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Fire contained at Richard Petty Museum, Petty's Garage
A fire earlier Saturday at the longtime location of Petty Enterprises in Level Cross, North Carolina, did only minimal damage to the historical site, according to officials with the organization. The former race shop compound now houses the Richard Petty Museum and Petty's Garage, a high-performance speed and restoration shop. Richard Petty is NASCAR's all-time leader in premier series wins with 200 victories and is one of only two drivers to win seven championships. According to information from the team, the fire was contained to a portion of the building and was quickly under control by local fire responders. TV station WFMY reported on its web site that a call came in at approximately 12:40 p.m. ET. No injuries were reported at the facility, and no cause of the fire was provided. Three-time series champion Lee Petty started Petty Enterprises, originally Petty Engineering, as NASCAR, incorporated in 1948, was just appearing on the scene. As the family-owned Petty organization flourished, what was once nothing more than a single 800-square-foot structure grew as well. Before the organization stopped running its race teams out of the Level Cross location to move closer to Charlotte, North Carolina, the one-room shop had expanded to include 16 additions.
Hall of Fame: Lee Petty
Lee Petty helped NASCAR grow to what it is today along with being responsible for one of the best generations of NASCAR drivers.
Hall of Fame Induction: Lee Petty
Lee Petty's grandsons and sons officially induct their grandfather and father into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
NASCAR Hall of Fame: Maurice Petty
Maurice Petty , a well known engine builder for Petty Enterprise; He is the fourth member of the Petty family to be inducted to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The Rundown: Michigan driver grades
RELATED: Full race results " Standings " Chase Grid Breaking down the full field for the Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway : 1. Kyle Larson , No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Twice, Larson had to overcome problems on pit road. Twice, Larson beat Chase Elliott on restarts from the front row. The second one, with 10 laps to go, was the difference. Larson gets his first Sprint Cup win in his 99th start and his ticket punched to the Chase. Well done. Grade: A 2. Chase Elliott , No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Restarts, restarts, restarts. Elliott lost the first race at Michigan because of poor restarts and it happened again Sunday. And just like in June, Elliott finished second. Grade : A- 3. Brad Keselowski , No. 2 Ford, Team Penske . The native of Michigan posted his sixth straight top 10 at his home track but to his chagrin remained winless in the Irish Hills. Grade: A 4. Ryan Blaney , No. 21 Ford, Wood Brothers Racing . Blaney needs a win to make the Chase, and he drove like it Sunday, posting his first top 10 in 10 races. Grade: A 5. Kevin Harvick , No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick led 33 laps, and his 3.56 averaging running position topped the field. Grade: A 6. Jimmie Johnson , No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Johnson was a factor -- and the leader -- until his green-flag pit stop on Lap 109. But his gas man had trouble refueling the No. 48, and from that point forward Johnson was playing catchup. His 37 laps led were second to Kyle Larson ’s 41. Grade: A- 7. Carl Edwards , No. 19 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Edwards now has two wins, seven top fives and 15 top 10s in 2016. That’s what he had all of last season. Grade: A 8. Jamie McMurray , No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray finished eighth for the third consecutive week. He holds the last spot in the Chase standings by 15 points over Ryan Newman with two races to go before the field is set. Grade: A 9. Denny Hamlin , No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin’s sixth straight top-10 finish is the longest active streak. Grade: A 10. Joey Logano , No. 22 Ford, Team Penske . All of the polesitter’s strength came at the start of the race. A slow final pit stop left him 17th on the last restart. Grade: A- 11. Greg Biffle , No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Biffle had a nice finish, but he was never a factor. Only Kyle Busch ’s 26 laps in the top 15 were fewer than Biffle’s 44 among drivers who finished in the top 20. Grade: B 12. Kurt Busch , No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Borrowing a page from Greg Biffle … Busch was not a factor, either, and only his brother’s 24.84 average running position was worse than his 17.34 among drivers who finished in the top 20. Grade: B 13. Matt Kenseth , No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . In the first 12 races of the season, Kenseth led 398 laps. In the next 12, 79 laps, including eight Sunday, his first laps led since his victory last month at New Hampshire. Grade: B 14. Kasey