Who Is Adam Petty?

Adam Petty, grandson of The King, Richard Petty, was Winston Cups 1st forth generation driver before his tragic death at Louden, New Hampshire during practice for a race.

It all began back in '49 when his great-grandfather, Lee Petty climbed in a race car for the first time. For Adam, on May 12, 2000 - it all ended in the same place, in a race car. Just six short weeks after Adam Petty competed in his first (and what came to be his last) Winston Cup race, his all too short life would come to an end at the New Hampshire International Speedway while practicing for the following day's Busch race.

Adam Petty - at the age of 19 became Winston Cup's first ever 4th generation driver as he took to the track at Texas Motor Speedway to compete in that series for the first time. April 2nd was an emotional and a special day for Adam, being able to race against his father, Kyle for the first time. Making it even more special was that both of his legendary grandfathers were there to cheer him on. (Those being none other than Lee and Richard Petty!)

On April 5th, just three days after the four generations of Petty men celebrated Adam's first Winston Cup race, Lee, the much-admired first generation Petty driver lost his life to complications due to a stomach aneurysm. Still grieving the death of Lee, it was only a month and a half later that fate dealt the Petty family, along with NASCAR fans, another hard blow. Adam, Petty Enterprises' bright and shining star, would lose his life in a violent crash at the Louden track.

At the age of 6, a go-kart was Adam's first racing experience and this set in motion what was to be the start of a brilliant and yet all too short career in racing. Though short, Adam had a varied career in driving as he also raced in the mini-sprints, a Legends type car, NASCAR Late Model Stock cars, NASCAR Craftsman truck and competed in the ASA, which is the America Speed Association Series.

Winning is just something that seems to be a Petty family trait and following tradition, Adam did it with style as he was the youngest ever driver to win an ARCA event. At the age of 18, Adam made the decision to race fulltime in the Busch series, behind the wheel of the #45 Sprint sponsored car. If not for that fateful day in May, Adam would have completed his plans by finishing his 2nd full season driving on the Busch circuit. Other plans were to have been trying to qualify for 4 more Winston Cup races during the 2000 season.

Adam's father, Kyle once said that Adam was "obsessed" with racing, and yet as much as he loved it, there were some things that were far more important to him. His relationship with God, his family, his fans and no matter what he did, he did it to the best of his ability. Adam loved the fans and the fan loved him, he was a people person, there is no doubt about that.

Yes, for that one day in April of 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway - there were four respected and proud generations of Petty race car drivers. Soon after that historical day, there were but two.

Adam Petty

July 10, 1980 - May 12, 2000

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