50th Anniversary Celebrations at Thunder Road

Monday, April 13 2009 @ 10:34 AM EDT

Contributed by: ACT Staff

Richard Petty, stock car racing’s all-time Champion, will appear at Barre’s Thunder Road as part of the track’s season-long 50th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday Night, July 30th. The 7-time National Champion, and record 7-time Daytona 500 mile winner, holds the record of 200 major wins in what is now the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. His closest rival on that win list is David Pearson at 105, with Cale Yarborough and Bobby Allison tied for third at 84.
Petty is considered the cornerstone of the sport’s popularity and growth. Thunder Road’s history parallels the Petty legend. The Level Cross, North Carolina native won his first race in 1960 on a half-mile dirt track in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Petty name still dominates the sport 17 years after he retired as a driver. Many consider his 27 wins--including 10 in a row in 1967--the greatest single season performance in NASCAR history.

Petty scored his final checkered flag in a dramatic duel by less then 2 feet over Cale Yarborough at Daytona in 1988. He continued in active competition until 1992 and has maintained a Petty Racing Team since. This year he is entering a car for the Indianapolis 500 with John Andretti driving.
“Richard set the bar not only as a driver but as the sport’s spokesman and still does today”, said Thunder Road co-owner Ken Squier. “No one made themselves so available to fans or to the press as Richard. You could find him signing autographs hours after a race. He even created a signature that took an extra moment to write as he wanted to look a fan in the eye, and thank them for their support”, said Squier.
Bobby Allison, Petty’s major adversary for over 20 years, will also appear at Thunder Road on Thursday night June 18.
            One of the most exciting stars currently racing, Tony Stewart will actually compete at Barre in the 150 lap CARQUEST Governor's Cup, Thursday June 25th.
Thunder Road commences its 2009 campaign Sunday, May 3 with The 11th annual Merchant’s Bank 150 as part of a two-day kick-off with the Annual Barre Race Car Show and judging on Barre's Main Street Saturday, May 2nd.
Season tickets are available by contacting Thunder Road at 802.244.6963.
For additional information contact the Thunder Road office at 802.244.6963 or media@acttour.com