DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Thad Moffitt is more apt to wear a baseball cap than a feathered cowboy hat. And when he’s out on a date night with his girlfriend at the bowling alley or the beach, he wears sneakers — not cowboy boots.
Moffitt might not ask his grandpa for much fashion advice.
But when it comes to cars, well, who better to seek advice from than NASCAR’s King?
“He’s a pretty smart dude,” Moffit said.
Moffitt does share bonds with grandpa Richard Petty, at least on the track: The 21-year-old Truck Series driver will make his NASCAR national series debut in the No. 43, with race family sponsor STP on the truck Friday night in the season opener.
Moffitt will break out the truck in Daytona, where grandpa won seven Daytona 500s and great-grandpa Lee Petty won the very first one in 1959 in an Oldsmobile.
No pressure, kid.
Richard Petty, who at 84 remains the face of Richard Petty Motorsports, is synonymous with NASCAR. With that looping script in the R and P, he’s likely signed more autographs than any athlete, ever. He’s even spry enough to star in commercials with Moffitt.
“He’s a really big part of everything I’ve done in my career so far,” Moffitt said Thursday.
The Petty pipeline runs deep in NASCAR: Lee Petty is a NASCAR Hall of Famer and father of The King. Richard Petty’s son, Kyle, won eight times in the Cup Series and is now a broadcaster. His son, Adam, was in the beginning of his NASCAR career when he was killed at 19 during practice at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Brian Moffitt is CEO at Petty Motorsports and his wife, Rebecca, is Richard Petty’s daughter.
“It’s just going to be really cool for me to add to the legacy this weekend,” Moffitt said.
Moffitt is driving a truck out of Reaume Brothers Racing, and GMS Racing will provide technical and engineering support.