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Richard Petty to be presented with Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award

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Photo courtesy the Petty Family Foundation.

Racing drivers are very seldom household names in the United States, but Richard Petty is surely an exception to this rule. Petty is known simply as “The King” to his legions of fans, and no NASCAR driver has ever won more races, more Daytona 500s or more events in a single season (27, in 1967). On March 27, Petty will be presented with the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award at a gala dinner held at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.

In the words of the Petersen Museum’s executive director, Terry Karges, “Stock car racing is one of the most uniquely American forms of motorsport and nobody casts as big of a shadow in that world as Richard Petty. His larger-than-life persona and incredible talent behind the wheel have done more for the sport than just about anyone else, and we’re thrilled to help him celebrate his 80th birthday.”

The evening will include a question-and-answer session, featuring special guests Jeff Gordon, Kyle Petty, Rusty Wallace and NASCAR vice-chairman Mike Helton. Chairing the discussion will be Mike Joy, the lap-by-lap announcer for Fox Sports’ NASCAR broadcast team.

Barrett-Jackson will be on hand hosting a live auction, too, and expected lots include a 2017 Ford Mustang Richard Petty 80th Tribute Edition (designed by Petty himself); a custom drawing featuring Cars star Lightning McQueen and Petty; a Charlie 1 Horse cowboy hat worn by Petty; and a custom-painted Tennessee Electric Guitar honoring Petty’s seven NASCAR championships. Proceeds from the auction, and from a mobile silent auction taking place from March 9 – 23, will benefit the Petersen Automotive Museum and the Petty Family Foundation.

Past recipients of the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award include Dan Gurney, drag racing pioneer Art Chrisman, Carroll Shelby, George Barris, Andy Granatelli, The Ford Family, Vic Edelbrock, Jack Roush, Ed Iskenderian, Speedway Motors founder “Speedy” Bill Smith, So-Cal Speed Shop founder Alex Xydias, NHRA founder Wally Parks, and engine builder Ed Pink. The event is open to the public, and tickets may be purchased at