June 16, 2016

Father’s Day

Welcome to the Richard Petty Motorsports blog! Here at Richard Petty Motorsports we want to bring you, the fans, into our world: the world of racing. We will follow the royal family of NASCAR, the most historical team and its members, and bring you insights no one else can!\r\n\r\nAfter a long weekend in the Irish Hills of Michigan, the Richard Petty Motorsports team is preparing for some time spent away from the track.  Although the NASCAR XFINITY Series will be racing in Iowa this weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will resume action next week at Sonoma Raceway in California. What’s the reason for this time off? To celebrate fathers, uncles, and grandfathers all across the nation.\r\n

Richard Petty

\r\nWe caught up to three of Richard “The King” Petty’s four children this week to find out what they think of their father, and what it was like growing up with an American Icon as a parent.\r\n\r\nRichard Petty’s youngest daughter, Rebecca (Petty) Moffitt serves as the Executive Director for the Petty Family Foundation. “When people ask me what it’s like to have Richard Petty as a father, I tell them I have nothing to compare it to,” says, Rebecca. “He’s the best dad ever!”\r\n\r\nSharon (Petty) Farlow helped her sister, Rebecca, open the Petty Museum in its earliest stages. After her retirement from teaching, she rejoined the Petty Museum family in 2015 and now helps to organize and display her family’s history. “It’s great to have someone to look up to and admire,” says Sharon. “There are not many heroes left in the world today. It’s awesome to call my hero and the person that I look up to and admire, ‘Daddy’!”\r\n\r\nOnly one of Petty’s children decided to take after their father and make a career of racing. Kyle Petty, the oldest of the Petty children, is now announcing on NBC Sports during NASCAR Sprint Cup and XFINITY Series races. “Growing up, my dad was always my hero,” says Kyle. “I still look up to him and always will!”\r\n\r\nrp and Kp\r\n\r\nSunday, June 15, 1980 was a special day for Petty’s children. At Michigan International Speedway, all four of Petty’s children served as the Grand Marshals for that weekend’s racing festivities. “We were all feeling a million emotions but were excited, nervous and proud,” says Sharon. “We knew it was a special day!” Not many children have served as Grand Marshals in NASCAR’s top series. In April of 2015, Jeff Gordon’s children followed in the Petty’s footsteps and were Grand Marshals for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. No word yet on whose children will be the next to hold this prestigious position.\r\n

Aric Almirola

\r\nAric Almirola, Richard Petty Motorsports driver of the No. 43 Smithfield Ford, shared what being a father means to him.\r\n\r\n“Being a dad has definitely changed everything for me. Pre-kids, everything revolved around racing. But, once my son Alex was born, I was no longer focused on the car once I got out and left the garage. I started going back to my bus and being totally focused on playing with Alex or getting on FaceTime with him and my wife Janice if they weren’t at the track. But, the coolest part of that early time with Alex was that my on track performance improved after he was born. It helped that I had a crew chief that was not only building me fast race cars but was also encouraging my focus on my family. It was a great situation to find myself in.”\r\n\r\nAA and kids\r\n\r\nHe explains the importance of being able to have his entire family at the track with him on the weekends.\r\n\r\n“Now that Alex is almost four years old and my daughter, Abby, is two years old, we’re able to travel out to the tracks together for the full weekend. They’re starting to walk through driver introductions with me and hop in the ride-around trucks with me. And, sometimes we’ll play with matchbox cars on the grid before it’s time to get in the race car. We’ve really been able to spend quality time together at the race track and make great memories as a family.”\r\n

Brian Scott

\r\nRPM Rookie, Brian Scott, also reflects on what being a father has meant to him and the positivity of adoption.\r\n\r\n“In all honesty, deciding to get married and have kids is daring, and may be one of the most daring things I’ve ever done. However, it’s also one of the most rewarding things to become a dad to both Brielle and Jojo. As everyone knows, I adopted Brielle when I married Whitney. So often, people consider women that might have children from a previous relationship a negative thing when in all actuality, I really feel like it’s a positive. You’re getting not just one person who loves you – you’re getting two. If you nurture it in the right way and you commit to it, it’s a welcome addition and a positive thing in so many ways. Then, we grew our family when we had Jojo, and Brielle really loves being a big sister to Jojo.”\r\n\r\nDAYTONA BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 21:  Michael Waltrip, driver of the #83 Maxwell House Toyota, and Brian Scott, driver of the #44 Albertsons Co./Shore Lodge Ford, are introduced prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series DAYTONA 500 at Daytona International Speedway on February 21, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)\r\n\r\nWhen asked about one of his favorite aspects of being a father he responded;“Just being there for the kids and enjoying family moments together, playing with them, hearing them laugh and seeing them smile — all of those things are so much better than any of the negative aspects people like to bring up about having kids. It’s not baggage — it’s great addition to my life.”\r\n\r\nbs and fam\r\n\r\nHats off to you, fathers! From all of us at Richard Petty Motorsports, we thank you for all of your love and support over the years. From useless knowledge to the most serious of life lessons, we’ve picked it all up from you and wouldn’t have it any other way; Happy Father’s Day!\r\n\r\n