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Hall of Famer Richard Petty discusses favorite era of NASCAR racing, reveals ‘best car’ he ever drove

Richard Petty recently reflected on his storied NASCAR career and revealed his favorite era.

During an appearance on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s podcast, “The Dale Jr. Download,” Petty described the early to mid-1970s as the most outstanding era for race cars.

“We won a bunch of races with the Charger,” Petty said. “We had a lot of experience with it, and we got to run it like four or five years. Of all the race cars I’ve ever had, it was the most natural race car that was before all the wind tunnel testing and all this kind of stuff.”

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Legacy Motor Club co-owner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty walks onstage during pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter Health 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway Feb. 25, 2024, in Hampton, Ga.  (Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

Petty affectionately described it as the “all-around best race car” he ever operated.

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“That car was so sensitive, you could change a spoiler a quarter-inch and go from dead push to dead loose. But we had worked with it so much, we learned that. It was just a pleasure to drive it. It worked on short tracks, road courses, superspeedways. It was just a good all-around best race car I ever had.”

Richard Petty waves to fans

Grand Marshal Richard Petty waves to fans during driver introductions before the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Clean Harbors 150 at Knoxville Raceway June 18, 2022, in Knoxville, Iowa. (Kyle Rivas/Getty Images)

Petty’s appearance on the podcast coincided with his family’s celebration of three quarters of a century in racing.

His father, Lee Petty, won the first-ever Daytona 500. Richard later became NASCAR’s all-time wins leader. Petty’s son Kyle also had a successful stock car racing career. Petty’s grandson spent time on the track before he died in 2000.

Richard Petty looks on during a NASCAR event

Legacy Motor Club co-owner and NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty during the NASCAR Cup Series Bluegreen Vacations Duel No. 2 at Daytona International Speedway Feb. 15, 2024, in Daytona Beach, Fla.  (James Gilbert/Getty Images)

“Seventy-five years in the sport is an incredible milestone for our family, especially when it all began as a family business,” Petty said in a press release last December.

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NASCAR also recently commemorated its 75th anniversary.

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