Kahne , No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Kahne is going to need a win -- or a miracle -- to make the Chase field. He trails Jamie McMurray by 52 points for the final Chase-eligible spot after finishing outside the top 10 for the eighth straight race. Grade: B 15. AJ Allmendinger , No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger finished in the top 15 in four consecutive races for the first time since the end of the 2011 season. Grade: B 16. Austin Dillon , No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon is 15th in the Chase standings with a 21-point cushion over Ryan Newman in 17th. Grade: B 17. Ryan Newman , No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman should consider himself fortunate to be only 15 points out of 16th with two races to go for the Chase field is set -- he hasn’t had a top-10 finish in his past five races. Grade: B- 18. Paul Menard , No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Regular readers of The Rundown know we have been enthralled by Menard’s propensity to finish 18th. He racked up his sixth of the season Sunday. Grade: C 19. Kyle Busch , No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Busch's troubles at Michigan continued when he got loose in Turn 4 on the 26th lap and went for a spin. His average finish in his past seven starts at Michigan is 32.0 with one finish on the lead lap -- and it wasn't Sunday. Grade: C 20. Martin Truex Jr ., No. 78 Toyota, Furniture Row Racing . Truex's shot at winning or having a top finish ended on Lap 66 when the jack man lowered the car before the left rear tire was changed. The damaged left-rear quarter panel was an issue the rest of the day. Grade: C- 21. Tony Stewart , No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . The driver with a win and five top fives in a seven-race stretch has finished 30th and 21st in his past two races. Is the mojo gone? Grade: C 22. Casey Mears , No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears finished outside the top 10 at Michigan for the 13th consecutive race. Grade: C 23. Danica Patrick , No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . This marks the first time in Patrick's four full-time Sprint Cup seasons she has not finished in the top 20 in at least one of the two Michigan races. She finished 21st in June. Grade: C 24. Trevor Bayne , No. 6 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Bayne went into last week's race at Bristol eight points out of the final Chase spot. He leaves Michigan 58 points back. Grade: C 25. Aric Almirola , No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Michigan is one of two tracks on which Almirola has made at least 10 starts and has yet to post a top 10. (The other is Pocono.) Grade: C- 26. Regan Smith , No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Smith posted his best finish at Michigan since a career-best 13th in August of 2011. Grade: C 27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Since scoring a career-best 15th at Michigan in August 2014, Stenhouse's finishes at the 2-mile track are 25th, 26th, 29th and 27th. Grade: C- 28. Brian Scott , No. 44 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports . Sunday’s race was something to build on: In his first race at Michigan in June, Scott left with a 36th-place finish and a DNF (crash). Grade: C 29. David Ragan , No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Because of Ragan's proximity to Chris Buescher in the standings, he will continue to be one of the most-watched drivers through Richmond. On Sunday, Ragan took a nibble out of Buescher's points lead and is now seven points behind Buescher for 30th in the standings. Grade: C 30. Alex Bowman , No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports . Bowman started sixth and was running in the top five when the car’s ignition failed. A day of promise ended right there, and Dale Earnhardt Jr .’s replacement finished five laps back. Grade: D 31. Michael McDowell , No. 95 Chevrolet, Circle Sport- Leavine Family Racing . McDowell won Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Road America , but his string of top-20 Sprint Cup finishes ended at a season-best two. Grade: D 32. Matt DiBenedetto , No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . DiBenedetto battled brake issues all day. Grade: D 33. Michael Annett , No. 46 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . A blown tire brought out the fourth and final caution, and Annett finished five laps back. Grade: D 34. Cole Whitt , No. 98 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Whitt produced his worst finish in six starts at Michigan. Grade: D 35. Chris Buescher , No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . With so much at stake, the No. 34 team could not afford the engine woes that dumped Buescher to 35th -- he finished 20th at Michigan in June -- but at least he didn’t finish last. Those extra five points might make the difference between making the Chase and major disappointment. Another positive takeaway: David Ragan could muster only a 29th-place