Auto Racing Legends to Speak at IMRRC Award Dinner Honoring Richard Petty
Auto racing legends Kyle Petty, Dale Inman, Chip Ganassi, Bobby Rahal and current Richard Petty Motorsports drivers Aric Almirola and Sam Hornish Jr. will be at the podium in tribute to Richard Petty on Aug. 6 when he receives the Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports.
Petty will receive the award from the International Motor Racing Research Center at a dinner presented by NASCAR, International Speedway Corp. and Watkins Glen International at the world-renowned Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y.
The award memorializes Cameron R. Argetsinger, founder and organizer of the first races at Watkins Glen. Multi-team owner (IMSA, INDYCAR and NASCAR) and former driver Chip Ganassi was the first recipient of the Argetsinger Award in 2014.
Petty, the winningest driver in NASCAR, is being honored for his impact on racing as both a driver and team owner and for his ongoing philanthropic work.
The IMRRC Award Dinner is open to the public, but tickets are limited. The ticket price is $250 per person.
Longtime race reporter Dr. Jerry Punch will be the master of ceremonies for a program that includes not only Almirola and Hornish, but also Dale Inman, Petty’s crew chief at Petty Enterprises for nearly three decades, and Kyle Petty, Richard’s son, a retired driver and current television race analyst for NBC Sports.
Other speakers are Ganassi, the 2014 award winner; Bobby Rahal, Indy 500 champion, INDYCAR team owner and chairman of the Governing Council of the IMRRC; Michael Printup, president of Watkins Glen International; Bob Weber, Smithfield Foods vice president of corporate marketing; and J.C. Argetsinger, president of the IMRRC.
The evening will also include the auction of an original Randy Owens painting depicting Petty’s 200th win at Daytona International Speedway on July 4, 1984.
Almirola joined Richard Petty Motorsports in 2012 and drives the No. 43 Smithfield Ford. He won the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in 2014 and ended the 2014 season with the No. 43 team earning seven top-10 and two top-five finishes. He finished 16th in the championship point standings.
Almirola will be racing in the Cheez-It 355 at The Glen NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 9.
Hornish drives the No. 9 Twisted Tea Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Richard Petty Motorsports. He is new to the team this year, continuing a racing career that has included three IndyCar Series championships. He, too, is racing at The Glen in the Cheez-It 355.
Inman has been credited as the foundation of Petty’s successful career. In his 30 years in racing, Inman set crew chief records for most wins at 193 and most championships at eight. Seven of those championships were with Petty. Inman’s standout year was 1967, when Petty won a NASCAR-record 27 races, 10 of them consecutively. All 27 victories were in a car built a year earlier.
Inman was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.
Kyle Petty started his 30-year NASCAR career as a Sprint Cup driver in 1979 at age 19, following in the footsteps of his father and his grandfather, the legendary Lee Petty. He made 829 starts in NASCAR’s premier series. Among his victories was the 1992 Winston Cup race at Watkins Glen, which was Richard Petty’s final appearance at The Glen.
Kyle Petty returns to The Glen for the Cheez-It 355 as an analyst for NBC Sports.
Richard Petty earned a record 200 career races and seven NASCAR Cup championships during his 30-year driving career. He competed in eight NASCAR races at Watkins Glen, including July 19, 1964, when both he and his father were on the track. It was Lee Petty’s final career race.
He was a member of the inaugural class inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2010.
In addition to NASCAR, ISC and WGI, award dinner sponsors include Smithfield Foods, Corning Incorporated, Glenora Wine Cellars, Chip Ganassi Racing, Sports Car Club of America, Welliver and Elmira Savings Bank.
The Racing Research Center is an archival library dedicated to the preservation of the history of motorsports, of all series and all venues, through its collections of books, periodicals, films, photographs, fine art and other materials. For more information about the Center’s work and its programs, visit www.racingarchives.org or call 607-535-9044. The Center also is on Facebook at International Motor Racing Research Center.
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