LONG POND, Pa. (AP) — The King had one command for his court: “Drivers, start your engines!”
Richard Petty can still bowl over a crowd.
Petty, a Hall of Fame driver, was the grand marshal for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Pocono Raceway. He had the drivers fire their engines to mark the 40th anniversary of his win in the first NASCAR race at Pocono. Petty won the Purolator 500 on Aug. 4, 1974.
He won again in 1976 and had runner-up finishes in 1975 and 1977.
“We ran a couple of USAC races here,” Petty said. “We won one of those. So when we came, the rest of the guys had never seen the track. We had a little bit of an advantage over them for the first year or two until they learned what was going on.”
Petty never won again at Pocono, finishing 20th in his final race there in 1992.
His memories of his first win? Not much. Just another win in a storied career filled with 200 of them.
“It kind of got lost in the shuffle,” Petty said.
He had another tie to Sunday’s race. GoBowling.com sponsored the race and was the primary sponsor for the No. 43 Ford, driven by recent Daytona winner Aric Almirola.
Petty bowled a couple of frames on a makeshift bowling alley Saturday at the track. He loves bowling, and has his own shoes and ball.
“It’s something I like to do with the family,” he said. “Get all the grandkids out there and throw it down.”