finish. Grade: F 36. Reed Sorenson , No. 55 Chevrolet, Premium Motorsports. Sorenson finished seven laps off the pace. Grade: D 37. Jeffrey Earnhardt , No. 32 Ford, Go Fas Racing . Earnhardt had an accident in practice and was in a backup car. He finished eight laps back. Grade: D 38. Josh Wise , No. 30 Chevrolet, The Motorsports Group. Wise's finish was his worst at Michigan since a 39th-place run in August 2013. Grade: F 39. Landon Cassill , No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports . Suspension woes limited Cassill to 174 laps and left him with his first DNF of the season. Grade: F 40. Clint Bowyer , No. 15 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports . Bowyer said before the race he had his best car of the year. Yikes! Vibrations sent the No. 15 behind the wall, but Bowyer avoided a DNF, although he did finish 40 laps off the pace. Grade: F
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Owner Standings
After Race 24 of the 2016 season at Michigan International Speedway Pos Owner Car # Points Ldr Nxt PPos G/L Wins Attempts 1 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 799 0 0 1 0 2 24 2 Team Penske 2 774 -25 -25 2 0 4 24 3 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 724 -75 -50 4 1 2 24 4 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 721 -78 -3 3 -1 1 24 5 Team Penske 22 716 -83 -5 5 0 1 24 6 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 696 -103 -20 6 0 4 24 7 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 691 -108 -5 7 0 2 24 8 Furniture Row Racing 78 652 -147 -39 8 0 1 24 9 Hendrick Motorsports 48 648 -151 -4 9 0 2 24 10 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 633 -166 -15 10 0 2 24 11 Hendrick Motorsports 24 628 -171 -5 12 1 0 24 12 Richard Childress Racing 3 622 -177 -6 11 -1 0 24 13 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 616 -183 -6 13 0 0 24 14 Richard Childress Racing 31 601 -198 -15 14 0 0 24 15 Hendrick Motorsports 88 586 -213 -15 15 0 0 24 16 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 582 -217 -4 18 2 1 24 17 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 572 -227 -10 16 -1 1 24 18 Hendrick Motorsports 5 564 -235 -8 19 1 0 24 19 Roush Fenway Racing 6 558 -241 -6 17 -2 0 24 20 Wood Brothers Racing 21 545 -254 -13 22 2 0 24 21 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 544 -255 -1 20 -1 0 24 22 Roush Fenway Racing 17 528 -271 -16 21 -1 0 24 23 Roush Fenway Racing 16 472 -327 -56 23 0 0 24 24 Richard Childress Racing 27 454 -345 -18 25 1 0 24 25 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 450 -349 -4 24 -1 0 24 26 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 422 -377 -28 27 1 0 24 27 HScott Motorsports 15 408 -391 -14 26 -1 0 24 28 Germain Racing 13 394 -405 -14 28 0 0 24 29 Front Row Motorsports 38 357 -442 -37 29 0 0 24 30 Circle Sport-Leavine Family 95 354 -445 -3 30 0 0 24 31 Front Row Motorsports 34 334 -465 -20 31 0 1 24 32 BK Racing 23 327 -472 -7 32 0 0 24 33 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 309 -490 -18 33 0 0 24 34 Richard Petty Motorsports 44 304 -495 -5 34 0 0 24 35 BK Racing 83 254 -545 -50 35 0 0 24 36 Premium Motorsports 98 241 -558 -13 36 0 0 24 37 HScott Motorsports 46 211 -588 -30 37 0 0 24 38 GO FAS Racing 32 199 -600 -12 38 0 0 24 39 Premium Motorsports 55 150 -649 -49 39 0 0 19 40 The Motorsports Group 30 123 -676 -27 40 0 0 24 41 Front Row Motorsports 35 46 -753 -77 41 0 0 3 42 Circle Sport - Leavine Family 59 26 -773 -20 42 0 0 1 43 BK Racing 93 11 -788 -15 43 0 0 4 44 BK Racing 26 3 -796 -8 44 0 0 1 45 Hillman Racing 40 0 -799 -3 45 0 0 1
Petty , Ingram took unexpected routes to Hall
'Chief', 'Iron Man' part of five-man class to join NASCAR Hall of Fame
Richard Petty adjusting to life alone, says son
Kyle Petty says 'it's been a lot harder and a lot tougher' for his father
Darlington Raceway wins NMPA Myers Brothers Award
LAS VEGAS -- Darlington Raceway moved forward by going back in 2015. NASCAR's first paved superspeedway paid homage to stock car racing's past when it launched a "throwback" program for this year's Bojangles' Southern 500 , and the move proved to be one of the most talked about, most popular events of the year. So much so that the program has earned the track the National Motorsports Press Association's 2015 Myers Brothers Award. The award was announced Thursday during the annual NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers luncheon at the Wynn Las Vegas. Presented annually by the NMPA, the Myers Brothers Award is named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers. Its' purpose is to recognize individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing. Others receiving votes for this year's award were four-time series champion Jeff Gordon and 2015 Sprint Cup champion Kyle Busch . Darlington Raceway has hosted one or more NASCAR premier series events since 1950. The Southern 500, which returned to its long-held Labor Day weekend date this past season, is considered one of the series' "crown jewel" events. RELATED: Best throwback images " See all the Darlington