Richard Petty is one of the greatest race car drivers of all time. Richard Petty own 200 races at the top level of the sport as well as winning 7 championships at the top level. Although you may not be a NASCAR driver you can still pick up some tips from “The King”.
1. Be Respectful of other Drivers
Although Petty did have a few problems with some of the other racers, in general he was considered to be very polite to the other racers. Petty would even go out of his way to offer advice to younger drivers in the pits if they asked him. Road rage can affect a lot of people, but it is better to be respectful of other drivers, even when they don't deserve it.
2. Consistently Drive
The more you drive then the better your driving skills will get. It does not matter if you are a high school teen in a drivers education class or a professional NASCAR driver like Tony Stewart, your skills will improve as you drive more.
Many NASCAR drivers who announce their retirement will drive a limited schedule for their final year. These NASCAR drivers will pick and choose a few events to race in, and then slowly ease out of the driving. Richard Petty announced that 1992 would be his final year racing before he retired as a driver, and then he proceeded to race every event!
3. Develop Safety Features When Needed
In 1970 Richard Petty was in a terrible wreck while racing during the Rebel 400 at Darlington. His car flipped numerous times and his head hit the ground multiple times. Because of this accident Petty helped to develop the now iconic racing net that covers the drivers side windows of race cars through out the world. If you experience a potential safety problem with your car then look for ways that you can help to improve the safety.
4. Listen to Your Father
Your father may not always be right, however he may be able to help guide you to a safe driving career. Lee Petty is Richard Petty's dad, and he was a pretty awesome driver. Richard Petty wanted to start racing at the NASCAR Grand National level sooner, but Lee would not let him until he was older. Richard Petty went on to become the most successful NASCAR driver ever. Lee truly offered some golden advice to his son.
Petty understood how to properly utilize drafting when racing. Although you may not be looking to slingshot around the vehicle in front of you on the highway, you can still benefit from the increased fuel economy. Sometimes Petty would have to draft in order to conserve fuel. If the driver in front of him ran low on fuel he would have had to stop in the pits to get some more gas while Petty was able to cruise on to victory because he was able to conserve his gas by drafting.
6. Listen to Your Pit Crew
Richard Petty had a great relationship with his pit crew and definitely would take their advice. Petty worked with his pit crew because he knew he would not have a chance of winning the race without his pit crew. Although you may not have a NASCAR put crew to work on the family mini-van, you do have the tire techs at your local tire shop as well as your auto mechanic. If you get tire guys and an auto mechanic that you trust then it will help to alleviate many concerns you may have. If your mechanic tells you that you need to get something fixed then do it. Your finish line might not be a checkered flag, but you would hate to have your mini-van break down as you take you kids to school. Find mechanics and tire techs you can trust, and then listen to their advice and guidance for your family automobile.
7. Brand Loyalty
Richard Petty loved Pontiac and MOPAR, as did many of his fans. Although Petty would of liked to remain with one particular brand of car, he did change brands when the factory would no longer offer their support. In 1971 Chrysler dropped their factory support of Petty, and he in return dropped them for a company that would support him.
You may prefer a Ford or Chevy, but if a Dodge dealership will give you better support then you should consider switching car brands. Factory support is very important, even if you are only driving a family mini-van.
8. Pull Over When Tired
A lot of accidents are caused by people who fall asleep at the wheel. If you get tired you need to pull over and take a nap. Falling asleep at the wheel is very dangerous, and even Richard Petty knew this. In 1992, his final season of racing,Petty qualified second at the Pepsi 400. Petty went on to lead the first 5 laps of the race but then dropped out of the race on lap 84 because he was tired. With so many people watching on that July 4th day it would have been easy for Petty to try and force himself to finish the race, but he knew that he was too tired to continue and he voluntarily pulled himself out of the race so he did not endanger the other racers who were all alert.
9. Know When To Retire
Richard Petty knew when he should retire and did not try to race longer. Although he still at the desire to race, he was no longer physically able to race a full time NASCAR schedule. Many older drivers keep driving way past the time they safely can. Some people are in their 90's and drive fine, but others lose perphieral vision and the ability to safely drive which is dangerous and potentially lethal no only for the driver but also pedestrians and other cars. If you can no longer safely drive a vehicle then you need to quit driving. Richard Petty Retired drom racing, but is still active in NASCAR.