No lunch with... Richard Petty

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US racing category nominee #10: Richard Petty

No Lunch With… Richard Petty

Vol 90 No.3 – March 2014

A quiet superman who doesn’t brag about his 200 NASCAR wins, his seven championships or his charity work for disabled children

Writer Simon Taylor | Photographer Jessica Milligan

The great perk of this job is the privilege of getting to know, often quite well, so many talented, single-minded people who have carved out great careers in the cockpit, at the drawing board or in the pits. In doing so they’ve earned the respect of enthusiasts who understand that there is far more to motor racing than is seen by the general public in their weekend living rooms, imprisoned behind the rectangle of a television screen.

Quite apart from all those fine players, you occasionally come across a racer who stands out as being, in some indefinable way, on a different level from the rest. Away from the track this individual will tend to be quiet, distancing himself from the media hype and razzmatazz. In private life he may avoid the material trappings of success. Yet when he walks into a crowded room the buzz of conversation will die briefly, as everyone becomes aware of his presence. And when he is at the wheel, doing what he was born to do, sometimes his efforts will reach an almost superhuman level, increasing the illusion that he is not quite of our world.

Read the full story from March 2014

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