lane at Daytona in one of his famous father’s mothballed 1978 Dodge Magnum race cars. At that time the third generation Petty became the youngest driver to win a major-league stock car race.
“To win in my very first career start was unthinkable and amazing,” Petty said.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards will be celebrating its 50th race at Daytona this year with the Lucas Oil 200 Presented by MAVTV American Real. Prior to the race, which will be shown live on SPEED, more than a dozen past ARCA Daytona winners will be introduced to the crowd, including Petty.
“The entire ARCA community is just very proud and appreciative of the opportunity to race at Daytona,” said Ron Drager, president of ARCA. “It’s been a great relationship, and it’s evolved into the longest-running annual race on our schedule.”
The annual ARCA event at Daytona has helped launch the careers of some of the biggest names in the sport, including drivers like 1969 winner Benny Parsons and 2004 winner Kyle Busch.
“Looking back, to have your name on the same list as Benny Parsons, Ramo Stott, Nelson Stacy and Tim Richmond is an honor,” Petty said. “To win in my very first career start was unthinkable and amazing.”