Like many of today's young racers, Adam started out racing go-karts at 6 years old. By 12 he was competing in select Mini-Sprint races.
At 13 Adam decided to take some time off from racing. He reasoned that if so much traveling was hard on adults it would be even more so on a 13 year old. He tried several other sports - football, basketball, and baseball. But after just a year he wanted to climb back behind the wheel of a race car!
In 1995 Adam participated in the Legends Car Competition. But his main goal was to get to stock cars.
1997 saw Adam competing in 25 NASCAR Winston Racing Series Late Model Stock Car races. He raced at Caraway Speedway near his hometown along with Myrtle Beach, South Boston, and Nashville.
1998 brought Adam to ASA racing. On 11 April 1998 at Peach State Speedway in Jefferson, GA he made his professional racing debut. With this start he became the first fourth generation professional athlete in the United States! That night ended in an accident that was not his fault - but he wouldn't wait long for a win. Just over two months later in his tenth start at I-70 Speedway in Odessa, MO he became the youngest driver to win an ASA race. (Mark Martin was the previous holder of that record.)
In October 1998 Adam made his Superspeedway debut in Charlotte at Lowe's Motor Speedway in his first ARCA event. Following in his father's footsteps, he won in his first start! Adam surpassed his father as the youngest ARCA Superspeedway winner at the age of 18 years and 3 months. Kyle had won in his first ARCA start in 1979 at the age of 18 years and 8 months.
Three weeks later, Adam made his first NASCAR Busch Series start in St. Louis at Gateway International Raceway. He finished 27th, two laps down but he knew the Busch Series is where he would run in the 1999 season.
Adam ran the full Busch schedule in 1999 finishing his Rookie year 20th in the points and third in the Rookie of the Year race. His best finish was fourth at the California Speedway. He also ran two races in the Craftsman Truck Series, including a 10th place finish in his debut at Richmond.
Adam's plan for the 2000 season were to run the full Busch schedule and make five Winston Cup starts in the #45 Sprint car. He appeared on Inside Winston Cup Review joking that he would be the first Winston Cup driver to still be living at home sharing a room with his younger brother!
Adam made his Winston Cup debut at Texas Motor Speedway qualifying 33rd. He ran well until his engine blew on lap 215, relegating him to a 40th place finish.
Adam's career and life were abruptly cut short on 12 May 2000, when during practice for the Busch race at New Hampshire International Speedway, his car hit the turn three wall with great impact. Adam was rushed to the local hospital but could not be revived. We'll never know what he could have accomplished on or off the track. The racing community, his fans and family will miss him greatly.
In honor of Adam the Petty family built the Victory Junction Camp. A place where critically ill children and their family can go for a vacation free of charge!
|Adam Petty Career Stats|
|1998 American Speed Associates Results||1999 Busch Series Results|
|04/11/98||Jefferson, GA||11||19||02/13/99||Daytona, FL||21||6|
|04/25/98||Hampton, VA||15||16||03/06/99||Las Vegas, NV||16||29|
|05/02/98||Bradenton, FL||18||23||03/13/99||Hampton, GA||20||34|
|05/23/98||Nashville, TN||7||8||03/20/99||Darlington, SC||33||24|
|05/30/98||Rougemont, NC||1||17||03/27/99||Fort Worth, TX||3||39|
|06/07/98||West Salem, WI||14||27||04/03/99||Nashville, TN||8||13|
|06/12/98||Auburn, MI||10||17||04/10/99||Bristol, TN||3||18|
|06/13/98||Marne, MI||22||6||04/24/99||Talladega, GA||26||23|
|06/20/98||Clermont, IN||11||10||05/01/99||Fontana, CA||20||4|
|06/27/98||Odessa, MO||3||1||05/08/99||Loudon, NH||39||24|
|07/11/98||Cedar Rapids, IA||12||24||05/14/99||Richmond, VA||31||28|
|07/18/98||Anderson, IN||19||13||05/23/99||Nazareth, PA||34||5|
|07/25/98||Salem, IN||8||14||05/29/99||Concord, NC||32||43|
|08/08/98||Marne, MI||15||17||06/05/99||Dover, DE||36||40|
|08/15/98||Fountain, CO||7||19||06/12/99||South Boston, VA||31||33|
|08/22/98||West Allis, WI||24||15||06/27/99||Watkins Glen, NY||34||32|
|09/07/98||St. Paul, MN||1||7||07/04/99||Milwaukee, WI||40||30|
|09/19/98||Cedar Rapids, IA||13||5||07/24/99||Fountain, CO||6||29|
|09/26/98||Kenly, NC||8||4||08/06/99||Indianapolis, IN||42||27|
|1998 ARCA Results||09/10/99||Richmond, VA||43||40|
|09/30/98||Concord, NC||6||1||10/23/99||Rockingham, NC||43||30|
|10/10/98||Talladega, AL||11||29||10/31/99||Millington, TN||2||5|
|1998 Busch Series Results||2000 Busch Series Results|
|10/17/98||Madison, IL||11||27||02/19/00||Daytona, FL||17||37|
|10/31/98||Rockingham, NC||32||38||02/26/00||Rockingham, NC||42||27|
|11/15/98||Homestead, FL||33||27||03/04/00||Las Vegas, NV||31||17|
|1999 Craftman Truck Series Results||03/25/00||Bristol, TN||38||40|
|Date||Location||Start||Finish||04/01/00||Fort Worth, TX||13||39|
|09/09/99||Richmond, VA||25||10||04/08/00||Nashville, TN||9||34|
|10/15/99||Fort Worth, TX||23||16||04/15/00||Talladega, AL||31||12|
|2000 Winston Cup Series Results|
|04/02/00||Fort Worth, TX||33||40|
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