Richard Petty hasn’t raced in NASCAR since 1992, but after turning a few laps of Darlington Raceway on Sunday, he clearly caught the bug again.
“The King” served as an honorary pace car driver ahead of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500, but he might not get to do so again, as he overstayed his welcome. Petty headed the field in his No. 43 Plymouth Belvedere that he drove to victory in the 1967 Southern 500, but was black-flagged after he remained on track for an extra lap.
Because Petty only was the honorary pace car driver, he was supposed to return the No. 43 to the pits one lap before the drivers took the green flag. Instead, he stayed on track until the actual pace car, a Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, turned onto pit road.
The NASCAR official who brought out the black flag deserves some credit for his boldness. After all, Petty hasn’t died and made him king.