45 Facts About Kyle Petty


Kyle Petty is the son of racer Richard Petty, grandson of racer Lee Petty, and father of racer Adam Petty, who was killed in a crash during practice in May 2000.


Kyle Petty made his major-league stock car debut at the age of 18.


Kyle Petty won the very first race he entered, the 1979 Daytona ARCA 200, in one of his father's old 1978 Dodge Magnum race cars, at the time, Petty became the youngest driver to win a major-league stock car race.


Kyle Petty ran five races and had a ninth-place finish in his first series race, the 1979 Talladega 500.


Kyle Petty began the 1981 season driving his father's No 43 for one race, before running a full schedule in his regular No 42, finishing in the top-ten ten times and finishing twelfth in points.


Kyle Petty had only two top-ten finishes but improved to thirteenth in the standings.


Kyle Petty followed that season up with six top-tens the following year, but fell three spots in points.


Kyle Petty took his number and sponsorship to Wood Brothers Racing in 1985, where he had a then career-high seven top-fives and his first top-ten points finish.


Kyle Petty failed to pick up a win in 1988, and fell to thirteenth in points, causing him to be released from the ride.


Kyle Petty signed on to a part-time schedule in 1989 for the new SABCO Racing team.


Peak became the team's full-time sponsor in 1990, and Kyle Petty finished eleventh in points after winning the GM Goodwrench 500 at North Carolina Speedway with a 26-second margin of victory.


In 1992, Kyle Petty rebounded to a career-best fifth-place finish in points, as well winning two separate races that season at Watkins Glen and Rockingham.


Kyle Petty came very close to winning the championship in 1992, he had a flat tire at Phoenix and broke an engine in the last race otherwise he would have been neck and neck with Elliott and Kulwicki for the title.


Kyle Petty duplicated his points finish in 1993 as well as picking up a win in the Champion Spark Plug 500 at Pocono.


Kyle Petty dropped ten spots in points in 1994 after he failed to finish higher than fourth, and lost the Mello Yello sponsorship at the end of the season.


Coors Light became his new sponsor beginning in 1995, and Kyle Petty won his final career Cup race in the Miller Genuine Draft 500 at Dover.


Kyle Petty fell further down to 30th in points after only finishing in the top-ten five times and failing to qualify for the fall race at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Kyle Petty improved to a 27th-place points finish the next season despite missing two races due to injury and failing to qualify for the season-ending race at Atlanta.


Kyle Petty parted way with SABCO at the end of the season.


Kyle Petty had two top-five finishes and nine top-ten finishes, and finished 15th in points, the highest points placement of all the new teams to run during the 1997 season.


Kyle Petty only had two top-tens in 1998, and fell back to 30th in points, causing him to return to Petty Enterprises and run his team from their shop, and became Petty Enterprises' new CEO.


Kyle Petty began the 1999 season with two early DNQs, and finished 26th in points despite finishing in the top-ten nine times.


Kyle Petty made guest appearances on ESPN to provide commentary during Busch Series races.


Kyle Petty had one top-ten early in 2000, the same year in which his son Adam died while practicing for a Busch Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway.


Kyle Petty missed the next two races and returned to drive the No 44 for the rest of the summer, before moving to the Busch Series full-time to finish out the season in Adam's No 45 Sprint Chevrolet.


Kyle Petty had four top-tens in the car over a span of fourteen races, and attempted two Cup races with the No 45 Sprint PCS Chevrolet in 2000, finishing 31st at Martinsville.


Kyle Petty had to drive the 45 Sprint PCS Chevrolet and the No 44 Hot Wheels Pontiac and qualified in 19 races in 2000, causing him to finish 41st in the points standings in the 2000 Winston Cup Series.


In 2001, Kyle Petty brought the No 45 to Cup full-time and switched to Dodge.


Kyle Petty failed to qualify for twelve races that season and failed to finish higher than sixteenth, causing him to finish 43rd in points.


Kyle Petty missed three races in 2003 and fell back to 37th in the standings.


In 2003, during the Food City 500, Kyle Petty crashed his No 45 car in a hard driver's side impact, recording a hit of 80 g's.


Kyle Petty held the record for hardest hit until Elliott Sadler crashed at Pocono in 2010.


Kyle Petty moved up four spots in 2004 and had a best finish of 12th.


When Georgia Pacific left after 2005, Wells Fargo, Schwan's, and Marathon Oil became the team's new primary sponsors and Kyle Petty duplicated his top-ten total in 2006, but fell five spots further in points.


At the 2007 Coca-Cola 600, Kyle Petty had his first top-five finish in ten years, finishing 3rd in the Coke Zero Dodge.


Kyle Petty then raced the Toyota Save Mart 350 at Sonoma in a Petty Enterprises car while broadcasting for TNT.


On lap 1 as the cars began lap 2, Kyle Petty crashed with Matt Kenseth, causing him to accidentally swear during the broadcasting.


Kyle Petty returned to the 45 after a five race break but surrendered the car for two additional races later in the season.


Early in the 2008 season, Kyle Petty Enterprises was purchased by Boston Ventures, causing Kyle Petty to step aside as the team's CEO.


Kyle Petty finished 39th in his final 2008 start in the fall race at Phoenix International Raceway after getting swept up into a multi-car crash.


Petty is active in many charitable causes, such as Victory Junction, a facility that serves serious illness and chronic medical condition children, which he established to honor his late son, as well as an annual charity motorcycle ride across the country called the Kyle Petty Charity Ride Across America.


Kyle Petty is known for his brief attempts as a professional country musician.


Kyle Petty was signed to a record contract by RCA Records in 1986 and began work on an album with Don Light.


Later, Kyle Petty recorded a track entitled "Oh King Richard", a tribute to his father Richard written by Rodney Crowell that was released in 1995 as part of a NASCAR-themed country music compilation album.


Kyle Petty appeared in the 1983 film Stroker Ace, as himself, and provided voice work for the character of Cal Weathers in the 2017 film Cars 3.