FATHER AND SON
Kyle Petty receives some last-minute advice from his dad, Richard, moments before the start of the 1979 ARCA 200 at Daytona, run on Feb. 11.
It was the very first stock car race of the 18-year-old Kyle’s career. Incredibly, he won the event in his Dodge Magnum after holding off pole-sitter John Rezak following a restart with four laps to go. Seven days later, Richard won his sixth Daytona 500 after leaders Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough crashed going into turn three on the last lap.
Later in the year, Kyle entered Winston Cup races at Charlotte and Daytona, but crashes during practice and qualifying forced him to withdraw from both events. His Winston Cup debut came finally on Aug. 5 at Talladega, where he finished ninth, seven laps down to winner Darrell Waltrip.
Richard went on to win the 1979 Winston Cup championship, his seventh and final NASCAR title.