paint schemes More than 30 cars in this year's 43-car field featured throwback schemes, honoring everything from long-time sponsors to drivers and popular paint schemes from the early 1970s. Several teams got in the act by wearing crew uniforms similar to those worn at the time; concession stand fare included items that were offered at the time and tickets in some sections were even priced similar to that specific time period. Even television partner NBC got in the act, bringing back former announcers Ken Squier and two-time champion Ned Jarrett to call a portion of the race from the broadcast booth. Jarrett’s son, Dale -- a former series champion as well -- joined his father in the booth, marking the first time the two had called a race together. RELATED: Legends in the booth " How Darlington idea came together Track President Chip Wile said at the time that the throwback program is "a five-year platform; this isn't a one-year deal. "We felt like if we could get eight or 10 teams on board to really showcase what we're trying to accomplish, we felt like in 2016 we could get more, in 2017 we would get more and so on," he said. "But the response that we've gotten from everyone in the industry has been incredible." Myers Brothers Award Winners 2015, Darlington Raceway ; 2014, Dale Earnhardt Jr .; 2013, Tony Stewart ; 2012, Jeff Gordon ; 2011, Drs. Joseph & Rose Mattioli; 2010, Jim Hunter; 2009, Barney Hall; 2008, Thomas Taylor Warren; 2007, Bill France Jr.; 2006, Benny Parsons; 2005, Rusty Wallace; 2004, Kyle and Patti Petty ; 2003, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 2002, Mike Helton; 2001, Dale Earnhardt; 2000, Kyle Petty ; 1999, Junie Donlavey; 1998, T. Wayne Robertson; 1997, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1996, Rick Hendrick; 1995, TNN: The Nashville Network; 1994, Brickyard 400/ Indianapolis Motor Speedway ; 1993, Goody’s Manufacturing Co.; 1992, Richard and Lynda Petty ; 1991, Harry Gant; 1990; Dick Beaty; 1989, Bill France Jr.; 1988 Richmond International Raceway ; 1987, ESPN; 1986, Hayride 500; 1985, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1984, Charlotte Motor Speedway ; 1983, CBS-TV; 1982, Motor Racing Network; 1981, Junior Johnson; 1980, STP & Champion Spark Plug Co.; 1979, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.; 1978, Busch Beer; 1977, First National City Travelers Checks; 1976, Junior Johnson; 1975, Bill France Sr.; 1974, H. Clay Earles; 1973, Wood Brothers; 1972, Winston Cigarettes; 1971, Richard Petty ; 1970, Richard Howard; 1969, David Pearson; 1968, Wood Brothers; 1967, Richard Petty ; 1966, Norris Friel; 1965, Ned Jarrett; 1964, Richard Petty ; 1963, Marvin Panch; 1962, Hank Schoolfield; 1961, Ned Jarrett; 1960, Russ Catlin; 1959, Lee Petty ; 1958, Bob Colvin.
How I got my nickname: Dean "Squirrel" Mozingo
Photo courtesy of Hendrick Motorsports Twitter account, @TeamHendrick Meet Dean "Squirrel" Mozingo, the long-time transporter driver for the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team. The story behind his nickname? Worthy of a King. • • • "Back in '97, '98 – I was working for the Pettys at the time – and Richard ( Petty ) and I always had a really close relationship. Actually, it started with Lee Petty , (he) was the original Squirrel, which you can go back and see on top of his car. So, that's what they called him and when Richard started driving, he became Squirrel Jr. … I was living with Kyle ( Petty ) – his son – at the time, so we were like family back then … And when I started working for Richard – like I said, we have a very close relationship – he had snuck into Rockingham one morning and put these little gray squirrels on the door of my tractor … I still could remember seeing the feathers on his hat go by the grille of the truck, so I knew he was there doing something and when I got up there, there was this little gray squirrel on the door and he said, 'You're squirrel from now on.' And I said, 'Yes sir.' So, that's where I got it from: Richard Petty . …( Chase Elliott ) already calls me Squirrel, he’s already called me Squirrel a couple times when he’s been on the trailer … He's already used to it. Kyle Busch actually texted me the other day and he called me it. I mean, all of them – everybody calls me Squirrel. I don't even think they know I've got a real name – I think they just think that’s my name anyways. Jeff (Gordon)'s kids call me Squirrel, for God's sake. (Team owner) Mr. Hendrick calls me Squirrel … he came up to me the other day, he said, 'Squirrel, the legend' and he was laughing. … I think people just find it fun … I've had people make me stickers over the years and sent them to me of what they portray me as … I'd like to trademark a little squirrel, that's a good point because I've had my daughter work on a little squirrel. She's an artist so I'm getting her to draw me one. I'm going to trademark it. … James Bickford told me the other day. He said, 'Squirrel, you're going to be the first truck driver to make the Hall of Fame … you're more famous that most drivers.' I said, 'You never know, man.' "