CHARLOTTE (January 23, 2023) — The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is thrilled to announce that NASCAR legend Richard Petty will serve as grand marshal for the season-opening Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 race at Sebring International Raceway. Petty’s grandson, Thad Moffitt, will be making his first-career Trans Am start in that event, kicking off his full-time season in the feature race on Saturday, February 25.
Petty has experience racing in Trans Am, competing in the series’ inaugural season. The winningest driver in NASCAR drove Team Starfish’s Plymouth Barracuda in the fourth ever Trans Am race in history at VIRginia International Raceway in July of 1966, starting fourth and finishing eighth in the Over 2.0 Liter class. Petty, who had one title under his belt at the time, went on to become a seven-time champion in the NASCAR Cup Series, amassing 200 race wins, including seven victories in the Daytona 500. Petty, who has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was inducted into the inaugural class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.
“We are very excited to have Richard Petty as grand marshal for our opening weekend at Sebring International Raceway,” said John Clagett, president of Trans Am. “Richard is a part of this series’ very beginnings, and we’re thrilled to make him a race dignitary. We are also really looking forward to having another member of the Petty family driving in Trans Am. Thad has a lot of promise, and young, talented drivers like him are a key part of the Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers TA2 class’s explosive growth in recent years.”
“It will be an honor to serve as the grand marshal for the Trans Am Series at Sebring, especially being a part of Thad’s first start in the series,” said Petty. “It will be special for our family to see the No. 43 on the track in such a competitive road racing series.”
Petty’s grandson Moffitt comes to the longest-running professional road racing series in North America following six seasons in the ARCA Menards Series, earning 10 top fives and 29 top-10 finishes in 49 starts between the National, East and West series. In 2022, Moffitt competed in a part-time effort in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. The 22-year-old is also the 2016 Southeast Limited Late Model champion. This season, Moffitt will be behind the wheel of the No. 43 Safety-Kleen Chevrolet Camaro, driving full time in the TA2 class for TeamSLR.
To prepare for his series debut, Moffitt will participate in the pre-season test at Sebring January 25-26.
About the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli: The Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli is the longest-running professional road race series in the United States. The Trans Am Series was founded by racing factory pony cars in the late 1960s. More than 50 years after their launch, Mustangs, Camaros and Challengers continue to be sold today, with Trans Am racing credited as playing a major role in their success and longevity. The SpeedTour will host the professional race series at 19 events nationwide in 2023.