NASCAR Hall of Fame 5th Class Finalist - Maurice Petty, Engine Builder,
Hometown: Randleman, N.C.
Championships: 1964, '67, '71, '72, '74, '75, '79
If Richard Petty is NASCAR’s king, his younger brother Maurice certainly bears the title of prince. The chief engine builder at Petty Enterprises, Petty becomes the fourth member of the dynasty to be nominated for membership in the NASCAR Hall of Fame – following his older brother, father Lee and his cousin Dale Inman, all members of the sport’s elite body.
The man simply called Chief supplied the horsepower that propelled Richard Petty to a majority of his record 200 NASCAR victories, plus his seven NASCAR premier series championships and seven Daytona 500 victories. Lee Petty, Buddy Baker, Jim Paschal and Pete Hamilton also won with his engines.
Petty had a brief driving career – 26 premier series races with seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes between 1960 and 1964 – but was satisfied to work behind the scenes as one of the top engine builders ever seen in the sport.
Petty, 21 months younger than his elder sibling, overcame polio as a child. Both Richard and Maurice worked on their father’s pit crew as teenagers. He later consulted with Dodge upon its return to NASCAR’s premier series in 2001.