Petty 75: The 10 Most Impressive Richard Petty NASCAR Records

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Petty 75: 10 Most Impressive Richard Petty RecordsRacingOne

Richard Petty has a dominant grip on many pages in the NASCAR record book.

The King’s long and successful driving career put him in position to put up some stellar numbers, some of which won’t be challenged no matter the strengths of current drivers or drivers to come.

A look at Petty’s top 10 records:

*Most Autographs: 1,000,000

Obviously, there is no scientific way to measure the number of autographs Petty has signed over the past 65 years, but it’s entirely safe to estimate at least 1 million (and probably many more).

No one else in the sport’s history is even close. Indeed, very few professional athletes are even close.


* — Unofficial, of course.

nascar driver richard petty
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Most Single-Track Wins: 15

Petty won 15 races at both Martinsville Speedway (pictured) and North Wilkesboro Speedway.

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Most Wins From the Pole: 61

No one is a challenger in this category. David Pearson, Petty’s long-time rival, is second with 37.

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Most Poles: 123

Thanks largely to the work of Petty’s brother, Maurice, who built strong engines, and his cousin, Dale Inman, the team leader, Richard could be counted on to have one of the best cars at almost every stop for most of his career. This expertise, and Petty’s driving skill, led to a mountain of first-place starting spots.

Second on the list is David Pearson with 113. Leader among active drivers heading into the 2024 season is Denny Hamlin with 40.

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Most Season Championships: 7 (tie)

Petty logged Cup titles in 1964, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975 and 1979. Dale Earnhardt and Jimmie Johnson came along to tie that record, but no one has beaten it. And no one will.

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Most Cup Series Starts: 1,185

Petty’s report card showed nearly perfect attendance across three-plus decades. Runner-up on this list is Ricky Rudd at 906.

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Most Daytona 500 Wins: 7

The Petty name and Daytona International Speedway became synonymous. Although Dale Earnhardt, David Pearson, Jeff Gordon and others had star runs at NASCAR’s most famous track, Petty enjoyed the ultimate success in the sport’s biggest race.

Second on this list is Cale Yarborough with four.

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Most Cup Wins in Single Season: 27 (1967)

Petty ran 48 races in the 1967, winning 27, a staggering total. He started the season relatively slowly but kicked into high gear in the summer, scoring 10 straight victories and making a mockery of the year on his way to the championship. He finished out of the top 10 only eight times in 48 events.

Think anyone will be able to touch that record. Consider that the biggest winners of this era, Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, had season-best win marks of 13 and 10, respectively.

richard petty 1967 daytona 500
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Most Career Wins: 200

The Petty record that will never be challenged. Petty’s win list runs from sea to shining sea and from big tracks (Daytona and Talladega) to tiny bullrings long forgotten (Macon, Ga. and Maryville, Tenn.). With today’s Cup schedule dramatically reduced from the marathons of the 1960s, no one will have a shot at touching Petty’s total.

Second on this list is David Pearson with 105.

richard petty 1964 daytona 500 vl
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Most Consecutive Wins: 10 (1967)

Petty’s blue Plymouth reeled off 10 wins in a row in his brilliant 1967 season. Remarkably, all 10 wins were scored in the same car, one painted Petty blue with “Plymouth by Petty” on the quarter-panels. The streak began Aug. 12 in Winston-Salem, N.C. and ran through North Wilkesboro, N.C. Oct. 1.

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Editor's note: This year, the Petty family is celebrating 75 years of NASCAR racing, and Autoweek is coming along for the ride with a series of "Petty 75" stories written by reporters who have been covering the King and his family for more than 50 of those years. In addition, be sure to check out the Petty family's own social media channels throughout the year and join in the party. Content will be featured on the @therichardpetty, @pettybrothersracing, @kylepetty, @pettymuseum and @pettysgarage social media accounts as well as a soon-to-launch YouTube channel.

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