Richard Petty selected to North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame

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petty-hallSeven year after being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Richard Petty has been named to another auto racing hall of fame in North Carolina.

Petty, the seven time Premier Series champion, has been named a 2017 inductee to the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame.

Petty and three others will be inducted on Feb. 18 at the 15th annual Shriners Hot Rod & Drag Racing Expo at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Joining Petty are Frank Teague, Jean Howard and Terry Adams.

Petty’s eligibility for enshrinement is a result of the year he spent in the form of racing in 1965.

“The King” went drag racing after NASCAR had banned the Chrysler 426 Hemi engine, which he had used to earn nine Cup Series wins in 1964 on the way to his first NASCAR title.

Petty built a Hemi-powered Barracuda, named it the “43 Jr.” and mostly competed in exhibitions across the country.

A 200-time race winner in the Cup Series, Petty won one event in the B/Altered class at the NHRA spring nationals at Bristol International Dragway.

Petty’s drag racing career was marred by tragedy in February 1965 when a crash sent his front suspension into the crowd, killing a child and injuring others.

That car was buried on Petty’s property and a new “43 Jr.” built.

But NASCAR eventually did away with its ban of the Chrysler 426 Hemi engine and Petty returned to stock car racing late in the 1965 season. Beginning in July, he competed in the final 14 races of the 55-race season, winning four times. He returned to full-time NASCAR racing in 1966, winning eight races and finishing third in the point standings.