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January 29, 2014

Maurice Petty

Richard Petty


KERRY THARP:テつ Up next is another newest inductee into the 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame, and that is The Chief, Maurice Petty.テつ Certainly the greatest engine builder in the history of the sport, the fourth member of the Petty dynasty inducted into the Hall of Fame, and such a big, big part of all of those championships and wins that Petty Enterprises has put together.テつ Chief, congratulations.テつ What are your thoughts about being in the Hall of Fame?
MAURICE PETTY:テつ Well, this is great.テつ This is real great.テつ Who would have ever thought that the whole family could have got into the Hall of Fame together.テつ It's just like what I said out there in the speech.テつ Come out with a little old community out in the‑‑ not out in the woods but it's pretty well out in the country, and now we've got four people in it.テつ Everybody lives within a quarter mile of each other.テつ It's great, I'm really tickled to death, proud of it.
KERRY THARP:テつ Richard, certainly the petty name continues in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.テつ Maybe your thoughts about having your brother join you now in the Hall of Fame.
RICHARD PETTY:テつ I mean, it's great, okay.テつ My dad was in, the family situation, I was telling them a while ago that it's kind of a deal that it's kind of like a wheel.テつ She was in the middle, and we were just spokes that stuck out.テつ So if we needed money for engine or money or tires or whatever, we had to convince mother, and Daddy did, too, to give us an allowance to take care of it.テつ It was just a family‑run business.テつ You've got to figure, though, as it was a family‑run business, you had the Wood Brothers up there with five or six people, you had Junior Johnson with five or six people, Bud Moore with five or six people.テつ So that was the competition at that time.テつ From time to time we just done a little bit better job taking care of it because I think we were a little bit more family.

Q.テつ I know you lobbied for this to happen since the day Maurice was first nominated, but did you ever think an engine builder would ever really get into the Hall of Fame?
MAURICE PETTY:テつ No, I thought it was just reserved for the drivers, and to get in this quick, that was really a total surprise because I came over‑‑ they told me I had been nominated, and I come over, and they called my name because I figured it would take a year or two to work your way in.テつ But that was quite a surprise.

Q.テつ This is for Richard:テつ Just curious, you've won a lot of races with Maurice in your career.テつ I'm just curious, what are a couple of the sweetest ones to you.
RICHARD PETTY:テつ You know, it's really hard to say.テつ At Daytona we won in '64, so that had to be really, really special.テつ Then somewhere in '73, '74, NASCAR cut us back to really small engines, 396 or smaller than that, whatever, 355, 358, and a real small Plymouth engine, wasn't HEMI or nothing, we won the very first race that he built the engine for that.テつ So those are the kind of deals that sets him, as far as I'm concerned, apart from some of the other people.テつ You've got to figure he built engines for two or three different kind of engines, HEMI, a wedge and then a small wedge, a Chevrolet engine, Ford engine, Pontiac engine, Oldsmobile engine, it didn't make any difference, we wound up winning races with it.

Q.テつ Chief, when you look at the historical pictures, I see you in a beard and a news boy hat.テつ Where did that come from, and did you take any heat in the garage for that getup?
MAURICE PETTY:テつ Well, that was sort of a rebellious time.テつ I call it my Willie Nelson time.
RICHARD PETTY:テつ He was ahead of Duck Dynasty.テつ (Laughter.)

Q.テつ A question to Maurice:テつ When you built the engines, I think at that time dyno testing and all the technical facilities you have nowadays didn't exist.テつ How did you test the engine?テつ How did you know it was powerful and successful?
MAURICE PETTY:テつ Yeah, we didn't have a dyno until 1969, but how you test the engines, you'd take them down to the shop where the other car was, put it in there, crank it up, and that was the test right there.

Q.テつ Was that the whole test?
RICHARD PETTY:テつ Yeah, they were track tested, the cars, the engines, because we didn't have any other way to test them.テつ He had a little deal out back he would set the engine on it and warm it up and make sure that the thing would run before we put it in the car, but that was just a check for leaks and oil leaks and water leaks.
We'd run a race and he didn't build the engine for next week.テつ He'd bring it back home Sunday night, tear it down Monday morning before he ever built the engine for the next weekend, so that way he always said, okay, if we've got trouble we don't need to have it next week, too.テつ Then every time he'd do something he'd try to make it a little bit better, and if it worked, it worked, and as you seen on the screen, I blew a couple of them, too, so that wasn't good.

Q.テつ Maurice, have you tweaked the engine in your scooter at all to get some more performance out of it?
MAURICE PETTY:テつ No, I gave up working on anything.テつ I sat back and watch John Wayne and all the westerns.

Q.テつ Secondly, you look at the sport today, guys flying around in planes and staying in these big mobile homes.テつ You were a business but you weren't getting rich off of this deal.テつ What was it that drove you to put in the long hours and make those motors so good so that Richard can go out and win 200 races?
MAURICE PETTY:テつ Well, we always had a motto around the shop there, they're going to throw the damn green flag come Sunday whether you're there or not, so you worked your butt off long hours, short hours, whatever you had to do.
KERRY THARP:テつ Congratulations to Maurice Petty, Richard Petty.

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