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Don’t know about you, but I’m thinking that if I’m lucky enough to reach 80-years-old, I’m going to take it easy. It’s clear Richard Petty doesn’t think like me.

The legendary NASCAR driver, owner, mentor is just as active as he’s ever been in the sport he loves, age be damned. Consider what’s transpired in just the last four months for Petty Motorsports. The team switched manufacturers from Ford to Chevy, giving brand new driver Bubba Wallace the new Camaro ZL1 with which to compete. The team also opened a new shop on the Richard Childress Motorsports campus.

“It’s very important to me,” Petty said to autoweek.com of his continued involvement. “This has my name on the side of it. We’re working hard so that we can be competitive every week. We ran the whole season and we were only really competitive for three or four races, and that’s not going to get it done.”

That’s the kind of attitude that earned Petty the nickname King. His determination coupled with skill and hard work netted him 200 victories and 7 Cup titles, plus the respect and admiration of legions of fans and NASCAR peers. He continues to travel to races across the country as well as spend time in the garage. And you can be sure he’s going to be right there trackside, imparting some of his years of knowledge to his first-year driver. His first piece of advice – small wins towards the big victories.

“I know it’s going to take a while to get back,” Petty said. “But the way we look at it, if we can go from 20th to 14th, 15th to 10th — then you can start to look at winning multiple races and start to work our way to where we need to be.”

He may be 80, but the King shows no signs of slowing down Chris Trotman/Getty Images
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