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Three men ... three very cool nicknames.

You'll probably recognize the man on the left, Richard Petty. He would come to be known as "The King," and for good reason. Petty enjoyed one of the most successful careers the sport has ever known.

That's Alfred "Speedy" Thompson in the middle. Thompson won 20 times in Grand National competition, the biggest of which was the 1957 Southern 500. A native of Monroe, N.C., Thompson finished third in the standings four straight years, from 1956 to 1959. Thompson died after a crash in a Late Model race at Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte, N.C. on April 2, 1972, one day shy of his 46th birthday.

On the right is none other than "Tiger" Tom Pistone, who ran a total of 130 Grand National races between 1955 and 1968. From Chicago, well outside the sport's traditional Southern stomping grounds, Pistone won two races in 1959 -- one in Trenton, N.J. and the other at Richmond. Pistone, who recently turned 80, today operates a business in which he sells Legends, Bandoleros and Thunder Roadsters, as well as parts and equipment. Pistone is also the co-host of the "Racing Now and Then" radio show on WHIP 1350 AM in Mooresville, N.C.

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