Before auto racing came along, cousins Richard Petty and Dale Inman lived within a half-mile of each other in Level Cross, North Carolina.
“I lived on a paved road, he lived on a dirt road,” Inman told Kyle Petty in the latest episode of “Coffee with Kyle.” “No telephones, no televisions, no indoor plumbing.”
Said Richard Petty: “We didn’t know that existed until daddy (Lee Petty) started racing and took us to the real world. Then we realized we was no poorer than the guy living next door. So it was plain country people, growing up during the second World War.”
Eventually their world got bigger, as Petty and Inman became a driver and crew chief combination that won seven Cup titles and 171 races with Petty Enterprises.
But it all started with the racing career of Lee Petty, who made his first Cup start on June 19, 1949 at the old Charlotte Speedway dirt track.
“My dad borrowed a car from some guys at a service station where he hung out,” Richard Petty recalled. “When we got there, he went into a Texaco station, pulled it up on the rack, took the muffler off of it, took the hub caps off of it. I think he knocked some holes in the floor board and put a seat belt in. That was it. That’s basically the way it started.”
Watch the above video for more from the first of three “Coffee with Kyle” episodes with Richard Petty and Inman.
The episode can be found on the NBC Sports YouTube page.