Lee Petty

Lee Petty (* March 4, 1914 in Randleman, North Carolina, † April 5, 2000 in Greensboro, North Carolina) was an American touring car racer in the 1950s and 1960s. He was one of the pioneers of NASCAR, and one of its first superstars. Lee Petty is the father of NASCAR legend Richard Petty, grandfather of NASCAR driver Kyle Petty, and great-grandfather of Adam Petty.


Lee Petty arrived late at the age of 35 years of motorsport. The first race of his career, he went in 1949 at the Charlotte Speedway, not to be confused with the Charlotte Motor Speedway. The first eleven seasons, he finished among the top five in the championship. The Cup itself he won three times and the very first Daytona 500 in 1959.

Daytona 500 in 1959

During the introduction of the Daytona 500 race in 1959, Petty battled with Johnny Beauchamp for victory. The finish was so close that at first Beauchamp was declared the unofficial winner and the official result was announced only after three days. Also evaluation of a newsreel film Petty has been named the official winner of the race.

Petty Enterprises

Together with his sons, Maurice and Richard, the driver with the most victories ever achieved in NASCAR, he founded Petty Enterprises, one of the most successful teams in NASCAR.


  • Petty Enterprises 1949-1964
  • Gary Drake 1954


Lee Petty died on 5 April 2000 at 4:50 clock in the Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the age of 86 years a few weeks after he had surgery for an aneurysm subjected in the abdomen. Petty is buried at the Level Cross United Methodist Church Cemetery in Randleman.