International Motorsports Hall of Fame member won the inaugural Daytona 500, and numerous other races.
He was 35 years of age before he sat down to race his first stock car.
He finished in the Top 5 in points during the first 11 seasons of NASCAR, winning the championship three times.
Richard Petty, his son, became a renowned NASCAR racer in his own right.
Dale Earnhardt was another NASCAR great racer from North Carolina.