Thad Moffitt, the 16-year-old grandson of Richard Petty, will make his ARCA Racing Series debut this weekend, Richard Petty Motorsports announced Tuesday.
Moffitt, the oldest son of Brian and Rebecca Moffitt, will debut in the ARCA Music City 200 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tennessee. He will drive the No. 46 car for Empire Racing Group, a Richard Petty Motorsports development team, with primary sponsorship from Transportation Impact.
Moffitt is coming off a 2016 in which he won the championship in the Southeast Limited Late Model Series.
He won his first race in the series last August.
“I love racing, being at the track and just learning and trying to get better each race,” Moffitt said in a press release. “The ERG team has been great, and I’ve had a lot of fun with them in the late model. They have a good ARCA program, and I really wanted to make my debut in this series. A lot of great drivers have raced in ARCA, and Uncle Kyle (Petty) and (cousin) Adam (Petty) have both won in this series. It makes me really want to follow in their footsteps. But, this is a learning process, too. I’m excited and ready, but I have a lot to learn.”
Moffitt will work with crew chief Mike Cheek, who supervised the driver in a test at Nashville.
“Thad has a lot of passion to follow in the footsteps of his family,” Cheek said in the press release. “He has won a championship in a limited late model and in just a few races in a NASCAR Late Model, he has shown his talents. He did well during the ARCA test, and no matter the result, this will be great experience at a young age.”
The Music City 200 will also include the North-South Shootout with the Southern Super Series and the ARCA CRA Super Series combo race.
“There’s a big feel difference, especially coming off the corner,” Moffitt said comparing the ARCA car to what he drove last year. “The ARCA cars have so much more horsepower. I was spinning my tires bad, but I learned to feed it gas as I go … then I picked up speed.
“Nashville’s an amazing track. I learned that it’s got multiple grooves. You could enter low and let it push up and bring it back down coming off. But once the tires got to 75 laps or so, you could pretty much run the second groove all the way around. I love the banking in that track … the way it sucks you into the corner.”
The ARCA Music City 200 will be broadcast at 9 p.m. ET Saturday on MAV TV