Richard Petty’s record 200 NASCAR Cup Series victories were scored across a wide spectrum of tracks – from tiny quarter-miles to the sport’s biggest and fastest. He won on dirt, on asphalt and on road courses. He won by fractions of a second and by multiple laps.
Of those 200 wins, some stand out, either because they were landmark victories, featured fantastic finishes or pushed Petty and/or the sport to greater heights.
A look at Petty’s top 10 victories:
Daytona International Speedway, Feb. 15, 1981
Petty won the Daytona 500 for the seventh and final time, thanks mainly to a late-race decision by crew chief Dale Inman to pit for fuel only. Inman was in tears in victory lane, and the racing world soon discovered that he was leaving his long-time home at Petty Enterprises.
North Wilkesboro Speedway, Oct. 1, 1967
Petty extended the longest race winning streak in NASCAR Cup history to a-never-will-happen-again 10 by finishing first at one of NASCAR’s oldest tracks. Petty beat Dick Hutcherson by more than two laps. The win was worth $4,725.
Darlington Raceway, Sept. 4, 1967
At a tough track that often frustrated him, Petty scored his only win in the Southern 500, leading 345 of the 364 laps.
Bowman Gray Stadium, Aug. 22, 1969
Petty registers his 100th Cup victory. The race was 250 laps on the 1/4-mile bullring—all of 62.5 miles. Petty won by four seconds over Bobby Isaac.
North Wilkesboro Speedway, Oct. 1, 1972
Petty’s famous feud with Bobby Allison reached its high (low?) point in this race as the two stars slammed into each repeatedly, including on the final lap. Petty, his car smoking, survived to take the checkered flag first.
Darlington Raceway, May 13, 1967
Petty scored his 55th Cup victory to take first place in career wins, passing his father, Lee.
Daytona International Speedway, Feb. 18, 1979
In a Daytona 500 that was shocking on several levels, Petty inherited the win when Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison crashed in the third turn on the final lap. Yarborough and Bobby Allison, Donnie’s brother, fought briefly in the infield after the wreck as a nationwide television audience watched.
Petty zoomed to the win and later walked into the press box for the winner’s press conference with this question: “Where’s the fight?”
Daytona International Speedway, Feb. 23, 1964
Petty began a career-long love affair with NASCAR’s most famous track by scoring the first of his seven Daytona 500 wins. Petty led a still-record 184 of 200 laps and beat runner-up Jimmy Pardue to the finish line by a little more than one lap. No other car on the track was within two laps of the lead at the end of the race.
Southern States Fairgrounds, Feb. 28, 1960
Every winner has to start somewhere. Petty scored his first Cup victory at Southern States Fairground in Charlotte, N.C., at the age of 22 and in his 35th start. Petty beat Rex White to the finish line by six car lengths. It was the first of three wins that season for Petty, who went on to finish second in the season championship to White.
Here, he's shown at Darlington, later that season, where he finished fifth.
Daytona International Speedway, July 4, 1984
Petty’s 200th—and last—win arrived in dramatic fashion as he beat Cale Yarborough to the finish (as the caution flag flew) by a whisker or two as they banged side to side. The win was enhanced by the presence of President Ronald Reagan, who witnessed the King’s victory finale.
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.