The Passion of a Race Fan
Tuesday February 23 2016, 8:19 PM

The Passion of a Race Fan

Legendtorial for February 23, 2016

LegendAfter all my years in and around NASCAR racing, I am convinced there is no great passion or any fan of any sport than that of race fans. Back in my early days, it was sort of split between the car makes and the drivers. I was always a fan of Richard Petty but in 1969 when he changed to Ford, he and I had a major falling out. I mean we actually discussed it more than once and I think Richard got real pleasure out of "pulling my chain" so to speak. It was really so intense that he actually sent me a note, long before it was announced publicly, that he would be back in a Plymouth in 1970. Being the magnanimous human being, I am (ha-ha) I forgave him. When he went to Dodge, no biggie, because actually it was another Mopar. By the time he went to Chevrolet, I really didn't care what he drove as long as he was out there winning races. In fact, I was quoted in the "Daily Home" newspaper from Talladega on August 7, 1979, in what turned out to be a front-page article of an interview with a reporter in the Talladega Infield. He asked me how I felt about Richard's change to Chevy. I responded, "Richard writes the record books, NASCAR writes the rule books. When NASCAR writes rules that prevent Richard from being competitive, then Richard had to do something to continue writing the record books". That is not one of the world's oft-repeated quotes, but I still have that front-page article hanging on the wall here in my home office.

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